NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
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NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, USA. It acts as a voice for responsible cannabis users and aims to influence public opinion to a stage where cannabis use is legalized for adults and the stigma towards cannabis and its use has been lifted.
NORML represents the interest of many, if not all cannabis users in the USA and lobbies both state and federal governments to combat prohibition and ultimately stop punishing those citizens who choose to use cannabis responsibly.
The organization describes “responsible cannabis use” as adhering to the following principles:
- Adult only use: Cannabis should be reserved for adults and shouldn’t be provided to children.
- No driving: Cannabis users should not be driving or operating other types of heavy machinery while under the influence of cannabis.
- Set and setting: NORML believes responsible cannabis users place special emphasis on the time, place, and mood in which they use cannabis.
- Resist abuse: Responsible users should avoid abusing cannabis. Abuse means harm, and any type of cannabis use that negatively affects health or personal development/achievement is not responsible.
- Respects the rights of other: Responsible cannabis users respect the rights of others and respect them by upholding similar protocols governing tobacco smoking.
It is both the oldest and largest cannabis legalization organization in the USA and has greatly influenced policy in a variety of ways. It also serves as a source of information regarding cannabis-related issues for both individuals and the media.
THE WORK OF NORML: OVER 40 YEARS OF REFORM
NORML played an important role in reforming legislature in the 1970s that lead to the decriminalization of minor marijuana offenses in 11 states and the lowering of penalties in others.
Today, the organization still spearheads efforts across the US to change the perceptions of cannabis use and help governments introduce new, reformed policies to protect cannabis users.
NORML fights to help introduce new policies that respect the rights of responsible cannabis consumers and eventually pave the way for an accepting society where cannabis users, like regular consumers, can easily access a high-quality, affordable product without being punished for their choices.
It also serves as a major source of cannabis-related information, including facts about the drug and its effects, news, legal information, and more. It does so with the goal of offsetting the effects of anti-cannabis propaganda.
NORML hosts an informative website as well as an annual conference and serves as the umbrella group for a national network of citizen-activists committed to ending marijuana prohibition.
A sister organization, the NORML Foundation, also runs public advertising campaigns around the USA that aim to inform people about cannabis and new, innovative ways of control the drug rather than simply prohibiting it. The foundation also provides legal support for individuals affected by current laws.
More info on their website: www.norml.org