The executive director of N.C. NORML is our guest on this episode of the Carolina Cannabis News podcast.

In this podcast episode we cover what you’d expect: the results of the 2018 midterm elections, the fact that other states are making billions in tax revenue from the sale of cannabis and even how hog farmers are finding that cannabis biowaste — like the stems and leaves — makes excellent livestock feed. (See video below.)

But Brown also gets real about how, as he puts it, cannabis saved his life when, as a teenager, he was addicted to opioids.

“I don’t know how to describe opioid withdrawals other than pure hell,” he says, explaining that cannabis “decreased physical pain from withdrawals” and made it so, as he says, “I wasn’t throwing up and I was actually capable of being hungry.”

“It was amazing,” he says of cannabis and it’s affect on his addiction.

In the last four and a half years, six of his friends have died following opioid overdoses. Brown says that is what motivates him as a legalization advocate.

“I honestly don’t see any reason that — when you look at the facts — why someone would oppose this if they have a moral compass; I think that’s about as politely as I can put it because people are dying,” he says in the CCN podcast, adding, ” … the time to do something was a decade ago.”

He says NORML is seeking complete deregulation of cannabis. “Unless there’s commerce involved,” Brown says, “I don’t see why there should be regulation.”

A NORML chapter has a lobby day scheduled in early 2019, though since the date is subject to change we suggest you click here and follow the Facebook event page for details.

Brown also says that those interested in voluteering can reach out via the organization’s website or social media accounts. He also wants you to know there are plenty of volunteer opportunitites that won’t put you at risk of showing up on the evening news.

[Image: Abner Brown, executive director of N.C. NORML.]


To follow up on a few things mentioned in the podcast:

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “In 2016, there were 1,505 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in North Carolina—a rate of 15.4 deaths per 100,000 compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons. Since 2010, when the rate was 8.1 deaths per 100,000 persons, the rate has almost doubled. From 2010 to 2016, the number of heroin-related deaths increased from 39 to 544 deaths and the number of deaths related to synthetic opioids rose from 170 to 601 deaths.”
  • NORML’s information pages for North Carolina and South Carolina can be found here and here, respectively.
  • Click here to find out who is on the N.C. General Assembly House of Representatives Judiciary I Committee and here to find out who represents you in the NCGA.
  • Click here to review a 2018 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine regarding the use of cannabis to treat opioid addiction and withdrawals.
BY Rhiannon Fionn

BY Rhiannon Fionn

Editor & Publisher

Rhiannon Fionn is an award-winning journalist based in Charlotte, N.C.