Washington, DC: NORML is pleased to announce that the 2004 National Conference and Congressional Lobby Day will take place April 22-24 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. This year's conference will offer attendees a unique opportunity to network with other marijuana law reformers and deliver a powerful message to Congress: "We're here. We smoke. We vote."

Day one of this year's conference will be devoted to NORML's inaugural Congressional Lobby Day, at which activists, patients, and students from around the nation will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress and lobby on behalf of various marijuana reform bills, including H.R. 2233, "The States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act." NORML will prearrange appointments with attendees' Congressional representatives and coordinate the daylong event, which will include a morning training session on lobbying etiquette.

"For many politicians, NORML's inaugural Congressional Lobby Day will be their first look at the emerging marijuana law reform constituency," NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said. "They will see that this constituency is not a political fringe group, but that we are a diverse, politically active group of responsible Americans who represent the interests of tens of millions of marijuana smokers nationwide."

Days two and three of the 2004 NORML Conference will feature panel discussions and speakers on a variety of marijuana-related issues. Panels include: "Marijuana and Your Health: What You Need to Know That the Government Won't Tell You," "Don't Become Another Statistic: How Not to Get Busted," "The Federal Assault on Marijuana Smokers," "Where Do We Go From Here: Strategy for the Next Five Years," as well as a "High Times 30th Anniversary Panel," which will examine editorial changes at the magazine and the launch of High Times' Grow America.

Featured speakers at the conference include best-selling author Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market); Boston University Law Professor Randy Barnett, chief legal counsel in Raich/Monson v. Ashcroft, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the federal prosecution of state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients to be unconstitutional; High Times publisher Richard Stratton; and the Drug Policy Alliance's Marsha Rosenbaum.

Other scheduled events include a benefit screening of Ron Mann's latest documentary Go Further (starring Woody Harrelson), a joint reception sponsored by NORML and High Times, and NORML's annual Saturday night "4:20" benefit party.

"I urge those who oppose marijuana prohibition and the continuing arrest of hundreds of thousands of responsible marijuana smokers annually to join us in the nation's Capitol to take a stand for personal freedom," Stroup said. "Smokers must no longer remain silent, and we must make our message heard by Congress."


Complete conference information, including conference agenda, registration and hotel information, is available online at:
http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5888