NORML Hosts First Southeastern Regional Conference

This past weekend, National NORML, with the help of its Tennessee affiliate hosted the first NORML Southeastern Regional Conference.  NORML representatives from several southeastern states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia met to discuss strategy for legalizing marijuana across the region. This southern coalition met in Nashville with members of NORML’s National board and leaders in the cannabis reform movement.

The event was a great success with informative speakers and an energized, engaged audience.  The conference opened with a special statement from US Representative Cohen who was “sorry [he] couldn’t be there in person,” but wanted to extend his personal support and commitment to our cause.

Speakers included NORML board members Greta Gaines and Paul Kuhn, Chris Butts and Ron Crumption from the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, public health epidemiologist (and victim of prohibition) Bernie Ellis and Texas NORML board member Cheyanne Weldon.  They covered a multitude of topics ranging from the utility of hemp, medical marijuana research, lobbying and public education.  There was also a workshop on team management based on the New Organizing Institute’s development training seminars.

[North Carolina NORML put together a fantastic roundup of content and information from the conference.  Click here to see their report.]  That evening, the Douglas Corner Café hosted a successful fundraiser featuring local musicians Tish Lindsey, Don Ray, Greta Gaines, Chuck Foster and Daniel Lawrence Walker.  Invariably, the Southeast has some of the most draconian marijuana laws, and the lowest level of support for reform in the United States.  This conference and subsequent events will help reformers lay the groundwork for education and effective activism in the most politically conservative region in the country.

If you don’t live in the Southeast, do not fret! NORML Regional Conferences will be coming to your area of the country soon.

Up next: NORML’s First Northeastern Regional Conference in Philadelphia. Stay tuned to for more info in the coming weeks.

23 thoughts

  1. Would love to see a big push here in the bible belt. I think GA will be a huge hold out. We need more help here than any other state.

  2. Definitely need more assistance in NC for medicinal use. Lots of Vets here and other patients who would benefit greatly from it’s use.

  3. id love to see Texas but with people like rick perry and his band wagon of re-pubic party 🙂 (not misspelled) these people want to increases sentences and increase the fines by double O_o i am a betting man ,i think by 2016 perry is gonna call for mandatory executions for having cannabis 🙁

  4. Come to Mississippi, we can get our Initiative started so we can get Legalization on the ballot and let the people decide since our polititions are to weak!

  5. Excellent news!

    Any possibility of duplicating that elsewhere in the country? In the world?

    “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between,” according to James Carville.

    So more conservative states than Pennsylvania will have legal cannabis before Pennsylvania. It’s a thick-headed bunch there in Harrisburg.

  6. Would love to see SC as first southern state we have the infrastructure to start and a lot of room to grow population and industry wise….plus if you can make one of the most consistently red states a green state that will say something profound

  7. 1) DEschedule.
    2) Repeal.
    3) DONE!!!

    Those are the words more people need to understand, if they want to stop “saying” they want it over, and start actually making this change occur.

    These words have NEVER been used in 80 years…could that have something to do with why things haven’t substantially changed for all that time?

  8. Which Southeastern state will be the FIRST to
    set up a “regulate-cannabis-like-alcohol” system
    like Colorado has passed…???

    (Especially out of the Southern states lacking
    a voter’s Ballot Initiative process).

    It’s high time, (puns-intended), to supplant the majority of liquor,
    tobacco and beer outlets in the region with safer “herbal-alternatives” stores.

    Alcohol KILLS, pot does NOT!!!

  9. Im hoping,Ive written my reps.The only feed back I got was the old lie about pot being dangerous with no medicinal value.Its infuriating.

  10. Ironic that the so-called “Bible Belt” states are the ones that
    most vehemently oppose a very useful plant, (for food, fuel and medicine,)
    that their “God” mentioned making,
    (as written in several “sacred” books),
    and instead, siding with the MORE PROBLEMATIC “strong drink”
    (fermented grains / fruit juices / alcohol), also mentioned in said-same sacred texts.

  11. Push for the legalization of Industrial Hemp… instead of growing tobacco and cotton… more uses and easy to grow…

  12. people in the “Bible Belt” need to read their bible. God gave us the most useful plant known to man. Then we make it illegal.WAKE UP AMERICA.

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