Who Represents Me in North Carolina’s State Congress?

In North Carolina to pass a medical marijuana bill or legalize industrial hemp, we must persuade our representatives and senators in the General Assembly. Voters do not have the option of gathering enough signatures to put a referendum or initiative on the ballot. Instead we are dependent on our lawmakers to introduce these bills and to pass them with their counterparts in state Congress.

So to be effective North Carolina NORML encourages people to contact their representative and State Senator to find out how they stand on the issue of legalizing cannabis to varying degrees. Today most of North Carolina’s General Assembly feels that drugs are bad, marijuana is a drug, and therefore marijuana is bad. End of discussion. We need to reach out to each of them individually and engage them in this conversation with humility and compassion.

The first step is to know who your representatives are. Use this simple guide to find out today.

Go to the North Carolina General Assembly’s website
www.ncleg.net

Find your representative in the House
Click on House.
Click on House Member List.
Locate your county and district. This will provide your Representative.
Click on your Representative’s name. This will provide the Representative’s contact information.

Find your senator
Click on Senate.
Click on Senate Members List.
Locate your county and district. This will provide your Senator.
Click on your Senator’s name. This will provide the Senator’s contact information.

Now you know. The next step is to contact them politely by phone and by hand written letter. Ask them their stance on medical marijuana, industrial hemp, and full legalization.

When you make contact with them, and you know how they stand on these issues, let us know through Facebook or email.

Info@ncnorml.org

Legislative Rally for Medical Marijuana in Raleigh – February 17, 2015

image - nc flag white marijuana leaf

If you do one thing this year in support of legalizing medical marijuana in North Carolina in 2015, this is it.

On Tuesday February 17 NC NORML, NCCPN and activists from all parts of North Carolina and the South will be attending the annual Rally in Raleigh. By attending this event you are showing state congress that you are ready for them to pass a long overdue medical marijuana bill.

There will be a formal presentation held in the main Legislative Auditorium with several speakers. (Details below) You are encouraged to contact your representative beforehand and let him or her know that this presentation about the value of medical marijuana is being held from 11am-12 noon.

Contact your representative today. Schedule an appointment to speak with them. Most of the General Assembly is made up of conservatives that are traditionally closed minded about legalizing marijuana in any capacity. The thinking goes something like “Drugs are bad. Marijuana is a drug. Therefore marijuana is bad. End of story.” They are unfortunately loyal to outdated opinions that have no basis in science. Let them know doctors will be presenting at 11am. Politely and humbly ask them to join you in the auditorium for the evidence showing why doctors should be allowed to prescribe marijuana to qualifying patients.

The speakers include:
– Dr. Baiko who is Board Certified in Cannabinoid Medicine and has current practices in Hawaii and Oregon. Dr. Baiko will take questions from legislators.
– Dr. (NP) Lee Porter who will present on the endocannabinoid system.
– Liz Porter will update on other cannabis and substance abuse topics.
– Michael Krawitz will also attend schedule permitting
Also on hand will be Faculty Members of Patients Out of Time to answer questions. POT has presented all of the seminars for Doctors and other Health Care Professionals over the past decades. These seminars provide AMA certified recurrent training required for different professions.

If you do not agree with the current marijuana laws in North Carolina it is important for you to attend. This is a numbers game. To demonstrate to the General Assembly that this issue matters, more people need to come out this year than ever before. Last year we had over 200. This year we hope to have hundreds more.

 

When will this event be held?
February 17, 2015 (Tuesday) at 11am
Arrive a few hours early to meet with your Representative. (Call for an appointment TODAY).

Don’t know your Representative?
http://ncnorml.com/2015/01/29/who-represents-me-in-north-carolinas-state-congress/

Where will we meet?
North Carolina General Assembly
Legislative Building
16 West Jones St
Raleigh, North Carolina

Who should attend?
If you think and feel that a doctor has the right to prescribe medical marijuana, you need to come out and show your support. This event’s success depends on you. The passage of this bill will only happen if you and your friends and family come out to show support and contact your representative.

Help us get the word out. Bring a friend. Tell your family. Take a day off from work and join hundreds of like-minded individuals who know it is time North Carolina showed compassion towards its citizens who are in need of their non-toxic, natural medicine.

Bio – Alexander Bumgardner

Alex Bumgardner is a founding member of NC NORML. Recognizing a need for an organized group of committed individuals to lobby for reform in North Carolina, Alex began meeting with other activists in 2009. By the summer of 2010 NC NORML was officially incorporated in the state.

Since that time Alex has served on the Board of Directors, held various Officer positions, and worked as the Charlotte local chapter coordinator.

Currently, Alex is focusing his efforts to build and improve the Board of Directors, and to expand the presence of local chapters statewide.

