News Release

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April 17, 2001

Political Officials, Leaders to Call for an End to Marijuana Prohibition at "4/20" NORML Conference
Three-Day Forum Will Be Broadcast Live on Internet

        Washington DC:  Governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) will join Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser, San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan and other distinguished guests this week at the annual conference of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).  Speakers will call on federal officials to end the war on marijuana smokers, and stop arresting patients and others who use marijuana responsibly.
        "Marijuana-law reform is a mainstream issue that enjoys growing public support, as is evident by the contingent of prominent elected officials appearing at this year's conference," announced NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq.  "Millions of responsible Americans smoke marijuana, and they should no longer be arrested or treated like criminals."
     The three-day convention starts Thursday, April 19, and will be broadcast live on the Internet at:  Ira Glasser will deliver the keynote address Thursday morning, followed by a special luncheon speech by Gov. Johnson.  Congressman Frank will speak at noon on Saturday.  NORML scheduled this year's conference to coincide with "4/20," the date that has become synonymous in the popular culture with the celebration of personal freedom by marijuana smokers.
        Other panel discussions will include: racial discrimination in drug law enforcement, international developments in marijuana-law reform, an examination of how media coverage shapes drug policy, and an evaluation of the 107th Congress and the prospects for federal marijuana-law reform.  Social events include an opening night silent auction and special awards presentation, as well as a NORML benefit party on Friday night.


Gary Johnson is the twice-elected Republican governor of New Mexico, and is one of the nation's leading advocates for ending the drug war and legalizing marijuana.  He is one of America's highest ranking public officials to speak out against the war on drugs.

Rep. Barney Frank is serving his 11th term in Congress.  He is a leading drug-law reform advocate and is the lead sponsor of federal legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

Ira Glasser heads the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he has served as Executive Director for the past 23 years.  He has testified frequently before Congress in support of amending federal drug laws.  He will be retiring later this year.

Terence Hallinan is the District Attorney for San Francisco.  He was the only state prosecutor to publicly support California's Proposition 215 in 1996, which legalized the use of medical marijuana.  Last year, he was the only state prosecutor to back Proposition 36, the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, which eliminated jail time for non-violent drug offenders.

Ethan Nadelmann is the Executive Director of The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation.  He is one of the chief strategists behind the statewide drug-law reform initiative effort, and one of the most respected critics of U.S. drug policy.

Dr. Lester Grinspoon is a professor (Emeritus) at Harvard Medical School and one of the world's leading experts on the medical value of marijuana.  He is the author of Marihuana Reconsidered and Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine.

Dr. John P. Morgan is a professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School, and is co-author of the book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence.  He was an invited speaker at Minnesota's first ever state-sponsored medical marijuana conference, held earlier this month.

Marsha Rosenbaum is the director of The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation West and co-author of Pregnant Women on Drugs: Combating Stereotypes and Stigma. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of harm reduction strategies for teenagers.


For further information, please contact NORML's Director of Communications Nicholas Thimmesch at (202) 483-5500 (office) or (703) 863-8008 (cell) or by e-mail at:  Registration information is available online at:

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