Washington, DC: Allen St. Pierre officially took over this week as Executive Director of NORML, replacing NORML founder Keith Stroup, who headed the organization from 1970 to 1979, and again from 1995 to 2004. Stroup, 61, had announced last spring that he would be stepping down as head of NORML at the end of the year. He will remain on the NORML staff on a part time basis.
"Allen St. Pierre was the board's first, and only, choice to replace NORML's founder R. Keith Stroup," said Stephen Dillon, chairman of NORML's Board of Directors.
St. Pierre has served with the NORML organization since 1991, and was appointed Executive Director of the NORML Foundation in 1997.
"Frankly speaking, there simply would be no NORML today without Allen's presence and dedication to the organization and the marijuana law reform movement," Dillon said. "Allen's forgotten more about marijuana and marijuana policy than most scholars will ever know about the subject matter. Allen has traveled the United States, Canada and Europe effectively and passionately advocating for marijuana law reform and has faithfully and professionally represented NORML, marijuana consumers and marijuana law reform, over 4,000 times in the major media since 1991."
Stroup added: "Allen has been with NORML for 14 years, serving as the number two person for much of that time. He is a dedicated, hard working, bright and committed individual who has earned the right to take his turn at the helm. I have depended on Allen for much of the work we have accomplished during my second term at NORML, and I am confident his energy and new ideas will provide a needed boost to the organization."
St. Pierre began his tenure as Executive Director by calling on feedback from NORML's membership, and laying out plans to broaden the organization's base by reaching out to ethnic minorities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition, and by initiating a series of small, regional advertising campaigns.
"Input from NORML's supporters is crucial for the national office's staff, NORML's 115 chapters, the 350 lawyers who comprise NORML's National Legal Committee and me to effectively represent the interests of cannabis consumers and the general public," St. Pierre said. He added that the organization is releasing soon a series of comprehensive reports analyzing the social and economic ramifications of marijuana law enforcement in all of the counties in all 50 states.
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