Angry outburst prompts ouster of NORML chief – Record

December 15th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

James Benno

James Benno

The director of the local chapter of a statewide nonprofit organization that seeks to reform California’s marijuana laws has been booted for his angry outburst during Tuesday’s meeting of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors that banned medical marijuana dispensaries in the county’s unincorporated areas.

Russ Belville, the Portland-based outreach coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said in an apology issued to the Board of Supervisors that James Benno of Redding is no longer a representative of NORML.

The chapter is also under suspension, he said.

“They can’t represent us anymore,” Belville said in a telephone conversation with the Record Searchlight.

The national organization, which is based in Washington, D.C., has approximately 150 independent chapters, Belville said.

He declined to say what the local chapter would have to do to have the suspension lifted, saying that was an internal issue.

In his apology to supervisors, Belville, citing a Wednesday Record Searchlight editorial, wrote that “while our organization and our opponents (not inferring the board is among them) may have strong disagreements about marijuana laws, nobody benefits if we cannot address our disagreements civilly.”

Benno cursed at supervisors Tuesday as they began to discuss an ordinance they later unanimously adopted to ban marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated county.

Chairman Les Baugh called for a sheriff’s deputy to restore order as Benno stormed out of the chambers.

“As the officer in charge of approving Mr. Benno’s application, I personally apologize

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1 comment

  1. redone says:

    Good he makes us look bad. No reason to lose your cool!