I’m Rick Steves, travel guidebook author, TV show host, and longtime member of NORML’s Board of Directors.
For decades, NORML has doggedly and effectively fought a drug policy reform battle to defend and expand our civil liberties—that’s what inspired me to proudly join its board so long ago. And this year, we’re poised to make some of our biggest breakthroughs yet. With ever more states considering legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults and a supportive Congress finally seriously debating legislation to end the federal prohibition, 2021 could be the year we deliver the final blow to our nation’s decades-long failed policy of treating marijuana consumers like criminals.
I’ve served on NORML’s board for many years and spent the past few election seasons campaigning around the country for legalization ballot initiatives. And it seems to me all that hard work may be coming to an exciting climax this year. Imagine: our federal government may be about to deschedule marijuana… to recognize that each state has the right to regulate pot as its citizens see fit. That’s why I’m more excited than ever about what lies ahead. And that’s why I’m honored to have been elected to serve as the Chair of NORML’s Board of Directors for 2021.
For me, my work with NORML is a civic duty. I care about fighting racism; about replacing a black market that empowers and enriches gangs and organized crime with a legal one that produces good jobs and lots of tax revenue; and about defending our civil liberty to simply enjoy the recreational use of marijuana if we want to. If you do too, I hope you can join me in helping NORML make 2021 a year that will go down in drug policy reform history…to inspire our citizenry and our government to replace a failed prohibition with a sensible new approach to marijuana.
I support legalization not because I’m pro-pot… but because I’m anti-prohibition, pro-freedom, and pro-common sense. Just like the failed prohibition of alcohol, our current laws against marijuana use are causing more harm to our society than the drug itself. Whether you’re concerned about the well-being of children, fairness for our minority communities, redirecting marijuana industry money away from criminals and into our state’s coffers, stemming the horrific bloodshed in Mexico, or advancing civil liberties, it’s high time that we put this shameful history behind us and adopt a more sensible approach. Fifteen states, including my home state of Washington, and the District of Columbia have already embraced legalization and it is time the rest of the states and our federal government do so as well.
At NORML we understand how working to end our government’s unjust and unproductive laws against marijuana is flat-out good citizenship. That’s why I’m so inspired by the work being done every day by thousands of NORML supporters, chapters, and volunteers. And that is why I couldn’t be more pleased to dedicate my time to serve as NORML’s new Board of Directors Chair.
When we work hard and work together, we can win this battle. In fact, we can actually win it in 2021!
We are a citizens’ organization—and each of you put the citizen in NORML. That’s why we need your help—both financially and as fellow advocates. I look forward to fighting side by side this coming year with you to make our vision a reality.
Onward and upward,
Chair, NORML Board of Directors