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Speaker Bios


Erik Altieri

Erik Altieri

Erik Altieri is the Executive Director of NORML.


Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. His writing and research have appeared in over 1,000 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green), which has been licensed and translated internationally. His most recent book, The Citizen's Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (2015), is available from Whitman Publishing. His writing also appears in the just-published book, The Medical Marijuana Dispensary: Understanding, Medicating, and Cooking with Cannabis (2016), available from Althea Press. He is a regular contributor to The Hill, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications.

Mr. Armentano was the principal investigator for defense counsel in US v Schweder et al., the first federal evidentiary hearing in over 40 years to challenge the classification of cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance. He was also a rebuttal expert in the successful Canadian constitutional challenge, Allard et al v Her Majesty the Queen, which determined that prohibitions on the rights of qualified patients to cultivate cannabis in their homes were "not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." Mr. Armentano is the 2013 Freedom Law School Health Freedom Champion of the Year and the 2013 Alfred R. Lindesmith award recipient in the achievement in the field of scholarship.


Joy Beckerman

Joy Beckerman

Joy Beckerman is the Principal Industrial Hemp Specialist at Hemp Ace International, a New York-based consulting, legal support, expert witness, and brokerage firm serving the global community. She is the Vice President of the Hemp Industries Association, founded in 1994 and sits on the National Board of Directors of NORML, founded in 1970. In addition to serving as an expert witness in both criminal and administrative matters, Joy is also The Seminar Group's National Industrial Hemp Continuing Legal Education Co-Chair. After excelling in paralegal studies and joining the Cannabis Movements in the spring of 1990, Joy opened the first industrial hemp store in the State of New York, in Woodstock, in 1994. She also led her first legalization march and rally at that time. When the inaugural Vermont Hemp Bill passed in 1996, Joy relocated her family to Burlington to serve as Secretary to the Vermont Hemp Council.

While continuing her work in industrial hemp, Joy commenced an extensive dual career in compliance and complex civil litigation legal support in late 1998, supporting some of the West Coast's most distinguished attorneys at such firms as Dorsey & Whitney and Lee Smart. In addition to working on the high-profile Enron and Exxon Valdez cases against those corporations, Joy has been the Lead Paralegal for several multi-million-dollar civil lawsuits, including the largest municipal securities fraud litigation in the history of Washington State. Her vast professional and hemp experience well serves her roles as an effective advisor and respected voice and leader in shaping law, policy, standards, and ethics in the rapidly developing hemp industries. Joy is a renowned public speaker, writer, and educator throughout North America, instructing on hemp subjects from history, law, agronomy, infrastructure, and phytocannabinoids to permaculture, hempcrete, and the wide spectrum of hemp industries. In addition to conducting continuing legal education seminars for practicing attorneys, she has presented at numerous universities, colleges, symposiums and panels for more than two decades, speaks regularly at a variety of conferences, and frequently contributes to media coverage. Joy is also a Guest Lecturer at Seattle University School of Law and Oregon State University.

Joy officially formed Hemp Ace International in February of 2014. Permaculture and regenerative agriculture are the foundation of Joy's mission, and they play a fundamental role in her work and purpose. As the Principal Industrial Hemp Specialist at Hemp Ace International, Joy provides comprehensive professional industrial hemp education, legal support, consulting, and expert witness services, both domestic and foreign. Her world class instructional programs are enhanced by her global network of industrial hemp agronomists, breeders, processors, manufacturers and experts. She is a broker-distributor of a wide spectrum of industrial hemp raw and processed materials and manufactured goods, including fiber, bulk food ingredients, building materials, textiles, rope / cordage / twine / yarns, apparel, paper, body care, phytocannabinoids, and biocomposite/bioresin components.

Joy received the Hemp Industries Association's "2014 National Hemp Activist of the Year" Award and Seattle Hempfest's "2016 Regional Cannabis Activist of the Year" Award. She works with lawmakers and regulators in multiple states both proactively and upon request. Educated stewardship of the valuable, versatile, sustainable industrial hemp crop and industries is Joy's calling and driving force.


