Despite vocal opposition, members of the United States Senate voted 52 to 47 on Wednesday evening to approve the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General.
NORML thanks the tens of thousands of you who responded to our action alerts opposing this nomination and the thousands more who took time to make phone calls. While we are disappointed with this outcome, we are pleased that several members of Congress cited the senator’s opposition to marijuana policy reform as an impetus for rejecting his appointment.
We’ve previously told you why Jeff Sessions is the wrong man for the job, but today it is time to move forward, not backward.
So now what?
During his testimony before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, Sen. Sessions said that it is not the responsibility of the Attorney General to pick and choose which federal laws to enforce. “One obvious concern is the United States Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act,” he said. “If that’s something that’s not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule. It is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.”
Just hours prior to Sessions’ confirmation vote, US Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, introduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.
HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.”
Passage of this Act would halt US Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other federal official from prosecuting individuals and businesses for violating the Controlled Substances Act in the 29 states that permit either the medical or adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 60 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. This demonstrates the changing attitudes across the country to legalization and could change the way society responds to marijuana users. For example, many businesses are introducing a marijuana workplace policy in legalized states, proving a growing acceptance.
With the appointment of Sen. Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, passage of this Act is necessary to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference.
Please take action today to urge your federal lawmakers to support HR 975, the ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ and when you have finished, please also take a moment to make a generous and much appreciated donation to NORML here so that we can continue to make progress in our federal and statewide efforts.
With NORML members throughout the country organizing lobby days and taking action over the coming days and weeks, the fight for cannabis freedom will continue with renewed energy.
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.
Over 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.
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.