Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Lively NORML Life

I got to see the documentary "A NORML Life" at a NORML Women's Alliance event in San Francisco last night. It's a terrific film that should be widely seen by reformers and others.

Rod Pitman, the film's director, was working on a movie about The Doors when he attended a 2008 NORML conference in Berkeley at which Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek spoke. The film has some fine snippets of Manzarek extolling the consciousness-expanding properties of pot, and the DVD contains a bonus interview with Manzerek.

Canadian activist Jodie Emery, whose husband Marc is serving time in a US federal prison for selling marijuana seeds over the internet, is one of the interviewees. In her poignant segment, Emery points out that Marc's actions were aimed at bringing back homegrown marijuana instead of cartel-grown.

Elvy Musikka, one of four federal patients who receives marijuana from the US government, is also powerful in her interview, as is her driver "Big Mike" and the little-but-mighty Ohio activist Tonya Davis (pictured).

In the film, Sabrina Fendrick describes how the new NORML Women's Alliance sprang from an article titled "Stiletto Stoners" in Marie Claire. NORML director Allen St. Pierre explains well the organization's challenge: end prohibition while still offering assistance to its victims. He likened it to trying to build a boat while already in the water.

California Drs. Frank Lucido and Christine Paoletti did a fine job explaining the scientific basis for marijuana's medical uses, and Kentuckian Gatewood Galbraith got some of the biggest laughs with his cogent analyses. Other "high" lights include musician Tim Pate, "Toke of the Town" journalist Steve Elliott and CalNORML Attorney Bill Panzer.

The film ends with a message from NORML founder Keith Stroup about folks coming "out" as pot smokers, and working with their elected officials to lift federal prohibition, allowing states to make their own laws, just as happened with alcohol.

The DVD is available at and the distributor Cinema Libre is in negotiations with Netflix. Pitman asked all in the room to go viral with the film through all their social networks, etc. He has produced a companion film, "Hempsters: Plant the Seed," narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring Willie Nelson, Ralph Nader, and others.

If you are interested in "A NORML Life" for promotional partnerships, events, festivals and conferences, call (206) 697-2374 or email HeartBrain Media's Stephanie Bishop: Stephanie (at) heartbrainmedia (dot) com.

To request a screener for review, or to arrange an interview, contact Cassie Brewer: cbrewer (at) cinemalibrestudio (dot) com

See other information about Grassroots distribution of the film.

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