[SIZE=+1]The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.[1]

Company Profile

[​IMG] NORML serves as an informational resource to the national media on marijuana-related stories, providing a perspective to offset the anti-marijuana propaganda from the government; lobbies state and federal legislators in support of reform legislation; publishes a regular newsletter; hosts, along with the NORML Foundation, an informative web site and an annual conference; and serves as the umbrella group for a national network of citizen-activists committed to ending marijuana prohibition and legalizing marijuana. he oldest and largest marijuana legalization organization in the country, NORML maintains a professional staff in Washington, DC, headed by Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, and a network of volunteer state and local NORML Chapters across the country.[2]


NORML is the world’s oldest and largest cannabis law reform organization that is principally known for championing the legalization of cannabis in America from nine percent public support in 1970 to fifty percent today.[3]The primary functions of the organization are to:
  • Educate the public, media and elected policymakers about cannabis and alternatives to failed prohibition laws;
  • Actively lobby elected policymakers at the local, state, federal and international level to change cannabis laws;
  • Litigate in the state and federal court systems to advance reforms (or to challenge prohibition-related laws);
  • Maintain a massive and publicly accessible repository of cannabis-related information [4];
  • Provide cannabis consumers verifiable and credible legal consultations, scientific information about cannabis’ health effects and drug testing information;
  • Social and political organizing of cannabis consumers and citizens who do not support Cannabis Prohibition

Since 1994, NORML has historically had one of the most popular webpages on the Internet, and the organization currently has over 200 all-volunteer local and state affiliates and chapters, and over 600 lawyer-members who litigate, represent cannabis consumers at trial and help draft reform legislation. [5]

NORML reports that over one million concerned cannabis consumers and like-minded citizens have opted into NORML via the organization’s internal listservs and through popular social networking webpages like Facebook and Twitter.

NORML (and the NORML Foundation, which was founded in 1997) are entirely supported by grassroots support. [6], which includes donations, memberships, product sales, conference and seminar registrations, sponsorship and bequests. Neither organization possesses an endowment, a billionaire funder or celebrity financial support. NORML and the NORML Foundation rely on donations and support. NORML is dependent on the support of cannabis consumers and "liberty lovers". NORML believes that it can "push through to the finish line" as soon as most of the country is "no longer gripped in government-fostered ‘Reefer Madness’", where "the finish line" would allow farmers to once again prosper from industrial hemp cultivation, and adult consumers (which includes medical patients who therapeutically benefit from cannabis) who could posses, cultivate and purchase high quality cannabis.[7]


[IMGL=black][/IMG]NORML was founded in 1970 and has striven to provide a voice in the public policy debate for Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. NORML is a nonprofit public-interest advocacy group and represents of the many Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly.

During the 1970s, NORML led the successful efforts to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses in 11 states and significantly lower marijuana penalties in all others. NORML continues to fight to reform state and federal marijuana laws, whether by voter initiative or through the elected legislatures. NORML's sister organization, the NORML Foundation, sponsors public advertising campaigns to educate the public about marijuana and alternatives to current marijuana policy, and provides legal assistance and support to those people it considers "victims of the current laws". NORML also undertakes relevant research.[8]


NORML supports the eventual development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source. This policy, generally known as legalization, exists on various levels in a handful of European countries like The Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which have lower rates of adolescent marijuana use than the U.S. NORML believes that such a system could reduce many of the problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a "black market". [9]

Research and Drug Laws

NORML has collected a substantiate amount of marijuana-related information for over 40 years. Much of this information is now available online in NORML's Library. NORML encourages the role of science in the debate of marijuana prohibition, and believes that there is an overwhelming amount of data that has created a consensus among the scientific community in support of liberalizing the legal status of marijuana, but that it is falling on deaf ears and being dismissed by the government. NORML views the negative stance on marijuana as a result of emotion and rhetoric with a sincere disregard for science. As such, it identifies marijuana prohibition as causing more social damage than marijuana use, and the possession of marijuana use should no longer be a criminal offense.

