The unification process has begun. After considerable review, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) officially endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). AUMA would end cannabis prohibition once and for all, in the state of California.
AUMA now boasts perhaps the highest amount of support of any California cannabis measure—with endorsements from the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, California Cannabis Industry Association, California Medical Association, California NAACP and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
NORML held a board meeting on February 20, in Washington D.C., to review all recreational measures for the November ballot. Earlier, the NORML board said they would wait until a measure had qualified before endorsing it; however, the organization changed its mind.
“With the largest population of both marijuana producers and consumers in the United States, along with the largest voting delegation in Congress, the importance of voters in America’s most populous and influential state, California, passing a binding marijuana legalization ballot initiative in 2016 can’t be overstated,” wrote Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML. “On the matter of ending marijuana prohibition in America, as California goes, so too goes the rest of the nation.”
Although NORML acknowledges that other, more consumer-friendly, measures have emerged; they decided to go with AUMA. In addition to strict anti-monopoly provisions, AUMA offers several protections that safeguard children, small businesses and the cannabis workforce. The official proponents behind AUMA are recognized as Dr. Donald O. Lyman and Michael Sutton.
NORML also backed legalization measures in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Arizona, as well as backing medical cannabis efforts in Missouri and Florida.
AUMA is drafted to work seamlessly with SB-643, AB-266 and AB-243, which were recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown. NORML’s endorsement is a huge victory for AUMA proponents.