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NORML Writes Open Letter Condemning Cannabis Prohibition As Public Health Crisis

NORML’s executive director and deputy director are pleading for an end to federal prohibition.

NORML Writes Open Letter Condemning Cannabis Prohibition As Public Health Crisis
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The nation’s oldest pot smokers’ lobby is ratcheting up the pressure on the federal government to end its ban on marijuana—and to reckon with the tragic consequences of that law.

In an open letter Monday, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)’s executive leadership called on Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), to end the federal prohibition on cannabis and “to publicly acknowledge that the perpetuation of the criminal enforcement of marijuana prohibition, as well as the stigmatization of those adults who use it responsibly, is far more detrimental to public health than is the behavior these policies are intended to discourage.”

“Will marijuana legalization and regulation alone fix over a century of systemic racism in America? No,” wrote NORML executive director Erik Altieri and NORML deputy director Paul Armentano. “But nonetheless we understand, all too well, the role that marijuana criminalization has played—and continues to play—in upholding the systemic racism that NIDA has now gone on record to condemn.”

The Blog Post That Started It

Altieri and Armentano were responding to a blog post published last week by Volkow, who wrote that “Whites and Black/African Americans use drugs at similar rates, but it is overwhelmingly the latter group who are singled out for arrest and incarceration.”

“This is a painful week in the United States as we again confront the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its founding,” Volkow wrote, referencing the massive demonstrations that have swept the nation and world in response to police violence, particularly against the Black community. “Listening to the conversation on racism taking place right now in response to the recent violent deaths of African Americans is critical, and I encourage readers to hear what Black/African Americans are saying about their experiences.”

Volkow added that “use of drug use and addiction as a lever to suppress people of a particular race has had devastating effects on communities of color.”

In response, Altieri and Armentano urged Volkow to take her “sentiments to their logical conclusion and to demand an end to marijuana prohibition.”

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High Times Writer.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mac MacFarlane

    June 9, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Let’s see how many state legalize cannabis in November. Mississippi, New York and New Jersey are ready to go.

    • Avatar

      Chris

      June 10, 2020 at 9:03 am

      I am hoping for New York. Unfortunately, I live on Long Island we are both counties opted out of recreational sales already.

  2. Avatar

    Charles

    June 9, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Marijuana is legal ease meant to trick you British Maritime statue law cannabis has never been illegal for up until the 30 azslinger and Nixon Nixon specially had a thing against blacks and Mexicans their voice evidence of this so I’m the 30 Nixon made it illegal but I’m the paw it says specially and only sativa’s until the 30s it was a big part of our culture in feed medicines food ect.

    • Avatar

      Mike Gordon

      June 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm

      That is unintelligable jibberish.

  3. Avatar

    YearofAction

    June 10, 2020 at 12:32 am

    By contacting our members of Congress about reconstructing the current malformed definition of marijuana, it can be made to uphold the original intent of the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, the 2nd, 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments by carefully descheduling the plant Cannabis sativa L., like this:

    Sec. 802.
    (16) The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L., which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is their intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.
    (92 words)

    The Reconstructed Definition above, would initiate a wide variety of reparations that are being demanded by the BLM protesters, military veterans, and other suffering citizens. It is simply a clarifying restatement and a literal reform of the current Malformed Definition, below:

    Sec. 802.
    (16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
    (B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 1639o of title 7; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.
    (122 words)

    In each definition marijuana is prohibited because of its Schedule 1 status, but the constitutional powers, rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens regarding the industrially versatile, medically valuable, renewable natural resource that has long been identified as plant Cannabis sativa L., and which were unjustly revoked with 122 words, can be refreshed with only 92 words. Amazing!

  4. Avatar

    Michael

    June 11, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Marijuana laws were all about racism brought on and controlled by corporate and about MONEY. The DuPonts and THE Hearsts newspaper owner put up roadblocks and used people like Harry J Anslinger to run interference and lie to a gullible Congress and Senate (same as today)They talked about lazy Mexicans smoking weed, they talked about black musicians smoking weed, how it would make women want to sleep with black men, it was lie perpetuated by race and money but projected as ALL RACIST.
    The law itself MUST be changed concerning marijuana. It will do more to separate citizens and law enforcement than anything else we can do.
    750,000 possession arrests annually would be avoided. Smelling a little weed would no longer warrant an intrusion into our lives from law enforcement. I’m white, 66 yrs old and saying it is a moral imperative that we CHANGE THE MARIJUANA LAWS, support the MORE ACT bill, and legalize a plant that’s has benefits far exceeding our own expectations, can be used in over 57,000 manufacturing applications and should never have been made illegal, ever. Please support the MORE ACT bill, it has already passed the congress and is sitting in Moscow Mitchs Senate. Call their dumb asses and show your support…

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