Based on research, NORML states that the U.S. prison population is 6 to 10 times as high as most Western European nations because of the "Drug War". It has also found that the United States is a close second to Russia in its rate of incarceration per 100,000 people. In 2010, more than 850,000 people were arrested in this country for marijuana-related offenses alone.[10]

More than 30 percent of the U.S. population lives under some form of marijuana decriminalization, and according to government and academic studies, these laws have not contributed to an increase in marijuana consumption nor negatively impacted adolescent attitudes toward drug use.[11]
The NORML Legal Committee provides legal support and assistance to what it deems as "victims of the current marijuana laws". NORML also monitors developments in state and federal law, and files appellate and amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs in cases which may affect the interpretation of existing marijuana laws, hoping to change them. [12]

Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 86 percent, or 663,032 Americans, were charged with possession only.[13] The remaining 94,937 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. In past years, roughly 30 percent of those arrested were age 19 or younger.[14]

The Decriminalization Movement

NORML has three central arguments in support of the decriminalization movement. Its most appealing argument for decriminalization is the huge amount of government money now being spent on the enforcement of laws that would be saved. NORML's research cites the expense of the criminal justice system, ranging from police to corrections, with a significant portion of its budgets arresting, prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating marijuana users, dealers, and others involved in the illegal drug infrastructure. As such, if these behaviors would no longer be labeled as criminal, criminal justice agencies would reduce the enforcement and processing tasks now associated with such crimes. NORML also cites a direct relationship between the proportion of arrests or cases processed for marijuana crimes by the criminal justice system and the amount of money expended by these same agencies. By reducing or eliminating these marijuana related events, there would be a proportionate decrease in the agency expenses.

State Laws and Federal Laws and Penalties


Medical Marijuana Use and Research

Marijuana, or cannabis, has been part of humanity's medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded.[15]NORML is an advocate and huge supporter of the benefits of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients, viewing the denial of medical marijuana to the tens of thousands of sick and dying patients as the most negative part of the prohibition of marijuana. NORML feels federal authorities should rescind their prohibition of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to treat.[16]

Marijuana's therapeutic uses are well-documented in modern scientific literature. The studies indicate that marijuana provides symptomatic relief for a number of medical conditions, including nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, promoting weight gain, and diminishing intraocular pressure from glaucoma. There is also evidence that smoked marijuana and/or THC reduces muscle spasticity from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, and diminishes tremors in multiple sclerosis patients. Patients and physicians have also reported that smoked marijuana provides relief from migraine headaches, depression, seizures, insomnia and chronic pain, among other conditions.[17]

Review of Human Studies on Medical Use of Marijuana, 1996. [18]
Marijuana as Medicine - a Plea for Reconsideration[19]
Marijuana and Medicine

Personal Use

NORML supports the removal of all penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This policy, known as decriminalization, removes the consumer, the marijuana smoker, from the criminal justice system, while maintaining criminal penalties against those who sell or traffic large quantities of the drug.[20]

Industrial Hemp

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed and other products.[21]

Hemp produces a much higher yield per acre than do common substitutes such as cotton and requires few pesticides. In addition, hemp has an average growing cycle of only 100 days and leaves the soil virtually weed-free for the next planting.

The hemp plant is currently harvested for commercial purposes in over 30 nations, including Canada, Japan and the European Union. NORML reports that it grows wild across much of America and presents no public health or safety threat.[22] As such, the organization is troubled by reports of law enforcement that routinely uproot and destroy the hemp plant, where approximately 98% of all the marijuana eliminated by the DEA's "Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program" is actually hemp.[23]

The NORML legal committee is composed of attorneys committed to the overall goals of NORML.[24] NLC attorneys meet each year in Key West and Aspen to discuss emerging legal issues related to defense of marijuana consumers, and to support each other in the pursuit of justice. The NLC assists NORML by informing NORML of current trends in law enforcement and important judicial decisions, providing NORML with copies of relevant briefs and other legal documents, and by making themselves available to provide expert legal assistance in important cases. These criminal defense lawyers regularly defend individuals charged with marijuana offenses, and they frequently provide pro bono assistance in important or unusual cases which may set favorable legal precedent or otherwise impact public policy. A few of the many victories NORML lawyers have won include:[25]
  • Securing the right of some patients to use marijuana medicinally, via the defense of medical necessity.
  • Halting government use of dangerous herbicides (e.g., paraquat) for marijuana eradication.
  • Protecting marijuana smokers from double jeopardy.
  • Protecting people from unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Limiting the National Guard's participation in enforcing marijuana prohibition.
  • Securing access to parks and other public spaces for rallies, protests and concerts.
  • Limiting law enforcement officers' ability to conduct random and warrant-less searches of passenger buses.
  • Limiting helicopter overflights and infrared searches.
  • Securing the return of patients' seized marijuana.

