NORML or the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is an American non-profit organisation based in Washington, D.C. that provides a voice for responsible marijuana smokers and users.
Since its founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favour an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers and users. A non-profit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who use marijuana responsibly.
NORML led successful efforts to decriminalise minor marijuana offences in 17 states and significantly lower marijuana penalties in all others.
NORML also has several international chapters, with NORML UK being the newest. Launched on May 5th in Cardiff at the Global Marijuana March, by veteran cannabis campaigners Howard Marks and Des Humphrey, their mission statement says: “NORML UK seeks to gain recognition for the rights of people to peacefully pursue activities relating to cannabis without unwarranted intervention by the authorities.”
Allen St Pierre, Executive Director of NORML in the USA said: “It is with great pleasure and admiration to be joined by citizens in the United Kingdom who also oppose Cannabis Prohibition laws in favour of alternative public policies that legally control and tax the popular (and ancient) herbal drug and medicine.” With over 150 domestic chapters in the United States, NORML UK now joins other international NORML chapters in countries such as Canada, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
“Working hard together, and in our respective countries, cannabis law reform continues to gain popularity among both the general public and with elected policymakers,” said Mr St Pierre.
Spokesman and medicinal cannabis user, Des Humphrey, who launched NORML UK with Howard Marks at the Cardiff Marijuana March said: “We are delighted at the good will NORML UK has received in such a very short space of time since our launch. We have had considerable support from both cannabis consumers and non-users alike, who realise the only sensible way forward is to end the prohibition of cannabis in the UK.”