Conference Participants

Ray ManzarekRay Manzarek, the Doors keyboardist and author.

Mark Leno is a California State Assemblyman. He has twice sponsored legislation seeking to allow for the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp (both measures were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger), and recently sponsored a bill to protect medical marijuana patients from being unfairly discriminated against by their employers (also vetoed by the Governor). In 2008, Mr. Leno successfully sponsored a resolution opposing the participation of the US Drug Enforcement Administration in raids of state-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensaries. After serving six years in the California Assembly, Mr. Leno will be moving to the state Senate next year.

Kriss Worthington is a Berkeley City Council member who has sponsored local legislation to deprioritize marijuana law enforcement for adults and protect local medical cannabis dispensaries from federal prosecution.

Dr. Donald Abrams is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, Chief of Hematology/Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, and Director of Clinical Programs at the Osher Center. Dr. Abrams has a long history evaluating complementary and alternative therapies, including mind-body treatments, botanical therapies, medical use of marijuana, and Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal therapies. 

Deborah Ackerman, PhD is the Director of the Health Outcomes Core of the UCLA Center for Neurobiology of Stress. Her research focus is on complementary and alternative therapies, placebo effects, and understanding heterogeneity in treatment outcomes.
PRESENTATION: Web-Based Research on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Michael Aldrich founded Amorphia: The Cannabis Cooperative (1969-1973). He is the 2005 recipient of NORML’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

**Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation and is co-author (with Mason Tvert) of the forthcoming book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009). 
MODERATOR: Getting the Story Wrong: How the Media Lie About Cannabis
PRESENTATION: Getting the Story Wrong: How the Media Lie About Cannabis
PRESENTATION: The War on Pot Is a War on Young People – So Why Haven’t We Acknowledged It?

**"Radical" Russ Belville is the award-winning producer of NORML’s podcast, The Daily Audio Stash. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated XM Satellite progressive talk radio show, "The Russ Belville Show,” and the Associate Director of Oregon NORML.
MODERATOR: Tools for Activists (What Can I Do?)
PRESENTATION: The Framing Behind “Reefer Madness” and How to Counter It

Steve Bloom is the co-author (with Shirley Halperin) of Pot Culture: The A to Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life (Abrams Image, 2008). He is a former editor of High Times Magazine and the founder of He is the 2004 recipient of the Hunter S. Thompson NORML Media Award.
MODERATOR: Pot Culture: It’s Significance and Social Impacts

Adrienne Calcote is the Chancellor of Oaksterdam University.

Dr. Greg Carter is a Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, where he founded and now co-directs the Muscular Dystrophy Association/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Center. He was the first investigator to report the effectiveness of using cannabis to treat ALS. Dr. Carter’s research has shown that cannabis is effective at treating multiple symptoms of ALS, including pain, muscle spasticity, depression, loss of appetite, and secretion control.  
PRESENTATION: Cannabis in the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Neuromuscular Disorders

Richard Cowan is the newly appointed Director of Dynamic Alert Limited, a publicly traded company.  He is the founder of (now part of the and a former Executive Director of NORML (1992-1995). He is the 2001 recipient of NORML’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
MODERATOR: Getting the Story Wrong: How the Media Lie About Cannabis

Rick Cusick is the Associate Publisher of High Times Magazine.
CLOSING REMARKS: NORML’s Importance to Cannabis Consumers and Law Reform

Micah Daigle is the Associate Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.  Daigle coordinates the organization’s grassroots campaigns among the SSDP’s 140+ chapter network, manages the organization's national outreach staff, and directs its west coast operations.

Ryan Denham is the Campaign Director for Sensible Fayetteville, which seeks to deprioritize marijuana possession in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In 2006 he successfully passed an initiative with 61% of the vote in nearby Eureka Springs making misdemeanor amounts of marijuana the city’s lowest police priority.

++Steven Dillon, Esq. is the Chair of NORML’s Board of Director, state Coordinator for Indiana NORML, and a member of the NORML Legal Committee.
OPENING REMARKS: Welcome to the 37th Annual NORML Conference

Don Duncan is the California Director of Americans for Safe Access.

