Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A NORML Mom Goes to the Bank

In addition to being a NORML Mom with the ambition to change the world with my words, I'm a founding member of TerraTonz LLC. It's my family's contribution to what Atlantic Magazine calls "the weird little industry behind a mesmerizing instrument."

I think this is a great description. My working world is weird, little and fraught with awe-inspiring chaos, but we have managed to support our family of 4 adults and 4 children for 4 years so far, and that means I do my share of banking--not just for myself but for the business too.

On a recent business banking trip, I walked into Wells Fargo clad in my NORML shirt. Standing in line, I could hear clerks whispering. Finally, the branch manager himself stepped forward and posed the question: So, you do realize your shirt's missing an "A" right? 

I promptly informed him that there's no "A" because NORML is an acronym for The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. He nodded his head and told me his daughter has epileptic seizures and his family is considering medical marijuana as a treatment for her. He was surprised NORML existed and even more intrigued that Atlanta has a chapter.

I walked away a little surprised myself. I have to admit my upbringing carried with it some stereotypes about marijuana's supporters, and bankers did not fit the bill.

Fortunately, what I'm finding as I learn more about reform is that it can humanize everyone if we let it. I think that's largely why it has been met with so much stigma. Releasing our legal, moral and political blocks surrounding the way we regard marijuana opens the door to rethink our laws, morals and politics period.

Of course, Marijuana and banking aren't exactly at odds. After all, the Washington Post reports that Colorado's legal weed market made over $700 million in 2014 alone, with projections of reaching $1 billion by 2016. You can read more about it here. Also, my eyes are on Ohio. After vetoing recreational legalization on the grounds that the terms created an unwanted monopoly on the marijuana market, this swing state helps squelch fears of another "Big Tobacco" and could pave the way for a discreet economic revolution.

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