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History of NORML Awards (1998-2018)

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws presents awards at NORML events, legal seminars and conferences in recognition of extraordinary activism, academic study or political and cultural leadership in the field of marijuana and marijuana policy reform.

The awards are named in honor of the lifetime work of their namesake.


NORML's Lifetime Achievement Award in Grateful Recognition of A Lifetime Dedicated to Reforming Unjust Marijuana Laws and Advancing the Cause of Personal Freedom

2018 Dale Gieringer, California NORML, NORML Board of Directors
2017 Keith Stroup, NORML Founder
2016 Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
2015 Eric Sterling, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 Steve Hager, High Times Magazine and
Kevin Zeese, Esq.
2011 Richard Evans, Esq.
2010 Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D
2009 Steve Dillon, NORML Board of Directors
2008 Michael Stepanian, Esq.
2007 Ed Rosenthal
2006 Dan Viets, Esq., NORML Board of Directors
2005 Michael Aldrich, Ph.D.
2004 Paul Kuhn, NORML Board of Directors
2002 Jack Herer, author, Emperor Wears No Clothes
2001 Richard Cowan
1998 Arnold Trebach

Hunter S. Thompson NORML Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Ending Marijuana Prohibition

2018 no award given
2017 Chris Goldstein
2016 Bruce Barcott, Deputy Editor at Leafly.com
2015 no award given
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 Dominic Holden, Seattle Stranger
2011 WestWord
2010 Reason Foundation
2009 High Times Magazine
2008 Media Awareness Project, Inc (in memory of Derek Rea)
2007 Michael Gray
2006 Fred Gardner, Editor, O'Shaughnessy's
2005 Rick Steves, Best Selling Travel Author and TV Host
2004 Steve Bloom, Editor, High Times Magazine
2003 no award given
2002 Bill Maher
2001 Ron Mann, Director, Grass: The Movie

NORML's Outstanding Cannabis Advocate Award for Advancing the Cause of Marijuana Law Reform

2018 Jeff Riedy, Lehigh Valley NORML
2017 Jamie Kacz, KC NORML
2016 Kevin Oliver, WA NORML
2015 Randy Quast, MN NORML and Portland NORML
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 Erik Williams
2011 Warren Edson, Esq.
2010 Leland Berger, Esq., NORML Legal Committee
2009 Richard Lee, Oaksterdam
2008 Seattle Hempfest
2007 Diane and Bryan Brickner, Illinois NORML
John and Heather Masterson, Montana NORML
2006 Mason Tvert, SAFER
2005 Stephen Epstein, Esq.
2004 Chris Conrad, court qualified cannabis expert, and
Mikki Norris, Cannabis Consumers Campaign
2003 Elvy Musikka, Federal Medical Marijuana Patient

Outstanding NORML Chapter Award in Recognition of the Important Role Of Volunteer Activists Organized as Local and Regional NORML Chapters in the Fight to Legalize Marijuana

2018 Chicago NORML
2017 Texas NORML
2016 Florida NORML
2015 Maryland NORML
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 Orange County NORML, CA

NORML Board of Directors Special Appreciation Award

2018 no award given
2017 Ann Lee
2016 no award given
2015 Rep. Steve Cohen, Memphis, TN
2015 Chris Goldstein, Philly NORML
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 no award given
2011 Ben Masel
2010 no award given
2009 no award given
2008 no award given
2007 Hunter S. Thompson (posthumously)
2006 Tommy Chong, Comedian/Actor
2006 Jon Nicholson, Musician
2006 Phil Harvey, DKT Liberty Project
2005 no award given
2004 R. Keith Stroup, Esq.
2003 no award given
2002 no award given
2001 John Gilmore

Michael J. Kennedy Social Justice Award

2018 Michael E. Tigar
2017 no award given
2016 Gerald H. Goldstein, Esq.

Peter McWilliams Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Cause of Medical Marijuana

