Friday, March 29, 2013

Marijuana Activists Set the South Ablaze with Some Good 'Ole Southern Rebellion

Activists from around the country converged on Atlanta last week with one goal in mind: marijuana law reform. Having labored tirelessly with the wonderful team at Peachtree Norml to coordinate the 1st Southern Cannabis Reform Conference, I felt like a midwife as I hurried to the Georgia State Capitol to join my fellow activists for the birth of something great! Affiliates of ABC, CBS, and FOX covered the grand kickoff which included statements from a coalition of activists, the display of the Mom's for Marijuana Cannabis Quilt, and a display of handkerchiefs from the Embroidery for Peace Exhibit, each commemorating a death in Mexico from the Drug War. Things began to heat up as the synergy from each handkerchief and unity panel mixed with the passion of the activists who had already begun to arrive from around the country. Crowds gathered to see what all the fuss was about; undoubtedly, some were curious as to why there were marijuana leaves covering the State Capitol. Meanwhile, passersby stopped to observe the Mom’s for Marijuana Unity Quilt which was hard to miss at an amazing 18ft X 24ft, adorned with handcrafted panels from marijuana advocates from around the globe.

After several hours of media interviews and community outreach, several activists headed over to Daily Toker's house for our first dish of Southern hospitality before indulging in some down-home cooking at Atlanta’s infamous Mary Mac’s Tea Room. As the waitstaff poured out of the kitchen with trays full of deep-fried and smothered delicacies, it became easy to see why this restaurant is heralded  as the epitome of Southern cooking. After a couple hours of laughs, a few sidebar strategy sessions, sweet tea sipping, and the consumption of a few thousand calories, we said our good nites and headed home to rest up for the first day of the Southern Cannabis Reform Conference...

As I stepped into the Center@Spring4th Complex, the excitement of new life was in the air! After months of laboring and planning to bring forth something that the South has never seen, the time had finally come. It was time for the birth of Revolution...

Change can be a daunting task for all of us. However, challenging the status quo, debunking age-old myths, and confronting antiquated mentalities (particularly in the "Bible belt") is an undertaking that requires knowledge, skill, a high level of social aptitude, and a lot of courage. Which is why Executive Director, Sharon Ravert, of Peachtree Norml called on the best and brightest anti-prohibition advocates she could find to assist her with this monumental project. With facilitators representing a host of organizations, including Project Freedom, L.E.A.P. (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), the Norml Women's Alliance, the GA C.A.R.E.S. Project, S.S.D.P. (Students for a Sensible Drug Policy), C.A.M.P. (Coalition for the Abolition of Marijuana Prohibition), and various NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) chapters from around the country, change became more than something we believed in; it became something we demanded and were willing to work together for. This unity is what made the Southern Cannabis Reform Conference and Peachtree Norml a force to be reckoned with in the South. Devoid of all "superstar activists" seeking to become the next hottest thing in the marijuana Movement, each presenter brought such a sense of passion for liberty that it permeated the atmosphere. Everyone from the facilitators to the attendees and the delightful young ladies walking around with bags of baked treats (ok..ESPECIALLY the young ladies walking around with bags of baked treats) all contributed to creating a wonderful energy that knitted our hearts together with one common (hemp) thread. Even the "non-medicated" experienced a euphoric high from the amazing energy created here in Atlanta last week. 

If you were unable to attend this conference, I strongly suggest you purchase a copy of the DVDs when they go on sale in a couple weeks. This was no "stoner session" about how to legalize weed so we can all smoke in peace. This was more like a strategic summit of higher learning where lawyers, law enforcement, citizens, mothers, grandmothers, students, farmers, ministers, entertainers and more came together to discuss law reform, healthcare, the cure for cancer, parenting, education reform, and rational solutions to fiscal cliffs. Thanks to +Sharon Ravert, +Peachtree NORML, and every activist who contributed to the Southern Cannabis Reform Conference, Atlanta is not only the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, but the birthplace of Rebellion and the playpen of Revolution! 

Check out the following links for a sneak peek of the action!

1 comment:

  1. FREAKING AWESOME.. you forgot my Org.. the Carolina Cannabis Coalition was there!!