NORML executive director Erik Altieri has resigned from his post at the Washington, DC-based nonprofit. He took the position after Allen St. Pierre left in 2016.
Altieri stated at the NORML website:
“I’m proud that NORML has remained true to the mission on which it was founded in 1970: to advocate on behalf of cannabis consumers. NORML’s work focuses heavily on the core goal of ending prohibition, so no marijuana consumer is treated as a criminal or a second-class citizen in society.”
During his six-year run, 13 states legalized the adult use of cannabis.
Erik Altieri: "My initial activism was spurred by my irritation at the hypocrisy of our drug laws."
A Pennsylvania and New Jersey native, Altieri got his start with NORML as an intern in 2007.
He told Freedom Leaf in 2017 that, while attending American University in DC, "Marijuana became a part of my everyday life. I found it a great way to unwind at the end of a long, stressful day without compromising myself for the next day’s work and classes. I also, naturally, found it to be a great boon to my creativity when writing philosophical essays for my major. So I think my initial activism was spurred by my irritation at the hypocrisy of our drug laws; it never seemed right that the rest of society could legally and in the open consume as much alcohol as they deemed appropriate, but if I chose to spend an evening at home smoking a joint and playing video games while disturbing no one, I could risk having my door kicked in by an overly militarized police force."
Altieri said his initial plans for NORML were "modernization and mobilization." The organization certainly took steps in that direction with an improved website and outreach to members and cannabis consumers in general.
"Our only commitment is to marijuana consumers," he noted then. "Since I started at the organization, we’ve been able to increase the overall volume of our grassroots fundraising, without changing the spirit."
NORML’s Board of Directors has launched a search for Altieri's successor.