This year the Texas delegation to the 2019 NORML Conference and Lobby Day grew exponentially! We had a group of seven advocates that made the trip up to Washington, DC. Here is how our visit went:
We started off the activities on Sunday by participating in the Leadership Certification where we learned from staff about best practices. Our Executive Director, Jax Finkel, participated as a training facilitator on the modules regarding “Volunteer Engagement and Advocacy Training”, “Strategies for a Successful Lobby Day”, and “Taking Local Action”. The certification was helpful for attendees who wanted to learn how to grow and expand their tools for reform.
Monday was a full day of content at the 2019 NORML Conference where we learned from industry leaders, chapters from across the states, including Canada, Senator Don Wyden (D-OR) and Dr John Hudak. There was an awards ceremony with a live, original song played by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and closing remarks from NORML founder, Keith Stroup.
Tuesday was a packed day of lobbying. Our team visited with eleven offices regarding the Texas hemp program, the Texas Compassionate Use Program and penalty reduction. (See our handout.) Team members also had printed copies of their personal stories to share. We engaged with legislators and staff on how they could have an impact at the federal level. It was a very different experience from 2017 and we were able to obtain feedback that we can work with. We will be providing additional resources to the offices.
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· Support the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act
· Support the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act
· Mandate the VA Conduct Clinical Trials for Medical Cannabis
· The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act)
· Support the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act
· Ask your Congressional Representative to join the federal Cannabis Caucus
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