Today the country’s oldest and most well-known marijuana law reform organization celebrates 40 years in the battle against marijuana prohibition. On March 2, 1971 the War on Drugs was still in its infancy, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws officially came into being.
The brainchild of a young lawyer named Keith Stroup and several of his friends, NORML has spent the past 40 years leading the cannabis reform movement – and despite the grumblings of some, massive gains have been made, and we stand on the verge of our ultimate goals.
In the coming year, NORML and NORML Foundation will mark the organization’s 40th anniversary not so much in celebration, but in reflection of the amazing public advocacy efforts, setbacks and achievements that have led the nation to this day where 15 states have ‘medical’ cannabis laws, 13 states have ‘decriminalized’ possession, and, by the end of 2012, likely one or more states will either pass cannabis legalization legislation or state voters will approve legalization initiatives.
The gains of the past 40 years would not have been possible without NORML, and NORML would not be possible without us. Activism everywhere supports the efforts of NORML and vice versa. When many efforts are moving toward the same goal, much more can be accomplished, and NORML has always been the standard in cannabis activism.
They have spawned many similar organizations, and the more the better. We are so close to the most historic victories in our movement’s history, and we must work harder than ever to achieve our goals.
Congratulations to NORML and all who support this legendary organization. Hopefully it’s an organization that doesn’t have to exist much longer.