Smiley’s is a nice place to spend a Saturday in Mid-Georgia. There are hundreds of booths with thousands of items. There’s lots of tasty food, and rides for the kids. Parking is free. Prices are reasonable, sometimes negotiable. There are even a few 420 friendly shops with some pretty cool glass and Tees. It’s also an ideal place to talk about cannabis. The foot traffic is normally robust.
The Peachtree NORML Mid-Georgia Chapter takes advantage of that traffic once a quarter. They rent a table, lay out our educational material and swag, set up a canopy and begin spreading the news. So Barb and I with our friends Phat and Audrey made the hour or so drive to help with the message.
As the people wandered by, some glanced and quickly turned their heads. Others were nodding and smiling. Some slowed down a bit to take a look. Some of them looked at us like we were purple bugs, but not as many as some would like to believe.
Earl Catron, one of the organizers, kinda reminds me of a carnival barker. He watches the passersby, gauging interest. When he sees it, he always opens his spiel with the fact that the Federal Government holds patents on cannabis as medicine. There’s nothing timid about his approach. ”Step right up folks, let me tell you about the lies we’ve been told for 80 years” is the underlying theme of his message, and it works. The discussions he started about medicine often turned into talks about the idiocy of locking folks up over small amounts of marijuana, and the need to change that injustice.
The threat of rain kept the crowd down today, and indeed a storm blew up and we had to pack up, but Rick Raines, Sherry DeAnne, and Bart Floyd were always right there to lend a hand when Earl often draws more than one interested party at a time.
Mid-Georgia has also added a new facet to their tabling. Rick Raines, who is a Physical Therapist, and the President/Treasurer of the Mid-Georgia Chapter, brought along printed copies of the Low THC Oil Waiver Form. This form must be completed by patients seeking registration with the Department of Public Health.
Nice move, because sure enough, there were a number of folks who approached us asking about the Patient Registry after seeing the news that additional conditions were added and SB16 signed into law by Governor Deal. We talked about conditions from peripheral neuropathy to macular degeneration to seizures to cancer. One feisty old gal said they just need to go ahead and let us grow it and use it like we want to. Some folks were in wheelchairs, with their caregivers. Some were asking for family members, some for themselves. While the forms can be found online, having those printed copies available helped with the engagement. We pointed them in the right direction, and you can bet they will remember it was Peachtree NORML who did it.
If someone reading this would like more information on registering for any of the “allowed” conditions and getting your physician signed up to recommend, you can find it here https://dph.georgia.gov/low-thc-oil-registry.
Peachtree NORML Mid-Georgia is a small Chapter, but they are dedicated, dependable and innovative. This outreach effort of tabling at Smiley’s helps to spread awareness of our cause. Thank you, folks, for showing me the Heart you did today. “When we are talking, we are winning“, thank you, Sharon Ravert. Mid-Georgia is talking, publicly and loudly.
Stay tuned, as Peachtree NORML continues to highlight activities that our Chapters use to extend our reach. Attitudes are changing, the old stigmas are falling by the wayside, and our Chapters are helping make that happen.