NORML maintains a computer list-serve for the NLC where members can locate a needed brief or motion, find an expert witness, brainstorm the theory of a case, or seek other legal help. The NORML Foundation maintains a legal director who can provide help to NLC members who call for assistance. Currently, more than 350 practicing defense attorneys belong to the NLC.[26] By defending marijuana smokers and challenging inappropriate law enforcement activities, the NLC has been a major force in the fight against marijuana prohibition.


In 2001, NORML filed an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Supreme Court which involved patient support groups ("buyers' clubs") that provide medical marijuana to seriously ill patients in California. [27] The Supreme Court's decision was not favorable to the buyers' clubs, causing a blow to the organization's efforts to support the tens of thousands of seriously ill patients who use marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering, who will no longer have a safe and secure source for their medical marijuana.
In 2002, NORML filed another amicus curiae brief in support of students at an Oklahoma public high school who did not wish to be drug-tested prior to participating in extra-curricular activities such as the chess club, the marching band, and Future Farmers of America. [28]

November, 2011: NORML Attorneys Matt Kumin, David Michael and Alan Silber have filed suit in the four federal districts in California to challenge the Obama Administration's recent crackdown on medical marijuana operations in the Golden State. Aided by expert testimony from NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano and research from California NORML Director Dale Gieringer, the suits seek an injunction against the recent federal intrusion into state medical marijuana laws at least and at most a declaration of the unconstitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act with respect to state regulation of medical marijuana.

A brief of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as AMICI CURIAE in Support of Respondents:
United States of America vs. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, et al

Other notable cases:
Landmark Legal Case, NORML v. DEA: September 6, 1988, in the matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition. [29]; U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

November 9, 2011: NORML Attorneys Matt Kumin, David Michael and Alan Silber have filed suit in the four federal districts in California to challenge the Obama Administration's recent crackdown on medical marijuana operations in the Golden State. Aided by expert testimony from NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano and research from California NORML Director Dale Gieringer, the suits seek an injunction against the recent federal intrusion into state medical marijuana laws at least and at most a declaration of the unconstitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act with respect to state regulation of medical marijuana. [30]

NORML's Foundation Board and Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization, setting NORML policy and approving policy initiatives. The Board, comprised of 16 individuals, elects the officers of the corporation, whose responsibilities are defined in the bylaws, and hires the Executive Director. The NORML Foundation, on the other hand, is run by a five-member Board of Directors that sets foundation policy and approves policy initiatives.[31]

Currently the board includes prominent scientists, researchers, businessmen and women, writers, attorneys and producers, including television and movie producer Ann Druyan; author and commentator Barbara Ehrenreich, and NORML founder, public-interest attorney Keith Stroup.

Paul Kuhn, a long-time NORML supporter and activist from Nashville, TN, serves as chair of the Board, and Norm Kent, Esq., a publisher and criminal defense attorney based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, serves as vice-chair.
[​IMG]Paul Kuhn (Chair):

Mr. Paul Kuhn is a partner with an investment management firm in Nashville, Tennessee. A Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vanderbilt University and a former Navy officer, he received his MBA degree from Indiana University.

His late wife, Jeanne, died in 1996 following a long fight with cancer, during which she found medical marijuana the only relief that allowed her to continue several regimens of chemotherapy.

Mr. Kuhn is a long-time NORML supporter and activist. He ran the Illinois NORML program during the 1970s when he lived in Chicago and served on the NORML board for a number of years during the 1980s. He rejoined the board in 1996 and now chairs the NORML Foundation's Development Committee.[32]

Normal Elliott Kent, Esq. (Vice-Chair):
Norman Elliott Kent, a graduate of Hofstra University, who first joined NORML as a college senior in 1971, is now a publisher and criminal defense attorney based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, handling First Amendment, constitutional rights, and media law cases. A pioneer in medical necessity defenses for marijuana users, such as Elvy Mussika, Norm has represented patients, growers, and buyer's clubs throughout Florida for over 30 years. As far back as 1982, he sued the State of Florida to stop the deadly herbicide paraquat from being sprayed on marijuana fields.