Hilary Bricken

Hilary Bricken

Hilary V. Bricken is a partner at Harris Bricken in its Los Angeles office. Licensed to practice law in California, Washington, and Florida, she is one of the premier cannabis business and regulatory attorneys in the United States. As chair of Harris Bricken's Regulated Substances practice group, which includes the Canna Law Group, she helps cannabis companies of all sizes with their cannabis related legal issues.

In 2013, based on her work in the marijuana industry, The Puget Sound Business Journal named Ms. Bricken one of seven Deal Makers of the Year. From 2014 through 2017, she was named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine. Also in 2015, the Puget Sound Business Journal named Hilary to its Top 40 Under 40 list for business and leadership, and in 2017 the American Bar Association named Hilary a Top 40 Under 40 "On the Rise" attorney in the United States. Hilary also authors a weekly column for Above the Law that features content on marijuana policy and regulation, and Hilary is a regular contributor to and editor of her firm's Canna Law Blog.


John Conroy

John Conroy

Mr. Conroy is a Barrister and Solicitor who graduated from the University of British Columbia Law School in 1971 and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1972. He has his own law firm, Conroy & Company, based in Abbotsford, British Columbia and his practice is primarily as Defence counsel in criminal matters with an additional focus on sentencing and post-sentencing matters which involves an extensive administrative law and constitutional law practice. From 1975 - 1980 he was the Director of Abbotsford Community Legal Services. From 1980 - 1990 he was the Director of British Columbia Prison Legal Services. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Corrections & Institutions of the Canadian Bar Association (B.C. branch) from 1978-1979. He was a Member and then Chair, CBA National Task Force on Imprisonment and Release from 1985 – 1988. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Imprisonment and Release of the National Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Bar Association from 1988 to 2001. He is a Member of the Board of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. In 1992 Mr. Conroy was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation for significant contributions to Canada, community and fellow Canadians. In January 1996 Mr. Conroy was appointed Queen's Counsel. In August 2005 he was awarded the Gold medal of the International Society for the Reform of the Criminal Law in recognition of his contribution to the goals of the Society. In 2012 he received the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal. He was awarded the 2014 Liberty Award by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association for Excellence in Legal Advocacy. In 2015 he received from the Office of the Correctional Investigator for Canada, the Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award.


Leonard Frieling

Leonard Frieling

Leonard I. Frieling is the creator and chair of the Colorado Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee, Colorado NORML Board Member Emeritus, Life Member NLC, and "rejuvenator" of the "Life Member, NLC" option, 4 decades of criminal defense work, including 8 years chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar 2 years chair, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Committee Executive Council. Awarded "Courage Under Fire" for resigning as a judge as a political statement opposing proposed pot offense penalty increases in Lafayette, Colorado. Inventor of the yearly Hunter Thompson Scholarship for the NORML Aspen Conference. With the support and help of our board, we've sponsored one or two complete scholarships for a long list of people who became superstars in the legalization effort internationally. Nationally and occasionally internationally known lecturer, writer, and activist on marijuana legalization issues. My Canary iPhone app LLC member and developer, objectively measures behavioral influence of any substance, including just being tired, on ones performance. Numerous media appearances, including co-hosting Time4Hemp for a number of years. Speaker for LEAP Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Taught classes at University of Colorado. Presented (and helped create) alternate 4/20 events at University of Colorado. Presenter at a number of Denver 4/20 and Boulder 4/20 events. Proud graduate of Rutgers Law, working with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Two terms, Boulder Bar Assoc. Board of Directors. Two terms, Colorado Municipal Judges Association. Two terms, VALE (Victims and Law Enforcement Board) allocating money to victims' groups. Creator of the Colorado Bar Association website. Creator of the Colorado Criminal Bar Association listservs. Life member of the Colorado Criminal Bar Association. Creator of the "life member" option for the CCDB.


Gerald "Gerry" Harris Goldstein

Gerald Gerry Harris Goldstein

Gerry Goldstein is a nationally known and respected defense lawyer at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley in San Antonio, Texas. He is a past president of both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has served as amicus curiae for NACDL in many high-profile cases, including CNN v. Manuel Noriega and Joe Does v. United States, arguing lawyers should not be required to disclose the identity of cash-paying clients on IRS forms.

