Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Only NORML

Many people are aware that I advocate for the legalization of marijuana. I've been wanting to get more involved in the cause for a while now and finally yesterday I started on that journey of getting more involved. I attended my very first National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws ( more commonly know as NORML) meeting yesterday. I have been a supporter of the cause for a long time and my views are met with varying attitudes by my peers so it was nice to be surrounded by people who agree with my beliefs on marijuana.

What is important to understand about NORML is that its not a smoke party. It is a legitimate political and social organization. You don't have to smoke marijuana to attend get involved and NO ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES ARE CONSUMED DURING MEETING TIMES. the goal of NORML is the sufficiently move public opinion to the point where legalizing marijuana is possible. They also work to make sure that your constitutional rights are not being violated. Namely your fifth amendment right, the right to remain silent, your sixth amendment right, the right to an attorney of your choice and most importantly, your fourth amendment right, the right to refuse unreasonable search and seizure.

Upon entering the meeting I was handed a green piece of paper, this piece of paper was a NORML Foundation Freedom Card. This card is designed to be carried in your wallet and it outlines how to politely and calmly refuse to have your rights infringed upon.

 This card reads:

The U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with your right to remain silent, to consult with an attorney, and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. However, it is up to you to assert these rights. This NORML Foundation Freedom Card will help you do so effectively.
If you are confronted by a police officer, remain calm. Be courteous and provide your identification. Politely refuse to answer any further questions. Ask to talk to an attorney. Do not consent to any search of your person, your property, your residence or your vehicle. Tell the officer you would like to give him or her this card, which is a statement of the constitutional rights you wish to invoke. Do not reach for this card until you have obtained the officer's permission to do so.
If the officer fails to honor your rights, remain calm and polite, ask for the officer's identifying information and ask him or her to note your objection in the report. Do not attempt to physically resist an unlawful arrest, search or seizure. If necessary, you may point out the violations to a judge at a later time.
1600 K Street, NW, Suite 501
Washington, DC  20006-2832" *courtesy of*

But these guys aren't just handing out cards. The Columbia Chapter of NORML has big goals and they are actually making plans to host events and get large numbers of people involved in their cause. 

Somethings that are coming up for NORML:

Potluck Dinner: This is happening sometime within the next week or so. The idea is that everyone brings something delicious and people get educated about marijuana. I don't have a date for this event yet, but I will post it on the fan page when I have it.

Another thing they are trying to get people involved in is spending a weekend night handing out fliers and other promotional items to spread the word about the cause. 

And of course they have their monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of every month and the weekly planning sessions on Wednesdays. I plan on getting more involved in this cause and you should too.

It's easy to sit in the comfort of your own home and say you support legalization. It's easy to buy a t-shirt, but it doesn't really do anything, you haven't moved anyone by doing this, your sitting in place and so is everyone around you. When you silently support the people around you aren't moved. In order for real change to be made, you can't hide behind a keyboard, real change comes from action. There's a sense of accomplishment that comes from action that you don't get from silently holding your views and getting involved in this cause. 

I finally feel like I'm doing something meaningful. What we're doing is going to lead to real change and that gives me a sense of pride in what I'm doing, like it somehow cancels that I'm in a transient state at the moment. Maybe I'm not perfect, but at least I'm doing something with my life now, which feels like direction, which feels nice because I've just been floating directionless for a while and I think a lot of people even in fixed situations are just floating through life. So I encourage everyone to get involved because its a feeling you can't get from anything else, the feeling that you are doing something important. I'm going to periodically post updates about the Columbia Chapter of NORML. So look forward to more updates in the future.

Love and Respect,


1 comment:

  1. Outstanding blog Krissy! I'm ecstatic so see another person so dedicated to the cause. See you tomorrow!