Thursday, March 16, 2017

A NORML Mom Finds Some Treasure

Treasure comes in many forms. In my world, the deepest treasures are usually related to experiences, literature/art, and plant medicine. A couple weeks ago at Charis in Atlanta, I found the first two types of treasure.

My loyal readers will recognize Charis as a regular fixture in my life, but my children have been in the dark. Sensory processing differences and Autism Spectrum Disorder make reading extra challenging for them, so they embrace our local Barnes & Noble more for the train set, hot chocolate, music and movies. The books feel almost like an afterthought.

While Charis warmly welcomes guests with free herbal tea, it's definitely a book lover's bookstore. I expected my children to case the floor and head for the door, but instead they sat down in rocking chairs with stacks of books. I was stunned.

Then, I looked up and made another happy discovery. On prominent display, near the area where I sometimes read poetry aloud, was my friend Lasara's book, Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality.

These things may seem small, but I am grateful:
  1. My children and I established some unexpected common ground.
  2. I saw evidence that my children's therapy is having results.
  3. Finding Lasara's book felt like some kind of cosmic hello from our mutual friend, Corina, who died around one year ago.
We remained there for about one hour reading, snapping our selfies, and exploring the store's dusty corners and bright spaces. No one questioned my NORML shirt or so much as batted an eye. What struck me most about this was my sense of privilege.

In Jailbreaking the Goddess, Lasara writes about deconstructing long held ideas as they apply to our culture and ourselves. Offering full disclosure about her background and motivation, she states : I recognize the privilege I hold and have made a commitment to using that privilege as a tool for dismantling the system within which it exists.

Drawing on that same energy, I acknowledge my privilege to wear my NORML shirts unquestioned to progressive bookstores where my special needs children thrive. I will use this privilege to continue giving voice to a movement whose greatest beneficiaries still struggle to tell their stories and to attain safe access to a plant they need.

There is much to be happy about regarding Georgia, and the wider USA's, slow embrace of cannabis reform. However, I fear Peachtree NORML's executive director Sharon Ravert is still correct in her recently publicized statement: There are three words in Georgia that can get you killed: I smell marijuana.

As always, these posts plant seeds. Please like, share, and help the movement grow! Also, here are links to some of the biggest stories and opportunities in local and national cannabis reform right now:

NORML's Action Center (A petition urging support for an existing bill to end federal prohibition of marijuana is available here.)

Not One Step Back (4/22 workshop in Atlanta, GA)

PS: Aside from being an inspiring read, Jailbreaking the Goddess fits like a puzzle piece within a workshop I'm developing for ATL Craft about magic, mental health and removing stigma. I'm excited to share more about that in upcoming posts. Meanwhile, Atlanta readers, please go visit Haley Murphy's new shop in Atlanta's Old 4th Ward across from Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium. ATL Craft is a great place to discover treasure within the city.


  1. Thank you Kelli Lynn for all you do. I thought it could be helpful if I gave your readers a link to get their free tickets to the NOT ONE STEP BACK EVENT on 4/22. Free Lunch will be provided, so in order to know how many will be there, please rsvp at this link and print out your free tickets. See you there.