Are you dissatisfied with the cannabis laws in your neighborhood?
This is a critical question for cannabis entrepreneurs, employees, investors and a lot of other people who want to see their local cannabis laws evolve.
And one of the big challenges here – whether you want to open a business or change restrictions in your area – is that few people know how to turn that desire into action, helping to change or improve cannabis laws.
This is why Green Flower is extremely excited to partner with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in creating a new online training – the Cannabis Advocacy Certificate Program – where people can learn how to be most effective in any cannabis advocacy effort.
NORML was founded in 1970 by Keith Stroup to be a voice for cannabis legalization and grassroots activism.
More than 115 NORML chapters have launched all over the United States, with several international chapters now operating, including in Canada, Malta, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, and Jamaica.
No other cannabis organization has played as integral of a role in promoting cannabis law reform efforts over the last five decades than NORML and its members.
NORML’s chapters are active in state legislatures, educating lawmakers, running local reform campaigns, and working to lobby Congress – all with the support of NORML at the national level.
The Fight Doesn’t End with Legalization – Cannabis Activism Is Now More Important Than Ever
As cannabis prohibition continues to crumble and more people approve of legalization, cannabis advocacy continues to be a major focus – even in states that have already legalized.
“Despite many states legalizing cannabis, one of the biggest challenges facing our industry today is that local municipalities across the country are still banning cannabis commerce in their cities and towns,” says Max Simon, CEO and co-founder of Green Flower.
“This localized prohibition restricts access to safe cannabis, stunts the growth of the industry, and dramatically slows social acceptance. We are thrilled to partner with NORML. Their 50 years of advocacy experience and deep network of local NORML chapters will train a new army of cannabis advocates to help change minds, change laws, and continue to move the cannabis industry forward.”
Jenn Michelle Pedini, Development Director for NORML, agrees that the new online training will be very popular – and powerful.
“More people are interested in advocating for these common sense reforms, but being passionate about a subject doesn’t always immediately translate into knowing how to be an effective advocate for change,” Pedini explains.
“That’s the gap that we’re bridging at NORML through engaging our grassroots supporters. This certificate program not only elevates that process, but makes it readily available to even more people.”
Getting Cannabis Laws Right is an Ongoing Struggle
One of the biggest, most dangerous misconceptions about cannabis activism is that the work is done once legalization is achieved.
“We often hear people ask what NORML is going to do after cannabis is legalized, and we’ve been dealing with that reality for over two decades now, starting when California legalized medical cannabis,” Pedini notes, mentioning all the work that goes into implementation of the legislation, protection of consumers – as well as revisiting and revising laws when they don’t address the needs of the people they are intended to serve.
“It’s not a one-and-done process. You don’t simply pass a law and then walk away from it. It doesn’t just end with passing legalization at the ballot box or in a state legislature.”
Today, another important factor in cannabis advocacy is the fact that every state is going about it on their own, working through their own unique and specific processes.
“It is unrealistic to think that everyone will get it right the first time,” Pedini notes. “And even if it were perfect from day one, there’s always going to be growth and change – laws have to keep up with public opinion, best practices, and industry standards. So, it’s a continuous process. As we continue to learn and grow, so should our public policies.”
Achieving the Best Public Policy Outcomes Possible
“Our objective at NORML is to achieve the best public policy outcomes possible, and this partnership with Green Flower provides an opportunity to educate people in a very accessible way on how to engage in the process themselves,” Pedini says.
“The content that Green Flower produces is such high-caliber, well presented, easy to understand, and beautifully done. Green Flower really makes it easy to understand, easy to engage with – it just makes it so accessible to anyone.”
And this advocacy training is for anyone who is interested in doing the work to change the laws in their state or locality – whether you’re an entrepreneur, employee, or simply a passionate cannabis advocate.
“There’s never been a more critical time to get involved in this movement,” Pedini says.
“Writing angry rants or posting Facebook memes doesn’t change laws. You have to do something, and caring about it is important – but how do you translate that into real action?”
Addressing that question is where NORML continues to play such a pivotal role, and it’s a driving force behind their work with Green Flower in creating the Cannabis Advocacy Certificate Program.
Be sure you’re signed up with Green Flower for all the important updates on this upcoming online course. Sign up below for our newsletter to stay on top of this story and all things cannabis!