US Conference of Mayors Unanimously Pass Resolution Calling for the Feds to Respect Local Marijuana Laws
- Published on 25 June 2013
- Written by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director
The US Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution this morning that calls on the federal government to respect local marijuana laws. Resolution No. 32 “reaffirms the USCM’s support of fair and effective criminal justice and drug policies, states that federal laws, including the Controlled Substance Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference; and that until such time as federal law is changed, The United States Conference of Mayors urges the President of the United States to reexamine the priorities of federal agencies to prevent the expenditure of resources on actions that undermine the duly enacted marijuana laws of states.
The resolution was introduced with 18 co-sponsors, including Bob Filner of San Diego, Mike McGinn of (Seattle), Carolyn Goodman (Las Vegas), Jean Quan (Oakland), Steve Hogan (Aurora), Marilyn Strickland of (Tacoma), Kitty Piercy of (Eugene), and William Euille of (Alexandria). You can read the full text of the resolution here at this link.
We would like to thank all of you who took action on this effort and joined NORML and our allies at the Marijuana Majority (who coordinated this action). Speaking on the success of the resolution, Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority stated, “It’s time for President Obama to enact the changes he promised during the 2008 campaign. A strong and growing majority of Americans want states to be able to set their own marijuana laws without federal harassment. Local officials are enacting policies that serve to protect the health and safety of their communities better than the failed policy of prohibition has, and they deserve the respect they are asking for from the Obama administration.
NORML applauds the US Conference of Mayors for unanimously approving this measure that calls for a federal policy on marijuana that is in line with the desires of the majority of American citizens. Over 50% of Americans support legalizing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and even more believe the federal government should leave decisions related to marijuana to states and their municipalities. This resolution calls for a rational policy that would empower local and state governments to set marijuana laws that work for them, without fear of federal incursion,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “It is encouraging to see that these mayors, many of whom are on the ascendancy of their political careers, engage this important issue directly. Even while many of our elected officials working in Washington, DC continue to drag their feet on the topic of reform, the unanimous passing of this resolution shows that many others working their way up from the local level are no longer willing to sit idle and that they will take action to put our country on the right side of history when it comes to marijuana.
- Published on 22 June 2013
- Written by Robert R. Ryan, President Ohio NORML
Below is a letter sent to the two medical marijuana ballot initiatives groups today.
To: Ohio Rights Group & Ohio Alternate Treatment Amendment,
From: Robert R. Ryan, President Ohio NORML & Miami Valley NORML
Subject: NORML’s support for Ballot Initiative
Ohio NORML recently had a board meeting with all the Ohio NORML chapters from across the state. At that meeting we resolved to support the Ohio Medical Marijuana ballot efforts. Since there are two initiatives currently, we agreed to collect signatures for that ballot initiative that supplied the paper to collect signatures. NORML in turn will provide our volunteers with clipboards, pens, shirts and participation at various organized events (i.e. parades etc).
Also I will publicly support and attend press conference and photo ops for you to use to gain financial support & public awareness. As I have stated publicly and privately the ballot initiative that receives sufficient funding will appear on the ballot and win.
Please note: I am not on either organization’s board or committee at this time.
Robert R. Ryan, President Ohio NORML
- Published on 08 June 2013
- Written by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director,
New York, NY: African Americans are far more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession offenses than are whites, according to an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report released this week that analyzes arrest data from 945 counties nationwide.
The report found that blacks were approximately four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, even though both ethnicities consumed the substance at similar rates. Authors reported that the racial disparity in arrest rates had grown significantly over the past decade and that in some states - including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin - African Americans were nearly eight times as likely as Caucasians to be arrested for cannabis possession.
Overall, blacks were more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis violations in 908 of the 945 counties reviewed by the ACLU.
"We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner," said Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project and the lead author of the report.
Authors also estimated that states in 2010 spent an estimated $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws, a 30 percent increase from ten years earlier. This total included $1,747,157,206 in police time, $1,371,200,815 to adjudicate marijuana possession cases, and $495,611,826 to incarcerate individuals for marijuana possession.
In 2010, police made nearly 854,000 arrests for marijuana violations.