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Leonard L. Frieling Aug. 10, 2022

Rick Steves Issues $100,000 Challenge Grant to Fund Norml

SEATTLE, WA — Television travel host Rick Steves and WeedMaps founder Justin Hartfield pledged $100,000 to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws if cannabis-loving contributors match the money.

“When I joined NORML a decade ago, no politician I know would stand by our cause,” writes Steves. “Today I have a copy of a letter on my desk signed by both Washington State senators and nearly our entire congressional delegation asking President Obama to support the will of the people in our state.”

And that’s no coincidence, it took the work of dedicated activists, says Steves, and while tens of millions of Americans use cannabis, a relative few support pot policy reform with their money or time. But for those that do, Steves writes, “given our successes in the last year, it’s been time and money brilliantly spent.”

And NORML is the only organization that has voiced the concerns of the cannabis community for 40 years. Activists may argue over their effectiveness in that time, but the fact remains that NORML is one of three pot reform groups to endorse Washington State’s legal cannabis initiative—the other two being Marijuana Policy Project and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In a state with a dozen or more organized pot activist groups, hundreds of dispensaries, and thousands of pot growers, only these three organizations had the tenacity to endorse I-502 amidst an entrenched, acerbic medical cannabis industry.

For this act alone, NORML deserves reward. They certainly deserve to win the free Super Bowl ad contest, and I think we need to hook them up with a marijuana museum in downtown Seattle, but a small internet donation is a more certain and immediate reward—and don’t forget, your donation is being doubled by Rick Steves and Justin Hartfield. As of this morning, the challenge grant has netted over $10,000 from Internet donors, and eleven days remain to contribute to the campaign.

From Smell the Truth

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