His forceful Congressional testimony during the 1996 House Waco hearings is credited with helping to turn the tide against further suppression of citizens' rights in America. More recently, he represented Dr. Al-Badr Al Hazmi, a fifth-year radiology resident in San Antonio who was arrested on Sept. 12, 2001. Subsequently, Goldstein testified before Congress on his client's request to speak with counsel.

Gerry Goldstein is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Texas Lawyer's Legal Legends. He also has been profiled in numerous publications, served as an adjunct professor of law at University of Texas School of Law in Austin and at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio and is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

He also is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In his role as an adjunct professor, Gerry teaches a course titled Advanced Criminal Law (Defense of a Complex Federal Prosecution). Other lectures and presentations include U.S. Supreme Court updates, Crawford & the Current State of the Hearsay Rule, Crossing the Double Crosser and Federal Appeals.

His published works include: Grand Jury Practice; Pretrial Release; Indictment [Joinder/Severance/Transfer]; Pretrial Motions; Suppression of Evidence; Jury Selection; Trial [Evidence]; Examination of Witnesses; Jury Instructions; Closing Arguments; Creative Trial Techniques; Criminal Issues - Civil Cases; Jury Arguments [Closings to Remember]; Search and Seizure; Life and Hearsay - Post Crawford Era; Federal Appeals; and Supreme Court Review.

Gerry earned his juris doctor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, in 1968. He also graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1965, with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.

Gerry received a certification in Criminal Law in 1975 from the State Bar of Texas. He holds the following bar admissions: Texas (1968), Colorado (1989), U.S. District Court Western District of Texas (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit (1982), U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit (1983), U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit (1979), U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit (1983), U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit (1981) and the U.S. Supreme Court (1975).

Gerry Goldstein received NORML's Al Horn Memorial award in 1999, which commemorated a lifetime of advocacy and support for responsible marijuana law reform. He has also received the following honors and awards: Best Lawyers in America, 1987 -- Present; Texas Monthly - Texas Super Lawyers; Top 100 Texas Super Lawyers; Top 50 Central and West Texas Region Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2003 -- 2007; Scene in SA Monthly - San Antonio's Best Attorneys, San Antonio Law, Top Ten Lawyers, 2004 -- present; Texas Lawyer Legal Legends, 100 Best Lawyers over Last 100 years (100 Year Anniversary of State Bar of Texas), 2000; Fellow, State Bar Foundation, 1976 -- Present; Recipient, Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award [Outstanding Criminal Defense Attorney in the United States] from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1991; Recipient, Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas from the State Bar of Texas, 1991; Justice Albert Tate, Jr. Award [Outstanding Contribution to Criminal Advocacy] from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1993; Recipient, John Henry Faulk Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from the American Civil Liberties Union; Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2002; Marquis Who's Who, Who's Who in American Law, 14th Edition, 2006 -- 2008; First Annual Michael J. Kennedy Social Justice Award, George Washington University, (May, 2016); William S. Sessions American Inns of Court First Annual Goldstein Award of Excellence (2015); San Antonio Bar Association, Joe Frazier Brown, Jr., Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Legal Community & Citizens of Texas, 2016.

He is a member of the following professional associations: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Past President (1994 -- 1995); Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Past President; International Academy of Trial Lawyers; American College of Trial Lawyers; American Board of Criminal Lawyers; American Board of Trial Advocates, President ; Dean's Round Table, University of Texas School of Law; Texas Civil Liberties Union; San Antonio Bar Association; American Bar Association; and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.


Hal Haddon

Hal Haddon

As one of the founding members of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, Hal Haddon's practice focuses on representing individuals and companies in white collar crime, complex civil litigation, and government investigations. He has broad expertise in many areas of criminal and civil litigation in state and federal courts across the country.

Hal consistently has been recognized by his peers as one of the top trial attorneys in the country and he is well known for his vigorous representation of individuals and companies in high profile criminal and civil litigation.

Before forming the firm in 1976 with Brian Morgan, Hal served as Chief Trial Deputy for the Colorado Public Defender's Office and briefly taught criminal trial advocacy as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver School of Law. He continues to lecture on criminal justice and litigation topics around the country.

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Hal has served on numerous ABA national committees and task forces seeking to reform the criminal justice system.