++Mitch Earleywine, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York and winner of NORML's 2007 Lester
Grinspoon Award. He is the author of Understanding Marijuana (Oxford University Press, 2002) and a member of NORML’s Advisory Board.
MODERATOR: The Politics of Marijuana and Health
PRESENTATION: How to Avoid Activist Burnout

Joe Elford, Esq. is the Chief Counsel for Americans for Safe Access and a graduate of Yale Law School.

Omar Figueroa, Esq. is a lawyer in San Francisco specializing in cannabis cultivation, medical marijuana, and cybercrime cases.  He is a member of the NORML Legal Committee.

++Dale Gieringer, PhD is the state Coordinator of California NORML and is the co-author of the book Marijuana Medical Handbook (Quick Publications, 1997, 2008).  He is Vice-Chairman of NORML’s Board of Directors.
MODERATOR: Drug Testing and Cannabis Use: The Case Against Legally Sanctioned Discrimination Via Forensics
PRESENTATION: Drug Testing and Marijuana: Myth & Facts

Debbie Goldsberry is the co-founder of the Cannabis Action Network, and is the founder of the Berkeley Patients Group, one of California’s largest and most well respected medical cannabis providers. Ms. Goldsberry is the 2005 recipient of NORML’s Pauline Sabin Award in honor of women’s leadership in ending marijuana prohibition.

Shirley Halperin the co-author (with Steve Bloom) of Pot Culture: The A to Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life (Abrams Image, 2008) and is a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly.

Ann Harrison is a freelance reporter working in the Bay Area who frequently writes about medical cannabis issues.

Carl Hart, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University, and the Director of the Residential Studies and Methamphetamine Research Laboratories at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. A major focus of Dr. Hart’s research is to understand behavioral, physiological, and subjective effects of psychoactive drugs in experienced users. He is the author or co-author of dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles in the area of substance abuse, co-author of the textbook Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior (McGraw Hill, 2006) and a member of a NIH review group.

Douglas Hiatt, Esq. specializes in representing disadvantaged clients who benefit from the therapeutic use of medical cannabis. He is a member of NORML’s Legal Committee and ASA’s Legal Advisory Board.

Jeff Jones founded the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Club (now the Oakland Patient ID Center), and was a litigant before the US Supreme Court. He currently operates a patient identification services center in Los Angeles.

Rob Kampia is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project. He has testified before Congress twice, and has been a guest on the "Today Show" with Katie Couric, Bill O'Reilly, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Rebecca Kaplan, Esq. is a 2008 Oakland City Council candidate and supports taxing and regulating the adult use of cannabis.

++Norman Elliot Kent, Esq. is a cancer survivor and a member of NORML’s Board of Directors.
PRESENTATION: Pot and the Presidency

Jennifer Kern is the youth policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco.
She is responsible for developing, shaping and implementing the organization’s policies on youth and drugs. She manages the Safety First project, which advocates for reality-based approaches to drug education at home and in school that foster open and honest dialogue about the risks and consequences of drug use.

Ryan King is a Policy Analyst for the Sentencing Project. His research specialization is the American criminal justice system, with a particular concentration on the radiating effects of sentencing and incarceration upon individuals, families and the community at large.

Kris Krane is the Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Common Sense for Drug Policy.

Richard Lee is the founder of Oaksterdam University and the proprietor of the Bulldog Coffeeshop. He is also publisher of the West Coast Leaf and several other statewide publications. Mr. Lee has worked closely with Oakland city officials to implement policies regarding the adult sale and use of cannabis (Measure Z), and has played a significant role in helping to bring economic growth to downtown Oakland.
MODERATOR: Oaksterdam, USA: Cannabis Freedom Is Closer Than You Think

++Dr. Frank Lucido has practiced Family Medicine since 1979 and performed medical cannabis evaluations since 1996.  He is co-author of the essay, “Implementation of the Compassionate Use Act in a Family Medical Practice: Seven Years Clinical Experience” (O’Shaughnessy’s: the Journal of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, 2004).  Dr. Lucido is a member of NORML’s Advisory Board.

