Bylaws and Constitution
ARTICLE I. Purpose
This organisation shall promote a better understanding of:
- The current status of laws concerning cannabis (marijuana) in the United Kingdom.
- The medical, legal, environmental, economic and civil libertarian arguments for more reasonable treatment of cannabis in the laws of the United Kingdom.
- The policy options for cannabis regulation as delineated in the NORML Official Policy Statement.
This organisation 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 Affiliate Guidelines.
This affiliate shall be commonly known as NORML UK, hereafter referred to as “the Chapter”.
ARTICLE II. Membership
The membership shall be divided into active and associate members.
- Only individuals whose affiliate dues are up to date or who have performed an agreed upon service in lieu of dues are considered active members of the Chapter.
- All others interested in furthering the purpose of the organisation, including paid members of the national organisation who are not active members of the Chapter, may be associate members. Associate members shall not hold office, vote, preside, officiate, or solicit funds on behalf of the Chapter without the written consent of the board.
The names of new active members shall be sent to the national US office of NORML every month.
Active membership shall be divided into the following categories based on annual membership fees paid by the member:
- Standard £15
- Premium £45
- Concession (Student/OAP) £7.50
Membership sign up fees will include a free gift or gift pack depending on category and is payable by a range of options.
At the discretion of the Board of Directors, special amenities, event discounts, and promotions may be made available to Standard, Concessionary, and Premium Member
ARTICLE III. Board of Directors
- Only active members of the Chapter shall be eligible to serve as elected or appointed members of the Board of Directors. The minimum number of Board members shall be (5) FIVE.
- The Board may appoint associate board members or advisers who have no official vote.
- The Board of Directors shall elect Officers of the Board of Directors. Only members of the Board of Directors may be Officers of the Board.
- The Board may appoint associate board members or advisers who have no official vote.
Duties of Officers of the Board of Directors
These are descriptions of duties and are to be used as guidelines. There are no absolute and specific limitations or obligations of responsibility or authority. The Board and Officers shall act as a team and be ready and willing to share information and duties. Board members shall cross-train and assist wherever possible
- Executive Director (chairperson) – Acts as primary spokesperson for the organisation. Presides at all meetings and promotes an effective liaison with other organisations., politicians, the media, the public and the USA office of Norml.
- Deputy Director serves as Acting Director when the Executive Director is unable to do so and assists the Executive Director in his or her duties.
- Media & Public Relations Director – serves as administrator of online presence, such as website, e-commerce, Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. Produces press releases, newspaper op-eds and LTEs, and assists Executive & Deputy Director for media appearances.
- Secretary: keeps and safeguards membership rosters, takes minutes of meetings, and 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.
- Treasurer: maintains accurate financial records including accounting, banking, budget tracking for purposes of reconciliation of grant and gift funding as required and disbursement of funds. Accounting should include expense and income reports by category on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis and as needed.
- Political Lobbying Director: one of the spokespeople for the organisation, working with other board members to provide an effective liaison with external organisations, politicians, the media, the public. To include lobbying for civil rights and recreational cannabis consumption. Responsible for working with board and executive committee members to develop a comprehensive political strategy.
- Communications & Community Outreach Director: actively communicates and corresponds directly with the cannabis community and members of NORML UK and international NORML chapters. Produces video and other media for NORML UK and provides support for other Executive members when required. Feeds back to the Board of Directors the concerns and feeling of the cannabis community as well as the membership. Facilitates the growth of membership and establishment/organisation of new regional chapters. Maintains social networking sites
- Community Outreach Director (Wales)
- Medical Campaign Director : bringing awareness of medical uses of cannabis, providing PCTs, GPs, and specialists with scientific evidence for the medicinal properties of cannabis, working alongside other board members to ensure best practice for medical marijuana patients in terms of care and information
- Director of Education: develops educational programs for adults and young people in the UK to counter prohibitionist myths. To work with the research and harm reduction, and medical teams to provide well referenced information, which is accessible to all.
- Research & Harm Reduction Campaign Directors To assist the team source and collect information pertaining to the needs of all NORML-UK Directors for use on campaigns, fighting misinformation, helping patients and all other NORML-UK requirements. Co-ordinate the harm reduction efforts for the NORML UK medical team. Generate campaigns, articles, flyers and media that encourage public safety and better awareness of the real dangers of prohibition. To create a common sense and fact based alternative to Talk to Frank.
- Civil Rights Campaign Director: Will raise awareness of the use of Cannabis as a sacrament in both established spiritual
practices as well as unique individual ways. To develop campaigns aimed
at addressing issues of personal/cognitive liberty and religious
freedom. To help other board members with efforts pertinent to spiritual
and sacramental users and forge links with other networks and activism
groups that focus on issues of spirituality and liberty.”
- Organisations Outreach Director: Contacting charities, N.G.O.’s and support network on behalf of NORML UK Medical Team, where current and up to date information on the beneficial uses of cannabis as an effective remedy for specific illnesses/diseases can be provided. Identifying where NORML UK can provide information and support to existing charities, N.G.O’s and support groups. Building working relationships with organisations for NORML UK allowing the medical team to provide relevant and up to date information where we think we can offer constructive and informative support on alternative therapies concerning cannabis and hemp.
All Elected Directors serve for a term of TWO years*, beginning on the first of the month following elections and ending on the first of the month following elections. Appointed Directors serve until the next scheduled elections for Board positions.
*Founding members of the chapter are to act as caretakers of the Board of Directors and fulfill the positions of Officers of the Board until the first AGM in May 2013.
