2015 Congressional Letter Writing Campaign  | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator
October 24, 2015

Beginning on Monday, October 26, 2015, NORML Affiliates and Chapters from across the country will begin contacting their representatives to urge them to support one of the seventeen marijuana-related bills introduced since the 114th Congress convened on January 3, 2015.

NORML Letter Writing Campaign and ContestOver the past few months, NORML Affiliates and Chapters have demonstrated their ability to mobilize thousands of marijuana advocates from around the country so we hope all of you will join us in making this a successful campaign!

Project: NORML Congressional Letter Writing Campaign and Contest

Who: NORML Affiliates and Chapters

When: Monday, October 26, 2015 through Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Summary: Letter campaign targeting members of the House and Senate requesting their immediate support of pending marijuana-related legislation. We encourage the use of handwritten letters and emails.

Target Legislation:

CARERS Act

Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act

Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act

Fair Access to Education Act

State Marijuana and Regulatory Tolerance Enforcement Act

Contest: We’re excited to announce that we have partnered with High Times to offer a pair of Cannabis Cup tickets to two lucky winners who participate in our campaign! By offering a contest, we hope to create some additional excitement around our 2015 Congressional Letter Writing Campaign, and in return, drive participation and engagement.

To enter, contact at least two of your three representatives using NORML’s Action Center by clicking one of the five bills listed above or simply use one of our templates that can be found here.

Then, take a picture of your letter and post it to your Facebook or Twitter page using the #ActNORML hashtag so we know you’re participating in the campaign!

Once the campaign comes to an end at 7PM MST on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, a random winner will be selected from Facebook and Twitter.

Official Contest Rules!

1. ENTRY: No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contestants will enter by submitting photos of letters to Congress via Facebook and Twitter.

2. ELIGIBILITY: This contest is open only to legal U.S. residents, over the age of 18. Void where prohibited by law. Contestants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes.

3. WINNER SELECTION: NORML’s staff will randomly pick one winner from Facebook and one winner from Twitter. All decisions of the are final.

4. PRIZES: Winners will receive two High Times Cannabis Cup tickets to a venue of their choice, with a maximum value of less than $100.

5. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified within 14 days after the determination date. Inability to connect with a winner may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.

6. GENERAL CONDITIONS:

a. Participants hereby grant NORML a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to broadcast, publish, store, reproduce, distribute, syndicate, and otherwise use and exhibit the Submission (along with their names, voices, performance and/or likenesses) in all media now known and later come into being for purposes of trade or advertising without further compensation. Participants represent and warrant that they have full legal right, power and authority to grant NORML the foregoing license and if applicable, have secured all necessary rights from any participants in, and contributors to, their Submission in order to grant such a license.

b. NORML is under no obligation to use any submission or return submissions to participants.

c. Winners will be required to execute and return a Certificate of Eligibility, Consent and General Release form within 14 days of notification. Non-compliance within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Any income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner.

7. USE OF CONTEST INFORMATION: All entries become the property of NORML. NORML reserves the right to use any and all information related to the contest, including submissions provided by the contestants, for editorial, marketing and any other purpose, unless prohibited by law.

8. NOT ENDORSED BY FACEBOOK: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and release Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to NORML and not to Facebook, and will be used to notify you if you have won, and to inform you about special offers from NORML and our trusted partners.

9. NOT ENDORSED BY TWITTER: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter and release Twitter from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to NORML and not to Twitter, and will be used to notify you if you have won, and to inform you about special offers from NORML and our trusted partners.

10. CONDUCT: All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. NORML in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the operation of its web site or is otherwise in violation of these rules.

11. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: NORML is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected email or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur. If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, NORML may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. Entrants further agree to release NORML from any liability resulting from, or related to participation in the contest.

 

2015 Congressional Letter Writing Campaign  | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform.

Senate Bill Would Ease Federal Prohibition Of Medical Marijuana

Senate Bill Would Ease Federal Prohibition Of Medical Marijuana

Bipartisan Senate legislation to be announced Tuesday would shield medical marijuana patients, doctors and businesses from federal prosecution in states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and would remove marijuana from the category of most-dangerous drugs, The Huffington Post has learned.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would deal a sharp blow to the U.S. government’s longstanding war on marijuana by banning the Drug Enforcement Administration from cracking down on patients, growers, doctors and dispensaries in states that have legalized medical cannabis. It would give military veterans in states with medical marijuana laws easier access to the drug by allowing Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis.

The legislation also would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which has no benefit, to a Schedule II drug, which has an accepted medical use. Rescheduling marijuana would, in effect, be the federal government’s first acknowledgement that the drug has medical benefits.

“This bipartisan legislation allows states to set their own medical marijuana policies and ends the criminalization of patients, their families, and the caregivers and dispensary owners and employees who provide them their medicine,” Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. has five categories for drugs and drug ingredients. Schedule I is reserved for what the DEA considers to have the highest potential for abuse and no medical value. Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades, along with other substances like heroin and LSD.

While a lower schedule for marijuana would not make it legal under federal law, it may ease restrictions on research. The bill would not force states to legalize medical marijuana, but would protect states that do from federal interference.

The bill would make permanent medical marijuana protections from the DEA included in the federal spending bill that President Barack Obama signed into law in December.

Currently, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and a dozen others have legalized a low-THC marijuana for medical use. All would be protected under the Senate bill. Four states, along with the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana.

The sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. States that have legalized marijuana or softened penalties for possession have been able to do so because of federal guidance urging prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations.

The Senate medical marijuana bill comes just weeks after Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced bills in the House that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act’s schedules altogether, transfer oversight of the substance from the DEA to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and regulate marijuana in a way similar to alcohol.

The senators plan to announce the legislation at a live stream press conference at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Senate Bill Would Ease Federal Prohibition Of Medical Marijuana.