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Marijuana Legislation Support: 10 Organizations that Lobby on Behalf of Pot

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 11:52 AM

They come from different walks of life and have a variety of reasons to press their cause. Students, medical patients, veterans, business owners, and members of law enforcement are among those lobbying for and promoting the legalization, or easing of restrictions, of marijuana. They are also trying to educate and separate marijuana facts and myths.

These 10 groups are among those that lobby for marijuana to be legalized:

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

MPP and NORML: The Big Marijuana Lobbyists

Start with the power lobbyists. The two groups that fall into the category are the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, commonly known as NORML.

The MPP claims on its website that, “We change laws.” The organization, which employs a full-time lobbyist on Capitol Hill, has three branches. They include an educational side to show marijuana facts and myths, one to deal with lobbying, and another that donates to congressional candidates. The Marijuana Policy Project’s strategic plan clearly outlines that they use state legislation as a means to reach its goal. On their site, they list the states where they want to use legislation to pass pro-marijuana laws.  

NORML hopes to stop penalties for marijuana use. The organization’s website describes marijuana prohibition as a failure and believes regulation and taxation on cannabis is the solution. The organization claims to represent those who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe in both medical and recreational use of the plant. As is the case with MPP, NORML has a marijuana facts and myths section.

NORML’s reach extends beyond politics, with an advisory board that includes Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Bill Maher, and former NFL player Mark Stepnoski. 

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About Marijuana Legalization?

A Marijuana Trade Association: The NCIA

The National Cannabis Industry Association claims it is the only trade association dealing with marijuana. The reasons are financial to a point, with the NCIA believing thousands of businesses can benefit from legalization. They also have a marijuana business facts section. 

Four For Legalizing Marijuana: The AAMC, ASA, VMCA and POT

Some organizations desire decriminalization for medical purposes. Count the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, Americans for Safe Access, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, and Patients Out of Time among those. The VMCA advocates for military veterans to have access to medical marijuana, pointing out it can help with post-traumatic stress.

The AAMC has medical professionals, patients and clergymen and women among their members. They put a heavy emphasis on educating people to decide if medical marijuana is right for them and even provide recipes with cannabis on their website. 

Students for Sensible Drug Policy: Common Sense and Compassion

Students for Sensible Drug Policy recognizes that marijuana prohibition relegates marijuana trade to criminals and cartels who endanger communities while widely failing in its singular goal of reducing marijuana use. SSDP works to replace the failed policy of marijuana prohibition with policies based in common sense, evidence, and compassion, and encourages education about marijuana possession for the accused.

Tell Us: Should the Government Legalize Marijuana?

Pro-Marijuana Legalization Law Enforcement: LEAP

It’s easy to conjure up images of the police laying down the law with marijuana users. Police unions are part of the anti-legalization lobby, but there are those in law enforcement who want decriminalization. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, made up of current and former law enforcement officials, say that government regulation is needed with marijuana. It takes the stance that, similar to liquor prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, the ban on drugs increases the value and leads to more criminal activity.

Remembering Those in Prison: The November Coalition

Since marijuana is not legal everywhere in the United States, the November Coalition fills a need. Members of the organization believe that marijuana-related casualties include casual users. Its biggest victory to date was the conditional pardon of a Texas teenager who was sentenced to life in prison for having marijuana in his system a few weeks after being placed on probation for aggravated robbery.

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They come from different walks of life and have a variety of reasons to press their cause. Students, medical patients, veterans, business owners, and members of law enforcement are among those trying to educate and separate marijuana facts and myths.
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2015-52-31
Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 11:52 AM
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