ETC / Interviews

Bruce Margolin of NORML On Elevate The Conversation

What else can we say about Bruce Margolin, other than that he’s a bit of a legend? Not only is he an award-winning criminal defence lawyer and Executive Director of the Los Angeles chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), but he was also an aspiring politician ahead of the curve. In a 2016 interview with, Margolin said:

“Over the years, we’ve been putting otherwise good people in jail because of the ambiguities and the unfairness of the marijuana laws.”

To put a little context behind this quote, Margolin unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2003’s California recall election, vowing to legalize marijuana and free all those imprisoned by the laws surrounding plant. Bruce would go on to do the same in 2012, this time for a position on the U.S. Congress.

Margolin set up his practice, The Law Offices of Bruce M. Margolin, Esq., in 1967. By 1971, practicing law under Presidents Lyndon Baines Johnson and Richard Milhous Nixon must have drained him, as Margolin retired for a small while in India to spend time with writer and spiritual leader Baba Ram Dass.

Margolin must have come back from India refreshed and revitalized, as he would go on to represent Timothy Leary, members of the band Guns n’ Roses, Christian Brando and many more on everything from drug to murder charges, as well as winning Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year (1999) the Century City Bar Association, getting selected for 2014’s Super Lawyer and being awarded the Certificate of Appreciation from the A.C.L.U. (American Civil Liberties Union). Oh, and we must say that he looks rather dashing in a hat, which should clearly be a an award of its own.

Margolin Guide to Marijuana Laws

In 2009 and after 40 years of serving as a marijuana defence expert, Bruce also wrote the classic, The Margolin Guide to Marijuana Laws. In this book, Margolin details in easy-to-read language the various differences between state and federal law surrounding marijuana. For many medical patients, this book has been a godsend.

Of course, so much has happened between 2009 and 2017, with many states throughout the US not only legalizing medical marijuana, but also pushing through “recreational” use. We must also see where the Trump train and Sessions senate leads us over the coming year, so Margolin will no doubt need to write a much-needed update to his book sometime soon! (Where just giving you a slight prod here, Mr. Margolin, as we’re going to need your help!)

Other than looking a little like a real life version of Donald Sutherland’s Patrick ‘Tripp’ Darling III from Dirty Sexy Money or being a character straight out of Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul and just generally being a superstar lawyer, we’re not exactly sure what Margolin likes to do. We assume he may take a break from lawyering and justicing, but he may also have superpowers learnt from his time in India to keep doing his thing 24 hours a day.

The only way to find out more about whether or not Margolin has superpowers on top of all the strange new cannabis laws, we say tune in to Elevate the Conversation at 9 pm PST on Facebook Live or Channel 1 UBN Radio with Dr. Frank. You’ll be glad you did!


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