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NORML NZ: Annual General Meeting

National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, New Zealand Inc. PO Box 3307 Shortland St. Auckland New Zealand. Tel: (09) 302 5255 Fax: (09) 303 1309 E-mail: hempstor@ihug.co.nz Internet: www.norml.org.nz

Press Release: Annual General Meeting

NORML appoints Medical Marijuana Campaigner Danuiel Clark to the board and resolves to back law reform candidates this election.

16 AUGUST 1999 AUCKLAND: The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, attended by members and supporters of effective drug policy from across the country.

The current President, Chris Fowlie, was returned to his position, as was the Treasurer, Adrian Picot, a software programmer from Auckland. Ms Meteria Turei, an Auckland lawyer, was elected Secretary, and Richard Jeffries, of Christchurch, was elected South Island Coordinator.

In a move designed to signal it's increased emphasis on medical marijuana law reform, tetraplegic Danuiel Clark was also appointed NORML's Board as official Medical Marijuana Campaigner. Mr Clark, of Waihi, was recently imprisoned for growing his medicine, despite fulfilling all the criteria set out in the law in a previous application to the Minister of Health for a special dispensation. Yesterday Mr Clark's story featured on the 20/20 current affairs show on TV3.

NORML President Chris Fowlie said Mr Clark's long-standing dedication to the cause, coupled with this appointment and his upcoming legal action against the Department of Corrections shows that "Danuiel Clark and his medical marijuana are not going to go away. Together we're going to increase the pressure to get medical marijuana out of the hands of the police and organised crime, and under the control of health professionals, where it belongs."

One of the most controversial items on the agenda regarded NORML's campaigning for the up-coming general election. It was resolved "THAT NORML will endorse and campaign for suitable electoral candidates who are committed to marijuana law reform, in particular Jeanette Fitzsimons in the Coromandel electorate, Tim Barnett in Christchurch Central, and Nandor Tanczos in Auckland Central, and we will appraise other electoral candidates and endorse them as appropriate, AND THAT we urge our supporters to use their Party Vote strategically."

It was noted that Jeanette Fitzsimons, leader of the Green Party, is polling very well in the Coromandel electorate. Nandor Tanczos is a former board member of NORML's executive and is the Green Party's spokesperson on drugs issues. NORML has been closely working with Labour's Tim Barnett during the current Parliamentary term to keep marijuana law reform on the parliamentary agenda.

There was much discussion on the relative merits of whether to formally endorse the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, the Green Party, or neither this election. It was decided that NORML will publicise the drugs policies of all the parties, without making any formal endorsements on which party to urge our supporters to vote for.

FOR MORE INFO OR COMMENTS: call Chris Fowlie on 09 302-5252 or 025 297-6843

--

NORML New Zealand PO Box 3307 Auckland

ENDS

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