Since its founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly.
During the 1970s, NORML led the successful efforts to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses in 11 states and significantly lower marijuana penalties in all others.
Today NORML continues to lead the fight to reform state and federal marijuana laws, whether by voter initiative or through the elected legislatures. NORML serves as an informational resource to the national media on marijuana-related stories, providing a perspective to offset the anti-marijuana propaganda from the government; lobbies state and federal legislators in support of reform legislation; publishes a regular newsletter; hosts, along with the NORML Foundation, an informative web site and an annual conference; and serves as the umbrella group for a national network of citizen-activists committed to ending marijuana prohibition and legalizing marijuana.
Michigan NORML was organized in 2001 after a horrific tragedy on a sleepy piece of farmland, that was ripped from the headlines by the even more tragic event on 9/11/2001, and resulted in the deaths of two well-known Michigan cannabis advocates. Rainbow Farm was a pro-marijuana campground in Newberg Township, Cass County, Michigan, that was involved in a fatal police standoff on September 3, 2001. The campground was run by Tom Crosslin and his life partner Rolland “Rollie” Rohm, and was home to two annual festivals, “HempAid” and “Roach Roast”, which ran from 1996 through 2001. The operation ended with the burning down of all the structures on the property and the deaths of both Tom Crosslin and Rolland Rohm.
It was shortly after these events that friends and family members of the slain men organized our chapter. That senseless event continues to inspire those of us who remember and it serves to motivate the board members and supporters of this organization to this very day!