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.
Get a T-shirt, book, or Hat with a CaNORML Membership by visiting the CalNORML store, or see the links below.
Cal NORML Legislative Goals
- Stop unwarranted use of urine testing for marijuana on the job and for pain patients and mothers.
- 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.
- Open up places where cannabis can be consumed safely in social settings as well as in people’s homes
- Reduce taxes on patients, recreational consumers, and small businesses.
- Encourage licensing of small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural co-ops so as to discourage monopolization and ownership concentration by large-scale, big-money interests
- Remove cannabis from the state list of controlled substances.
History and 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 The initiative, which would have repealed laws against adult use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, received 33% of the vote.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.
Cal NORML continues to work towards employment rights for cannabis users in California, pain patients’ rights to prescription medicines, and lowering taxes on cannabis. We also sit on a CHP committee that is looking at ways to prevent DUIDs in the state.
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’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 lists 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. 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. 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.
Cal NORML holds yearly Lobby Days, gathering activists from around the state to lobby their representatives for better cannabis laws in California.
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.