This whirlwind of a week is one for the cannabis history books. For those of you keeping score at home:
- On Tuesday, New York lawmakers passed legislation legalizing the adult-use marijuana market, and permitting for the personal use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis. Hours later, the Governor signed the bill into law – with the provisions legalizing personal marijuana possession taking immediate effect.
- On Wednesday, Virginia’s Governor called for lawmakers to amend legislation in order to expedite the timeline for when Virginians can legally possess and grow marijuana from January 1, 2024 to July 1, 2021. Legislators will vote on the amendments next week.
- Later that same day, members of the New Mexico House and Senate advanced legislation to the Governor legalizing the adult-use marijuana market and expunging the criminal records of those convicted of low-level cannabis offenses. The Governor praised their efforts and vowed to sign the bills into law imminently.
In short, in a matter of hours, we have seen cannabis freedom be extended to tens of millions more Americans!
Even our staunchest political opponents are conceding the writing on the wall, recently tweeting, “I don’t care if one state legalizes. Or all fifty.” That’s because they, like most everyone else, understand that the rising tide of legalization is only gaining momentum.
Since November, seven states have moved to legalize adult-use marijuana possession and sales and one chamber of Congress passed a bill to end federal prohibition. More than 40 percent of Americans now live in a jurisdiction where cannabis is legal for those ages 21 and older.
Our political opponents are acutely aware that they have lost their war on marijuana and their public pronouncements are becoming more desperate and unhinged. For instance, Nebraska’s Governor Pete Ricketts recently alleged, “If you legalize marijuana, you’re going to kill your kids.” And, most recently, political television commentator Greg Kelly outlandishly claimed that he blacked out after smoking marijuana and woke in four days later on another continent!
Fortunately, the American public – and growing percentage of politicians – can see through these lies. In the coming weeks, we expect to see even more states move into the “win” column, followed by even more outrageous proclamations and reefer madness rhetoric from our opponents.
Nevertheless, our strength moving forward continues to depend upon you.
Our movement is your movement. We are not funded by “Big Corporations.” These latest victories, like those before them, came about as a result of longstanding grassroots efforts – often led by local advocates just like you. That is why we want to ‘thank you’ for your past support and ask that you continue to provide NORML with the resources it needs to continue to push forward.
For over 50 years, Americans have carried the NORML banner, moving public opinion from 12% in support of legalization to now a supermajority of the public.
Together we have made it this far and together, we will ensure that all 50 states legalize marijuana and federal prohibition becomes a relic of the past.