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Senior Olivia Soofi is advocating for the reform of marijuana laws


A year ago, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but, says Olivia Soofi, “There’s still work to be done.”

Soofi (CAS’10), a history major, is the founder and president of the BU chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). A nonprofit marijuana advocacy group, NORML lobbies Congress and state legislatures to legalize marijuana.

Soofi decided to form a NORML chapter at BU last October. “When I came to BU, I got really interested in the whole subject,” she says. “When I found out that there was going to be a decriminalization bill, I thought, OK, I need to do something.”

Since advocating for the affirmative on last year’s ballot measure, Soofi has organized educational events, among them lectures and documentary screenings, for NORML members.

Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard and director of undergraduate studies, spoke to the BU chapter last year. Miron has written several publications about the financial impact of marijuana legalization.

Many people think the NORML chapter is trying to legalize marijuana for recreational use alone, but Soofi says she is advocating for marijuana to be regulated the same way alcohol and cigarettes are.

“I would like people to open up their minds a little bit more,” she says.

NORML can be reached at bunorml@bu.edu.

Brendan Gauthier can be reached at btgauth@gmail.com.


3 Comments on A New NORML

  • Anonymous on 11.15.2009 at 11:44 am

    Slippery slope

    Regulating marijuana would not be a good idea. Considering America’s vast and entrenched underground drug network, why would anyone pay tax on pot when they can simply buy it on the streets?

  • Anonymous on 11.17.2009 at 10:47 am

    "slippery slope"? don't be a dope

    three words: price, quality, and predictability–that’s why ppl would be willing to pay a tax. been to california recently?

  • Anonymous on 12.13.2009 at 6:51 pm

    @Slippery slope I would much

    @Slippery slope
    I would much rather buy from a state run smoke shop then a random drug dealer on the street even if it is a couple dollars more expensive. Street dealers arn’t very trustworthy and are usually shady.

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