In the recent past, the laws surrounding the use of marijuana have been changing at an
alarming rate across various states in the world. As a matter of fact, for the past few years, there
has been a substantial controversy on whether weed should be illegal or legalized. Whereas some
people say that legalizing marijuana would not only be critical to the criminal justice system but
also its users, other people argue that it is just a gateway drug, thus legalizing it would only cause
more harm to society. Although there is much controversy surrounding the issue of marijuana,
several activist groups have been formed to fight for the legalization of weed. The issue of
marijuana has promoted various groups and states to implement actions for sufficiently moving
the opinion of the public to ensure the legalization of pot. In particular, NORML, a non-profit
organization in Washington, has continuously fought for the legalization of marijuana. The
actions of this group have attracted the interest of many people across the world over the past
few years. Therefore, this report aims at discussing this issue, explaining the current kairos
surrounding it to English 101 students and make them understand it better. Also, this paper
attempts to discuss NORML as the group fighting for this issue, its background, and what the
The current kairos surrounding marijuana legalization is that many states in the U.S. are
currently rallying to amend the laws to ensure that marijuana is legalized. As such, every rational
citizen should critically look into the issue and make an informed decision on whether to support
the legalization calls or not. Everyone should care about the legalization of marijuana because
the legalization will make the drug accessible, and its usage will increase. Ease of access will
also mean that everyone, including the minors, will be able to access the drug. As such, people
should be worried about the mental development and health of the children because the use of
the drug is harmful, especially to kids. As argued by (Vitiello & Deck, 2017), marijuana abuse
impairs brain development and reduces the IQ of users below the age of 18
Also known as marijuana, bud, ganja, herb, Mary Jane, pot, weed refers to a mixture of
dried greenish-grey flowers of Cannabis sativa. Weed is a mixture containing dried out flowers,
stems, and seeds of the hemp plant. Usually, marijuana is grey, green, or brown. Weed can be
smoked or inhaled through vapor. Also, other people can brew weed as tea. It can also be used as
a balm. Besides, marijuana can be eaten in products such as chocolate bars, cookies, or brownies.
When smoked, weed gives off a unique, sweet odor. Weed has over 400 chemicals in it that can
create intoxication in the body in that it causes changes in the mind and the body and the body at
large. Although it can result in intoxication, laws concerning its usage have been changing in the
recent past in the USA. One primary reason why these laws have been changing is that NORML
has been fighting so hard to have marijuana legalized in the USA (Hunt & Miles, 2015).
Background of NORLM
Who they are and what their purpose is?
NORLM, which is an acronym for the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws, was founded in 1970 by attorney Keith Stroup. The group was formed so that it
could advocate for the legalization of weed. NORLM remains one of the oldest groups in the
U.S. that have been fighting for the legalization of weed. Since its formation, the group has been
critically opposing the prohibition of marijuana. The group is based in Washington, DC.
NORLM remains an essential voice in the struggle to have marijuana legalized for its medicinal
purposes. Research shows that this group has made significant strides toward decriminalizing
what it considers as minor offenses related to the use of weed in the U.S. This group acts as a
source of information, an umbrella group for other groups that want marijuana legalized, and
lobbies legislature at the state and federal level. The group also holds yearly conferences.
Since its formation, NORLM has become popular in not only Washington, DC, but also
in the entire U.S. Today, and the group consists of various people whose primary purpose is to
have weed legalized in this country. NORLM is governed by a board of directors, which consists
of 20 members. In this member-based group, polices are set by the directors who also elect
officers and employ an executive director. Members of this group are people who support the
elimination of every criminal penalty for the use and possession of weed by adults (Room,
What the group does?
NORLM fights for the legalization of marijuana in the United States. They do so by
fighting to have laws surrounding the use and possession of marijuana changed. The group acts
as a source of information to the public, publishes newspapers about why weed should be
legalized in the United States. The exigence of NORLM is that laws surrounding the use and
possession of marijuana need to be changed with immediate effect because weed has several
benefits. According to this group, marijuana should be legalized on medical and recreational
How it uses social media?
