Ahead of next Wilson hearing, KC NORML hosting advocacy training


Missouri’s cannabis laws are in an area of gray. 

With the federal and state laws colliding we find enforcers of the law to be totally on board with what the state says is okay, or supporting the federal law and overriding the state law entirely. This undoubtedly and understandably causes upset in the cannabis community. Activists are inspired to express their frustration, as they are legally entitled. However, sometimes they end up getting caught up in emotion and resorting to behavior they think will create a wave of change. And waves it makes, but maybe not in the way it was intended. 

Take this example of two girls smoking cannabis outside of GOP lawmaker Andy Harris’s office in Washington D.C. They were so frustrated with his position on cannabis that they chose to partake in illegal activity (smoking is illegal in federal buildings regardless of the state’s law) as an attempt to get their point across. Due to it being illegal, they were promptly arrested. 

Illegal or not, their actions reflected poorly on the cannabis community. It was an unbelievably disrespectful act, and this most likely will not make Andy Harris want to change his stance on cannabis. In fact, it might make him want to run even further away from cannabis legalization if he feels this is a representation of the entire cannabis community. 

Something similar recently happened in Missouri. Cannabis activists felt frustrated in the courtroom during a hearing and voiced their concerns in a way that caused some upset. 

The Kansas City chapter of NORML knows that Missouri activists have many concerns that they want to be addressed. They also recognize that activists have a powerful impact in changing the status quo, and want to make sure it is done appropriately and in a way that can generate true change. 

NORML KC is partnering with Spark Legal Solutions to host an event on January 30 called “How to be an Effective Advocate: Courtroom & Lobbying Efforts.” This event will be educational in nature with the goal of teaching cannabis activists on how to use their voice in an effective way. 


NORML KC’s Executive Director, Jamie Kacz, told Greenway that they “are excited to be hosting this important event with Spark Legal Solutions. This will be an excellent opportunity to educate the community on how to be most effective when volunteering and providing support.” Kacz says they “understand that many want to help advocate, but are unaware of how to help and direct their energy.”

The lawyers at Spark Legal Solutions remind those in the cannabis community at a NORML KC meeting that channeling your concerns towards the right people and in the right way is crucial in order for change to take place. When energy is directed angrily, it ends up affecting the innocent.

A representative from NORML KC explained she has been getting consistent calls and messages since the recent events from people concerned about attending meetings, events, and lobby days. They don’t want to be found in a negative situation and associated with the wrong crowd. She explained that it is frustrating for those at NORML KC who have been working tirelessly for years to create a change in perception of the cannabis community, only for it to be seemingly undone in one day. 

The event is great preparation for those wanting to get involved with the Missouri NORML’s Lobby Day on February 26, 2020. Those wanting to be involved are encouraged to attend the event on January 30 and gain valuable information for creating change peacefully. 

Find more information about this event on the KC NORML Facebook.