Start a Chapter

Your efforts at the state and local levels to reform marijuana laws are very important. NORML has an extensive network of citizen-advocates around the world working to end marijuana prohibition and stop the criminalization of responsible consumers. Check to see if there is a NORML chapter in your area.

Required Documents:

If there isn't an active NORML chapter in your area, establishing one is an effective way to organize a grassroots movement to effect change.

Your willingness to support NORML at the state and local level is greatly appreciated. It's important that your NORML chapter concentrate locally and organize from the municipal level to the state level. Working together, we'll end prohibition once and for all.

Guidelines for Affiliation with NORML

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is a non-profit corporation charted in the District of Columbia and authorized by the IRS to operate as a 501(c)(4) public-interest lobby. NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable. Learn more about NORML.

NORML wishes to affiliate and work cooperatively with local and statewide organizations that share our general goals. The following guidelines indicate the criteria which an organization must meet to qualify for affiliation with NORML, including the use of "NORML" in the affiliate's name.

  1. The group applying for affiliation must include at least 4 individuals with NORML memberships for the current calendar year.
  2. Once approved, the applicant group must form a non-profit corporation, adopt articles of incorporation and bylaws, register with the secretary of state (or other appropriate state office), and follow all state laws and regulations governing the operation of non-profit corporations.
  3. The group must agree to conduct organizational business in a manner prescribed by state law for non-profit organizations, including the holding of regular board meetings, the keeping of board meeting minutes, and the holding of regular elections as required in the bylaws. Affiliates will be required to send an end of the year report including all of the aforementioned materials.
  4. The group must agree to pursue a program intended to educate the public; lobby local, state and federal officials; or otherwise build support for ending the criminal prohibition of marijuana and the arrest of responsible consumers.
  5. The group must agree to operate in a professional manner and to avoid activities that would bring disrepute or otherwise harm NORML and its reform efforts. This includes the sale of so-called drug paraphernalia, grow lights and seeds (other than sterile hemp seeds) in non-legal states. 
  6. Guidelines for NORML state affiliates or chapters in states that have legalized the sale and/or use of medical marijuana.
    (a) Because of NORML's federal tax-exempt status, no entity distributing marijuana, whether a cooperative, a collective, a non-profit, a for-profit, or any other entity, may serve as a NORML chapter, nor may the NORML name be used by any entity distributing marijuana.
    (b) A majority of the board of directors of any NORML affiliate or chapter must be comprised of individuals who are not principals, board members or employees of any entity distributing marijuana.
    (c) NORML chapters must establish and maintain an address separate from any entity distributing marijuana. NORML chapters may conduct meetings at the location of an entity that distributes marijuana, only if the entity is not conducting business during NORML functions. Any entity providing meeting space for a NORML chapter shall close one hour prior to the NORML meeting or function and shall remain closed for one hour after the meeting or event has ended.
  7. Every NORML chapter is required to make an annual donation to NORML.

Chapter Revocation

NORML reserves the right to revoke the affiliate status of any group or organization which fails to operate in accordance with these guidelines. 

Questions regarding the affiliation process should be directed to chapters@norml.org.

Those wishing to affiliate with NORML must complete the following application and submit to NORML for approval. No group or organization is authorized to act as an affiliate, or to publicly include "NORML" in their name, until the application has been approved by NORML and the chapter has fully executed the Letter of Affiliation issued by NORML.

Chapter Starter Packet and Guidelines

This document provides the necessary information and resources to help you get your chapter off and running.