Keith Stroup is a Washington, D.C. public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970.
He 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, D.C. Keith 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 following law school, (a job that allowed him to avoid the Vietnam War with a critical skills deferment), Keith founded NORML. He ran the organization until 1979, during which time 11 states decriminalized minor marijuana offenses. Keith 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 Keith resumed his work with NORML, rejoining the board of directors and serving again as executive director until 2004. He is currently NORML’s legal counsel.
In 1992 he was the recipient of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform, the Al Horn Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice, and the High Times Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2013 Keith published the history of NORML entitled It’s NORML To Smoke Pot: the 40 Year Fight for Marijuana Smokers’ Rights.