Clifford W. Thornton, Jr., is a management executive who retired early from the Southern New England Telephone Company in 1997 to work exclusively on drug policy issues. He, along with his wife Margaret, in 1994 began producing and broadcasting a public affairs radio program on WWUH at the University of Hartford called Efficacy, which focused on social issues, including the drug war. The response to the program convinced Clifford and Margaret of the need for a full-time drug law reform effort in Connecticut, and resulted in the creation of Efficacy, Incorporated, a nonprofit drug education organization.
At the age of 18, Mr. Thornton was personally effected by the tragedy of drug abuse, when his mother died of a heroin overdose. Although initially a supporter of strong anti-drug laws, he subsequently became convinced that far more harm is caused by criminalizing drug users than is caused by the drugs themselves.
From 1999 to 2001, Cliff has spoken to over 60,000 people in some 350 venues about the importance of race relations, economics and public health as it relates to drug policy reform.
Mr. Thornton served on the NORML board of directors from 1999 to 2008.