New Leadership, New Mandate, #NewNORML Campaign, NORML Canada welcomes the New Year

TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NORML CANADA (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Canadian Chapter) remains a pillar for Canada’s once underground, now “front-page” cannabis legalization and reform movement. NORML Canada is excited to welcome two prolific Canadian cannabis advocates to the Board; Ms. Abi Roach as its new Executive Director; and Mr. Deepak Anand, who will be taking over Vice President duties. Former President John Conroy will remain in a General Counsel role.

Since Oct 17th 2018, NORML Canada has pivoted its mandate from legalization, to the pursuit of public outreach and facilitating governmental policy reform. Promoting functional laws that work for consumers and non-consumers will be a central mandate going into 2019. The #NewNORML campaign, under new Executive Director Abi Roach’s directive, will focus on political engagement efforts at all levels, municipal, provincial, federal and international. Efforts will include educational PSAs, consumer protection, as well as advocating for licensed consumption spaces & retail stores. Going forward NORML Canada will continue to foster an inclusive approach to Canada’s budding cannabis industry. Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the real benefits that cannabis policy could have from both an economic and public-health standpoint, if pursued properly.

NORML Canada has fought for decades to assure rational legal reforms. Current regulations are creating legal and financial barriers to a feasible legal marketplace and have effectively created a larger “grey” area, that not only incentivizes potentially harmful illicit activities, but also continues to criminalize harmless Canadians. Many within the Cannabis community are apprehensive about legalization regulations, referring it to as “Prohibition 2.0”. NORML Canada wants to work with government to limit wasted government resources for a more concerted effort to destigmatize and decriminalize the cannabis plant.

The incoming Board leaders are committed to end Cannabis prohibition that persists within the legalized framework. NORML Canada supports legalization wholeheartedly, but also must ensure responsible and forward-thinking reforms to Canada’s legalized cannabis framework. “NORML has a more crucial public role to play now than ever. We need an open forum with users and non-users alike, so there are safe spaces for both of these communities. The organization must refocus on public education campaign, political/media engagement, and public/private stakeholder engagement to improve cannabis regulations. I believe there is much more we can do to engage locally at the municipal level, and I believe that on the international stage we have an opportunity to create a new potentially exportable national industry,” Roach said. NORML Canada will remain a critical player in Canada’s cannabis non-profit advocacy landscape, as a government-trusted Cannabis advocate group. Importantly, NORML Canada will fight and lobby for the removal of pseudo-prohibitive regulations, with a new refreshed mandate to represent both users and non-users for fair and effective cannabis legislation.

NORML Canada has fought for cannabis reform since 1978, and remains a critical voice in Canada’s cannabis advocacy landscape going into 2019. The #NewNORML campaign will aim to re-engage Canadians from coast to coast to coast, so the organization can shed light on both the positive and negative outcomes of legalization.


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