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In 2016, Maddie Saglibene was considering moving to Las Vegas during the YES on 2 cannabis adult use campaign. She happened to meet Mikel Weisser, a representative from NORML, before the move. Maddie Saglibene mentioned that cannabis in Nevada was about to go recreational and asked if there was a NORML chapter in Las Vegas. “No,” Weisser responded, “but you should start one.” That suggestion turned out to be one of the best things Weisser could have done for the cannabis movement in Nevada.
Creating A Movement
“ ‘It’ll be fun!’ he told me,” Saglibene jokes. Soon after, while walking the floor of the CHAMPS Expo, she noticed a NORML logo at the Freedom Leaf booth. She approached and asked the person working the booth if a NORML chapter in Las Vegas had been created. He said no, but he was trying to start one. “Oh my God, we are going to be best friends,” she recalls. That person was Chris Thompson, and together the two worked night and day to launch the first Las Vegas chapter of NORML.
Outreach & Support
Tick Segerblom was a big help with getting Saglibene up and running in Las Vegas. “He was the first political figure that I was able to engage with on a human, personal level. He really inspired me,” says Saglibene, who then reached out to other community groups to not only educate and network with but to help support their mission as well. “Since we founded LV-NORML, we’ve made it a priority to work with other diverse groups in the community, gaining their trust and de-stigmatizing ourselves as cannabis users. Really, it’s a bi-partisan issue, so we try and work with everyone. It’s not a sustainable model