NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.
(Adopted by the NORML Board of Directors, June 29, 2013)
National NORML History
The oldest and largest marijuana legalization organization in the country, NORML maintains a professional staff in Washington, DC, headed by Executive Director Erik Altieri, Deputy Director Paul Armentano and Political Director, Justin Strekal. NORML works with a network of volunteer state and local NORML Chapters across the country.
Since its founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of 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.
Today NORML continues to lead the fight to reform state and federal marijuana laws, whether by voter initiative or through the elected legislatures. 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.
(Because NORML lobbies state and federal legislators, donations to NORML are not tax-deductible.)
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The Arizona chapter of NORML was founded in 1990 by Bill Greene. The chapter was involved in several legalization efforts through the 90s including the Prop 200 campaign of 1996 and the successful challenge of the Arizona Marijuana Tax Stamp law. Notable leaders of the era included Greene, Peter Wilson, Chuck Hadd, Stan Wirick, and Will Van Arsdale. Later, under the leadership of Kathy (Tea) Inman Arizona NORML played a key role in the 2010 AMMA ballot measure which created Arizona’s medical marijuana program.
Since 2015 Arizona NORML has played a significant role in shaping cannabis law at the state legislative level and helped draft and campaign for 2016’s Prop 205 initiative. We hold educational presentations and distribute cannabis information to the general public around the state. We organize and connect local activist groups in rural areas, and create projects with volunteer activists in the PHX metro area. We are lead organizers of the annual SWCC Cannabis Conference and Expo in addition to staffing info booths at cannabis events statewide. In addition, AZ-NORML connects Arizona to the national NORML office.
We also help organize court support in PHX metro and host a 24-7 hotline for “cannabis emergencies.”