Kelly Maddy is the Executive Director of Joplin NORML (MO) and Sensible Joplin.

++Madeline Martinez is the Executive Director of Oregon NORML and was recently appointed to NORML’s Board of Directors. Ms. Martinez is the 2007 recipient of NORML’s Pauline Sabin Award in honor of women’s leadership in ending marijuana prohibition. She is currently spearheading an Oregon statewide campaign (OCTA) to allow for the regulated sale of cannabis to adults over age 21.

Vivian McPeak is the co-founder of the Seattle Hempfest, the largest annual marijuana law reform rally held in the world.
PRESENTATION: Organizing Hundreds, In Support of Millions

Bruce Mirken is the Communications Director for the Marijuana Policy Project and a former journalist. He has won 11 assorted journalism awards for his reporting and commentary.
PRESENTATION: Complaining to the Press: What to Do When Coverage Sucks

Ethan Nadelmann, PhD is the Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Mikki Norris is the co-author of Shattered Lives: Portraits From America’s Drug War (Creative Xpressions, 1998), and is the founder of the Cannabis Consumers Campaign. Ms. Norris is the 2006 recipient of NORML’s Pauline Sabin Award in honor of women’s leadership in ending marijuana prohibition, and the 2004 recipient (with her husband Chris Conrad) of NORML’s outstanding Cannabis Advocate Award.

Dennis Peron founded the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club, the first medical cannabis dispensary in California. He is co-author of California’s Compassionate Use Act, and a former Gubernatorial candidate. Mr. Peron is the 2008 recipient of NORML’s Peter McWilliams Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Medical Marijuana.

**++Allen St. Pierre is the Executive Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. He serves as a board member for both organizations.

Amanda Reiman, PhD is the Coordinator of Academic Programs for the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Reiman conducts research regarding the operation of medical cannabis dispensaries as health service providers. She is currently assisting Berkeley Patient's Group with the first program evaluation of a medical cannabis dispensary.

Craig Reinarman, PhD is Professor of Sociology and legal studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam; a member of the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence; a consultant to the World Health Organization's Programme on Substance Abuse; and a principal investigator on research grants from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Justice.

Chuck Ries is the Director of UpFront programs and the Oakland High School Student Assistance Program.  He has explored the nature of the relationship between drugs, the individual, and society for 40 years.

++George Rohrbacher is a former Washington state Senator and a member of NORML’s Board of Directors.
MODERATOR: What If We Arrested 20 Million Americans and No One Noticed?

Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD is director emerita of the Safety First Project at the Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco. She received ten National Institute on Drug Abuse grants to study heroin addiction, methadone maintenance treatment, MDMA (Ecstasy), cocaine, and drug use during pregnancy before founding the San Francisco office of the Drug Policy Alliance. Dr. Rosenbaum's work over the past ten years has focused on the issue of teenagers and drug use.
MODERATOR: The Legal Marijuana Generation: Growing Up and Raising Children In The Age of Legal Pot

Keith Saunders, PhD is a Professor at Northeastern University and the former President of Mass/Cann, the Massachusetts affiliate of NORML.

**++R. Keith Stroup, Esq. is the founder and Legal Counsel of NORML.
MODERATOR: Pot, Politics 2008 and Beyond

Mason Tvert is co-founder and executive director Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and its lobbying arm, the SAFER Voter Education Fund. He is the 2006 recipient of NORML’s Outstanding Cannabis Advocate award and the co-author (with Paul Armentano) of the forthcoming book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009). 

Sudi Pebbles Trippet is a Mendocino County medical cannabis activist and co-founder of the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board.

Lauren Vazquez is a third year law student at Santa Clara University. As an
undergraduate she founded the UCSB chapter of NORML, and in 2006 she was named NORML Student Activist of the Year.

** denotes NORML Staff
++ denotes NORML Board of Directors or Advisory Board