Carlos E. Gonzalez / Reporter
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, has opened up a chapter in Corpus Christi.
When people think of NORML, pot smoking is often the first thing that comes to mind. The main objective for the organization is to move the public’s opinion to legalize the responsible use of marijuana, just like alcohol, by adults. It also aims to serve as a supporter for consumers to ensure they have access to high-quality and safe marijuana that is convenient and affordable.
Since 1970, NORML has been a nonprofit group representing the millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly. Even today NORML continues to be the voice in the public policy debate for the Americans who are against this marijuana prohibition. Some efforts have been successful by NORML, such as decriminalizing minor marijuana offenses in 11 states and lower penalties in the other states as well.
The Corpus Christi chapter of NORML was established on May 27. Since the approval of the nonprofit organization, NORML has been recruiting members and volunteers to help educate the community about the medical aspects of cannabis and to promote a better understanding of the current laws relating to marijuana in this red state of ours. The group says cannabis will boost our economy when taxed and focuses on a more reasonable treatment of cannabis to put in the laws of the state and the United States as well.
The NORML-CC chapter meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the Tango Tea Room. The group is working to implement a cite-and-release program for the city. This prevents arrest and jail time for anyone who is a citizen of the county and is caught with less than 2 ounces of marijuana by law enforcement. Instead the officers will be able to issue a citation with a court date to the person, confiscate the cannabis and send the person on their way. The person would still have to appear in court and face the consequences of their nonviolent crime. The group says this will ease prison overcrowding and save room for criminals who have committed more violent offenses.
“Not a big step, but it is the little steps that will get us anywhere on the war on marijuana,” said Kyle Hoelscher, president of NORML-CC.
The group has sent out a letter regarding the cite-and-release program to Mayor Nelda Martinez, the Corpus Christi City Council and Police Chief Floyd Simpson.
If you have any questions about NORML-CC or you would like to join, visit www.facebook.com/NORMLcc or www.normlcc.org.