EXCLUSIVE: Wyoming NORML Director Says She is Not Stepping Down
In an exclusive report, KOWB has learned that Chris Christian, Executive Director of the Wyoming chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), says she’s not stepping down.
“I am continuing on as the director pending the reorganization and I will continue to have a position on the board of directors,” says Christian.
Christian says that none of the interim board of directors will be staying on in their current roles.
“National NORML is very, very unimpressed with the way [Deputy Director] Lee Roith has conducted himself here and tried to take to take over the organization from me,” says Christian. “They’re not going to let that happen.”
NORML representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Christian says that a meeting to reorganize the Wyoming NORML chapter has been called for some time next week. Several people interested in furthering the organization will attend, and a new board of directors will be selected from applicants.
“Kevin Mahmalji from national NORML will be doing the interviews and the selection,” says Christian. “He has informed me that none of the former board of directors will be considered except for myself.”
An email from the Interim Treasurer of Wyoming NORML Madalene Ordes on Wednesday, Dec. 2 said that the organization had "realigned it's [sic] officers due to the former director's departure."
On Sunday, Nov. 29, Christian attempted to resign her position and indicated her desire to Kevin Mahmalji, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML, to completely dissolve the chapter. Christian says that national NORML refused to accept her resignation.
Mahmalji says that the chapter is “in limbo” pending a reorganization, but the petition for a ballot initiative is still being circulated in the hope of gathering 25,673 signatures by Feb. 8, 2016.
Roith says the organization is still working toward their goal of obtaining enough signatures to have the Peggy A. Kelly Cannabis Act of 2016 placed on the general election ballot in November.
“I don’t have an exact number, but I’m fairly confident that we’re approaching the ten thousand number statewide,” says Roith.
“We’re nowhere near the goal,” says Christian. “We do not project to get it on the twenty-sixteen ballot at all.”
“Nationally, we would like to see the ballot initiative move forward,” says Mahmalji. “Of course, with this being filed through Wyoming NORML, it would be hard to really continue that path if we were to dissolve the Wyoming chapter in its entirety.”
NORML is working on a press release as they continue to look for ways to maintain both the Wyoming chapter and the ballot initiative.