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National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
FounderR. Keith Stroup, Esq.
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
Key peopleAllen St. Pierre, Richard Cowan, Jon Gettman, R. Keith Stroup
Area servedUnited States
FocusReforming marijuana laws in United States

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML, pronounced "normal") is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose aim is to "move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of cannabis prohibition so that the responsible use of this drug by adults is no longer subject to penalty." According to their website, NORML "supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts," and "supports the development of a legally controlled market for cannabis."

NORML and the NORML Foundation support both the victims of cannabis prohibition and the stakeholders working to reform current laws.

In the 2006 United States midterm elections, NORML promoted several successful local initiatives that declared marijuana enforcement to be the lowest priority for local law enforcement and freeing-up police resources to combat violent and serious crime.

NORML will support efforts now underway in other states such as California to legalize and tax marijuana, which is now the largest cash crop in the United States,[1] as a means of coping with growing federal and state deficits, without having to raise other taxes.



NORML was founded in 1970, and since, the organization has played a central role in the cannabis decriminalization movement. The organization has a large grassroots network with 135 chapters and over 550 lawyers. NORML holds both annual conferences and CLE-quality legal seminars. Once its board of directors included prominent figures such as Senator Philip Hart and Jacob Javits.[2]

NORML Foundation

The NORML Foundation, the organization's tax-exempt unit, conducts educational and research activities.

Examples of the NORML Foundation's advocacy work is a detailed 2006 report, Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis.[3]

A comprehensive report with county-by-county marijuana arrest data, Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrest in America, was published in 2005.[4]

In October 1998, NORML Foundation published the NORML Report on U.S. Domestic Marijuana Production that was widely cited in the mainstream media. The report methodically estimated the value and number of cannabis plants grown in 1997, finding that Drug Enforcement Administration, state and local law enforcement agencies seized 32% of domestic cannabis plants planted that year. According to the report, "Marijuana remains the fourth largest cash crop in America despite law enforcement spending an estimated $10 billion annually to pursue efforts to outlaw the plant."[5] Recent studies show that marijuana is larger than all other cash crops combined.[1]

NORML administration

Board of Directors


  • Steve Dillon, Esq. (Chair)
  • Dale Gieringer, Ph.D. (Vice Chair)
  • Valerie Corral
  • Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
  • Ann Druyan
  • Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Dominic Holden
  • Norman Elliott Kent, Esq.
  • Paul Kuhn
  • Nancy Lord, M.D., Esq.
  • Christopher Mulligan
  • George Rohrbacher
  • Jeffrey Steinborn
  • Allen St. Pierre
  • R. Keith Stroup, Esq.
  • Clifford W. Thornton, Jr.
  • Richard M. Wolfe
  • Dan Viets, J.D.
  • Peter Vilkelis

Advisory Board

  • Willie Nelson, Co-Chair (singer and songwriter)
  • Nadine Strossen, Esq., Co-Chair (President, American Civil Liberties Union)
  • David Boaz (Executive Vice-President, Cato Institute)
  • Tommy Chong (comedian, actor, director, author)
  • Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Psychology)
  • Lester Grinspoon, M.D. (Harvard Medical School (emeritus))
  • Terence Hallinan, Esq. (San Francisco District Attorney)
  • Woody Harrelson (actor)
  • Bill Maher (comedian and social satirist)
  • Ron Mann (documentary filmmaker)
  • Rob Van Dam (Former WWE superstar)
  • John P. Morgan, M.D. (Physician and Professor of Pharmacology)
  • Kary Mullis, Ph.D. (1993 Nobel Laureate (Chemistry))
  • Mark Stepnoski (former NFL star)
  • Daniel Stern (actor, writer and director)
  • Rick Steves (travel writer, television host)

Hunter S. Thompson and Robert Altman were also members of the Board until their deaths.

Executive directors

  • Keith Stroup (1970-1979, 1995-2004)
  • George Farnham (1979-1982)
  • Kevin Zeese (1982-1986)
  • Jon Gettman (1986-1989)
  • Donald Fiedler (1989-1991)
  • Richard Cowan (1992-1995)[6]
  • Allen St. Pierre (2005-present); Founding Director of the NORML Foundation, (1996-present)


  1. ^ a b Bailey, Eric. "Pot is called biggest cash crop", Los Angeles Times, 2006-12-18. Retrieved on 2007-04-22. 
  2. ^ Carlson, Peter (January 4, 2005), " ", Washington Post: C01, .
  3. ^ Recent Research on Medical Marijuana (2007-02-03). Retrieved on 2007-04-22.
  4. ^ Crimes of Indiscretion (2005-03-07). Retrieved on 2007-04-22.
  5. ^ NORML Report on U.S. Domestic Marijuana Production (2005-03-07). Retrieved on 2007-04-22.
  6. ^ Biographical Data on Richard Cowan. The Marijuana Times. Retrieved on 2007-04-22.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "National_Organization_for_the_Reform_of_Marijuana_Laws". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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