September 10, 2010

2010 NORML Conference Day 2

September 10, 2010
Steve Bloom

Day two report from 2010 NORML Conference.

UPDATE ********

2:45 P.M.

Highlights of the afternoon were Alice Huffman, President California NAACP, gave a fiery speech and got the group riled up nicely, Neill Franklin the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and musician Greta Gaines also truned in great performances, among others. Pot legend Steve Bloom gave a real cool presentation about his new book Reefer Movie Madness.

Before lunch, we had a bit of bad news as we found out Gov Johnson would not be able to make it until Saturday, which was a real bummer as I was really interested in what he had to say to this audience. I consoled myself by a refreshing trip to the “2nd Floor.” I have to admit, NORML really knows how to throw a party.

On a side note, Allen St. Pierre is truly a master of presenting information to a sedated audience. I see more and more why he is in the position that he is.

12:00 P.M.

Portland, Or – Rick Steves, Board Member NORML — He had a really good prospective on how the rest of the world views our drug policies. He is a lifetime travel guide and travel television show host. He states he enjoys smoking for the fun and believes in a responsible, regulated adult use of marijuana. He talked extensively about the European theory of “pragmatic harm reduction.” Needle sharing programs and blue lights in bathrooms to make it so you can’t shoot up. He believes corporate influence have helped create an atmospere where many people are afraid to speak up about this. One of m favorite lines was “I’m the best celebrity you can come up with??” He did a good job of making the correlation between corporate sponsorship and marijuana legalization.

At this point I went down to the “vendor floor” to check out the various vendors. People from different pro-marijuana groups from SSDP, Kush Mag, Cannabis Defense Coalition among many many others. Everyone was very friendly I had some very good conversations with many of them. I heard a messed up story about Micheal Howard from Washington State that we will be investigating. I also had a chance to sniff out a couple of these new MMJ businesses that have been cropping up. I was open about my concerns with lack of transparency with how they operate.

Really looking forward to hearing from avid legalization proponent and former Gov. Gary Johnson, who is apparently running for president in 2012.

P.S. Apologies for the picture, I left my good camera at home..


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