The NORML board has a new chairperson, TV travel host Rick Steves.
He replaces Randy Quast who returns to his previous position as treasurer. Evan Nison, who was treasurer, replaces Courtney N. Moran as vice-chair
These actions were taken at at a virtual board meeting February 6.
NORML announced the move with a blog post by Steves:
"I’ve served on NORML’s board for many years and spent the past few election seasons campaigning around the country for legalization ballot initiatives. And it seems to me all that hard work may be coming to an exciting climax this year. Imagine: our federal government may be about to deschedule marijuana… to recognize that each state has the right to regulate pot as its citizens see fit. That’s why I’m more excited than ever about what lies ahead. And that’s why I’m honored to have been elected to serve as the Chair of NORML’s Board of Directors for 2021.
"I support legalization not because I’m pro-pot… but because I’m anti-prohibition, pro-freedom and pro-common sense. Just like the failed prohibition of alcohol, our current laws against marijuana use are causing more harm to our society than the drug itself."
Board member Rick Cusick tells CelebStoner:
"With Democrat leadership in the White House, the Senate and the Congress, 2021 looks to be banner year in cannabis law reform. Rick Steves has been a longtime board member of NORML and he graciously accepted when he was asked. It's the perfect time for him to take the chair. He's a committed activist, a well-known celebrity and philanthropist, and a really good guy. Evan Nison, our new vice-chair, is one of the best activists I've ever known and I expect the synergy between these two will be very productive. I'm really looking forward to this year."
Cusick also noted board member Kyndra Miller has stepped down.
In September, Steves stumped for legalization (virutally) in a number of states, stating: “I see this work as a civic duty, an act of good citizenship."
Best known for his long-running PBS travel series Rick Steves' Europe and tour guides, Steves first campaigned for the marijuana voter initiatives in Washington State, where he's from, in 2012. He's since worked on nine more successful efforts, including recently Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota, where adult-use legalization passed at the ballot box on November 6. He's been on the NORML board for the last decade. Read more about Steves here.
Steves is a high-profile name to have as chair, but the board shuffling fails to reflect diversity with two male non-POC in leadership roles.