Norm has authored 'The Pot Warriors Manifesto', contributes marijuana advocacy columns to, and has lectured at multiple NORML legal seminars, conferences and other events on cannabis law issues. A member of the NORML Legal Committee for over twenty years, Norm is a cancer survivor who is an open and out medical marijuana user himself, crediting marijuana with ameliorating the harsh nature of chemotherapy treatments.

A noted advocate for gay rights who has appeared as a commentator on CNN and FOX News, Kent is also presently the publisher of The South Florida Gay News, the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the State of Florida.

Mr. Kent first served on the NORML board from 1992 to 1994, rejoining the board in 1998 to the present date.[33]

Smoke the Vote 2012

[​IMG] NORML created a campaign called "Smoke the Vote 2012", viewing the 2012 election as the most important one yet in the world of marijuana law reform. Three states, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon voted to legalize marijuana use by responsible adults and Montana, along with Massachusetts, voted on medical marijuana issues.[34]

Support NORML

The NORML Foundation, NORML's sister organization, is a nonprofit foundation that was established in 1997 with the mission to better educate the public about marijuana and marijuana policy options, and to assist its view of who are victims of the current laws.

The NORML Foundation has been qualified as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation by the Internal Revenue Service, and donations to the foundation are tax-deductible.

The NORML Foundation sponsors public advertising campaigns designed to inform the public about the costs of marijuana prohibition and the benefits of alternative policies; distributes a weekly press release to the national media and citizen activists focusing on recent developments pertaining to marijuana research and policy; publishes a regular newsletter; provides legal assistance and support to those persons it views as "victims" of the current marijuana laws; undertakes relevant research; and hosts, with NORML, an informative web site and an annual conference.[35]

NORML also has a Monthly Pledge Program.[36] NORML encourages donations by offering this program. Upon joining the program, members choose the amount he or she wishes to contribute. Monthly pledges help NORML plan for the future and allows it to keep its work with federal and state governments to legalize marijuana use for responsible adults.

NORML also has a NORML Foundation Featured Charity. CharityChoice Gift Cards are offered benefit the NORML Foundation (75% - pre-designated) and the charities that gift-recipients designate (25% - selected at redemption). Gift-recipients are presented with a list of over 250 charities to choose from, including a banner with NORML Foundation as the 'Featured Charity'.[37]

Marijuana Law Reform Timeline

NORML’s and Marijuana Law Reform Timeline in America:[38]