NC NORML’s Business Plan for 2015

Several years ago my wife explained to me her theory about birthday wishes: “Instead of blowing out a candle and not telling your wish to anyone, you should announce that wish to the world. Announcing what you want will help the universe to make it happen.”

As a founder, Director, and Secretary of NC NORML, I want to announce my wish to improve the organization. By explaining how we are organized, our plans for legalizing marijuana in the state, and the resources we need to be successful, more supporters will come forward in myriad ways. To this end, my goal is a weekly blog post. This week I want to discuss our operations last year, and how to build up and improve those operations throughout 2015.

NORML of North Carolina’s mission includes the full legalization of recreational marijuana, the implementation of a robust and well-designed medical marijuana program, and adoption of industrial hemp for improving agriculture and industry within the state of North Carolina.

Our website states:
​“Our aim is to achieve the legalization of marijuana so that the responsible use of marijuana by adults is ​no longer subject to penalty. Through lobbying and public outreach, we hope to educate the public and ​the North Carolina Legislature about the benefits of the legalization of marijuana.”

NC NORML’s three part mission is dependent on developing and implementing a successful business plan. Over five years we have built the organization from the ground up. Although we have done a great job with limited resources, I believe we can do better in effecting real change in this state. As our supporters must become fully aware of the mission of NC NORML, how the organization operates, how it seeks to create and execute a multi-faceted strategy, and what our needs are, we will be able to apply the lessons of the last several years.

The organization is established as a “lobbying”, or “social welfare” official 501-(c)4 non-profit. While we are exempt from paying taxes, contributions to the organization are not tax-deductible. However, NC NORML does not disclose information about our donors to the government or anyone else. While we cannot directly participate in partisan elections, in most circumstances, we can educate the public about candidates for office and expose their positions on marijuana. We may also propose model legislation, work directly with government officials, produce research, conduct ad campaigns, and hold workshops and fund-raisers. We are, essentially, a fully volunteer organization. We have no paid staff, we have no office, and few resources.

NC NORML is a statewide chapter of NORML, the “National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws”. Members of the Board of Directors and officers of the organization are responsible for general operations, business, strategy, fund-raising, and overseeing the formation and continued operations of local chapters. A local chapter can be started by any dues paying member anywhere in the state. We have had active chapters in Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, Concord, Fayetteville, Outer Banks, and Winston-Salem. These local chapters are encouraged to grow their lobbying, event planning, signature gathering, fund-raising, and public education capabilities. The Board of Directors and Officers will work with these chapters and provide training, assistance, and support in order to build up from the grassroots.

In addition to frequent Board meetings at the state level, local chapters are encouraged to have regular, monthly meetings. All of the work is done in volunteers’ own time. Each chapter may choose to spend their resources in the manner they see as best for their chapter. For instance, at the beginning of the year, the state chapter raised funds to pay for a billboard on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte. Throughout the summer of 2014, local NC NORML chapters set up several tables at concerts throughout the state to get petitions signed, to raise money and awareness. And while both of these efforts generated a buzz, and created some attention in the local media, the planning and execution of these strategies could be improved and more can progress can be achieved.

We have also tried to put on larger events to benefit the statewide organization as a whole. We have attempted several times to host a two-day event, “Camp Cannabis”. We knew there would be a learning curve involved, but each time we ran into unforeseen obstacles. If we had better leveraged our resources and supporters, we might have found professionals who could have ensured the success of such an event.

One thing we have done well is to fund questions in state-wide polls, conducted by Public Policy Polling. In our most recent survey, we found that over 60% of North Carolinians support Medical Marijuana, approximately 42% support legalization, and only 48% support industrial hemp. This upward trend of support is encouraging as well as consistent with national results. The survey also tells us that the majority of North Carolinians need to be educated about the benefits of Industrial Hemp as a cash crop for the economy.

2015 will be all about building the organization, its operations, and how it interacts with local chapters and individuals. We need to increase the size and quality of our Board, build relationships with other businesses and social groups, raise funds, and recruit more volunteers. By developing a solid business plan for the year, we will be able to build our operations and follow through with our lessons learned from 2014.

Alex

Substance Abuse Counselor Says Time to Repeal Prohibition

In recent years, more information has been gathered through scientific, empirical research that there are a multitude of positive benefits from use of the Cannabis plant. I have been a certified substance abuse counselor for more than 20 years. I conduct substance abuse evaluations to determine the level of treatment the client must attend to satisfy the court system.

In conducting the evaluations, I always ask the client if they would rather “burn one” or “drink one”.