2018 Dan Viets, Missouri NORML, NORML Board of Directors
2017 no award given
2016 Ken Wolski
2015 no award given
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 Clint Werner, Author, San Francisco
2011 David Bearman, M.D.
2010 Richard Bayer, M.D.
2009 Don Duncan, Americans for Safe Access
2008 Dennis Peron
2007 Martin Martinez, Lifevine
2006 Jane Weirich [posthumously]
2005 Angel Raich and Diane Monson
Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck, I.M.M.L.Y.
2004 Irv Rosenfeld, Federal Medical Marijuana Patient
2003 Cheryl and Jim Miller
Mike and Valerie Corral, W.A.M.M.
2002 State Rep. Chris Giunchigliani, (D-NV)
State Sen. Mark Leno, (D-CA)
2001 Terence Hallinan, District Attorney, San Francisco

Pauline Sabin Award in Recognition of Exceptional Community Organization Dedicated to Repealing Marijuana Prohibition

2018 Cynthia Ferguson, Delaware NORML
2017 no award given
2016 Pamela Novy, Virginia NORML
2015 Ellen Komp, CA NORML
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 Diane Fornbacher, NORML Women's Alliance
2011 Anna Diaz, OR NORML
2010 Steph Sherer, Americans for Safe Access
2009 Tonya Davis, Ohio medical cannabis activist
2008 Alison Chinn-Holcomb, Esq.
2007 Madeline Martinez, Oregon NORML
2006 Mikki Norris, Equal Rights For All
2005 Debbie Goldsberry, Berkeley Patients Group
2004 Mary Lynn Mathre, R.N., Patients Out Of Time

Lester Grinspoon Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform in Grateful Recognition of Tireless Dedication to Reforming Unjust Marijuana Laws, the Selfless Devotion to Advancing the Cause of Personal Freedom and the Willingness, Regardless of the Professional Consequences

2018 no award given
2017 no award given
2016 Harry Levine and Loren Siegel
2015 no award given
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 no award given
2011 Gerald Goldstein, Esq.
2010 Harry Levine, Ph.D and Craig Reinarman, Ph.D
2009 Donald Abrams, MD, USF Medical School
2008 Tony Serra, Esq.
2007 Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D.
2006 Tod Mikuriya, M.D.
2005 Dale Gieringer, Ph.D.
2004 Melanie Dreher, Ph.D., R.N., Dean, University of Iowa School of Nursing
2003 Nadine Strossen, Esq., President, ACLU and Woody Harrelson
2002 Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D, Drug Policy Alliance
2001 Ira Glasser, Director, ACLU
2000 Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D and John Morgan, M.D.
1999 Lester Grinspoon, MD

NORML's Student Activism Award for Motivating and Empowering Young People to End Marijuana Prohibition

2018 no award given
2017 no award given
2016 Chris Thompson, Purdue NORML
2015 no award given
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 no award given
2011 Evan Nison, NJ NORML
2010 Jesse Stout, UC Hastings College of the Law
2009 Derek Copp, Grand Valley State University, MI
2008 University of Central Florida Chapter
2007 John Cleveland Lucy, Chapel Hill NORML
2006 Lauren Vazquez, University of California, Santa Barbara NORML
2005 Chris Mulligan, Florida State University NORML
2004 Richard Bradford, Florida State University NORML
2003 Shawn Heller, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Rufus King, Sr. Award For Outstanding Public Leadership in the Field of Marijuana Law Reform

2018 U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, (D-HI)
2017 no award given
2016 no award given
2015 DC Councilperson David Grosso
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 no award given
2011 Congressman Jared Polis, (D-CO)
2010 U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, (D-OR)
2009 Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, (D-CA)
2008 US Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-CA)
2007 Judge James Gray
2006 SF Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, (D-CA)
2005 no award given
2004 no award given
2003 no award given
2002 State Sen. John Vasconcellos, (D-CA)
2001 Gov. Gary Johnson, (R-NM)
2000 no award given
1999 Doug Mickelsen

NORML Cannabis and Culinary Award

2018 no award given
2017 no award given
2016 no award given
2015 no award given
2014 no award given
2013 no award given
2012 no award given
2011 no award given
2010 no award given
2009 no award given
2008 Charlie Baggs and Newman (Chicago, IL)
2007 Chris Lanter (Cache Cache, Aspen, CO)