- Any Board member or Officer may be removed for just cause by a super majority of 65% of the Board present and voting in the affirmative.
- Four unexcused absences from scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors represent just cause for removal from the Board.
- The Board member in question shall be given the opportunity to speak and bring witnesses on their behalf prior to a vote being held.
- The Board member subject to removal is not eligible to vote on this matter.
- Nominations and elections for board members shall take place during the AGM in May every second year, unless in the event of The Board being left with less than the 5 Officers required to maintain the Chapter. In this event an Extraordinary General Meeting can be called by the remaining elected officers or any other active members of the Chapter.
Filling Board vacancies: Board members may nominate candidates immediately, or at the board meeting following the vacancy. Elections may also occur at this meeting or be scheduled for the first available opportunity. Candidates to fill Board vacancies must be active members of this organisation and capable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the position.
- In the event no qualified candidates are nominated to fill a vacant board position, the Board may defer filling such vacancy until such time as a qualified candidate is nominated and approved by vote of the Board of Directors.
The quorum for the Board of Directors to conduct business shall be a majority of currently seated directors, with a minimum quorum of three (3) members.
ARTICLE IV. Executive Committee
The Board of Officers shall collectively nominate THREE members of the Board Officers to serve on an Executive Committee; said committee shall be comprised of THREE Officers of the Board of Directors. Nominations must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
- The Executive Committee shall take all necessary actions to pursue the objectives of the Chapter on a day-to-day basis, making decisions between regular meetings of the Board on matters that do not require the input of the full Board of Directors. Actions of the Executive Committee are subject to monthly review by the Board of Directors.
- The Executive Committee shall be reviewed once a year by the Board of Directors.
- The Executive Committee will be formed after the first AGM in May 2013, when board officers have been officially voted in by the membership.
ARTICLE V. Membership Meetings
- The organisation’s membership will meet at least 3 times per year in the form of 2 regional/national public meetings and ONE national AGM. The Board shall give members at least thirty-day advance notice of the meetings by posting an announcement of the meeting on the official Chapter website and sending out an e-mail to all registered members.
- The quorum needed for the general conduct of business is TEN percent of the active membership or 15 members (including members of the Board of Directors present), whichever is fewer.
ARTICLE VI. Voting
Only active members may vote. The quorum is TEN percent of the active membership or FIFTEEN members (including members of the Board of Directors present), whichever is fewer. The majority is fifty percent plus one of the active members present.
- Proxy voting by active members shall be allowed, provided the member’s ballot is signed by the member, clearly marked as to the member’s vote, and is received by the Chapter no later than 9am on the day of the election.
- No new member, who joins at a meeting, may vote at that meeting, but may vote only at subsequent meetings.
ARTICLE VII. Membership Fees
All funds are to be deposited and handled through a checking account at a reputable financial institution under the name of the Chapter and maintained by the Treasurer.
- Each active member shall pay dues, unless the Board of Directors, in extraordinary circumstances, waives dues. The annual dues amount shall not be excessive and will be determined by the Board.
- Dues are not the sole condition of membership, particularly in the case of financial hardship. Financial hardship cases shall be reviewed and approved by the Officers. In these cases the member applying shall perform a mutually agreed upon service in lieu of cash dues.The service requirements shall not be excessive.
ARTICLE VIII. Elections
*Nominations and elections for board members shall take place during the first AGM which will be held during May 2013.
*Thereafter Section 1. Nominations and elections for board members shall take place during the AGM in May every second year, unless in the event of Article III Section 3 (1-3).
- The quorum to conduct nominations and elections is ten (10) percent of the active membership, or fifteen (15) members, whichever is fewer.
- The majority required to elect a new Board member is fifty percent plus one of the active membership present at the meeting.
- If fifty percent plus one majority is not obtained by one of the candidates, the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes shall be dropped from consideration, and the active membership will vote again. In the event that fifty percent plus one majority of the active membership cannot be obtained by anyone, the voting will be postponed until the next meeting.
- Any active member of the organization may nominate an active member for a Board position by raising his or her hand and indicating such when recognized. Each active member shall have one vote per Board vacancy.
- At the discretion of the Executive Committee, voting may be either by show of hands, voicing ‘aye’ or ‘nay’, or by written ballot. In the event of more than 2 candidates standing for the a post, a single transferable vote will take place.
ARTICLE IX. Amendments
Any active 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.
- The quorum for an amendment is ten percent of the active membership, or fifteen (15) members, whichever is fewer. A two-thirds majority of active members present at the time of the voting is needed to amend the bylaws.
ARTICLE X. Parliamentary Authority
National NORML bylaws 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 XI. Copies of Bylaws
Copies of bylaws shall be posted on the official Chapter website, and made available to anyone upon request.
ARTICLE XII. Approval of Bylaws
These bylaws have been reviewed and approved by the Board of
Directors as shown by our signatures below:
Officers Signatures under applicable name then insert Date: 9th February 2013
Officers of the Board
Des Humphrey – Executive Director
Jo Moss – Deputy Director/Secretary
Chris Bovey – Treasurer/Webmaster
Greg de Hoedt – Communications & Community Outreach Director
Tina Medes – Medical Campaign Director
Andy Bishop – Organisations Outreach Director
Toby Denney – Director of Research
Matt Aldridge – Harm Reduction Campaign Director
Lowell Wolfe – Civil Rights Campaign Director
Political Lobbying Director – Sarah McCulloch
Director of Education – Vacant
Media & Public Relations Director – Vacant
Executive Committee :
3 places to be filled after board officers have been voted in at the first AGM