The overwhelming majority of individuals who see me for alcohol related incidents state they would rather “burn one”. Daily, I am made aware that the information provided during training was incorrect or lies. For example, in an approved treatment video, a doctor states that if young boys smoke pot, they run the risk of growing female breasts; young girls will grow facial and chest hair. Many of the substance abuse videos are either completely incorrect or far fetched. Another pertinent fact is that these videos are made by treatment centers and companies that have a vested interest in distribution and sales.

My education is in the field of Substance Abuse Counseling, and has lead me to believe Cannabis is safe and beneficial medicine. The upheaval over legalization of cannabis, not just medical but recreational as well is not based on risks to humans, but rather risks to large industries who would be dealt a financial blow when Cannabis prohibition is lifted.

In my practice I do not penalize the use of Cannabis. I typically give these clients the minimum, least punitive measures accepted by the recent court system in North Carolina. In groups, I discuss the accurate and positive information about Cannabis, which has for so long been suppressed.

Being armed with accurate and current information has changed my understanding that Cannabis not only has medicinal benefits, it is also much more safe than the currently legal drug, alcohol. The endocannaboid system and the value of the CBD’s is incredible. Prohibition of Cannabis has lasted over 70 years, even with the knowledge that prohibition does not eliminate use, rather creates a black market.

It is time to repeal prohibition.

Robert A.

Cycling 4200 Miles for Cannabis – Plant-A-Seed Tour Interview with NORML

Mueller Train

William Mueller and his bicycle want to fix broken laws. In November of 2014, William will leave his home near Charlotte, North Carolina to begin an epic cycling tour. This one man activist event will cross the United States, eventually span two hemisphere, and stretch over 4,200 miles to raise awareness about the value of the cannabis plant. NORML interviewed William before his tour to discuss his motivation, relationship to the plant and overall lifestyle.

NORML: Can you describe the Plant A Seed Tour and your motivation to bike such a great distance?

William Mueller: The Plant a Seed Tour is a 4,200 miles cycling tour that is driven by passion to bring awareness about cannabis education, Research, and Legalization. The tour starts November 1st and begins in St. Augustine, Florida. We have planned stops at 12 MeetUp locations. A hundred days later, we will end in Montevideo, Uruguay [where marijuana has already been legalized nationally].

My personal involvement in the legalization of cannabis began with the Million Marijuana March in NYC in 2005, and has led me down various paths to culminate in my personal awareness and fundraising efforts. I sought Todd Stimson’s advice regarding his walk from Asheville to the Capitol building in Raleigh to raise awareness about Cannabis in our state. I knew the Plant a Seed Tour would be a huge undertaking, and that we would need all the help we could get. The reason for the Plant a Seed Tour is to bring awareness about cannabis. There is too much research to back up what this plant can bring to the table. No one has ever died from cannabis and caffeine has worse side effects. The laws against cannabis are broken and should not even exist. Its time to stand up and make some changes.

William and Stimson

NORML: That’s quite an undertaking in support of the plant. The millions of people who use the plant for their health are grateful for your enormous efforts. So how long have you been cycling?

Mueller:  I have been cycling most all of my life. My passion to ride bicycles started as a young boy when I was gifted a bicycle for Christmas. I felt free, like I was flying.  Now I ride recreationally as well as a Touring Cyclist.   I became a dedicated cyclist, after losing the use of my car for 2 months and still had to get the kids to school and I had to get to work. So it was necessity that made me look at my means of transportation in a new light and that turned me into a endurance cyclist.

NORML: Are there any other sports or martial arts you practice regularly and with the family?

Mueller:  Another activity I practice regularly is Taekwondo, a martial art that my family and I partakes in as a whole.  It’s a way for us to exercise and spend time together while keeping a healthy mind and body.  I’m going to be a good father for my children no matter what life throws at us. Cannabis brings something special to the table that allows me to take a step back from the day to day hassles in life and observe my children as they are. Cannabis enlightens me to see just how important they are in this present time and enjoy them for who they are.

Riding with child

NORML: Marijuana is less addictive than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine but isn’t for everybody. Its psychotropic effects are unique and require a bit of understanding and experience to gain familiarity. What advice would you give to those who are trying to find a good balance with marijuana in their life?

Mueller:  My advice to those who are trying to find a good balance with cannabis in their life, is to start with small amounts until you find what works best for you. For those of you who are already a skilled athlete and are interested in practicing with cannabis to reach your peak goals would be to start with small amounts until you find what works best for you and your sport of choice. In my 18 years of consuming cannabis there has been no more than two times where I have felt “too high”. It was either too anxious of an experience or too tired feeling and I just wanted to sleep.  If you ever reach a state of where you feel too high, I would just go somewhere you can sit down and it will soon go away. To avoid getting too high, I would watch how you dose by starting in small quantities until you feel comfortable with your level and high.

NORML: It sounds like you’ve found the dose and strains that work best for you. As an athlete, what benefits do you find from combining marijuana and cycling?

