2012 NORML Conference

October 5, 2012


The 41st annual NORML conference is happening this week at the Omni Hotel in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

A good time is being had by all, despite the hotel's clampdown on smoking on the patios after other patrons, apparently, complained. Despite 15 years of "legalization" there is almost no where to medicate publicly, especially because many hotels in California don't allow smoking of any kind on their premises.

Although a week earlier the feds had sent more nasty letters to 71 collectives in Eagle Rock and Downtown, and have taken action against a few, the latest news put the conference on a more uplifting note when on Monday LA City Council voted 11-2 to repeal its ban on collectives.

Paul Kuhn, the new chair of NORML's board of directors, opened the proceedings by reminding the group that our "great movement" is about truth and freedom. With a White House that serves liquor at its events, a President who smoked "a lot of good marijuana," and a Speaker of the House who is addicted to nicotine, our government has no business denying us our rights because we prefer a substance that causes less harm, he said to cheers from the crowd. "How long can a government lie to and about its citizens?" he asked.

Pot has uses as a fiber, a sacrament, and a medicine, Kuhn said. It enhances awareness, lifts our mood, and boosts creativity. How does that make us dangerous? he asked. "We don't pick fights and vomit at sports events," he said, and we don't careen down the highway thinking we're going 30 mph when we're going 80, like drinkers do.

NORML, which has added younger members like the dynamic Kyndra Miller to its board, must evolve and craft the best laws we can, he said. He invited all to stop the board members at the conference and give them an earful of where the organization should be going, and scheduled a "meet the board" session for Friday.