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Date Event
04/29/1911 Commonwealth of Massachusetts becomes first state to ban cannabis in the United States of America
08/02/1937 President Franklin Roosevelt signed federal legislation that banned cannabis use, production and sales; including for industrial hemp.
1941 President Franklin Roosevelt signs an executive order that allow for emergency hemp production for industrial uses during War World II for canvas, cordage, rope, oil and fodder. Numerous Midwest states were subsidized to produce industrial hemp in support of the war effort.
1943 Medical products derived from cannabis were removed from the US Formulary and physicians could no longer prescribe it.
1945 As soon as the war concluded, the Roosevelt administration re-banned industrial hemp production, stopped subsidizing its production and teaching farmers how to cultivate it.
Facing stiff federal penalties, industrial hemp farmers had to plow under their hemp crops and pharmacists had to have all cannabis-related medicines off of store shelves.
1965 Beat poet Allen Ginsberg convenes one of the first organized public protests against Cannabis Prohibition laws, wearing hand written signs around his neck that read ‘Pot is a reality check’ and ‘Pot is fun!’ The effort was originally called ‘LeMar’, and later became the California-based reform organization, Amorphia.
1968-1969 Appellate court challenges to the 1937 ‘Reefer Madness’ anti-cannabis laws force the federal government to create a Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1969 Amorphia is founded in Mill Valley, California. The group funds itself by selling popular rolling papers.
1970 President Richard Nixon creates blue ribbon commission to review cannabis laws, historically known as the Shafer Commission.
1970 Public interest attorney R. Keith Stroup founds the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in Washington, D.C.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) becomes law and for the first time sets up a scheduling system for illicit and licit substances, classifying cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance with “a high potential for abuse; … no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; … [and a] lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”
The CSA called for a presidential commission to convene to examine cannabis policy, later to be known as the Shafer Commission.
1971 First political pro-reform conference, the First People’s Pot Conference, convened by NORML in Washington, D.C.
1972 The Shafer Commission recommends that cannabis should be decriminalized for personal use; and that personal cultivation be allowed along with small transfers for no profit (Nixon and US Congress reject recommendations). NORML takes the commission findings to all fifty states encouraging adoption of state decriminalization laws.
NORML files first ever lawsuit to re-schedule cannabis for medical use, under the Controlled Substance Act, NORML vs. DEA.
Amorphia merges into NORML.
1973 Oregon becomes the first state to pass cannabis decriminalization legislation
1975 NORML helps Robert Randall of Washington, D.C. become first legal medical cannabis patient ever in America.
1976 President Jimmy Carter endorses the Shafer Commission’s findings and sends a statement to Congress on August 3 asking them to decriminalize cannabis possession in America for adults.
1980 President Reagan is elected to the White House (along with his wife Nancy’s anti-cannabis crusade) and this effectively ends ‘an era of decriminalization’, from 1973 to 1981, culminating with eleven states having decriminalized marijuana possession at the time (AK, OR, CA, CO, NE, MN, MS, OH, NC, NY and ME).
1980-1988 NORML’s darkest days politically and financially with most of the political efforts directed to 1.) Successfully lobbying 36 states to pass non-binding medical cannabis laws (usually legislative resolutions encouraging the federal government to change the Controlled Substances Act to allow for the medicinal use of cannabis) and 2.) Organizing local stakeholders for cannabis law reforms in the form of active NORML chapters in most of the states.
1988 Drug Enforcement Administration administrative law judge Francis Young rules in favor of NORML to make cannabis a medicine, citing among many affirming reasons “Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
The Reagan administration and Department of Justice appealed DEA administrative law judge Young’s ruling seeking to uphold a total ban on cannabis—even for sick, dying or sense-threatened medical patients whose physicians recommend cannabis as a safe and non-toxic therapeutic agent.
1991 San Francisco become the first city to pass an ordinance—with a 79% support rate— in favor of medical patients having access to cannabis.
1993 NORML launches its first webpage on the World Wide Web (aka, Internet)
1994 California Governor Pete Wilson vetoes popularly passed medical cannabis from the state legislature.
In a two-to-one decision, the US District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. ruled in favor of the Drug Enforcement Administration in long-suffering NORML vs. DEA. NORML chooses not to appeal to US Supreme Court in fear of making ‘bad’ law.
1996 California citizens place on the ballot and champion to victory Proposition 215 which sought to ‘legalize’ medical cannabis use, possession and cultivation. After numerous federal legal challenges, the basic law and right of doctors to recommend cannabis were affirmed.
1997 NORML Foundation founded
Arizona’s voters also approve medical cannabis laws, but, because of problems with the language of the initiative, the law was never implemented.
1998 Numerous states pass medical cannabis laws and patient protections: Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Arizona (though, again, the legislature failed to implement the will of the voters who approved a second medical cannabis initiative).
A legislative effort in Oregon is successfully made to place a ‘cannabis re-criminalization’ initiative on the ballot, which fails, 32%-68% as Oregonians prove they really like their so-called cannabis ‘de-crim’ laws.
1999 Maine voters approved a medical cannabis initiative.
2000 Nevada and Colorado voters approved medical cannabis initiatives.
Hawaii legislature passed medical cannabis legislation.
2004 Montana voters approved a medical cannabis initiative.
Vermont’s legislature passed medical cannabis legislation.
2006 Rhode Island legislature passed medical cannabis legislation.
2007 New Mexico legislature passed medical cannabis legislation.
2008 Michigan voters approve medical cannabis initiative.
Massachusetts voters approve a cannabis decriminalization initiative.
2010 Arizona voters approve medical cannabis initiative for the third time since 1996.
District of Columbia City Council passed medical cannabis legislation.
New Jersey legislature passed medical cannabis legislation.
Voters in California narrowly defeat a cannabis legalization initiative, 53%-47%.
2011 Delaware legislature passed medical cannabis legislation.
Connecticut legislature passed cannabis decriminalization legislation.
06/23/YEAR??? NORML gets the first ever cannabis legalization bill introduced into the US Congress

