NORML

norml

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

The organization was founded in 1970 by Keith Stroup, funded by $5,000 from the Playboy Foundation. Since then, it has played a central role in the cannabis decriminalization movement.

The organization has a large grassroots network with 135 chapters and over 550 lawyers. NORML holds annual conferences and Continuing Legal Education (CLE)-accredited seminars. Its board of directors has, at times, included such prominent political figures as Senators Philip Hart, Jacob K. Javits, and Ross Mirkarimi.

NORML ‘supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts,’ and ‘supports the development of a legally controlled market for cannabis.’

In the 2006 United States midterm elections, NORML promoted several successful local initiatives that declared marijuana enforcement to be the lowest priority for local law enforcement. NORML claims that this frees up police resources to combat violent and serious crime. NORML plans to support efforts now underway in states such as California, Washington, and Oregon to legalize and tax marijuana, which it claims is a means of coping with growing federal and state deficits without having to raise other taxes.

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