WASHINGTON: Television travel host Rick Steves and WeedMaps founder Justin Hartfield pledged $100,000 to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws if cannabis-loving contributors match the money.
“When I joined NORML a decade ago, no politician I know would stand by our cause,” writes Steves. “Today I have a copy of a letter on my desk signed by both Washington State senators and nearly our entire congressional delegation asking President Obama to support the will of the people in our state.”
And that’s no coincidence, it took the work of dedicated activists, says Steves, and while tens of millions of Americans use cannabis, a relative few support pot policy reform with their money or time. But for those that do, Steves writes, “given our successes in the last year, it’s been time and money brilliantly spent.”
And NORML is the only organization that has voiced the concerns of the cannabis community for 40 years. Activists may argue over their effectiveness in that time, but the fact remains that NORML is one of three pot reform groups to endorse Washington State’s legal cannabis initiative—the other two being Marijuana Policy Project and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In a state with a dozen or more organized pot activist groups, hundreds of dispensaries, and thousands of pot growers, only these three organizations had the tenacity to endorse I-502 amidst an entrenched, acerbic medical cannabis industry.