NORML Women's Alliance

The NORML Women’s Alliance is a nonpartisan coalition of socially and geographically diverse women who believe that marijuana prohibition is a self-destructive and hypocritical policy that undermines the American family, sends a mixed and false message to our young people, and destroys the cherished principles of personal liberty and local self-government.

The NORML Women bring a contemporary approach to the public policy debate, and represent the interests of modern, mainstream women who believe that the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition far outweigh any repercussions from marijuana consumption itself. The NORML Women’s Alliance also presents a core group of national spokeswomen ready to interact with the public and the media on the important issue of marijuana legalization. [39]

NORML Canada

NORML Canada is a non-profit, public interest, member operated and funded group, chartered at the federal level in Canada since 1978. The organization aims to eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for private marijuana use – through government lobbying, public education, research, and legislative and judicial challenges. NORML Canada believes that the present policy of discouraging marijuana use through the use of criminal and/or civil law has been excessively costly and harmful to both society and the individual. [40]

NORML Canada is led by a Board of Directors that is composed of four Executive Officers and five Regional Directors. The Board determines organizational policy and approves action initiatives. Furthermore, the Board appoints the Executive Director and the NORML Canada Staff, who are themselves responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization. [41]

Executive Officers:
» President - John W. Conroy
» Vice President - Alan Young
» Treasurer - Mike Foster

Regional Directors:
» Ontario - Paul Lewin
» Prairies - Keith Fagin

Regional Coordinators:
» Ontario - Kevin Benson
» Prairies - Debbie Fagin

Executive Director - Marc Boris St-Maurice
Director of Commercial Relations - Mike Foster
Director of the NORML Canada Legal Committee - John W. Conro

History of Awards and Recognition from NORML, 1998-2012

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws presents awards at NORML events, legal seminars and conferences in recognition of extraordinary activism, academic study or political and cultural leadership in the field of marijuana and marijuana policy reform. [42]

The awards are named in honor of the lifetime work of their namesake.

NORML's Lifetime Achievement Award in Grateful Recognition of A Lifetime Dedicated to Reforming Unjust Marijuana Laws and Advancing the Cause of Personal Freedom

2012 Steve Hager, High Times Magazine and Kevin Zeese, Esq.
2011 Richard Evans, Esq.
2010 Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D
2009 Steve Dillon, Chair NORML Board of Directors
2008 Michael Stepanian, Esq.
2007 Ed Rosenthal
2006 Dan Viets, Esq., NORML Board of Directors
2005 Michael Aldrich, Ph.D.
2004 Paul Kuhn, NORML Board of Directors
2002 Jack Herer, author, Emperor Wears No Clothes
2001 Richard Cowan,
1998 Arnold Trebach

Hunter S. Thompson NORML Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Ending Marijuana Prohibition

2012 Dominic Holden, Seattle Stranger
2011 WestWorld
2010 Reason Foundation
2009 High Times Magazine
2008 Media Awareness Project, Inc (in memory of Derek Rea)
2007 Michael Gray
2006 Fred Gardner, Editor, O'Shaughnessy's
2005 Rick Steves, Best Selling Travel Author and TV Host
2004 Steve Bloom, Editor, High Times Magazine
2002 Bill Maher
2001 Ron Mann, Director, Grass: The Movie

Peter McWilliams Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Medical Marijuana

2012 Clint Werner, Author, San Francisco
2011 David Bearman, M.D.
2010 Richard Bayer, M.D.
2009 Don Duncan, ASA
2008 Dennis Peron
2007 Martin Martinez
2006 Jane Weirich [posthumously]
2005 Angel Raich and Diane Monson, Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck
2004 Irv Rosenfeld, Federal Medical Marijuana Patient
2003 Cheryl/Jim Miller & Mike/Valerie Corral
2002 State Rep. Chris Giunchigliani, (D-NV), and State Sen. Mark Leno, (D-CA)
2001 Terence Hallinan, District Attorney, San Francisco

