You can make a difference. Despite strong public support for ending cannabis prohibition, this industry faces an uphill battle. While many Americans recognize the irrationality of cannabis prohibition, not all see it as harmful, and even fewer actually take action. 


Your voice allows us to connect people and speak in a unified voice. We run conservation projects with our partners, seeking the most constructive solutions.

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There's no better way to make an impact than to become an active advocate yourself. Help end cannabis prohibition by joining the grassroots movement. Get involved and make an impact!

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There are several ways to join the movement to reform marijuana laws.


The organizations below are dedicated to influencing public policy and perception in a direction favorable to the legalization of cannabis. 

  • The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is intended to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works with our grassroots base of over 50,000 members to effect change using public education and direct advocacy at the local, state, and federal level.

  • The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is leading the effort in Washington, D.C. to pass federal medical cannabis legislation, as well as to replace marijuana prohibition with a system of sensible regulation and control.

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is a US-based trade association dedicated to advancing the national interests of cannabis-related businesses. The California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) is dedicated to uniting the cannabis industry in California. Contact CCIA to learn about the membership benefits and options avaialble. 

  • Since its founding in 1970, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose cannabis prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting cannabis smokers. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who use cannabis responsibly.


Giving Tree Farms is committed to advancing the interests of legitimate and responsible cannabis industry professionals and members. Becoming familiar with the current laws, legislative and regulatory landscape is the responsibility of each individual interested in reform.

2018. California begins issuing temporary state licenses for medical and adult-use cannabis companies. 

2017. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) creates the general framework for the regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis in California. The text of MAUCRSA is available on the California Legislative Information website. On November 16, 2017, California’s three state cannabis licensing authorities publicly noticed proposed emergency regulations for commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis.

2016. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) (Proposition 64) is a 2016 voter initiative to legalize cannabis in California. The full name of the measure is the "Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act".The initiative passed with 56% voter approval and became law on November 9, 2016. In November 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

2015. On September 11, 2015, the California Legislature passed a series of bills that together would establish California’s first statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis businesses. AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643 each contain key provisions of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). These laws govern cultivating, processing, transporting, testing, and distributing medical cannabis to qualified patients. 

2011. In late December of 2011, the California Attorney General Kamala Harris urged lawmakers to clarify the specific medical cannabis requirements and to provide substantive changes that will clear up the ambiguity in the industry.

2008. During the 2008 presidential campaign, patients started to see a glimmer of hope when President Barack Obama made campaign comments about not making DEA enforcement in states with medical cannabis legislation a priority or the proper allocation of resources. Unfortunately, the IRS and DEA continued to attack dispensaries operating in accord with California law.

2008. In August 2008, California Attorney General Jerry Brown published guidelines for patients, providers and law enforcement officials. Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use provided information for medical marijuana patients and law enforcement on how to comply with California's current medical marijuana laws. Unfortunately, these guidelines are not binding in court, but they do provide a foundation for law enforcement, district attorneys and judges. The creation of the guidelines was a great step in the right direction. However, they were considered too general and left too much room for interpretation. 

2007. After SB 420 passed, a number of landlords in California received "advisory" letters from the DEA (under the President George W. Bush administration) warning possible property forfeiture due to dispensary tenants. Many property owners forced the dispensary owners to relocate, out of fear of federal prosecution. 

2004. On January 1, 2004, Senate Bill 420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP) required the California Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish and maintain a program for the voluntary registration of qualified medical cannabis patients  and their primary caregivers through a statewide identification card system. The MMP also defines certain terms, sets possession guidelines and recognizes a qualified right to collective and cooperation cultivation.

1996. On November 5, 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215: Compassionate Use Act, which decriminalized the cultivation and use of cannabis with those with debilitating illnesses based on a physician's recommendation. Proposition 215 was enacted to "ensure that seriously ill Californians and their caregivers who obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction."

1970. The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) establishes a federal regulatory system designed to combat recreational drug abuse. The CSA reflects the federal government's view that marijuana is a drug with no currently acceptable medical use by classifying cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic along with cocaine and heroin. 

1913. California, Maine, Wyoming, and Indiana ban cannabis. 

A very special thanks to Todd Quackenbush for providing the beautiful image featured on this page.