In progressive politics, there’s no more powerful force than angry mothers and grandmothers, especially if they’re well organized! Women’s groups played leading roles in every American social-justice movement, including both the enactment and repeal of alcohol prohibition.
With this in mind, I’m proud to officially announce the formation of the NORML Women’s Alliance, a potent and diverse association of women from around the world united by a common goal: ending cannabis-prohibition laws and replacing them with effective, family-friendly and constitutional public policies.
The NORML Women’s Alliance also serves as part of a larger strategy aimed at attracting as many female cannabis consumers as possible to join with NORML, as members, activists, fundraisers and leaders. For too many years, the unique concerns of women have been largely ignored in the drug-policy reform movement. I believe that as women continue to take the reins of institutional power in America, we should see that same proportion of women leading the way in cannabis-law reform.
Prior to the NORML Women’s Alliance, and in recognition of the important role that women played in the 1920s to help end alcohol prohibition, NORML created the Pauline Sabin Award, named after a crusading socialite who argued that alcohol-prohibition laws made the tough job of parenting even harder. (Sound familiar?)
In the present era of increasing cannabis freedom, “stiletto stoners” – as the press has dubbed highly achieving female cannabis consumers, after a recent Marie Claire article – have been steadily coming out of their smoky closets to praise both cannabis and legalization, including musicians Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge and Chrissie Hynde, best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, comedian Sara Silverman and actress Mary-Louise Parker.
To get involved in this important new project, communicate with other like-minded women, purchase female-friendly NORML products and apparel, and view a listing of Pauline Sabin Award winners since 2005 (or to nominate future winners), please log on to norml.org/women.
I’m the eighth executive director of NORML in its storied 40 years of service to and advocacy for cannabis consumers. In my view, NORML’s next director needs to be, and should be, a woman. And the NORML Women’s Alliance is the first place we’ll look.
Allen St. Pierre is the executive director of NORML in Washington, DC. To contact NORML, go to www.norml.org or call 888-67-NORML.