- Published on 18 July 2014
- Written by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director
Washington, DC: Proponents of a District initiative to permit the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana by those age 21 or older have turned in 57,000 signatures to the DC Board of Elections. The number is more the twice the total of signatures from registered voters necessary to place the measure on the 2014 electoral ballot.
District of Columbia election officials will meet in mid-August to certify the measure for the ballot.
The proposed ballot initiative (Initiative Measure 71) seeks to remove all criminal and civil penalties in regard to the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to six plants (no more than three mature).
Nearly two out of three District residents favor legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by adults, according to a January 2014 Washington Post poll.
Even if approved by District voters this fall, members of the DC City Council still possess the authority to amend the measure. Members of Congress could also potentially halt the law's implementation. Federal lawmakers possess oversight regarding the implementation of all District laws.
This spring, DC city council members approved legislation reducing minor marijuana possession offenses to a $25 civil fine. That ordinance is expected to take effect later this month. However, federal legislation seeking to undermine this measure is presently pending in the US House of Representatives.
- Published on 24 June 2014
- Written by Rob Ryan
Once again, the annual COLUMBUS festival called COMFEST took place and Miami Valley NORML was there. COMFEST is an event that Ohio NORML has attended for years. Many other NORML chapters come together to support each other in our mission of reforming the marijuana laws. Comfest is a chance for people who are involved or interested in changing the current marijuana laws to come together to educate and socialize. This year COMFEST was held at the end of June in Columbus, Ohio.
This year we had some difficulties that almost resulted in us not being able to attend this year. Despite those setbacks, we made it and it turned out to be a great weekend event. This was made possible by the dedicated people who have joined together to end prohibition. A special mention needs to go out to Mike, Heather, Scott, Kim, Shardee, Marshall, Nicole, Ken, James, Emily, Linda, and Connie. Each helped to make this event a success.
We had a problem gathering signatures for the Medical Marijuana ballot. We only had one tent due to the geography which was not favorable setting up the petition section. Still, with the help of passing out around a thousand or so stickers and signing a letter to Federal representatives, we directed people to the Medical Marijuana ballot at the entrance of Goodale Rd and handed in over 500 signatures for the medical marijuana petition effort at the end of the festival.
Despite our efforts to reform marijuana laws, prohibition is still here. Almost 100 people received marijuana citations for smoking at the event. The rules were clearly stated at the festival entrance, and Columbus police were circulating in the crowd undercover. Officers were going from tree to tree writing citations for possessing or smoking marijuana. This is a clear signal that prohibition is still in effect and we have work to do.
It was great not only to see so many friendly faces. I also personally handed in HUNDREDS of medical marijuana petition packets. It was a great event and look forward to attending more in the future. Thanks to everyone that made this such a wonderful experience.
Rob Ryan, President
- Published on 04 June 2014
- Written by Rob Ryan
Our opposition, the prohibitionist are urging our Senators to exclude the Pro-Marijuana Amendments and gut Congress's decision to defund the DEA from raiding states that have passed medical marijuana laws. It is our duty to respond and urge our United States Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown to support the recent House decision. We cannot let this moment pass without speaking up.
I have included my own letter to Portman and Brown. Note it is best not to use the form letter, so if you do use a from letter customize it and make it personal.
Also please send a letter of thanks to those Congressman who voted for the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to the Department of Justice's budget and an opposite letter to those who voted NO! At the very end of this email I included a list of Ohio Congressional representatives and their vote on this important vote.
President, Ohio NORML
Working to legalize marijuana in Ohio
Now is the time to act and end marijuana prohibition.
-------My letter to Portman and Brown---------
I ask you to support the House's decision to stop the Department of Justice from using federal funds to undermine state laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana.
This issue is important to me personally. I have survived three cancers in my life. Marijuana has helped me during the brutal chemo rounds that I went thru for the greater part of the year. Note I had my oncologist full support using marijuana.
This amendment would save significant tax dollars, curb federal overreach in areas traditionally reserved for the states, and protect states' rights to choose how to regulate medical marijuana without fear of federal interference.
It is time to recognize the facts that marijuana is not deadly, addictive and with no medical use as defined by current United States and Ohio Law.
Blue Ash, Ohio
Your Senator Contact Info
Sen. Sherrod Brown
HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building, Room 713
120 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington DC 20510-3505
Sen. Rob Portman
RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building, Room 448
2 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington DC 20510-3506
NORML FORM Letter