20th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Stroup obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois in 1965, and in 1968 he graduated from Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. Stroup first smoked marijuana when he was a first-year law student and has been a regular smoker since.

Following two years as staff counsel for the National Commission on Product Safety, in 1970 Stroup founded NORML and ran the organization through 1979, during which time 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses. Stroup has also practiced criminal law, lobbied on Capitol Hill for family farmers and artists, and for several years served as executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

In 1994 Stroup resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as Executive Director through 2004. He is currently NORML’s Legal Counsel.

In 1992 Stroup was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform presented by the Drug Policy Foundation; in 2004 he received a special award from the NORML Board of Directors for founding NORML; in 2007 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from MassCann NORML; in 2010 he received the Al Horn Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice from the NORML Legal Committee; in 2012 he received the High Times Lifetime Achievement Award; and in 2017 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marijuana Investors Conference.

In 2013 Stroup published the history of NORML entitled It’s NORML To Smoke Pot: the 40 Year Fight for Marijuana Smokers’ Rights.

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