August 12, 2010

When Activists Allegedly Attack - E-mail from Russ Belville Norml

I will blog more about this later. In the meantime, things are rockin' and rollin' on the Cannabis Scene in San Diego County.

Oh, and congratulations to everyone who took a stand and spoke the truth, despite everyone's advice to just be quiet, don't stir the pot, let someone else do it. Well, I say DEATH TO BULLIES. No one should ban everyone who simply asks them a question.

-----Original Message-----

From: Russ Belville []

Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:11 PM

To: 'NORML Affiliates'

Cc:; 'Kimberly Simms'; 'Steve Lutzke'; 'SoCal NORML'

Subject: Suspension of Southern California NORML

The Southern California NORML Chapter, headed by Craig Beresh, is officially under suspension pending the removal of Mr. Beresh as executive director and formation of a new board for the non-profit, should it wish to apply for reinstatement. This is the culmination of many complaints we have received at National and California NORML about the operation of the chapter and the behavior of its director, Mr. Beresh.

We have attempted to determine the validity of the complaints and addressed them by telephone with Mr. Beresh twice. We were preparing for a fuller discussion of the issues with Mr. Beresh and the board of Southern California NORML by conference call when Mr. Beresh instead decided to bypass my office and call Keith Stroup directly, which led to a shouting match and Mr. Beresh posting an attack on San Diego Americans for Safe Access on his chapter's website (

The chapter's information has been removed from the national listings. The chapter's website,, shall be taken down by Monday or shall constitute unauthorized use of NORML's service mark. No one associated with Southern California NORML will use the NORML name or represent themselves as officers of NORML until the chapter is reinstated.

On a personal note, I recruited Mr. Beresh and approved SoCal NORML, so I must shoulder some of the blame. I will always stand by our chapter leaders first and foremost, unless they publicly betray NORML's mission (former Washington NORML publicly testifying against a legalization bill) or alienate our long-time respected allies (former Beverly Hills NORML threatening to sue people on our side of the battle). Add to that list calling my friend and mentor Keith Stroup and screaming at him on the telephone.

Russ Belville

NORML Outreach Coordinator

Please join me at 'Just Say Now!', NORML's 39th Annual National Conference in Portland, Oregon, September 9-11, 2010. For online registration, accommodations, speakers & schedule, expo tables and conference sponsorship opportunities, check out

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The most amazing thing about cannabis is its ability to addle the brains of those who do not use it.


  1. I hope that by making this public I am sending a message to the patients of San Diego.

    It is OK, or it very soon will be, to solicit support from YOUR community.

    It is OK, or it very soon will be, to speak you mind, your concerns without worry of harrassment or attack.

    It is OK, or it very soon will be, to mention a group affiliation in public without rivalry being the subject of the conversation.

    So to the elected officals of San Diego I say "Fair Warning!" for I believe I have awoken a Sleeping Dragon.

    To all activists in San Diego.

    Lets Do This!
    Lets Do This Right!
    Lets Do This Together!

    My note about the concerns with SoCalNorml.!/note.php?note_id=449757924539

    My message to the membership of SoCalNorml

    My message to Craig

  2. A lot of people turn tyrannical very fast in the face of power.