Cal NORML Board of Directors

Valerie Corral is the co-founder and the director of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the longest running medical marijuana collective in the US, founded in 1993 in Santa Cruz, California and now operating as . Valerie is also acting director of WAMM’s sister non-profit hospice team, Raha Kudo, Design for Dying Project.

Dale Gieringer (President) has been the state coordinator of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) since 1987. He is also Vice-Chairman of the national NORML board of directors, director of the California Drug Policy Forum (DPFCA) and treasurer of the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance.

Dr. Gieringer has published research on medical marijuana usage, marijuana smoke harm reduction, potency testing, marijuana and driving safety, and drug urinalysis. He has testified before the legislature and in court on issues concerning personal use of marijuana. He was one of the original co-authors of California’s medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215, and the proponent of Oakland’s Measure Z cannabis initiative in 2004.

In 2010, Dale was named High Times Freedom Fighter of the Year and in 2011 he received a Drug Policy Alliance Robert Randall Award for Citizen Action.

David Goldman is currently the President of San Francisco chapter of the Brownie Mary Democratic Club.  From 2009 – 2011, he served as a patient advocate on the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Task Force.  From 2008 – 2013, he was the leader of the San Francisco Chapter of Americans for Safe Access.  He currently teaches Advocacy at Oaksterdam University.

Hirsh Jain began his cannabis journey he was 18 years old, working in UC Berkeley’s Public Defender’s Officer defending students that were accused of cannabis violations by the University. After graduating, Hirsh attended Harvard Law School, where his focus was the legal architecture and social impacts of The War on Drugs. He spent several years working in management consulting and the tech industry before joining the cannabis industry in 2018 as the West Coast Director of Government Affairs for MedMen, a Los-Angeles based cannabis retailer. He went on to work for Caliva, a San Jose-based cannabis brand, as its Director of Government Affairs.

Hirsh serves on the Board of Los Angeles NORML and the Los Angeles Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, and is as a Workshop Instructor at Success Centers, a San Francisco-based cannabis equity and educational non-profit. In January 2021, he left Caliva and founded his own consulting firm, Ananda Strategy, which serves California cannabis operators across the supply chain and assists equity operators.

Ellen Komp has been a hemp/marijuana activist since 1991. She began in Los Angeles where she helped plan quarterly hemp rallies and volunteered for LA NORML after being elected to the California NORML board of directors in 1992. She edited the 9th edition of The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer and was a volunteer petitioner for the California Hemp Initiative (1993, 1994) and Proposition 215 (1995).

Komp served on the San Luis Obispo County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board and co-founded The 215 Reporter, the first journal covering California’s medical marijuana law and its aftermath. She was a Program Associate at The Lindesmith Center in San Francisco (now Drug Policy Alliance) and in 2001 was named High Times’s Freedom Fighter of the Month. In 2002, Komp moved to Humboldt County where she worked for the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project in Garberville, and sat on the Humboldt County medical marijuana task force, resulting in a county ordinance to implement SB420.

She manages the website VeryImportantPotheads and recently published Tokin’ Women: A 4,000-Year Herstory. 

Frank Lucido MD has been practicing Family and General Medicine in Berkeley since 1979. Since the passage of the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, he has been performing Medical Cannabis evaluations, and has written and lectured on the subject widely.

Dr. Lucido is also founder of Lucido Medical-Legal Consulting, to give expert medical testimony for legitimate patients who use cannabis medicinally, and for responsible physicians who recommend it appropriately, both in California as well as in other states. He is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Bruce Margolin is a longtime criminal defense attorney who specializes in marijuana and drug laws. He is the director of the Los Angeles chapter of NORML and author of The Margolin Guide to Marijuana Law.

Among Bruce’s famous clients are Timothy Leary, Tony Serra, and Linda Lovelace, along with members of the band Guns n’ Roses.

Denise Martellacci (Secretary) became a cannabis activist beginning in 2005 when her local dispensary in Hayward started having compliance issues with the city’s strict regulations. In 2008 she attended Oaksterdam University, and began campaigning for better medical access in her region.

Denise is founder of the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of Alameda County, which was named Club of the Year by the County Democrats in 2016. She is an alternate to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.

Lauren Mendelsohn is a cannabis attorney and activist. In college at the University of Maryland, Lauren was involved with NORML and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). When she moved to the West Coast for law school at the University of California, Irvine, she started a new chapter of Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy there, and became an active member of Orange County NORML. She is now the Senior Associate Attorney at the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa in Sonoma County, where she has worked since 2016. She sits on the boards of the International Cannabis Bar Association and the Sonoma County Growers Alliance.

William Panzer is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and Golden Gate University School of Law. He has been practicing law in the Bay Area for thirty years, specializing in cannabis defense.

Panzer is a co-author of California’s Proposition 215, the nation’s first law legalizing the use of cannabis by patients pursuant to a physician’s recommendation. In his practice he has represented patients, growers, and medical cannabis dispensaries throughout California in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate level.

Bill has lectured at numerous NORML legal seminars, conferences and other events on cannabis law and related issues. Bill is a former winner of the NORML “Al Horn Award” and a two-time winner of the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana’s “Compassion In Action” Award, as well as a High Times magazine “Freedom Fighter of the Month.”

Jackie Wilson (Treasurer) served on the board of the Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center of Berkeley. Among her many contributions, she proofreads the Cal NORML newsletter with an expert eye. She recalls, “My kindergarten-teacher, League-of-Women-Voters mom met Elsie Sinclair at the Ann Arbor Unitarian Church. Elsie was trying to get her son John out of Jackson State Prison, where he was serving a 10-year sentence for two joints. They marched for and acted for many things, including John’s cause, world hunger, housing, black lives, abortion rights, and drug legalization.”

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