We hope everyone has gotten off to a great start relative to the new year. Arizona NORML
looks back with great fondness at the last six months of 2021. It was during those six months
that we were able to host 57 free expungement clinics with at least one clinic being held in every
county. We are incredibly proud of the work that we have done with our clinics and are
particularly grateful to the volunteer attorneys who assisted us. Furthermore, we are thankful to
be able to give back to our community and help those whose lives have been negatively impacted
by even a minor marijuana arrest or conviction.
Our work is not finished with respect to hosting free expungement clinics in the new year. We
hope to schedule a couple of clinics each month with our focus being on bigger clinics with more
virtual options. One of the main reasons that we have to scale back on the number of clinics that
we host each month is that January marks the start of the Arizona legislative session. In fact, our
legislature had its opening day on Monday, January 10th . We are very active at the legislature
since we really can’t work to reform marijuana laws without a presence there.
We have crafted our legislative agenda for the 2022 session based on input from members in
both Arizona NORML and Southern Arizona NORML. That agenda is:
- Make expungements both universal and automatic. We truly believe that the burden
should not fall on the petitioner but rather on the prosecutors and courts to expunge
- Reduce medical card costs. Sadly, the Medical Marijuana Fund was depleted last year
and we might not be able to make this happen. However, we could look at carve outs for
veterans or low-income Arizonans.
- Rein in DCS. Problems run rampant in DCS particularly in their handling of pregnant
people and marijuana as well as parents and marijuana. Our objective is to stop DCS
from engaging in draconian practices that deleteriously impact people’s lives.
- We have tried for 3-4 years to get Autism Spectrum Disorder added to the list of
qualifying conditions with AMMA. While we are not going to lead this year on that goal,
we will work to support MAMMA (Mothers Advocating for Medical Marijuana for
Autism) in seeing the addition of ASD to fruition.
We will also be playing defense this year in an effort to kill any bad bill that might rear its ugly
head in this session.
I’m certain that all of this rhetoric about the legislative session has made you ponder how you
might be able to get involved to help Arizona NORML at the capitol. I’m sure that you are just
aching to know what you can do to play a role in marijuana reform this year.
Believe it or not, we have an event that will surpass your wildest dreams as to how you can help!
That’s right…Arizona NORML is hosting our annual virtual lobby week coming up February 7th
through the 11th . We already have 41 legislative meetings scheduled and hope to have over 50
booked by the end of next week. This is your chance to participate in the democratic process
from the comfort of your own home and speak truth to power with our elected officials. Don’t
worry if you’ve never done a lobby meeting before. We will train you so that you will know exactly what to expect in the meetings and how the meetings will transpire. We revel in lobby
week and truly believe that you will find the proceedings to be both inspiring and empowering.
Ready to sign up for lobby week? Simply click on HERE!
Now that you are really fired up and ready to advocate, here’s a list of upcoming events that
we’ll be hosting in February:
February 1st at 7:00 PM: Virtual monthly chapter meeting
February 5th at 10:00 AM: Lobby week training
February 6th at 2:00 PM: Lobby week training
February 7th through the 11 th : Virtual lobby week
February 19th 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Free expungement clinic at Sol Flower in Sun City
February 26th : Tie Dye Party with Mary Jane SmokeWear
February 27th 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM: Free expungement clinic with Oasis in Chandler.
We hope to see you at our virtual lobby week as well as the other events that we have scheduled
in February. Please let us know if you have any questions and here’s to a great year of marijuana
reform and activism!