Mueller: When cycling and about 30 – 40 minutes into my ride I reach a state of flow.  A zone that I am fully in my state of concentration and total body is in tuned with itself. When I reach this state of flow I don’t have to think about the peddling any more, my body just takes over. I feel like I can just keep on going. When I consume cannabis while cycling, I reach this state of flow much quicker with a more deeper connection.

I also ingest cannabis to enhance my pre-training motivation, it gets me out into the world so that I can do what I need to do for my training. I enjoy mostly clear headed, energized, uplifting and positive strains such as Strawberry Cough, Jersey Fresh, Kali Mist, and most Sativa varieties.

During training I consume cannabis to take any edge off and keep myself focused and more attuned to what my training goal is. Post training consumption of cannabis helps relax the muscles and bring on an appetite. So that I can replenish my body with the the nutrition it needs to recover properly.

NORML: Any final words to the readers?

Mueller: Education is very important and what we are taught is what we will believe. There was a time when information came from newspapers and the news. Now we are in an age where the truth of something can only be hidden for so long before it bursts at the seams for all to know. Cannabis is one of those important truths that is coming to light. Research is being done that proves cannabis is an amazing plant with so many benefits we could write a book on it and all with less side effects than caffeine.

Now is the time, and with help from social connections like you, we can bring this education to the people who either don’t know about this amazing plant or to show the ones that do know the truths about cannabis but are still in the closet know that we are standing up together.

The Plant a Seed Tour is going to be at 12 Meetup locations in the U.S. and later to a few cities in Uruguay bringing Education to the people. This is where we will need your help to make this tour a social movement to make our stand. Join us as we embark on a journey to Educate.

http://www.plantaseed.community

If you would like to support William’s efforts, please visit his website and consider donating. The costs to organize and complete an event like this is great. To date, much of the funding has come out of William’s own pockets as he has been a one-man activist in the cannabis community. If you also believe that it is time to change the antiquated cannabis laws, help William make a stand across the nation and reach out to him today.

If you don’t agree with the laws, do your part to change them. Consider joining NORML today.

Plant A Seed Tour Cycles 4200 Miles- Raises Awareness, Crushes Stoner StereoType

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William “Palito Blanco” Mueller is not lazy. He and other professional cyclists are biking 4,200 miles across the continent to raise awareness about the benefits of the cannabis plant and the urgent need to change laws prohibiting its cultivation and use. This epic tour will also remove any doubt that marijuana makes a person lazy.

Popular culture is filled with the stoner stereotype. From Scooby Doo’s Shaggy to The Big Lebowski, the image of that lazy, good-for-nothing stoner has been firmly engraved in the minds of people. Despite millions of cannabis users who are nothing like Shaggy or Lebowski, much of the public still think of cannabis users as lazy, couch-loving individuals. But for those who have followed a global movement to de-stigmatize cannabis, it comes as a no surprise that many athletes, business-persons and celebrates have led an active and fruitful life despite of – more aptly because of – regular use of cannabis.

Plant A Seed Tour is a 4,200 mile cycling tour dedicated to bring awareness about Cannabis education, research and legalization. The professionals associated it with are not the lazy ‘potheads’. Every single member of this tour are active athletes who live a healthy lifestyle. Collaborating with the tour is NORML Athletics, a network of highly enthusiastic sportsmen who deliberately use cannabis for personal growth and peak performances. This non-profit organization is actively involved in raising awareness about the medicinal and psychological benefits of cannabis through a global network of like-minded athletes.

This coming together of two noble parties expects to break barriers and establish a more positive image of cannabis and its users. This collaboration will send a strong message that cannabis users are everyday people, athletes and even business owners who work day in and day out to raise family and succeed in life. NORML Athletics will spotlight William “Palito Blanco” Mueller throughout the tour. He is on a mission to raise awareness about the urgent need to mend broken cannabis laws.

The issue of cannabis’ numerous benefits will be at center stage and many of the long standing myths will be debunked openly. Scientific research and true life athletic examples are on our side. NORML Athletics has a growing list of prominent athletes joining their cause who continuously strive for realizing their highest potential in their respective sports. Headed by Aaron, a jiujitsu purple belt and a national level MMA competitor, NORML Athletes continue to push boundaries and bring cannabis into mainstream.

Join this exciting venture and support NORML Athletics and the Plant A Seed Tour in any and every way you can. Legalization and awareness about cannabis can save and improve lives of thousands if not millions of individuals. Know that cannabis users are not what the popular culture has made out them to be. This initiative itself is an ample proof that cannabis users are highly active, driven everyday people who strive for continuous success. Join hands as Plant A seed Tour and NORML Athletics aim to dispel the most persistent myth of our times.

image_PlantASeed_CyclistFamily