On July 23rd, 2015, the Texas NORML Board of Directors voted to make the Executive Director position of Texas NORML a full-time, paid position. The Board made this decision for the following reasons:
In the past few years, our organization has grown in number of members, complexity and scope of influence in Texas. During the 2015 Texas Legislative Session, our legislators introduced twelve marijuana reform bills, two of which were related to hemp. Texas NORML participated in planning and executing four major lobby events, two major press conferences, coordinating testimony in front of the Texas House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and Human Services Committee, the annual Texas Marijuana March, numerous media interviews and meetings with our legislators and their constituents who support reforming marijuana laws. In addition, we planned and executed an Activist Training Day at the Capitol, major fund raisers at Willie Nelson’s golf course and at the Austin Reggae Fest, conducted our regularly scheduled Monthly Open Meetings and provided crucial training to other NORML chapters. Texas NORML participated in planning the strategy and events of our legalization coalition in Texas, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. In order to continue to be effective in advocating for reforming marijuana laws in Texas and continuing to improve our planning and operations as well as expanding the scope of our influence, our Board of Directors reached the conclusion that we must have a full-time Executive Director. The Executive Director will answer directly to the guidance and supervision of the Texas NORML Board. The duties and responsibilities of our Texas NORML Executive Director will be posted on our Texas NORML website.
Our Texas NORML Board voted to appoint Jax Finkel as Executive Director of Texas NORML effective September 1, 2015. Jax has been a member of the Texas NORML Board for nine years. She has served as Volunteer Coordinator, Political and Legislative Director and as Deputy Director. She has been involved in cannabis law reform since 2005 and has been an official Board Member since 2006. During her tenure, Jax has given hundreds of interviews and participated in many panel discussions and speaking engagements. She innovated the first ever cannabis-centric Voter’s Guide in 2012 and continues to prepare the Texas NORML Voter’s Guide for each election season. She helped spearhead the first Texas Chapter Training this year. She believes in freely sharing information and facilitating organizational growth. She works closely with Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy and our coalition partners along with many other cannabis groups. Jax is often at the Capitol pushing for cannabis law reform and building relationships with our Legislators. Cannabis law reform is her passion.
We are confident that Jax will provide the vision and leadership to achieve our goal of legalizing marijuana in Texas.
We would like to express our deep appreciation to Jamie Spencer for serving as Interim Executive Director for the past year. Jamie provided crucial guidance and leadership to the board during the 2015 legislative session and during our deliberations about our Executive Director position. Jamie will resume his position as Texas NORML Legal Adviser effective September 1, 2015.
We thank all of our members and supporters for your continued advocacy for legalizing marijuana in Texas. With your support, we will accomplish our goal of ending prohibition in Texas.
Your Texas NORML Team