Tragic Loss: Tom McCain, Peachtree NORML activist

With deepest sadness, we announce the passing of Tom McCain, Peachtree NORML’s executive director emeritus and long-time board member. Tom suffered a heart attack on June 12th. He did not regain consciousness and passed peacefully on June 23rd, 2022 at 3:32pm. The cannabis community lost a true warrior today.

We welcome the community together at this difficult time:
See photos and videos of Tom’s life and activism.

Contribute and share you photos of Tom.

Tom was a retired Air Force master sergeant and a former Georgia PEACE officer who served as the Chief Deputy in Johnson and Lawrence County, Georgia.


After witnessing the devastating injustices of cannabis prohibition and the War on Drugs, Tom became a tireless advocate for legalization. He served as the Executive Director of Peachtree NORML for many years, retiring in 2019. Tom approached ending prohibition from a position of liberty and justice for all and had an extraordinary passion for Veterans’ access to cannabis, declaring: “I’m a 69-year-old veteran and former law enforcement officer. I dare them to lock me up.” Tom, in honor of James Bell, continued his advocacy work with Georgia Hemp Industries, Inc. Tom’s legacy lives on with the foundation he laid while working with Peachtree NORML and Georgia Hemp Industries. and

Tom played an enormous role in the passage of Atlanta City Ordinance 17-O-1152, which reduced the penalty for simple possession of cannabis in Atlanta from a criminal arrest to a civil fine. He was a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Sheriff of Habersham County, Georgia, which helped restore the First Amendment rights of people who’d been banned from County pages for criticizing the Sheriff’s arrests of peaceful cannabis consumers. He advocated for industrial and agricultural benefits of hemp, and encouraged juries to nullify cannabis charges in court. He believed that cops and courts could not possibly sustain current levels of cannabis prosecution if defendants insisted on going to trial, a legal approach he invoked with “no plea for me!”

Final Days

In addition to his tireless work for cannabis justice, Tom McCain was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and a true friend to all. surrounded by the love of his life, Barb, family, friends, his favorite song playing, guitar in hand and fedora on his head. He is now at peace.

With his beloved wife and best friend, Barb, Tom had been enjoying “retirement”, his love for simple music, traveling across Georgia, exploring and adventuring with their dog, Snookie.  Recently, they were enjoying the beautiful nature and peaceful surroundings of Morganton Point, right outside on Lake Blue Ridge where he was living his dream. There was not a day that he didn’t comment, at least twice, how much he loved his life on the Lake. It will always hold a special place in the hearts of those that loved him. He was truly happy!

End of Life Celebration:

Next month the family will have a church service at his beloved church in Dublin. More details to follow. NO flowers please.

Tom wanted to go out with a fun celebration and a true party, so that is what we will plan for him. We will need some time to do this so please be patient. We anticipate it will take place in September but things can change. It will be posted on his personal facebook page and the nonprofits he was affiliated with Peachtree Norml and Georgia Hemp Industries as well as direct e-mails.

If you would like to donate/sponsor this event or help plan, please e-mail, or

Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about Tom’s storied life and his passion for ending cannabis prohibition in Georgia.

Messages from the family:
To those who would like to help, thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.

#1 Donate to Tom’s Final Expenses:
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Tom’s final expenses through his wife, Barb. Your support is NEEDED! Our goal is to cover the cost of Tom’s funeral expenses and provide his beloved wife with added financial security as she contends with her own serious health issues during the coming months.

To donate to Barbara McCain:

  • Cashapp: $BarbraMcCain

  • Venmo: @barbramccain

  • c/o Attorney Valarie Valdepena (Re: Barbara Mccain)
    2100 Riverside Parkway #128-111 Lawrenceville GA 30043

  • GoFundMe information to follow

# 2 Share Photos, Videos, Stories, Art to Remember Tom

Since the family is overwhelmed with messages and offerings of support, across different forms of communication, we request that you make sure you share what you want to share at the links below! The family is missing your well wishes because they are not able to manage them on social media.

See photos and videos of Tom’s life and activism.

Contribute and share you photos of Tom.
or email photos to INFO@ATTORNEYVAL.COM*

*There are file size and format restrictions so if you cannot upload it, please e-mail and you will be given access to another site for uploading. You can also e-mail word and pdf docs to this e-mail address if you have stories you want to share with the family and/or the public. All shared photos, videos, art, written stories, etc will be available to the public unless you send it via e-mail to and the words “Private: Family Only” in the e-mail subject line. If you want credit for your photos, videos and other artwork, please place your copyright information on the photo before uploading.