Hal has been active in his community for many decades, serving on the Board of Trustees for Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado and the boards of directors for Fresh Start, Inc., the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Colorado and the Duke Law School Board of Visitors.

Hal was the Campaign Manager for Colorado U.S. Senator Gary Hart's 1974 and 1980 campaigns as well as the National Political Director for Senator Hart's Presidential Campaign in 1987. He also served as the Finance Chairman for Colorado Governor Richard Lamm's 1978 campaign.


John Wesley Hall

John Wesley Hall, Little Rock criminal defense attorney, is a Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Hall received the organization's prestigious Robert C. Heeney Award in 2002 for service to the criminal defense bar. He was chair of the NACDL Ethics Advisory Committee from 1990-2005, and on the International Criminal Court's Disciplinary Appeals Tribunal. He has tried 250+ jury trials and handled 250+ appeals, including three in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of Search and Seizure (3d ed., 4th ed. forthcoming), Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (3d ed.), Trial Handbook for Arkansas Lawyers (4th ed.), and numerous articles. He has done CLEs in 38 states, 3 provinces, and The Hague.


David Holland

David C. Holland, Esq., an alum of Boston University and New York Law School, has more than two decades of experience litigating complex civil and criminal matters including R.I.C.O. cases and cannabis related matters. He has also obtained significant results on behalf of clients in the areas of civil rights, employment discrimination, and housing related matters.

David has worked in and experienced the criminal justice system from every angle as a independent federal contractor with Pre-Trial Services, trial assistant in the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York, judicial intern and primary author of a precedential Grand Jury opinion, Assistant District Attorney in the Brooklyn DA's Office, and Of Counsel to the late Michael Kennedy, Esq., an outspoken criminal defense and civil rights and cannabis advocate.

He is the Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML, the New York State affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and he is the former General Counsel to High Times Magazine having served in that capacity for more than 10 years. The firm is one of the foremost authorities on the legal issues related to the cannabis industry including producing national and international tradeshows and cannabis themed competition such as the High Times "Cannabis Cup". David is also a sought after Canna-Business legal advisor to private equity investors, news media resource, and requested to participate in many multi-disciplinary legal lectures regarding cannabis.

He is a member of the New York Cannabis Bar Association and has recently brought a new legal challenge to marijuana's Schedule I designation under the federal Controlled Substances Act.


Rick Jones

Rick Jones

Rick Jones is the Executive Director and a founding member of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS). He is a distinguished trial lawyer with more than 25 years' experience in complex multi-forum litigation. He is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School and on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, GA.

Rick currently serves as the 59th President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). At NACDL he has served as co-chair of both the Special Task Force on Problem-Solving Courts and the Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction. Both of these efforts resulted in the publication of ground breaking reports and continuing reforms. Most recently, Rick launched the inaugural NACDL Presidential Summit in Detroit, Michigan. The summit entitled, Race Matters: The Impact of Race on Criminal Justice was a transformative two day event empowering lawyers to identify, challenge and work toward the elimination of the racism that pervades the American system of justice.

Internationally, Rick serves on the Board of the International Legal Foundation (ILF) and was invited to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal to help sustain, strengthen and institutionalize the public defense function in their newly created constitutional government. Rick was also invited to the Second International Conference on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a speaker to address issues pertaining to government contracted public defense models of service and the disparate impact of fees, fines and bail on the poor, the marginalized and people of color. He was also invited to participate as an expert in a Rule of Law Symposium sponsored by the United Nations in Monrovia, Liberia.

Rick is a commissioner on the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. He is also an inaugural member of the steering committee of the National Association for Public Defense, sits on the boards of the New York State Defenders Association and the Sirius Foundation and serves on the Editorial Board of the Amsterdam News. He was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices.


