National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Claims Marijuana Use 'Not Healthy', Causes 'Loss of IQ'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Wanna-be libertarian Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is at it again. On Thursday, he repeated his personal opposition to marijuana use, but he went farther than that -- way farther. He also claimed pot use is "not healthy" and causes a "loss of IQ."

"Wait a minute," you may be thinking. "I thought libertarians favored letting people make their own decisions about such things." Well, if that's so, then maybe Sen. Paul isn't a libertarian. Maybe he's just some ignorant, conservative loudmouth who, unfortunately, also managed to get himself elected to the U.S. Senate.

"I personally think that marijuana use is not healthy," Sen. Paul told the Las Vegas Sun in an interview published on Wednesday. "People that use it chronically have a loss of IQ and a loss of ambition, but at the same time states have the right to make these decisions."

Would it be too much to ask to expect Sen. Paul to base his public pronouncements about pot on actual facts rather than 20th Century misinformation? Apparently so.

Texas: Group Hosts Conference Aimed Towards Ending Marijuana Prohibition

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, held its first ever conference in downtown Fort Worth over the weekend. DFW NORML shared the message that criminal penalties should be removed for private possession and use of cannabis by adults.

"We want to minimize abuse and prevent its availability to kids by implementing age controls," said attorney Keith Stroup, who founded NORML back in 1970, reports CBS DFW. Stroup was one of many speakers at the event which also featured local attorneys, activists, law enforcement officials and former California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray.

Speakers discussed the failure of the Drug War, the cost benefits of cannabis legalization, and the need for allowing compassionate care with medical marijuana.

"The idea that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, that it has no medicinal use, is ludicrous," said Judge Gray, citing drugs like Marinol, a synthetic form of THC created by the pharmaceutical industry and classified as a Schedule III drug, available by prescription.

Gray, who served on the Orange County Superior Court from 1989 to 2009 and spent most of his career dealing with drug-related issues, says he's never used an illegal drug. But he's an outspoken critic of the War On Drugs, and was also the Vice Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 2012 election.

Oregon: 14th Annual Global Cannabis March in Portland this Saturday, Thousands Expected

Come out and support what has become a staple of local Portland culture, the Global Cannabis March.

By Michael Bachara, Oregon NORML/CRRH

Free Dana Beal! Portland, Oregon – Nearly three hundred cities worldwide, including Portland, will participate in the fourteenth annual Global Cannabis March on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML are sponsors of this event.

Musicians Justin James Bridges, Tim Pate and John Cornett have joined the roster for the rally, which runs from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Speakers for the rally include Leland Berger, Portland Attorney and advocate for the group Compassionate Oregon, Russ Belville of 420 Radio, Madeline Martinez of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and more.

“Cannabis proponents agree; the war on the cannabis plant is a farce, the drug war is taking a last gasp. No political movement in America has made it this far without eventually winning, it's just a matter of time.” according to Michael Bachara, Executive Director of Oregon National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Oregon: Global Cannabis March Unites Three Legalization Initiatives

By Michael Bachara, OCTA 2012, Sensible Oregon and OMPI Supporter

There is a truth that must be heard! Portland, OR – This weekend, Portland experienced solidarity from multiple cannabis legalization groups as hundreds assembled from across the region to have their voices heard in the 13th Annual Global Cannabis March through the streets of downtown. Complete with a police escort, marchers began and ended in Portland's living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Members of Oregon National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Oregon NORML), The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, Oregon Green Free, National Green Friends and many others participated in the annual event, which is held every year on the first Saturday in May.

As Oregon hemp and cannabis activists move forward with multiple initiatives for November and beyond, it is time for a common bond to unite us all. The legalization of cannabis has an optimistic chance this year to make the Oregon ballot as the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) and Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative (OMPI) both bear down for the final stretch in signature gathering efforts.

Both OCTA and OMPI have until July 6, 2012 to turn in the required number of signatures, and each campaign is confident they can make it, but will need active participation from Oregon voters.

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