2008 Conference Panels

Pot-n-Politics 2008 (Friday, 10am-11:45am)

NORML’s annual round up of legislative and initiative efforts to amend America’s marijuana laws. A panel of policy advocates will review local and state marijuana law reform initiatives pending before voters this November, as well as explore prospects for state and federal legislation in 2009.

The Legal Marijuana Generation—Growing Up and Raising Children In The Age of Legal Pot (Friday, 12pm-1:30pm)

An average aged senior at university in California was ten years on 1996 when the state made medicinal access to cannabis legal. A panel of parents, young people, and drug education experts will discuss the first twelve years of legal medical cannabis and its effects on youth and youth culture.

Getting the Story Wrong – How the Media Lie About Cannabis (Friday, 2:30pm-4:15pm)

Wonder why most of the news and reportage in the media is so biased against cannabis? A panel of experts will review and examine numerous instances and case examples that help illustrate one of the great difficulties in reforming cannabis laws in America: a complacent, lapdog mainstream media.

Tools For Activists (What Can I Do?) (Friday Breakout Session#1, 4:30-6pm)

Want to organize a rally, launch a local marijuana law reform initiative, or learn the most effective strategies for lobbying your state legislators? NORML’s panel of experts will teach you how to change the attitudes and laws in your local community

The War on Pot Is a War on Young People (Friday Breakout Session#2, 4:30pm-6pm)

According to a 2005 study commissioned by the NORML Foundation, 74 percent of all Americans busted for pot are under age 30, and one out of four are age 18 or younger. A panel of experts will review how the criminalization of marijuana disproportionately impacts youth, as well as ways we can better ally with young people and their parents to end this war on America's teens and twenty-somethings.

What If We Arrested 20 Million Americans and Nobody Noticed? (Saturday, 10am-11:15am)

Twenty million Americans have now been arrested for violating marijuana laws. A panel of experts will review the benefits of decriminalizing cannabis, and examine the adverse effects on associated with targeting and prosecuting otherwise law-abiding Americans.

The Politics of Marijuana and Health (Saturday, 11:15am-12:45pm)

A panel of investigators will review the recent scientific developments regarding the therapeutic use of cannabis, as well as comment on the political hurdles facing scientists who wish to study the therapeutic benefits of this versatile plant.

Drug Testing and Cannabis Use: The Case Against Legally Sanctioned Discrimination Via Forensics (Saturday, 2:30pm-3:30pm)

Despite the growing social acceptance of marijuana – and the medicinal use of cannabis in particular – cannabis consumers continue to face discriminatory practices in the workplace and within America’s mainstream healthcare system. A panel of experts will review the ways patients are discriminated against and will discuss tactics to reform these arbitrary and unjust practices.

Oaksterdam (Cannabis Freedom Is Closer Than You Think) (Saturday, 3:30pm-4:30pm)

Is cannabis legal anywhere in America? Yes. At the vanguard of both medical cannabis dispensaries and adult-oriented, Dutch-styled ‘coffee shops,’ Oaksterdam serves as a manifestation of cannabis freedom and tolerance not yet enjoyed anywhere else in America. Meet the unofficial ‘Mayor’ of Oaksterdam Richard Lee as he chairs a panel of experts as they examine the success of Oaksterdam, and explore strategies for moving the rest of California (and America) towards a more tolerant future.

Pot Culture (Saturday, 4:30pm-5:30pm)

Inspired by Steve Bloom and Shirely Halperin’s new book Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life this panel will review cannabis-themed movies to music to history to the words we use to communicate with each other—the panel will entertain, inform and hopefully inspire others to make their mark in pot culture.

Pot Culture is yet another indicator that Americans – both the media and consumers – are softening up on marijuana. This year has seen an explosion of stoner movies (Pineapple Express, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, The Wackness, Super High Me, Humboldt County), the fourth season of Weeds, more TV references to marijuana than ever before, Barack Obama’s campaign for president, and a myriad of websites and magazines that cater to cannabis consumers and devotees of ‘stoner culture’.

NORML Legal Committee (Sunday 10am-1pm)

Criminal defense lawyers from NORML’s Legal Committee that specialize in medical cannabis laws and regulations will discuss and examine the current state of local, state and federal laws regarding medical cannabis. Current litigation and legislation regarding medical cannabis, importance of zoning regulations, review of civil asset forfeiture laws and a general overview of ‘best practices’ will be discussed.

Oaksterdam University ‘Cannabusiness 102’ (Sunday 2pm-6pm)

Topics to be covered include: How to start a business in the cannabis industry; types of cannabusinesses this course relates to include cultivation, a dispensary, a cannabis edibles company, clones, a delivery service, a Measure Z club, or any of the numerous cannabusinesses still to develop in this industry. The process to obtain city, county, state permits and licenses are covered in detail. Standard business issues such as incorporating your business, payroll and sales taxes, workman's compensation, health insurance, and other requirements for operating a business are covered as well. The instructors give firsthand experience and knowledge. Current political issues and local politics are explained.