Matthew Kumin

Matthew Kumin

Matt Kumin is a California civil rights and business attorney and political consultant whose national practice focuses on cannabis. He started his law practice in 1995, one year before Californian's voted for the Compassionate Use Act. Matt graduated from Brown University (B.A. with Honors, 1980) and Northeastern University School of Law (J.D. 1986). His cannabis practices now focuses on helping transition clients – investors, entrepreneurs, cultivators, manufacturers, distributors - into the new, regulated market. Matt was the architect of the seminal federal income tax challenge in CHAMP v. Com'r. of the IRS (128 Tax Court No. 14, 2007), the first case of its kind, which created an important exception to the law that disallows cannabis businesses to deduct expenses. As a litigator, he sought and obtained injunctions against various cities and counties in California, including Los Angeles and Sonoma County, when those entities unconstitutionally limited patient access to medical cannabis. He is also a principal in the cannabis consulting firm, Alan, Kumin and Associates, which assists clients in obtaining local cannabis permits and state licenses (beginning in late, 2017). He co-founded California Cannabis Voice, a PAC with chapters in Humboldt, Trinity and San Francisco counties and the LA Basin. In that capacity, he spearheaded the passage of ground-breaking ordinances relating to cannabis. Those new laws and the political processes the PAC used are now serving as templates for cities and counties across California as they consider their own policies and regulations for cannabis. Matt works to organize activists throughout the country to legalize cannabis use and production. He also teaches and lectures across the United States.


David Lane

David Lane

David A. Lane is a graduate of the University of Colorado (B.A. 1977) and the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D.1980).

Mr. Lane is currently in private practice in Denver with the firm of Kilmer, Lane and Newman. His practice is limited to criminal defense and civil rights litigation. He practices both at the trial and appellate levels, and has argued before the United States Supreme Court as well as numerous state supreme courts and United States Courts of Appeal. The criminal practice involves all types of cases from complex white collar work in federal court to basic state court felonies. The practice emphasizes death penalty trial work in the state and federal courts.

The civil rights component of the practice includes First Amendment cases, Title VII race, age, sex, religious discrimination, as well as Section 1983 and Bivens litigation. He has taken many state court-appointed death penalty cases and is on the list of qualified attorneys for CJA court-appointments for federal court capital appointments both at the trial and post-conviction stages. He currently represents five Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Over the years he has represented numerous individuals either charged with or convicted of capital offenses in several states, including Colorado, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New York, New Mexico, Michigan and Texas at the trial, appeal and post-conviction stages in state and federal courts. He has consulted on cases throughout the country and has been on the faculty of the Airlie Conference, a four-day intensive seminar sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for attorneys primarily involved in capital litigation. He has been on the faculty of many capital defense training seminars throughout the country and has actively recruited Colorado attorneys to assist in capital litigation in Texas as volunteers. He has been engaged in death penalty defense work since 1984, and criminal defense since 1980.

Mr. Lane, since 1989, has taught either at the University of Colorado School of Law, where he taught Professional Responsibility, Trial Advocacy and Death Penalty Jurisprudence, or the University of Denver School of Law where he taught both Death Penalty Jurisprudence and First Amendment Jurisprudence. He is a frequent lecturer on issues involving either the death penalty or civil rights at many colleges and universities and other public venues in over 50 cities on the Colorado Method of Jury Selection in Capital Cases.

Mr. Lane has been the recipient of the following awards: the 1995 Jonathan Olom Award, the highest honor conferred by the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, given to the Colorado criminal defense lawyer who works "in defense of the accused without regard for personal gain"; the Newsed Community Development Civil Rights Award, 1997; the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado Access to Justice Award in 2009 "Honoring perseverance, courage and character shown over and over in cases of extraordinary circumstances"; the Center for American and International Law Commitment Award, 2009, for working with Texas death penalty trial lawyers; the Case of the Year award by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association in 2010 for the Tim Masters case involving an exonerated Colorado prisoner wrongfully convicted of murder; and the Carle E. Whitehead award from the ACLU in 2010 for "dedication to defending civil liberties and the rule of law."


