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Published on Nov 19, 2011
The Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action which honors citizens who make democracy work in the difficult area of drug law and policy reform, goes to Dale Gieringer and Dorsey E. Nunn.
Gieringer has been the state director of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) since 1987 and is the author of the Marijuana Medical Handbook. He is also vice-chairman of the national NORML board of directors. He has published research on the economic benefits of legalization, medical marijuana usage, the history of marijuana and drug prohibition, potency testing, marijuana and driving safety, and drug urinalysis. He was one of the original co-authors of California's medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215, the proponent of Oakland's Measure Z cannabis initiative in 2004, a sponsor of California's path-breaking legaliza¬tion bill, AB 390, and a consultant on numerous other cannabis reform campaigns.
Nunn is the executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and for more than 25 years has advocated for the civil rights and empowerment of people who are incarcerated, at risk for incarceration or affected by a family member's incarceration. He has played a pivotal role at the intersection of drug policy reform and advocacy for those who have been or who are incarcerated, including making substantial contributions to the campaigns to pass Proposition 36 (the nation's largest treatment-instead-of-incarceration program, 2000) and Proposition 5 (which would have further reduced incarceration for drug offenses, 2008). Nunn has helped to lead many social justice organizations, including Critical Resistance and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and played a central role in establishing Free at Last, a residential drug treatment program for women and children and a drop in center for people suffering from addic¬tion in East Palo Alto -- and one of that city's top employers. In 2003, he co-founded All of Us or None, which has emerged as a national leader in organizing formerly incarcerated people and their families. He has received numerous awards including the "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" from Nancy Pelosi.