Our Mission

Founded in 1972, California NORML is a non-profit, membership-supported organization dedicated to protecting and expanding cannabis consumers’ rights. As the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, we are the only state organization devoted specifically to marijuana reform for consumers. We publish a newsletter, lobby lawmakers, sponsor events, offer legal, educational, and consumer health advice, and sponsor scientific research. We maintain a separate membership and financial base from national NORML.

Annual membership fee is $30-$100 (or $20 for a low-income newsletter subscription).

Send to: Cal NORML, 2261 Market St. #278A,
San Francisco CA 94114 or click here to pay online.

Get a T-shirt, book, or Hat with a CaNORML Membership by visiting the Cal NORML store, or see the links below.

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See Cal NORML’s 2023 Accomplishments and Plans for 2024

Cal NORML Legislative Goals

  • Implement Prop. 215’s goal of a system of “safe and affordable distribution” of medical marijuana; support licensing for medical and adult-use cannabis businesses in cities and counties across the state. 
  • Reduce taxes on patients, recreational consumers, and small businesses.
  • Open up places where cannabis can be consumed safely in social settings.
  • Extend SB 34, allowing compassionate donations of medical cannabis.
  • Inform workers and employers about their rights to off-the-job use of cannabis.
  • Support better consumer education on cannabis dosage and high-potency products.
  • Oppose policies that would unduly limit consumer choice or restrict personal use and cultivation.
  • Lobby Congress for federal descheduling, the SAFER banking act, and other reforms.

History and Past Accomplishments

California NORML was originally founded as Amorphia, which organized the 1972 California Marijuana Initiative, Prop. 19. The initiative, which would have repealed laws against adult use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, received 33% of the vote. Amorphia became the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in 1974.

California NORML successfully lobbied the state legislature to pass the Moscone Act of 1975, which “decriminalized” marijuana possession from a felony to a misdemeanor, with a maximum $100 fine for 1 ounce or less.

California NORML attorneys successfully sued to force CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) helicopters to respect a 500’ flying ceiling.

California NORML led the opposition to Gov. Wilson’s “Smoke a Joint, Lose Your License” law, imposing a six-month driver’s license suspension for pot possession, which was killed as of July 1, 1999. We have continued to successfully fight yearly against bad DUID bills in California.

California NORML was one of the original sponsors of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Proposition 215, the nation’s first medical marijuana law. We have supported the legal battle to uphold Prop. 215 against federal and local intrusion.


Since the passage of Prop. 64 in 2016, legalizing the adult use of marijuana, we have been busier than ever watchdogging numerous proposed bills and regulations that seek to implement the new law, as well as supporting local activists and NORML chapters working on local implementation in their cities and counties. We’ve also been busy informing Californians about their new rights under the law, as well as public health information. We also sat on a CHP committee that is studied ways to prevent DUIDs in the state.

In 2019, we were able to help pass SB 34, a bill to give tax relief to compassion programs that give away cannabis to needy patients, as well as a bill to allow students to use medical cannabis on school campuses.

Much work remains to be done to fully protect the rights of cannabis consumers in California. Prop. 64 imposed an unduly high 15% excise tax that affects patients as well as recreational users; additional cultivation taxes and local taxes have sent many consumers back to unregulated and untaxed suppliers, and crippled cannabis businesses. We helped pass a law to eliminate the cultivation tax in 2022, but only if cannabis tax revenues remain at a certain level; otherwise the excise tax could be raised to as much as 19% in coming years.

Other shortcomings of Prop. 64 included not protecting employees against unwarranted drug testing, interfering with their employment rights. Cal NORML successfully sponsored a bill in 2022 (AB 2188 – GC 12954) that will disallow employment discrimination based on urine or hair testing for inactive THC metabolites that have no basis on job performance, but rather detect off-the-job use days or even weeks beforehand. That law will take effect on January 1, 2024.

A second Cal NORML–sponsored bill (AB 1954; BPC 2228.5), protects medical marijuana patients against discrimination by doctors who often deny pain medicine prescriptions and other medications to patients who test positive for cannabis.

Cal NORML is watchdogging a law that passed in 2022 (AB 1706) to streamline the process to automatically clear past marijuana convictions, and remove barriers to employment, education and housing resulting from criminal records that disproportionately affect communities of color.

In 2023, we lobbied on the usual 40 or more bills that would affect cannabis businesses and consumers, including bills expanding employment rights (SB 700), patients’ rights in hospital settings (SB 302), as wells as product labeling for consumer safety.

Much of the resistance to legal marijuana businesses across the state is happening at local levels, where opponents continue to show up at meetings, objecting to cannabis retailers and consumption lounges. Local governments are also acting to limit tenants’ rights around cannabis smoking or vaping  in their own homes. Cal NORML is working with local NORML chapters and activists to counter these restrictive efforts, and has published a page listing consumption lounges in California.

Federal efforts to legalize marijuana nationally, facilitate banking and allow interstate commerce are being supported by Cal NORML with an eye to affordability for consumers, meaning fewer taxes and less unnecessary regulation.


Cal NORML is frequently interviewed by media outlets across the state and always comments with an aim to protect cannabis consumers rights, armed with factual information. We stay on top of all the latest studies and news reports about cannabis, and issue responses when required.

Cal NORML holds yearly Lobby Days, gathering activists from around the state to lobby their representatives for better cannabis laws in California. Through our NORML networks, we send thousands of letters to lawmakers and the state and federal levels in advance of key votes on pending laws.

Cal NORML’s hotline 415-563-5858 has been in continuous operation since 1972, and we answer calls from the public, press and government officials there and through our website and Facebook pages.

We were the first to publish an online Marketplace Directory of cannabis dispensaries, and we maintain listings of retailers, delivery services, lawyers, and cannabis products and services on our website www.CaNORML.org.


We depend on our membership base for support, and for getting informed and active to protect and expand our rights. Cal NORML receives no funding from national NORML and must raise our operating funds from within the state.

Please Join Cal NORML today and support our efforts! Members receive our quarterly newsletter, discounts on products and events, and the satisfaction of knowing you are standing up for your rights! If you have questions about membership, please write here.

See Cal NORML’s 2023 Accomplishments and Plans for 2024

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