FAQs

From the list below choose one of our FAQs topics, then select an FAQ to read. If you have a question which is not in this section, please contact us.

How can I help?

Become a member of your local NORML chapter. The most important step you can take is to contact your elected officials at all levels of government (local, state and federal), and let them know you oppose arresting responsible marijuana smokers. As a constituent, you hold special influence over the politicians who represent your district. It […]

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What is industrial hemp? How does it differ from marijuana?

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. It is a tall, slender fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf. Farmers worldwide have harvested the crop for the past 12,000 years for fiber and food, and Popular Mechanics once boasted that over 25,000 environmentally friendly products could be derived from hemp. […]

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Don’t alcohol and tobacco use already cause enough damage to society? Why should we legalize an

While there are indeed health and societal problems due to the use of alcohol and nicotine, these negative consequences would be amplified if consumption of either substance were prohibited. Marijuana is already the third most popular recreational drug in America, despite harsh laws against its use. Millions of Americans smoke it responsibly. Our public policies […]

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Critics of the medical use of marijuana say…

Critics of the medical use of marijuana say There are traditional  medications to help patients and marijuana is not needed; and,  Permitting the medical use of marijuana sends the wrong message to kids.  How do you respond to these concerns? For many patients, traditional medications do work and they do not require or desire medical […]

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What about The Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court recently ruled that federal law makes no exceptions for growing or distributing marijuana, even if the goal is to help seriously ill patients using marijuana as a medicine. How does this decision impact patients in the nine states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana under state law? Why does Congress […]

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But isn’t marijuana addictive?

Substantial research exists regarding marijuana and addiction. While the scientific community has yet to achieve full consensus on this matter, the majority of epidemiological and animal data demonstrate that the reinforcing properties of marijuana in humans is low in comparison to other drugs of abuse, including alcohol and nicotine. According to the U.S. Institute of […]

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Critics claim that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” How do you respond to this charge?

There is no conclusive evidence that the effects of marijuana are causally linked to     the subsequent use of other illicit drugs. Preliminary animal studies alleging that     marijuana “primed” the brain for other drug-taking behavior have not been     replicated, nor are they supported by epidemiological human data. Statistically, for every […]

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What is NORML and what does the organization stand for?

NORML is a non-profit, public-interest lobby that for more than 30 years has provided a voice for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. We represent the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana should no longer be a crime. NORML supports […]

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What about kids and marijuana?

Marijuana, like other drugs, is not for kids. There are many activities in our society that we permit adults to do, but forbid children, such as motorcycle riding, skydiving, signing contracts, getting married and drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. However, we do not condone arresting adults who responsibly engage in these activities in order to […]

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Why should we decriminalize or legalize marijuana?

As President Jimmy Carter acknowledged: “Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.” Marijuana prohibition needlessly destroys the lives and careers of literally hundreds of […]

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