Richard Cowan (cannabis activist)

Richard Cowan (Cannabis Activist)

Richard Cowan (cannabis activist)

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Richard Cowan (b. June 26, 1940), former director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), is editor of .

Cowan graduated from high school in Fort Worth, Texas and in 1962 earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University, where he had served as president of the Yale Young Republicans. He held various management positions in manufacturing and natural resources and wrote several articles for publications such as National Review and Atlantic Monthly.

From August 1992 to August 1995, Cowan served as executive director of NORML. On July 23, 1994, several NORML office staffers advised the Board of Directors of irregularities in Cowan's expenditures, including about $30,000 in organizational checks payable to cash . The Board responded by requiring that all checks be countersigned by the treasurer. Cowan tendered his resignation, and then "unresigned". He attempted to get the Board to dissolve itself, so that it could be replaced by a new Board, reconstituted by marijuana research pioneer, author, Harvard Medical School's Lester Grinspoon, MD. On September 11, 1994, a telephone conference call/Board meeting ended with an 8-6 vote to dissolve the Board. However, letters were later produced showing that some of the Board members had already resigned, and thus were ineligible to vote. Both sides spent over $100,000 in the legal wrangling that ensued. Ultimately, Cowan (and a majority of the board) prevailed and notable individuals began to...
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