Virginia NORML Board of Directors


JM Pedini - Executive Director

JM Pedini is the development director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and serves as the executive director of the state affiliate chapter, Virginia NORML. 

In Virginia, their work has directly resulted in the legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis, decriminalization of personal marijuana possession, and the establishment of the Virginia Legislative Cannabis Caucus and the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. Appointed to the Governor’s Marijuana Legalization Work Group and as co-chair of the Legal and Regulatory Subcommittee, their current focus is on the Commonwealth’s continued effort to establish a fair and equitable adult-use cannabis regulatory structure that prioritizes consumer safety. At NORML, they oversee the global chapter affiliate network and ensure availability of resources and tools necessary to leverage the organization’s powerful grassroots support.

Prior to drug policy reform, they enjoyed a successful entertainment and media career with The Walt Disney Company.

Ben Sale - Deputy Director

Ben Sale is a recent graduate of George Mason University, where he majored in sports management. He has a background in sports communications and public relations, having interned with the Washington Football Team public relations department during the 2019 NFL season, working with George Mason Athletics, and at Super Bowl LIV in a similar role. During his final semester, Ben successfully completed a Legislative Internship with Virginia NORML and NORML, and plans to continue exploring opportunities for one of his biggest passions, cannabis. Ben joined the Virginia NORML Board of Directors after serving for several months as a dedicated volunteer, staffing the Virginia NORML office.


Tamara Netzel - Secretary

Tamara Netzel has been a Virginia Medical Cannabis Patient since 2018. Netzel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 42. She accumulated a long list of medications prescribed to manage her MS symptoms, which ultimately caused her liver to go into failure, ending her career of 16 years as a teacher. Since she replaced those prescription drugs with medical cannabis two years ago, Netzel has continued dedicating her time to educating others, and began advocating for medical cannabis patients. Tamara serves as the secretary of the Virginia NORML board of directors, and founded a 501c3 nonprofit, Cruel Consequences: Portraits of Misguided Law. Tamara also administrates the Virginia Medical Cannabis Patients Group, helping patients navigate the Virginia Medical Cannabis Program. Netzel was named Virginia NORML Activist of the Year for 2020 and has been featured in several media including NBC Dateline, The Emerald, and GRAM magazines.

Jeremy Weir - Treasurer

Jeremy Weir serves as the treasurer of Virginia NORML.






Ngiste Abebe

Ngiste is Vice President of Public Policy at Columbia Care, one of the nation’s leading medical cannabis companies. She serves as the President of the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association and on the board of the District of Columbia Cannabis Trade Association. Prior to that, she was co-founder of Undaunted Ventures, a political consulting firm which specializes in innovative narrative, training, and leadership coaching services, and which grew out of her work training progressive organizations and working on campaigns across Virginia. She is the co-founder and co-director of New Leaders Council Virginia. Ngiste holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. She happily gives and receives recommendations for sci-fi novels and board games.



Herb Jones

Herb is the CEO of Pyramid Technologies, LLC, a cloud-computing & project management consulting firm. He is also a retired US Army combat veteran, serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Herb served as the treasurer for New Kent County from 2000 to 2011. Currently, he serves on several board of directors to include Virginia NORML, Roanoke Area Ministries, and Achieving Community Excellence (Williamsburg). He is also a charter member of the New Kent Rotary Club. In November 2019, Herb was a democratic candidate for 3rd Senate District of Virginia; he earned more democratic votes in history for this district.



Anthony Mijares

Anthony is a U.S. Army Veteran who served 8 years as a Combat Medic during several combat tours in Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait, Korea and several other countries.

Originally from Florida, he and his family currently reside in Richmond, VA where he is an energetic enterprise-builder, serial entrepreneur, industry thought-leader, jobs creator and community champion. Mr. Mijares currently owns Signscapes, Inc., a 12-year-old physical branding agency, Kloud Enterprise, AKA Old Manchester Hemp Co. and Old Manchester Cannabis Co. He is a partner in Pesos Management, the top-performing company in the gaming industry, and a partner in abZorb, LLC an emerging market leader in distribution of hemp protein products for consumers interested in athletic recovery and women’s health and wellness.

Anthony is a member and advocate for the VA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of ECPI University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and serves as a featured spokesperson in their marketing campaigns. Mr. Mijares is also an advocate for Military Veteran mental health, social equity, and small business rights in the cannabis industry.

Anthony and his companies are active sponsors and volunteers in numerous community activities in greater Richmond.

Sarah Kiah Morton

Sarah Kiah MortonSarah Kiah Morton is the CEO and Co-Owner of LOCKGREEN, smell-proof stash boxes that come with a built-in combination lock to give cannabis consumers peace of mind as they store and travel in their cars with cannabis.

LOCKGREEN's mission is to help prevent cannabis law violations by educating the community on the changing and often confusing laws, while also providing stash boxes that meet and exceed many states’ requirements for cannabis storage and travel.

Sarah transitioned to entrepreneurship in the ancillary cannabis space in 2021, starting LOCKGREEN with her husband Ron after stepping away from a 15+ year career in Corporate America where she was Vice President at one of the largest consulting firms in the country.

She is passionate about engaging the community in cannabis advocacy and normalizing the plant, which she has done since 2018 in various ways, such as: moderating community forums and town hall meetings, speaking at events, educating via social media, and being interviewed by various media outlets.

In addition to serving on the Virginia NORML Board of Directors, Sarah is an active member of Virginia's business community, sitting on various boards and being recognized as one of her region’s Top 40 Under 40 professionals in 2019. Sarah was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, graduated from the University of Virginia, and is married with 3 children.  She enjoys the beach, live music, and singing.a.

Sheba Williams

Sheba Williams was born and raised in Richmond, VA. She is a Norfolk State University alum with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, she has professional licenses in Cosmetology and Barbering, and her Master Instructor's license. Sheba is the founder and executive director of Nolef Turns - a Richmond, VA based grassroots organization that works to break the barriers of the criminal legal system. She is also the co-founder of the Institute of Forgiveness, which focuses on juvenile legal systems. Sheba has a passion for empowering and uplifting others with court and justice involvement and fights daily to remove the policies and stigmas around a past conviction. Realizing that racism is deep-rooted in Virginia's history, Sheba isn't afraid to reach across every intersection necessary to find the best ways to reach true equity and inclusion by actively working to break down systemic policies that keep barriers in place for those most impacted by mass incarceration.