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 Counterpunch.org, 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 thirty years, Norm helped inaugurate the annual Key West Legal Seminar in 1983. A cancer survivor who is an open and out medical marijuana user himself, Kent credits marijuana with taming the harsh nature of chemotherapy treatments. “Not to mention,” he adds, “it’s not a gateway drug. It just makes everything feel, taste, and look better in the here and now.”
A noted advocate for gay rights who has appeared as a commentator on CNN, the Nancy Grace Show, and FOX News, Kent also hosted a South Florida morning drive talk show on WFTL in Fort Lauderdale for ten years. Presently, Kent is the publisher of the South Florida Gay News, a member of the National Gay Media Association, and 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. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2013-14, and is currently serving as Vice-Chair.