PLEASE ALLOW ME TO respond to Gene A. Cisewski’s bizarre statement that all the attacks on the National Organization for the Repeal of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have “come from people on the outside looking in” (The Mail, 8/18). In fact, the exact opposite is true. NORML’s harshest critics are those who know the organization best. Currently, the National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against NORML on behalf of three former employees (of whom I am one), and NORML’s former Board of Directors is suing the organization for mismanagement. After working for and running NORML, these are the people who know the group better than anyone. Who does Cisewski think would be in a better position to know what they’re talking about?
As for Cisewski’s attempt to refute my statement that NORML’s national office often smelled like marijuana (City Desk, 8/11), I have to laugh. He cites what he calls the “professional leadership” of Allen St. Pierre (NORML’s assistant national director) as evidence that such a condition could not occur. In fact, the June issue of the Washington Monthly printed a copy of a memo by St. Pierre specifically acknowledging that marijuana use was allowed in the office between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Lastly, I do not know what Cisewski means when he refers to my “newly formed group.” I have no such group, although if I did, I assure him it would not count NORML among its allies. NORML’s incompetence currently does more harm to those trying to end marijuana prohibition than any anti-drug group does.
It is valiant of Cisewski, a longtime friend of recently ousted NORML Executive Director Dick Cowan, to attempt to defend the dying group, but I suggest next time he get his facts straight.