W-V-NORML; Willamette Valley (Eugene, OREGON) Chapter of
the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
Chapter BY-LAWS – v1.0 - as of: 10/1/2006
Article I. Purpose
A. It shall be the purpose of this organization to promote a better understanding of the following:
1. The current status of laws concerning cannabis (marijuana) in the state of Oregon and in the United States at large.
2. The medical, legal, environmental, economic, and civil libertarian arguments for a more reasonable treatment of cannabis in the laws of the state of Oregon and the United States.
3. The policy options for cannabis regulation as delineated in the NORML Official Policy Statement.
B. It is the opinion of this organization that the decision concerning the recreational use of cannabis is an individual one and should not be dictated by law. Further it is the opinion of this organization that abuse of cannabis or any other substance is a health issue and policy should not be dictated or otherwise controlled by law enforcement. At the same time the board and members recognize the obligation to follow policy governing responsible use. This is to include but not be constrained to recreational use limited to adults only, operation of motor vehicles or dangerous machinery, consideration of abuse potential and respect for the rights of others (Refer to Article XIII).
C. This organization shall be affiliated with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), in accordance with the guidelines enumerated in the NORML Activist Program and Chapter Guidelines.
Article II. Membership
A. The membership shall be divided into active and associate members.
1. Only individuals whose chapter dues are up to date or who have performed an agreed upon service are considered active chapter members.
2. All others interested in furthering the purpose of the organization, including paid members of the national organization who are not active members of the chapter, shall be associated members. While nobody has ever been arrested merely for exercising their Constitutional right to join NORML or work on its behalf, WV (Eugene) NORML appreciates that many people are scared to death of becoming cannon fodder in the war on some drugs. So we welcome volunteer efforts and contributions from nonmembers as well as members. However, Associated members may not hold office, vote, preside, officiate, or solicit funds on behalf of the organization. They may do so with expressed consent of the board as an Advisor. (see below)
B. It shall be the option of any member to have his or her name listed on the open rolls of the organization as John or Jane Doe and to be listed in a closed membership book for the purpose of membership certification. This book shall be available only to officers of the organization, or to those authorized by full board approval for a specific purpose and/or time.
C. The names of new active members shall be sent to the national office of NORML every month. Upon joining the chapter, active members shall receive free one-year trial memberships from the national office.
Article III. Officers and Board of Directors
A. Only active members shall be eligible to serve as appointed or elected officers. No officer may be an anonymous member. The board shall try to maintain an odd number of members in case of deadlocks. The board shall have the authority to appoint 'exparte board members', or advisors, who have no official vote. See Article VIII.
B. Offices: these are descriptions of duties and are meant to be used as guidelines and not absolute and specific limitations or obligations of responsibility or authority. The board shall endeavor at all times to act as a team and be ready and willing to share information and duties. To this end active members shall cross-train and assist wherever possible.
1. Director: is the spokesperson for the organization. The Director presides at all meetings, and promotes an effective liaison with other organizations, politicians, the media, the public, and the national office of NORML.
2. Assistant Director: serves as Acting Director when the Director is unable to do so, and assists the Director in his or her duties.
3. Secretary: keeps and safeguards both open and closed membership rosters, takes the minutes of meetings, and initiates all press releases. Where viable the Secretary is responsible for sending updates of the membership rosters, minutes from the meetings, newspaper clips, press releases, and periodic Movement Update Forms to the national office of NORML.
4. Treasurer: is responsible for accounting, banking and disbursement of funds. Accounting should include expense and income reports by category on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
5. Advisor Director: Special projects and advisors Liaison, to handle special duties and situations not covered above.
C. All officers serve for a term of one year, beginning on the first of the month following elections and ending on the first of the month following elections in the subsequent year.
D. Filling unexpected vacancies:
1. Nominations are taken at the meeting following the vacancy. Elections may also occur at this meeting. Or be scheduled for the first available opportunity.
2. Elections for unexpired vacancies otherwise follow the procedures outlined in Article IX, Section B of these bylaws.
Article IV. Meetings
A. The organization will meet at least twelve times per year.
B. Adequate advance notice must be given to the membership.
Article V. Voting
A. Only active members may vote.
B. The quorum is thirty-three percent of the active membership.
C. The majority is fifty percent plus one of the active members present.
Article VI. General Business Meetings
The quorum needed for the general conduct of business is 33% of the active membership.
Article VII. Finances
A. All funds are too be deposited and handled through a checking account at a reputable financial institution under the name of the chapter, or maintained by the Treasurer until an account can be established.