NORML uses social media to create awareness and share information concerning the
reforms on marijuana laws. The organization also uses social media to organize and mobilize
people to support the ideas and changes that support the responsible consumption of marijuana.
The organization's social media messages and posts are rich in pathos for social appeal
What particular hashtags do activists for this cause use to promote their message?
Some of the hashtags used by the organization activists to promote their messages
include #420, #highsociety, #art, #legalizeit, and #love. The hashtags enable the activists to gain
more social media engagement to ensure that the shared information reaches many people
How else do they find their audiences or get their message out?
NORLM get their messages out through various ways. For instance, it finds its audiences
by holding annual conferences. Besides, gets its message out through newspaper and magazines
that they often publish. Additionally, the group gets there message out through several social
media sites. What is more, NORLM gets the message out through several educational programs,
in which it teaches the public about the benefits of using weed. The group also uses several state
and federal officials to shape the opinions of the public concerning the use of marijuana
What arguments are they making?
According to this group, marijuana has its harmless sides and is beneficial to the body.
The group argues that marijuana should be legalized on medical and recreational grounds. Also,
they argue that weed is only harmful when abused. As a result, it should be reserved for
responsible cannabis users. What is more, this group argues that legalizing weed would result in
reduced violence, corruption, and crime in society. The enthymeme of NORLM is that
marijuana has its benefits. With reference to King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail, the group
argues that weed should be regulated like other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol because it
limits harms that the people of color and young people have been exposed to for the past
hundreds of years. Since this letter is about the issue of racism, NORLM argues that legalizing
weed would help end racism as many African Americans have been exposed to much harm
because of the use and possession of marijuana compared to whites. In the letter, Martin Luther
King Jr says, “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressors; it must be demanded by the
oppressed” (Vitello & Deck, 2017). Concerning this quote, this group is doing a beneficial job
because they are not only fighting for the legalization of weed but also for the freedom of the
people of color who are regularly exposed to harm due to minor offenses related to weed usage
and possession. There is no doubt that Martin Luther King Jr would approve this group because
they are helping people get the justice they deserve.
How other Groups Perceive NORLM?
Other groups perceive activism from my group as a way of fighting for the rights of the
minority in society. Other groups view our group as a perfect example of how the voices, ideas,
and opinions of the disadvantaged communities can be amplified to reach the intended audience.
Our group also sets an ideal example for other groups to emulate how activism can be achievable
through social media platforms.
Whether these Groups oppose them
Other groups are opposed to NORML ideas and arguments supporting the reforms of
marijuana laws to favor responsible consumers. For instance, the American Anti-Drug Council,
the Drug-Free America Foundation, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, among
others, are some of the groups that oppose the ideas and arguments that favor the responsible use
The groups opposed to the ideas of NORML engage with those who oppose such ideas
through their social media platforms. The groups also share their ideas and information with
those who oppose NORML ideas through seminars and personal conversations. For instance, the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston engages with those who oppose NORML ideas in
church seminars and through personal communication. The objection of these groups is that
weed has a lot of harmful effects on its users.
Anderson, M. (2018) Activism in the social media age. Pew Research Center.
Dadas, C. (2017) “Hashtag activism” social writing and social media. Social
Hunt, P. E., & Miles, J. (2015). The impact of legalizing and regulating weed: issues with study
design and emerging findings in the USA. In Non-medical and illicit use of psychoactive
drugs (pp. 173-198). Springer, Cham.
Room, R. (2014). Legalizing a market for cannabis for pleasure: Colorado, Washington,
Uruguay, and beyond. Addiction, 109(3), 345-351.
Vitiello, M., & Deck, R. (2017). Legalizing Marijuana: A View from Among the Weeds.
Hastings LJ, 69, 961.
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