Activist, Producer “Prisoners of the Drug War”
Mikki Norris has been an activist for drug policy reform since 1989 when she formed the American Hemp Council along with her husband Chris Conrad. In subsequent years, they took several cross-country trips to educate the public on the many uses of hemp, and to network and strategize with activists and businesspeople on how to advance the movement. In 1993, she and Chris moved to Amsterdam to design exhibits for and curate the Hash Marijuana Hemp Museum, which they updated in 2000. As community action co-coordinator for Californians for Medical Rights, she helped organize petitioners to qualify the medical marijuana initiative (Prop. 215) for the 1996 ballot.
In 1995, shortly after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Mikki decided to take on broader Drug War issues and felt compelled to put a human face on its prisoners’ and their families’ plights, through the creation and development of the photo exhibit project, Human Rights and the Drug War (HRDW, originally known as Human Rights 95) with Chris Conrad and Virginia Resner. The exhibit has been shown in various forms at events, conferences, universities, government buildings and libraries throughout the US and Europe. To make the powerful exhibit material even more accessible, the three co-authored two books, Shattered Lives: Portraits from America’s Drug War and Human Rights and the US Drug War and sponsor the website, www.hr95.org. For this work, they were presented with the Robert C. Randall Award in the Field of Citizen Action at the Lindesmith Center/Drug Policy Foundation’s 2001 conference.