The tides of cannabis freedom are rising in the U.S. and with these exciting changes comes a flood of new information. There is a virtual sea of new legislation, ground-breaking research, and booming cannabis markets to navigate, and Virginia NORML is working to bring the best and the brightest, the top industry and reform leaders to share their insights with YOU at the 2015 Virginia Cannabis Conference in Richmond, October 16-18.
This year, we are assembling a powerhouse panel of presenters, connecting you with key players in cannabis legalization and targeting current hot topics like Women in Cannabis and the Politics of Weed. We’ll cover everything you’ll need to know for the upcoming state elections, and show you just how easy it is to effectively lobby your legislators.
You can be assured that this year's guests will educate and empower you to make an impact in cannabis reform and the exciting world that comes after legalization.
To make the conference easier to attend, we have created an early bird discount and an extended payment plan option this year. Register by the 10th of a month and your conference fee can be split into multiple smaller payments. There are several packages to choose from, so please visit our conference website, register to attend, and spread the word!
We often get asked, why can’t we just put marijuana on the ballot in Virginia? Why can’t we let the people vote on it?
If we could, we’d probably have legal cannabis a lot sooner. After all, 54% of Virginians support allowing adults to legally possess it.
But unfortunately, we can’t put cannabis on the ballot, because Virginia law doesn’t allow it.Read more
This blog post was submitted by Dennis Begeal, a member of NoVA NORML and long-time supporter of Virginia NORML. Supporters are encouraged to submit blog posts and ideas at any time.
Allow me to tell you about something I do not understand.
After speaking to many professionals in the health and medical industries, I have discovered that many of the professionals do not understand how the body absorbs vitamins. It turns out that our body's vitamin and other essential nutrient absorption may depend on cannabinoids! This is how our body absorbs good things like calcium and other essential vitamins necessary to running the human body.Read more
The 2015 Reefer Madness: Tournament of Twisted Reality bracket game is here! In 2014, you decided that the claim "Marihuana is more dangerous than heroin" was the BIGGEST LIE from the 1936 American exploitation propaganda film Reefer Madness. The truth, of course, is the opposite. Cannabis is among the safest of all drugs, recreational or otherwise. But almost 80 years after the release of the film, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug and treated as one of the most dangerous substances in the world.Read more
DEA Administrative Law Judge Findings
DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young's monumental decision that cannabis (marijuana) should rightfully be placed in Schedule II or lower of the Controlled Substances Act to make it available by prescription has been held hostage by the DEA's discretion in doing so. Nonetheless, the factual findings of his decision remain permanently on the record, and serve as a testimonial to his honest pursuit of the medical issues surrounding cannabis.Read more
From NOVA NORML.
For all our new followers, we post periodically this great video. Professor James Duane at Virginia's Regent University School of Law is a former criminal defense attorney and a Fifth Amendment expert. This is a lecture he gave at Regent to a group of law students with Virginia Beach Police Department Officer George Bruch. Together they explain in practical terms why citizens should never talk to police under any circumstances. He talks fast so pay attention! And please share this with those you care about.Read more
On June 7, 1776 Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion before the Continental Congress calling for the independence of the American colonies from the British Crown. That motion led directly to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.Read more
Legal Cannabis is Good for Business. This is becoming ever more apparent as the state of Colorado reaps tax bounty on legal cannabis sales, creates thousands of new jobs, and allows entrepreneurs to apply their creativity and business acumen to this exciting new niche.
The following is from Barbara Wagner, Regional Director of Fredericksburg area, and the coordinator of VA NORML's 2015 Lobby Day.
On a brisk Friday morning in January, about 70 cannabis activists gathered outside the Virginia State Capital Building preparing to launch their campaign to support Senator Adam Ebbin’s bill SB #686. Hailing from as far south as Boydton and as far north as Arlington, as well as all points in between these citizens came well versed in the common sense doctrine of decriminalization. Ranging in age from as young as twenty-one to Baby Boomers and beyond these Virginians came to bring a message to their senators and delegates --- 2015 is the time to decriminalize Marijuana in Virginia! This was a message that resonated throughout the halls of the capital.
Preparation for this morning of lobbying, the team from Virginia NORML had spent countless hours in planning and strategy – this was not a fly by night operation. It was critical to the success of the day’s operation to understand who their allies were and who the potential roadblocks would be. From there it was imperative to have a finely crafted plan to execute. Well researched data, enthusiastic citizen activists, and an abiding sense of determination were in the arsenal of weapons deployed that day.
Armed with well researched data and presentations crafted by Virginia NORML’s Duane Ludwig, Communications Director, and Ed McCain, Policy Advisor, teams of 5-6 visited with more than 50 Senators and Delegates and Legislative Aides intent on educating these policymakers with the latest data about where the majority of Virginian’s stand on the issues surrounding Marijuana legalization. Knowing that 60% of Virginian’s polled in an opinion poll earlier in the month believed that decriminalization was the right move for Virginia with only 32% in opposition was a key point in the argument for Senate Bill 686.
“Everywhere we looked we saw the round, white stickers! “Lennice Werth proclaimed, “We absolutely saturated the halls of the Capital! It was an amazing turnout!” Indeed, one could not find a hallway that did not have a small cadre of activists gathered around a notebook of information, practicing their introductions while waiting to be ushered in their Senator’s office or congratulating one another after a successful interview with legislators. “I had never done anything like that before and the experience was great!” Jess from southwestern Virginia gushed. Vitally important to the day were the volunteers who drove the early morning hours to arrive in the capital on that chilly morning by 8 a.m. to assemble. Many had never met before, but soon became fast friends and allies as they stood shoulder-to-shoulder to forward the cause of decriminalization.
While too early in the game to decide how Senate Bill 686 will pan out, it is also too early to contemplate waving the white flag. After a celebratory gathering at an English Pub – Penny Lane’s in downtown Richmond, the activists soon realized that a follow on visit in support of the bill looms large and soon. Many have plans to put every day activities on hold to be present when the bill is brought before the Courts of Justice Committee. Knowing that they will probably only get about 24 hours advance notice, they wait, and watch the docket and hope that for Virginians everywhere, 2015 will be the year that the Commonwealth of Virginia does the sensible thing and decriminalizes marijuana, a move that is not only smart on crime, but for the economy as well!