NORML 2003 Conference Draws More Than 500High Profile Speakers, Near Record Turnout Reflective Of “Progress We Are Making Politically”

San Francisco, CA: An overflow crowd of more than 500 marijuana-law reformers jammed the halls of San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency Hotel to attend last week’s national NORML Conference, and call for an end to America’s criminal pot laws. This year’s conference, entitled “Back to Basics: Stop Arresting Marijuana Smokers,” also featured a special fourth day focusing on activist training techniques for student reformers.

“We attracted a wonderful group of supporters,” said NORML’s Keith Stroup, who noted that this year’s conference was one of the largest in the organization’s 33-year history. “The energy level and the mood of the attendees were extremely high. Also, this year we featured a wide range of celebrity and prominent speakers, such as actor Woody Harrelson, former NFL star Mark Stepnoski, travel writer and television host Rick Steves, Canadian Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, California Assemblyman Mark Leno, and ACLU President Nadine Strossen, among others. The willingness of these prominent citizens to join with us to call for a cease-fire in the war on marijuana smokers is reflective of the progress we are making politically.”

Additional speakers at this year’s conference included San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan; NORML Foundation Board Chair Dr. John P. Morgan; Dr. Lester Grinspoon, author of “Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine;” national columnist Dan Savage; Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) President Shawn Heller; and legendary hemp activist Jack Herer, who received NORML’s lifetime achievement award.

News stories on the NORML conference were featured prominently in The San Francisco Chronicle and on several local television and radio programs.

NORML and the NORML Foundation offer our sincerest gratitude to everyone who attended and helped make the 2003 conference our most successful ever.

Photos and highlights from the 2003 NORML conference will be available shortly on the NORML web site at: