Notes on NORML Meeting/Nashville, TN

I attended Sunday’s Dec. 9 NORML meeting at Sunset Grill in Nashville, not quite knowing what to expect. I was greeted by friendly folks ranging in age and attire; from young people eager to make the change to older business-types well aware that it’s time to legalize marijuana and erase the taboo that once surrounded it by applying common sense economics and real scientific research.

Two films were suggested that focus on educating people about the injustice of marijuana laws and the failure of the war on drugs were: The house I Live In and Break the Taboo.

The House I Live In

The House I Live In

On Saturday, 12/15/12 from 10a-4p, the Southeast Regional NORML Conference will be held here in Nashville with a line-up of heavy-hitting, marijuana advocates. There’s more info on the NORML TN web page ( for people who are interested in helping to get the word out and educate themselves on the issues.

At the gathering, Doak Patton, Nashville NORML President, asked people to go around the room and explain why they were there. There were vets present who use marijuana for post traumatic stress (PTSD), people facing jail time or those have loved ones in prison.

You could sense the concern and hope in the room as people mentioned that prohibition has not stopped marijuana use and the war on drugs is a violent and ineffective action by our government.

Several representatives from other counties were interested in bringing NORML’s influence to their area and looking to build bridges from medical marijuana’s acceptance in Colorado and Washington to Tennessee.

As one man said, “Tennessee is the volunteer state, why not volunteer for your own rights (to use marijuana).” A public awareness campaign is in the planning stages to contact state legislature officials and local churches as well as developing a Davidson county petition for a referendum to lower marijuana arrests on the Police priority list.

There’s even Hempfest coming this year on 4-20-13.

Overall, it was a good group of people sincerely interested in working to add Tennessee to the list of medical marijuana friendly States and lowering the harsh fines associated with the plant.

In today’s society, people can get shorter jail sentences for rape and armed robbery than for smoking cannabis. The NORML booklet on marijuana states that marijuana arrests are easy arrests for law enforcement agents who want to bump up their arrest statistics and, in the process, unfairly single out Blacks and Latinos.

Join us next Saturday, 12/15/12 from 10a-4p, for the Southeast Regional NORML Conference presenting a powerful line up of speakers who all have a story on why it’s time the marijuana laws in Tennessee and the US are due for change. Everyone is welcome at the table.

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