Cliff Thornton

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For the American jazz musician, see Clifford Thornton.

Clifford "Cliff" W. Thornton, Jr. (born January 16, 1945 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American drug policy reform advocate and Green politician who served as one of the seven co-chairs of the Green Party of the United States.


In 1995, Thornton founded, a non-profit organization, to educate about drug policy reform.

Thornton retired from Southern New England Telephone Corporation, in Connecticut in 1997 where he was a middle-level manager.

From 2003 to 2008, Thornton spoke to over 400,000 people on drug reform in 750 venues around the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. Thornton appeared on over 400 radio shows and numerous television spots on drug policy reform as it relates to health, race/class and economics. He is described as "America's foremost anti-Drug War African American activist" by Amherst College's online newspaper. Thornton also speaks on education, and health care.

In 2006, Thornton was the nominee of the Connecticut Green Party for Governor. He was the first African American candidate to appear on the general election ballot for Governor of Connecticut. In October 2006, Thornton was initially invited to a gubernatorial debate co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and The Day newspaper of New London, before being uninvited due.[1] His camapaign received 9,583 votes for just under one percent of the overall vote.

In 2007, Thornton received the Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action from the Drug Policy Alliance.[2]

Thornton and his wife Margaret now live in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He has five daughters and two granddaughters. Thornton, an Army veteran, earned a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Waterbury's Post University in 1986.


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