Lauren Maytin

Lauren Maytin

Lauren Maytin was born and raised in southeastern Virginia and started coming to Colorado in 1975. That exposure began her love affair with the mountains -- and Aspen in particular. She moved to Colorado in 1989 to attend the University of Colorado, Boulder. After undergraduate school, she lived briefly in Crested Butte and enjoyed life as a skier. Later, she attended the University of Denver, College of Law. From 1999 until 2002, she practiced as a Colorado Deputy State Public Defender, working throughout the state. She moved to New York City for a short time, and then Aspen, delving into complex, mass tort litigation, which focused on illnesses caused by asbestos, for a large NY-based law firm, and began taking on criminal cases again for her own boutique firm. She is a lifetime member of NORML and was the John Flowers Mark NORML Scholarship winner in 2001. She has committed her life to representing those accused of a crime, people in need of an attorney well versed in the constitution. Her practice focuses primarily on criminal defense work and the counseling all involved in the marijuana industry including but not limited to caregivers, patients, doctors, growers, manufacturers, dispensary owners, labs, bankers, investment groups and landlords on all facets of Colorado's medical and retail marijuana laws. She is on the Board of Directors for Colorado NORML and their longest serving board member. She is an active member of the NORML legal committee, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, the Colorado Bar Association and a proud member of the Cannabis Counsel ©"


Jeralyn Merritt

Jeralyn E. Merritt is a Denver attorney in private practice representing persons accused of serious federal and state drug crimes.

In 1996 and 1997, she served as one of the principal trial lawyers for Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City Bombing Case.

She has served as Treasurer, Secretary and Board Member of NACDL, as well as co-chair of its Legislative Committee, writing a monthly legislative column for The Champion for many years.

She currently serves on the board of NORML's Foundation and is a past recipient of NORML's Al Horn Award.

Ms. Merritt was a Lecturer-In-Law at the Denver University College of Law for six semesters, teaching "Wrongful Convictions" and "Criminal Defense." She has testified before both Congress and the United States Sentencing Commission on drug sentencing laws. She has lectured nationally to defense lawyers on a variety of legal topics pertaining to drug cases and forfeitures and use of the Internet as a legal and investigative tool. From 1996 to 2008, she was a television legal analyst, regularly appearing on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC.

Ms. Merritt is also the creator of the award-winning weblog, Talkleft: the Politics of Crime, covering crime-based news and politics. Established in 2002, TalkLeft continues to be widely read and respected.


Gregory Morse

Gregory Morse

Gregory J. Morse, Esq. is a partner at the law firm of Morse & Morse, LLC with Amy Morse, Esq. and of-counsel to Richard G. Lubin, P.A. in Palm Beach County, Florida. He has practiced State and Federal criminal defense in South Florida since 2000. He began his legal career at the West Palm Beach Public Defender's Office. He graduated cum laude with a degree in jurisprudence from New York Law School in 2000. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo in New York and The University of North London in London, England. He has been published in the New York Law School Law Review: Techno-jury: Techniques in Verbal and Visual Persuasion, Vol. 54, No. 1 (2009/10) and has presented on the topic of Techniques in Verbal and Visual Persuasion in the past. He was a board member of the Craig S. Barnard Chapter of the American Inns of Court. He is a member of South Florida NORML. He is also a member of NACDL and the Federal Bar Association. Gregory is also CJA counsel in the Southern District of Florida. He has picked numerous juries in his nearly twenty-year career. He is considered a top 100 trial lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. To date, when he and his law partner, Amy Morse team up for trial, they have never heard the word "guilty". Prior to attending college and law school, he was the youngest elected shop steward of the largest service employee's union in the country (Local 32 B&J in New York, NY).


Justin Strekal

Justin Strekal

Justin Strekal is the Political Director for NORML, where he serves as an advocate to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and to reform our nation's laws to no longer treat marijuana consumers as second-class citizens. Before working on drug policy, he focused on tax, wage, and campaign finance reform as well as managed electoral campaigns throughout the country for positions in every level of government.



Jeffrey Wertz

Jeffrey Wertz

Jeff Wertz was a civil and criminal trial attorney based in Aspen, Colorado for over twenty years. Jeff was raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Originally trained in civil engineering at Lehigh University, Jeff attended Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh where he graduated cum laude, made Law Review and was twice elected President of his class. Jeff is a founding partner of his boutique litigation law firm based in Aspen and currently in its 18th year: Feldman & Wertz, LLP. Due to a head injury suffered in 2015, Jeff has had to sharply cut back his trial practice and is currently semi-retired from handling complex litigation matters. Jeff has held licensure in several jurisdictions in the USA and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012. Jeff is the proud owner of Blackacre Farm in the Cayo district of Belize, where he grows coconuts, pineapples, bananas, hardwood and other fruit trees.