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 regulator 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.
In 2013 Stroup published the history of NORML entitled It’s NORML To Smoke Pot: the 40 Year Fight for Marijuana Smokers’ Rights.
Justin Strekal – Political Director
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.
Jenn Michelle Pedini – Development Director
Jenn Michelle Pedini is the development director of NORML, and serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML. Jenn Michelle’s work in Virginia has resulted in the implementation of a legal and regulated medical cannabis program, the decriminalization of personal possession, and the establishment of the Virginia Legislative Cannabis Caucus. At NORML, they ensure availability of resources and tools necessary to leverage NORML’s powerful grassroots support and elevate the work of the worldwide affiliate chapter network.
Prior to drug policy reform, they enjoyed a successful entertainment and media career with The Walt Disney Company. Born and raised in Orlando, FL, Jenn Michelle has flown from the heights of Cinderella’s Castle and danced their way through the Walt Disney World Resort. Jenn Michelle resides in Richmond, and brings a sparkle of pixie dust to public policy.
Carly Wolf – State Policies Coordinator
Carly Wolf graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. After deciding to dedicate her career to criminal justice reform, Carly began working as a student intern for NORML in Washington, DC. Shortly after graduation, she was hired as NORML’s Political Associate, providing general support to the political team.
Currently, Carly serves as NORML’s State Policies Coordinator. She 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.
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 acumen 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. Laura enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and hiking the woods of Maryland.
Olivia Snow-Smith – Digital Organizing Associate
Olivia Snow-Smith got her degree in Written Arts from Bard College. As NORML’s Digital Organizing Associate, she manages the organization’s social media presence while using her creative writing and design skills to promote NORML’s mission to end marijuana prohibition.