Organising to Win
NORML wants to make drug law reform the hot topic of any election campaign. How can we do this?
Organisation of Campaign
Here’s how we organise to win
- NORML recruits one (or two) organisers for each General electorate (our existing contacts are here, scroll down for local electorates. Find your electorate here).
- NORML holds training meetings for organisers to carry out the campaign plan
- NORML provides resources (eg leaflets, guides, coaching) to local groups
Examples of guides:
- Questions to ask at meetings
- how to organise a branch or group
- how to deal with the news media
- how to write a letter
NORML has held training meetings in Christchurch, Dunedin, Tauranga, Whanganui and Hamilton to date, to help new NORML groups get established.
Making drug law reform a big issue
To make drug law reform a topical issue, we need ways to make our public support clearly visible to politicians, the news media and the public itself. But, not all our supporters have to “go public” to be helpful!
- We must engage with supporters in all the political parties, but especially ACT, Labour, Greens, and National as well as ALCP.
- 400,000-plus adult Kiwis smoked pot in the past 12 months – they should be willing to help the campaign, even if they won’t “go public”.
- We also need to mobilise the parents and grandparents who don’t want their kids and grandchildren criminalised by our drug laws.
Most voters do not (yet) realise that NZ has the highest rate of teenage cannabis use in the world (along with Australia) and also the world’s highest arrest rate per capita for cannabis “crimes”.
NORML NZ may never have the resources to change the opinions of voters by, say, advertising campaigns. We need a low-cost, high visibility campaign that mobilises the largest possible number of our one million supporters.
The main thing is to generate conversations. It does not matter too much what position the different parties take, so long as the Law Commission’s proposals are discussed and candidates are forced to take a position on its recommendations.
NORML supporters should not be afraid of stimulating debate on this subject, but we are up against fear, prejudice and ignorance… We need to be aware that style and presentation do count. We will be abused. But: “we are norml people. We show courtesy, integrity, perseverance and self-control towards all”!
Guides to organising a NORML branch or group, or how to write a letter or ask a question at an election meeting, are available from NORML. Leaflets to hand out at meetings are available; more are being prepared. Banners and signs are available now.