Erik Altieri – Executive Director
Erik Altieri is the executive director of the NORML. Previously, he was NORML’s Communications Director and ran the federal and state lobbying efforts and legislative outreach, administered NORML’s social media networks and served as a spokesman to the press from 2007-2015. During this time period he also was the manager of the NORML PAC, and worked to elect marijuana reform-friendly candidates at all levels of government. In 2015, he left NORML to explore other political issue activism including campaign finance reform and tax policy. He returned to NORML as executive director in 2016. He is the ninth executive director since NORML’s founding, and the youngest person named executive director in the organization’s history, an accomplishment recognized by Forbes Magazine when he was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy in 2017. Mr. Altieri is currently based in Washington, DC at NORML’s national headquarters.
Paul Armentano – Deputy Director
Paul Armentano has over two decades experience working professionally in cannabis policy. He is the Deputy Director of NORML. He also serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, where he is the Chair of Science.
His writing on cannabis and cannabis policy has 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 a regular contributor to TheHill.com as well as to numerous other print and online publications. Mr. Armentano 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. He is also the author of the book The Citizen’s Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws (2015), available from Whitman Publishing. He is the author and editor of the NORML-produced publication Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, which summarizes over 400 peer-reviewed studies specific to the safety and efficacy of cannabis among different patient populations.
Mr. Armentano was the principal investigator for defense counsel in the federal case US v Schweder et al., one of the first legal cases in decades to challenge the constitutionality of cannabis as a schedule I controlled substance. He was also an expert in the successful Canadian constitutional challenge, Allard v Canada, which preserved qualified patients right to grow cannabis at home.
He 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. He is the 2019 Al Horn Memorial Award recipient in appreciation of advancing the cause of justice.
Mr. Armentano works closely with numerous state and federal politicians with regard to drafting and enacting marijuana policy reforms, and he is a frequently sought speaker on the topic at legal and academic seminars.
R. Keith Stroup, Esq – Legal Counsel
Keith Stroup is a Washington, DC public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970. Stroup obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1965, and in 1968 he graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. Following two years as staff counsel for the National Commission on Product Safety, Mr. Stroup founded NORML and ran the organization through 1979, during which 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses.
Stroup has also practiced criminal law, lobbied on Capitol Hill for family farmers and artists, and for several years served as executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In 1994 Stroup resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as Executive Director through 2004. He is currently serving as Legal Counsel with NORML.
In 1992 Stroup was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform presented by the Drug Policy Foundation, Washington, DC. In 2010 he received the Al Horn Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice from the NORML Legal Committee. And in 2012 Stroup received the High Times Lifetime Achievement Award.
Morgan Fox – Political Director
Morgan Fox is the Political Director at NORML, focusing on congressional lobbying and changing federal cannabis laws. As a professional cannabis policy reform advocate since 2008, Morgan has been directly involved in dozens of successful state ballot initiative campaigns to establish medical and adult use cannabis programs, as well as legislative victories at the local, state, and federal levels. He has been featured in hundreds of print, radio, television, and online publications. Morgan was most recently the Media Relations Director and chief spokesperson for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) before joining NORML, and spent nearly a decade at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) prior to that. He lives in Washington, DC, and when he’s not working to end prohibition and repair the damage it has caused, he can usually be found exploring the numerous parks and playgrounds of our nation’s capital with his children.
JM Pedini – Development Director
JM Pedini is the development director of NORML. JM oversees NORML’s global chapter affiliate network and ensures availability of resources and tools necessary to leverage the organization’s powerful grassroots support.
They also serve as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML, where their work has directly resulted in the legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis, decriminalization of personal marijuana possession, and the establishment of the Virginia Legislative Cannabis Caucus and the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. Appointed to the Governor’s Marijuana Legalization Work Group and as co-chair of the Legal and Regulatory Subcommittee, their current focus is on the Commonwealth’s continued effort to establish a fair and equitable adult-use cannabis regulatory structure that prioritizes consumer safety.
Jax James – State Policy Manager
As NORML’s State Policy Manager, Jax James tracks and analyzes hundreds of pieces of marijuana-related legislation every legislative session and provides state level political and legislative support to NORML’s network of over 150 state and local chapters nationwide, regularly collaborating with state lawmakers and advocates to move evidence-based marijuana policy reform forward through state legislatures across the country.
Ms. James has been involved in cannabis law reform since 2005 when she first started volunteering with Texas NORML. After serving in multiple positions, Jax became the Executive Director for Texas NORML in 2015. She innovated the first ever cannabis-centric voter’s guide in 2012 and continues to prepare the Texas NORML Voter’s Guide for each election season.
In her tenure, Jax has participated in many panel discussions and speaking engagements including events at the LBJ Library and was a co-keynote at the Drug Impact Conference. Jax has also been quoted in the Texas Tribune, Forbes, and every major news outlet in Texas. She works closely with coalition partners and many other cannabis groups. She offers expert testimony before the city council and the Texas Legislature. Jax is often at the Capitol pushing for cannabis law reform and building relationships with our legislators.
Jax also serves as Executive Director for Foundation for an Informed Texas (FIT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Founded in 2017, FIT focuses on rural education. FIT produced a successful medical cannabis ad campaign that was played on MSNBC and Fox News which reached over 1.8 million Texans. Jax created curriculum, helped organize and execute regional trainings from 2015 to the present.
Laura Judy – Digital Administrator
Laura Judy has been involved with NORML since 1999 and helped establish NORML’s digital presence during the early days of the internet. She manages NORML’s website, oversees the organization’s digital properties and publishes the weekly newsletter. In 2015, Laura assumed the role of Digital Administrator combining her technology skills and design insight to display NORML’s most-popular reports online, such as State Laws, Recent Research on Medical Marijuana, Fact Sheets, Governor’s Scorecard, and Local Decriminalization.
For decades Laura’s work has helped elevate the NORML brand. In addition to the NORML website and newsletter, her portfolio includes designs for the annual NORML Conference, NORML Aspen and Key West Legal Seminars, NORML merchandise, publications, and advertisements. In 2020, Laura was awarded the NORML Hunter S. Thompson Media Award for her work on NORML’s new website and newsletter design.
Jacob McMaster – Political Associate
As NORML’s Political Associate, Jacob advocates for evidence-based marijuana policy reform at both the state and federal level by providing general political and legislative support to the political team through his key role in the tracking and analyzing of marijuana-related legislation across the country, and the drafting of public communications and stakeholder engagement. Working closely with NORML’s Political Director and State Policy Manager, he regularly interacts with the offices of state and federal lawmakers, as well as a diverse array of groups in the fight to end the prohibition of marijuana.
Cassidy Crockett-Verba – Development Associate
Cassidy Crockett-Verba is the Development Associate for NORML where she manages chapter affiliation and compliance. Cassidy ensures that chapters have the resources to engage and mobilize their supporters and are armed with the data needed to end prohibition in their states. She also serves as the Legal Associate for Virginia NORML, where she works to influence cannabis policy in the Commonwealth.
Cassidy graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2021 and has been admitted to the Virginia State Bar. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Old Dominion University in 2017. Cassidy co-authored two legal articles for Richmond Law’s Public Interest Law Review with NORML’s JM Pedini. Cassidy resides in Richmond, VA with her husband.