Legal Referrals

Action Alerts from NORML
Vermont Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
House Bill 150 would reclassify minor marijuana possession GO »
Hawaii Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
House Bill 1192 would reclassify minor marijuana possession GO »
South Dakota Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Ask your representative to support House Bill 1127 GO »
Oppose Zero Tolerance ‘Drugged’ Driving Legislation In New Hampshire
Reject House Bill 575 GO »
Montana Legislature Considers Expanding State’s Medical Marijuana Program
Support Senate Bill 326! GO »

Driven by the Drug War, the U.S. prison population is six to ten times as high as most Western European nations. The United States is a close second only to Russia in its rate of incarceration per 100,000 people. In 2000, more than 734,000 people were arrested in this country for marijuana-related offenses alone.

Marijuana prohibition causes more problems than it solves, and ruins thousands more lives than it supposedly tries to save. The NORML Legal Department provides legal support and assistance to victims of the current marijuana laws. NORML also monitors developments in state and federal law, and files appellate and amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in cases which may affect the interpretation of existing marijuana laws, or which will, hopefully, change them.

In 2001, NORML filed an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Supreme Court which involved patient support groups (“buyers’ clubs”) that provide medical marijuana to seriously ill patients in California. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s decision was not favorable to the buyers’ clubs, and now tens of thousands of seriously ill patients who use marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering will no longer have a safe and secure source for their medical marijuana.

In 2002, NORML filed another amicus curiae brief in support of students at an Oklahoma public high school who did not wish to be drug-tested prior to participating in extra-curricular activities such as the chess club, the marching band, and Future Farmers of America.

These top-notch criminal defense lawyers regularly defend individuals charged with marijuana offenses, and they frequently provide pro bono assistance in important or unusual cases which may set legal precedent or otherwise impact public policy. A few of the many victories NORML lawyers have won include:

Securing the right of some patients to use marijuana medicinally, via the defense of medical necessity.
Halting government use of dangerous herbicides (e.g., paraquat) for marijuana eradication.
Protecting marijuana smokers from double jeopardy.
Protecting people from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Limiting the National Guard’s participation in enforcing marijuana prohibition.
Securing access to parks and other public spaces for rallies, protests and concerts.
Limiting law enforcement officers’ ability to conduct random and warrantless searches of passenger buses.
Limiting helicopter overflights and infrared searches.
Securing the return of patients’ seized marijuana.