Greater St Louis Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Chapter BY–LAWS: (date of origin 1 Feb 1994) (Revised February 20, 2011) (Revised: January 8, 2018, current version). A PDF version is located here.
ARTICLE I. Purpose
A. It shall be the purpose of this organization is to promote a better understanding of the following:
1. The current status of drug laws in the state of Missouri and in the United States at large.
2. The medical, legal, environmental, economic, and civil libertarian arguments for a more reasonable treatment of marijuana in the laws of the state of Missouri and the United States.
3. The policy options for marijuana 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 marijuana is an individual one and should not be dictated by law. This organization and any member of this organization shall be expressly prohibited from advocating the use of marijuana or any legal or illegal drugs in any manner. Furthermore, this clause may not be removed from these bylaws or amended in substance or intent without declaring these bylaws null and void.
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 in lieu of dues 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 associate members. Associate members may not hold office, vote, preside, officiate, or solicit funds on behalf of the organization without the written consent of the board.
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.
C. The names of new active members shall be sent to the national office of NORML every month.
D. Active membership shall be divided into the following categories based on annual membership dues paid by the member:
1. Basic ($ 10.00)
2. Regular ($ 25.00)
3. Privileged ($ 50.00)
4. Sponsor ($420.00)
ARTICLE III. Officers and Directors
A. 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 five (5). No officer or director may be an anonymous member. The board may be expanded but should always be an odd number of people.
B. Offices: 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.
C. Duties of Officers of the Board of Directors:
The Board and Officers shall act as a team and be ready and willing to share information and duties. Board members shall crosstrain and assist wherever possible.
1. The Executive Director provides the main leadership role for the chapter. The Executive Director is central to the direction and organization of the chapter, and is responsible for the following duties:
● Point of contact for all internal communications;
● Planning and execution of short–term and long-term goals;
● Maintaining the Chapter email account;
● Facilitation of board meetings;
● Joining the monthly National conference call
● Filing taxes with Treasurer
● Talking to the press and conduct interviews on behalf of the Chapter
2. The Deputy Director is 2nd in command of the organization, and helps the Executive Director in all of his/her tasks when needed. The Deputy Director is also in charge of the following duties:
● Maintaining Chapter Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation and Mission Statement;
● Participation on monthly conference call;
● Preparing of meeting agendas;
● Facilitation of membership meetings.
3. The Treasurer is the financial manager of the chapter, making sure all of the money is accounted for and ensuring that the chapter is raising money. The Treasurer’s duties are the following:
● Updating the monthly bank account statement
● Planning and execution of short term and long term fundraising strategy.
● Keeping records of merchandise, money, and membership dues
● Filing taxes with Executive Director
4. The Communications Director is in charge of the chapter’s public image and outreach to the community and local media. The Communication Director is in charge of the following duties:
● Actively updating the chapter’s web site, social media and online accounts
● Regular communication with membership.
● Distribution of chapter materials and monthly newsletter.
5. The Secretary is the record keeper of the organization, and is intrinsic to the organization of the chapter. The Secretary is in charge of these duties:
● Updating and organizing the email list.
● Documentation of the monthly Board of Director meeting minutes.
● Documentation of monthly meeting minutes.
● Updating and organizing the Chapter calendar
● Helping to maintain all chapter records
● Planning the time and venue for BOD meetings
D. All Elected Directors serve for a term of one (1) year, beginning at the end of the meeting when the election is held and his or her term ends at the end of the meeting where the new board is elected. Appointed Directors serve until the next scheduled elections for Board positions.
E. Any Board member or Officer may be removed for just cause by a supermajority of four (4) elected Directors of the Board, or 70% if the board has expanded beyond the minimum of five (5) Directors, present and voting in the affirmative. Abstention votes do not count towards a supermajority.
1. Any action against another Board member for the purpose of removal must be must be conveyed as a written notification to the state or regional National NORML representative before any Board action is initiated.
2. Four absences without excuse from scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors represent just cause for removal from the Board. The Board must notify the derelict Director in writing of the impending action two weeks before a vote is to be called. The Board member in question shall be given the opportunity to speak prior to a vote being held. The Board member subject to removal is allowed to vote on this matter.
F. Participation on national conference call is required by at least one member of the Board of Directors.
G. The Board may appoint non-Board members to the specific, non-voting Director roles for Events, Public Relations, Website development, Training, Sponsor Development, Legal Advisors, Parliamentary Advisor, Membership Coordinator and other ad hoc committees. The Chapter’s membership list should not be administered by a non-Board member.
H. Filling Board vacancies: Board members may nominate candidates immediately upon notification of the vacancy to all board members. 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 organization 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.
I. Board of Directors:
1. There shall be 5 Directors elected every year who shall constitute the Board of Directors. All legal authority shall be in the hands of the Board of Directors.
2. 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. Membership Meetings
A. The Chapter’s membership will meet at least six (6) times per year. The Board shall give members seven days advance notice of each meeting and the date and time of the meeting will be posted on all outgoing social media platforms as well as the national website.
1. The quorum needed for the general conduct of business is ten (10) percent of the active membership or ten (10) members (including members of the Board of Directors present), whichever is fewer.
ARTICLE V. Voting
A. Only active members may vote.
B. The quorum is ten (10) percent of the active membership or ten (10) members (including members of the Board of Directors present), whichever is fewer.
1. New members, who join at a meeting, may vote at the second meeting they attend.
2.. Voting by active members may take place in person or via online forms.
ARTICLE VI. Business Meetings
The Board may meet in closed session to conduct chapter business or may conduct open business meetings at regularly scheduled chapter meetings. The Board must meet four (4) times minimum during the calendar year. Open business meetings will utilize Roberts Rules of Order and follow procedures for conducting business outlined in the Bylaws.
ARTICLE VII. Finances
A. All funds are to 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. Dues shall be paid by each active member. The annual amount, which is not to be excessive, will be determined by the Board of Directors.
C. Dues are not a condition of membership only in the case of financial hardship, which must be discussed with the Board of Directors. In cases of financial hardship, the member must instead perform an 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 an official advisor, but may seek guidance from local professionals such as doctors, lawyers and journalists.
B. Official Advisors: In the event that one of these advisors chooses to act as an official advisor, any member may nominate him or her as an official advisor at the conclusion of any meeting. The active members shall vote on the nomination at the following meeting.
ARTICLE IX. Elections
A. Nominations and elections for directors shall take place during the first meeting held in the month of February. Board seats shall all be filled by election, and no financial commitment or donation to the Chapter may be required in exchange for election to the board of directors.
B. Election rules:
1. The quorum to conduct nominations and elections is ten (10) percent of the active membership, or ten (10) members, whichever is fewer.
2. The majority required to elect a new Board member is fifty percent plus one of the active membership present at the meeting.
3. 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.
4. Any active member of the organization may nominate themselves or another 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.
5. At the discretion of the Executive Director, voting may be either by show of hands, voicing ‘aye’ or ‘nay’, by secret ballot, or by written or online ballot.
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 ten percent of the active membership, or ten (10) 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 XI. Parliamentary Authority
National NORML bylaws and “Robert’s 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 these bylaws shall be made available to anyone upon request.