Board of Officers

 

Steven Faber – President

Steven Faber called St. Louis home until moving to Columbia in 1972 to attend Mizzou where
he earned degrees in English literature and law. The practice of law was Steve’s primary
occupation until retirement in 2008.
As an attorney, Steve saw how families were torn apart and lives ruined as a result of the
enforcement of unjust marijuana laws. He felt the truth about marijuana needed to be
understood and became involved in NORML. Steve became a volunteer coordinator for the
collection of signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot, leading a group of dedicated
and hard working individuals who set a high bar for the rest of the state.
Steven is proud of his two sons, Ben, a criminal defense attorney representing individuals in
central Missouri, and Jacob, who manages marijuana businesses in Colorado from seed to sale
with a depth of knowledge in compliance.
His three grandchildren, ages one, five, and 10 all live at home with their parents and have no
jobs.

 

Dan Viets  – Vice President

Mr. Dan Viets is an attorney in private practice in Columbia, MO, concentrating on the defense of marijuana cases.  He has served for many years as the Missouri State Coordinator for NORML.  He is a former president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, former chair of the Board of the Mid-Missouri ACLU, former president of the University of Missouri student body and former chair of the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission

   Mr. Viets was the recipient of the 1993 Martin Luther King Association’s “Keeping the Dream Alive” award and the 1995 Mid-Missouri “Civil Libertarian of the Year.”  Dan was named High Times Freedom Fighter of the month in March 2005 for his work helping to pass both a marijuana decriminalization initiative and a medical marijuana initiative in the November 2004 election in Columbia.  He received the 2005 Atticus Finch Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer award from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  In January 2006, he received the Trailblazer award from the Mid-Missouri NAACP.  He received the “Audiency Award” from Conan O’Brian on the Tonight Show for looking most like the college professor who could always get you weed.  He is a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 2014 Al Horn Award recipient and 2018 Peter McWilliams Award for Medical Marijuana Advocacy recipient.

Mr. Viets is recognized by Best Layers, Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys, Lawyers of Distinction and National Trial Lawyers.

      Dan hosts a weekly radio program called “Sex, Drugs and Civil Liberties” on KOPN, a community station affiliated with National Public Radio.  He is Chair of the Board of Directors of New Approach Missouri, the campaign which intends to place an initiative to legalize medical marijuana on the November 2018 ballot.  Dan also chairs the Board of Show-Me Cannabis and the Missouri Cannabis Industry Association.  Dan is also President of the national NORML Foundation and a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee, and serves as Secretary of the national Board of Directors of NORML and as vice-chair of Mid-Missouri NORML.

Lonnie Kessler – Treasurer

Lonnie is the survivor of a traumatic brain injury that resulted from the removal of a softball size tumor
from his brain. Living with a host of illnesses and developing epilepsy that stopped responding to
traditional medications and treatments Lonnie turned to the state-run CBD program to better his health.
Unable to obtain a doctor recommendation for the use of CBD Lonnie understood the doctor patient
relationship no longer existed and political control over medicine is denying him a better quality of life.
Discouraged but not defeated, Lonnie started advocating for medical marijuana in 2015 and has spent
the past three years of his life sharing his story and advocating for fellow Missourian’s right to all
treatment options. Beyond the legalization of medical marijuana Lonnie feels it his duty to continue to
work on reforming marijuana laws at the state and national level. Lonnie currently resides on the
patient advocacy panel for the Missouri Cannabis Industry Association and is a graduate of Columbia
College of Missouri. Aside from his advocacy, he enjoys relaxing to a variety of music, interacting on
social media, and cooking different foods. One day Lonnie hopes to have a personal relationship with
other patients and guide them on healing with cannabis in daily life.

Barbara (B.J.) Jewett – Secretary

B.J. Jewett earned her Registered Nurse Diploma from Missouri Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in 1978.  She spent the first years of her nursing career working with pediatric patients, then moved to working with children and teens in psychiatric/mental health settings and has experience working with adults and teens in the chemical dependency field.  Ms. Jewett taught both secondary and adult students in the fields of healthcare and nursing.

Ms. Jewett earned a BES degree in Vocational Special Needs from the University of MO in 1993.  She then began working as a Vocational Resource Educator for the Columbia, MO (CPS) school district.  In this role she worked with students with special needs who were enrolled in career and technical classes and also supported teachers to best meet student needs.  She went on to earn her MEd in Counseling in 1999.  During this time, Ms. Jewett served on the Student Crisis Team and other student focused and professional committees. Ms. Jewett retired from CPS in 2012.

Ms. Jewett has served as the Secretary of the Board for Mid-MO NORML since 2017.  She believes strongly that medical marijuana should be an option available for patients and its use determined within the patient/healthcare provider relationship.

 

Lance Lenau – Communications Director

Born and raised in Columbia, the Show-Me State is my home state. I graduated from Hickman high school in 2005 and earned an Associate of Arts degree from Moberly Area Community College.
I consider myself an activist. With no previous experience, the Yes On 2 campaign (a.k.a., New Approach Missouri) is my first campaign that I have participated in. I ranked 9th in the state, in terms of signatures gathered; during the signature collection phase. I am also an HIV positive patient who is seeking safe and legal access to medical cannabis.
I am presently serving as the Director of Communications for Mid-Mo NORML

Aaron Anderson – Web Master

I grew up here in Columbia where I graduated from Rock Bridge Highschool in 2005. I also went on to get an associates degree at MACC and then studied computer science at MU, for a few semesters before I opened my own business. I have always been a strong activist for the legalization. I helped collect signatures and have used my shop to spread the word as much as possible. I put the MIDMONORML.org website together and have been doing anything else that I can do help bring safe legal medicine to Missouri. I was honored to recently be elected to the Board.

Members At Large


Rita Yencarelli

In the fall of 2016, Rita read an article in the Riverfront Times about the failure to get a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot by the margin of 23 signatures.  Then Trump got elected. 

By March of 2017, she had become a member of Mid-MO NORML and was on the streets collecting signatures for the New Approach Missouri ballot initiative to make Missouri the 31st state to legalize medical cannabis.

Being in the legal field first as a court reporter, then a scopist, and now as a legal videographer, Rita’s favorite hat to wear is that of activist.

 

Josh Chittum

Sheila Dundon

Martha Doney