Teapot Party Meetup, January 15, 2011, Shirley, AR
5 people attending
We discussed “Tax It, Regulate It, Legalize It” as a ‘purpose’ and agreed that though we very much like the phrase, it is more of a motto or tag-line than a ‘purpose’ as it does not answer the question “Why are we doing this?”
We discussed the various reasons that each of us is doing this civic-activism work. Our individual responses ranged from ‘disgust with the absurdity of current drug law’ to ‘concern about the huge number of people in prisons’ to ‘the stigma and fear associated with pot are jeopardizing our freedom of speech’ to ‘I would like to grow hemp for industrial purposes’.
There was, however, one common idea we all agreed to: That the prohibition of cannabis-hemp by our own government is a violation of our Constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom from intervention by government into our private affairs. In this light, our unified purpose is to ensure and safeguard our own liberty.
With regard to local action, it was unanimously agreed that we support and endorse the enactment of medical cannabis legislation by the Arkansas General Assembly which is currently in session.
We discussed ways to show this support and one idea we all agreed to was that a pro-cannabis/hemp rally on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol could really put this issue over the top… and that it would take the collaboration of a lot of people to make this happen.
We also agreed that such a rally would be futile and could actually work against the med-cannabis effort unless the turn-out was at least a thousand people… and that though there are 10’s of thousands of people in Arkansas who support the idea of med-cannabis, getting them to turn out in droves or make any kind of public statement is, because of the stigma associated with marijuana, pretty much like pulling teeth.
We briefly touched on candidate endorsements, fundraising and the need for a cohesive information-sharing network throughout our state, but felt strongly that this group effort is still in the fledgling stage; that effectively, there is as yet no real ‘on the ground’ organization because people who were previously unknown to each other have just started getting acquainted, and that it will take some time to develop local and regional structure before we are ready to do much of anything else.
We decided to share these comments with other activists and see what they think. Several of us will attend one or more Teapot Party Meetups on the 18th and these comments will be posted to various forums and lists with hopes of response. YOUR ideas and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.