The Board of Directors for the Greater St. Louis NORML chapter is updating our bylaws to remove and improve minor inconsistences, contradictions, director duties, rules on voting and to bring them into closer alignment with the National NORML office recommendations.

Bylaws Draft
Proposed Bylaws Draft for GSTL NORML.

General GSTL NORML members are encouraged to review the proposed draft document Bylaws by clicking on the link.

In this version there are three types of revisions. 1) Strike though type – Content that should be replaced. 2) NORML sample Bylaws verbiage – Content highlighted in Orange. 3) UPDATES – Content added by Greater St. Louis NORML Directors which is highlighted in Blue.

NORML’s sample Bylaws were used as the source for all changes. This ensures we have a solid foundation in which to make these revisions.


Greater St. Louis NORML Bylaws

ARTICLE I. Purpose

Section 1.

This organization shall promote a better understanding of:

1a. The current status of laws concerning cannabis (marijuana) in the State of Missouri and in the United States at large;

1b. The medical, legal, environmental, economic and civil libertarian arguments for more reasonable treatment of cannabis in the laws of the state and the United States and;

1c. The policy options for cannabis regulation as delineated in the NORML Official Policy Statement.

Section 2.

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 Affiliate and Chapter Guidelines.

Section 3.

This affiliate shall be commonly known as Greater St. Louis NORML hereafter referred to as “the Chapter”.

ARTICLE II. Membership

Section 1.

The membership shall be divided into active and associate members:

1a. 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.

1b. 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, 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.

Section 2.

The names of new active members shall be sent to the national office of NORML every month.

Section 3.

Active membership shall be divided into the following categories based on annual membership dues paid by the member:

3a. Basic ($ 25.00)

3b. Sustainer ($ 60.00)

3c. Friend ($120.00)

3d. Benefactor ($420.00)

Section 4.

At the discretion of the Board of Directors, special amenities, event discounts, and promotions may be made available to members of The Chapter.

ARTICLE III. Board of Directors

Section 1.

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 five (5).

1a. The Board may appoint associate board members or advisors who have no official vote.

Section 2.

Board Officers: 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.

2a. Duties of Officers of the Board of Directors

i) These are descriptions of duties and are to be used as guidelines. There are no absolute and specific limitations or obligations of responsib ility 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.

2b. 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:

Running the chapter Gmail account with the Communications Director

Joining the monthly National conference call

Filing taxes with Treasurer

Talking to the press and conduct interviews on behalf of the Chapter

2c. 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:

Keeping the Bylaws and Mission Statement updated

Standing in for the ED for monthly National conference call if necessary

Preparing agenda and run meetings

2d. 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 executing the yearly fundraiser

Keeping records of merchandise, money, and membership dues

Filing taxes with Executive Director

2e. 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 social media accounts

Running the chapter Gmail account with the Executive Director

2f. 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

Updating the monthly Board of Director meeting minutes

Updating and organizing the Chapter calendar

Helping to maintain all chapter records

Planning the time and venue for BOD meetings

Section 3.

All Elected Directors serve for a term of two (2) 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.

3a. Any Board member or Officer may be removed for just cause by a supermajority of 65% of the Board present and voting in the affirmative.

3b. Four 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 prior to a vote being held. The Board member subject to removal is not eligible to vote on this matter.

3c. Participation on national conference call is required by at least one member of the Board of Directors.

Section 4.

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 organization and capable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the position.

4a. 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.

Section 5.

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

Section 1.

The Executive Director shall nominate two (2) of her Board Officers to serve on an Executive Committee; said committee shall be comprised of three (3) Officers of the Board of Directors. Nominations must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

1a. The Executive Director shall chair the Executive Committee. 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.

ARTICLE V. Membership Meetings

Section 1.

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 via email and the date and time of the meeting will be posted on all outgoing social media platforms as well as the national website.

1a. The quorum needed for the general conduct of business is ten (10) percent of the active membership or ten (10) members (including me mbers of the Board of Directors present), whichever is fewer.


Section 1.

Only active members may vote. 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. The majority is fifty percent plus one of the active members present.

1a. No new member, who joins at a meeting, may vote at that meeting, but may vote only at subsequent meetings.

1b. Voting by active members will take place in person or via online forms.


Section 1.

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.

1a. A bank account must be established within 90 days of the Chapter being approved.

1b. 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.

1c. 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.

1d. The Chapter shall provide a copy of their financial statements on a quarterly basis or upon the request from NORML national.


Section 1.

Nominations and elections for board members shall take place during the membership meeting held in the month of August.

Section 2.

Election rules:

2a. The quorum to conduct nominations and elections is ten (10) percent of the active membership, or ten (10) members, whichever is fewer.

2b. The majority required to elect a new Board member is fifty percent plus one of the active membership present at the meeting.

2c. 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.

2d. 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.

2e. At the discretion of the Executive Director, voting may be either by show of hands, voicing ‘aye’ or ‘nay’, or by written or online ballot.

ARTICLE IX. Amendments

Section 1.

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.

1a. 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 X. Parliamentary Authority

Section 1.

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 XI. Copies of Bylaws

Section 1.

Copies of bylaws shall be posted on the official Chapter website, and made available to anyone upon request.

ARTICLE XII. Approval of Bylaws

Section 1.

These bylaws have been reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors as shown below:

Board Position

Executive Director: Blake Bell

Deputy Director: Karin Spinks Chester

Treasurer: Terri Zeman

Director: Chris Chesley

Communications Director: Cecil King