The American Hemp Council was formed in 1989 by Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris to facilitate the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp and Family Council on Drug Awareness campaigns.
Within a year it had been replicated in small groups around the country and over the next five years, the AHC was one of the major organizations working for legalization in the USA.
People were invited to attend “A common meeting ground to devise and implement a program to re-legalize and regulate the use of hemp/marijuana.”
A core group of cannabis reform activists met on a monthly basis at the “Power Couple of Pot’s” home in Silverlake, California. It served as a focus group, task force and coordinating committee for events and activities nationally. The LA efforts were often centered at rallies at the federal building in westwood, such as winter and springtime faires and hempseed breakfasts.
Organizers created scores of local groups, usually with a designated local Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp representative dedicated to promoting the goals and strategies of BACH. The AHC also provided support materials for local activists as well as for “Hemp Club” reform groups on college campuses all over America. By the time the AHC stopped holding meetings in Southern California, it had launched hundreds of satellite groups working on cannabis reform, each having a local and national focus.
The core principle of the AHC was to define, test and disseminate organizing and educational literature that empower local activists to do their own networking among the community, academia and political powers that be. The group also sponsored events, press conferences, film screenings (Hemp for Victory) and provided volunteer personnel for events and to staff the Hemp Hotline, a telephone hotline service sponsored by BACH, to respond to activists and other inquiries nationally with information, literature and direct involvement.
Among the core support documents the AHC provided were:
Standard Agenda for local activists to use at a cannabis hemp / marijuana reform group meeting
Talking points for cannabis activists who discuss or debate policy.
(More documents to be uploaded at a later date)
When Conrad and Norris moved to Holland in 1993, they kept the American Hemp Council active through letters to the group who continued the Los Angeles coordination campaign, including Ellen Komp and Lawrence Serbin.
The Los Angeles organization moved to Contra Costa County in 1994 and ceased having monthly meetings.