B. Each active member shall pay dues. The annual amount, which is not to be excessive, will be determined by the officers.
C. Dues are not a condition of membership only, particularly in the case of financial hardship, which must be reviewed and approved by the officers. In these cases the member must perform a mutually agreed upon service, such as but not limited to, five hours of library research. The service requirements shall not be excessive.
Article VIII. Advisors
A. The organization is not required to have advisors, but may seek guidance from local professionals such as doctors, lawyers and journalists.
B. Official (open roll) and Associate Advisors:
1. Membership may nominate an advisor at meetings. It shall be stated at the beginning and be an item on the agenda. Membership shall be notified of the nomination and that the position will be voted on at the next meeting.
2. The quorum for approving an official advisor is 50% of the active membership. A two-thirds majority of active members present at the time of the voting is needed to amend the bylaws.
Article IX. Elections
A. Nominations and elections for officers shall take place during the first meeting held in the month of July.
B. Election codes:
1. The quorum to conduct nominations and elections is thirty-three percent of the active membership.
2. The majority required to elect a new officer is fifty percent plus one of the active membership present at the meeting.
3. If 50% + 1 is not obtained by one of the candidates, the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes shall be dropped form consideration, and the active membership will vote again. In the event that 50% + 1 of the active membership cannot be obtained by anyone, the voting will be postponed until the next meeting.
4. Any member of the organization may nominate an active member for the office in question by raising his or her hand and indicating such when recognized. The active members shall cast secret, written ballots for the candidate of their choice. Each active member shall have one vote per office.
Article X. Amendments
A. Any member may introduce an amendment to these bylaws at the conclusion of any meeting. The active members shall vote on the amendment at the following meeting. If the amendment passes, it will take effect following approval by the national office of NORML.
B. The quorum for an amendment is 50% of the active membership. A two-thirds majority of active members present at the time of the voting is needed to amend the bylaws.
Article XI. Parliamentary Authority
National NORML by-laws and "Roberts Rules of Order", newly revised, by Sarah Corbin Roberts, shall be used in all cases not covered by these bylaws, including but not limited to removal of officers from the board and/or expulsion of members.
Article XII. Copies of Bylaws
Copies of bylaws shall be made available to anyone upon request.
Article XIII. Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use
When marijuana is enjoyed responsibly, subjecting users to harsh criminal and civil penalties provides no public benefit and causes terrible injustices. For reasons of public safety, public health, economics and justice, the prohibition laws should be repealed to the extent that they criminalize responsible marijuana use.
By adoption of this statement, the WV-NORML Board of Directors and Members attempts to define "responsible cannabis use."
A. ADULTS ONLY
Recreational cannabis consumption is for adults only. It is irresponsible to provide cannabis to children except for prescribed medical purpose.
Many things and activities are suitable for young people, but others absolutely are not. Children do not drive cars, enter into contracts, or marry, and they must not recreationally use drugs. As it is unrealistic to demand lifetime abstinence from cars, contracts and marriage, however, it is unrealistic to expect lifetime abstinence from all intoxicants, including alcohol. Rather, our expectation and hope for young people is that they grow up to be responsible adults. Our obligation to them is to demonstrate what that means.
The responsible cannabis consumer does not operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous machinery impaired by cannabis, nor (like other responsible citizens) impaired by any other substance or condition, including some medicines and fatigue.
Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition. Public safety demands not only that impaired drivers be taken off the road, but that objective measures of impairment be developed and used, rather than chemical testing.
C. SET AND SETTING
The responsible cannabis user will carefully consider his/her setting, regulating use accordingly.
"Set" refers to the consumers' values, attitudes, experience and personality, and "setting" means the consumers physical and social circumstances. The responsible cannabis consumer will be vigilant as to conditions-- time, place, mood, etc. -- and does not hesitate to say "no" when those conditions are not conductive to a safe, pleasant and/or productive experience.
D. RESIST ABUSE
Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users.
Abuse means harm. In a few extreme cases cannabis use may be harmful; but most is not. That which is harmful should be discouraged and treated as any other health issue; use that is not harmful need not be discouraged, much less controlled.
Wars have been waged in the name of eradicating "drug abuse", but instead of focusing on abuse, enforcement measures have been diluted by targeting all drug use, whether abusive or not. If marijuana use is to be targeted it is essential that a clear standard is developed to identify it.
E. RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS
The responsible cannabis user does not violate the rights of others, observes accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety, and respects the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis entirely.
No one may violate the rights of others, and no substance use excuses any such violation. Regardless of the legal status of cannabis, responsible users will adhere to rules such as emerging tobacco smoking protocols in public and private places.