In the 1970s, views on cannabis began to change. Drug paraphernalia and decriminalization in select states began to fuel marijuana advocacy. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, cannabis-related arrests per 100,000 residents began to climb in 1970. As a result, drug policy reform organizations began to form and establish themselves.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
The oldest marijuana advocacy organization in the country is the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Founded in 1970, NORML has continued to be the voice of those who oppose marijuana prohibition and seek to reform state and federal cannabis laws.
Decriminalization first began to gain traction to combat the “War on Drugs” campaign, with California attempting to pass the first marijuana legalization measure, Proposition 19, in 1972. The legislation ultimately failed but soon a wave of decriminalization efforts began throughout the 1970s all led by NORML.
Their mission is to move public opinion to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults and to advocate for high-quality marijuana that is safe, convenient, and affordable. Although headquartered in Washington D.C., NORML has a large network of state and local chapters of the organization.
“Police across America make a marijuana-related arrest every 58 seconds“Erik Altieri, Executive Director for NORML
NORML helped lead the charge to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses in 11 states during the 1970s including:
- New York
- North Carolina
The organization works to offset anti-marijuana propaganda, lobbies for reform legislation and continues to be an informational hub for marijuana legalization. Tens of millions of Americans look to NORML as a leader in drug policy reform as we move closer and closer to federal legalization.
Click here to help support the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and its pursuit for marijuana advocacy.