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NORML Takes Its Message To The White House

Photo of Chris Goldstein via NORML

Vice President Harris stopped the room to take a moment and say in the clearest words that “we need to legalize marijuana.” 

Last Friday, NORML was invited to the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris convened a discussion centered around marijuana justice that included top Biden Administration staffers and longtime NORML activist Chris Goldstein.

Chris was federally sentenced for possessing a small amount of cannabis in 2014, and he received a presidential pardon certificate in January 2024 through the new DOJ portal. During Friday’s meeting, he spoke on behalf of tens of millions of Americans who have been arrested or harassed on the premise of a few grams of cannabis.

The Biden Administration is looking to promote the pardon process and raise awareness for those eligible to receive pardon certificates. NORML urged the White House to expand its clemency efforts to include people with additional marijuana-related violations on their federal records.and emphasized the need for descheduling – not rescheduling – cannabis.

The Biden Administration Is Listening

Goldstein said that NORML’s consumer-centric messaging resonated with the White House. Notably, at one point during Friday’s discussion, Vice President Harris stopped the room to take a moment and say in the clearest words that “we need to legalize marijuana.” Friday’s round-table was potentially the first of additional meetings. 

Presidential Pardons and More

In the early days of the Biden term, NORML staff engaged in several meetings with the Administration stressing the need for Justice officials to provide pardon forgiveness for those with marijuana-related federal records. The Administration has now done so on two occasions, and earlier this month the President acknowledged in his State of the Union address that “no one should be in jail” for marijuana use. Following Friday’s meeting, it is more apparent than ever that the White House is receptive to NORML’s message and that we need to continue to pressure the Administration to promote further change. 

Seizing the Moment

At the end of the day, this pressure must come from people – not professional lobbyists representing the commercial cannabis industry. That is why NORML – with its coalition of grassroots supporters like you – is in the best position to seize this moment. Please give to NORML today to support our efforts and keep our momentum going. 

We don’t have big-monied corporate backers. But we have tens of thousands of you willing to help. 

Help us liberate cannabis now.

This article was republished via NORML.