Pauline Sabine Award in Recognition of the Importance Of Women Leadership Positions in Organizations Dedicated to Ending Marijuana Prohibition

2012 Diane Fornbacher, NORML Women's Alliance
2011 Anna Diaz, OR NORML
2010 Steph Sherer, Americans for Safe Access
2009 Tonya Davis, Ohio medical cannabis activist
2008 Alison Chinn-Holcomb, Esq.
2007 Madeline Martinez
2006 Mikki Norris
2005 Debbie Goldsberry
2004 Mary Lynn Mathre, R.N., Patients Out Of Time

NORML's Outstanding Cannabis Advocate Award for Advancing the Cause of Marijuana Law Reform

2012 Erik Williams
2011 Warren Edson, Esq.
2010 Leland Berger, Esq.
2009 Richard Lee, Oaksterdam
2008 Seattle Hempfest
2007 Diane and Bryan Brickner; John and Heather Masterson
2006 Mason Tvert, SAFER
2005 Stephen Epstein, Esq.
2004 Chris Conrad, court qualified cannabis expert, and Mikki Norris, Cannabis Consumers Campaign
2003 Elvy Musikka, Federal Medical Marijuana Patient

Outstanding NORML Chapter Award in Recognition of the Important Role Of Volunteer Activists Organized as Local and Regional NORML Chapters in the Fight to Legalize Marijuana

2012 Orange County NORML, CA

Rufus King, Sr. Award For Outstanding Public Leadership in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform

2011 Congressman Jared Polis, (D-CO)
2010 U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, (D-OR)
2009 Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, (D-CA)
2008 US Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-CA)
2007 Judge James Gray
2006 SF Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, (D-CA)
2002 State Sen. John Vasconcellos, (D-CA)
2001 Gov. Gary Johnson, (R-NM)
1999 Doug Mickelsen

Lester Grinspoon Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform in Grateful Recognition of Tireless Dedication to Reforming Unjust Marijuana Laws, the Selfless Devotion to Advancing the Cause of Personal Freedom and the Willingness, Regardless of the Professional Consequences

2011 Gerald Goldstein, Esq.
2010 Harry Levine, Ph.D and Craig Reinarman, Ph.D
2009 Donald Abrams, MD, USF Medical School
2008 Tony Serra, Esq.
2007 Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D.
2006 Tod Mikuriya, M.D.
2005 Dale Gieringer, Ph.D.
2004 Melanie Dreher, Ph.D., R.N., Dean, University of Iowa School of Nursing
2003 Nadine Strossen, Esq., President, ACLU and Woody Harrelson
2002 Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D, Drug Policy Alliance
2001 Ira Glasser, Director, ACLU
2000 Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D and John Morgan, M.D.
1999 Lester Grinspoon, MD

NORML's Student Activism Award for Motivating and Empowering Young People to End Marijuana Prohibition

2011 Evan Nison
2010 Jesse Stout, UC Hastings College of the Law
2009 Derek Copp (MI)
2008 University of Central Florida Chapter
2007 John Cleveland Lucy
2006 Lauren Vazquez, University of California, Santa Barbara NORML
2005 Chris Mulligan
2004 Richard Bradford, Florida State University NORML
2003 Shawn Heller, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

NORML Board of Directors Special Appreciation Award

2011 Ben Masel
2007 Hunter S. Thompson (posthumously)
2006 Tommy Chong, Comedian/Actor
2006 Jon Nicholson, Musician
2006 Phil Harvey, DKT Liberty Project
2004 R. Keith Stroup
2001 John Gilmore

NORML Cannabis and Culinary Award

2008 Charlie Baggs and Newman (Chicago, IL)
2007 Chris Lanter (Cache Cache, Aspen, CO)

Concerning medical marijuana
Victims of U.S.A.'s Pot Wars
Marijuana Tax Stamp
State Data
Know Your Rights

See Also

State Lawyers
News Releases


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