Nashville Tennessee made its debut Millenium Marijuana March on May 6, 2000. There were a total of about 75-100 participants, about 50 of which did the actual march and took part in the rally, and more joined us for the first Nashville human be-in in Shelby park. The march was organized by a group calling itself TORML (Tennessee’s Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Leaders from the Green Party (Al Levinson, Gary Wolf), and Libertarians (Richard Pearle, Dave Carew) marched together, along with folks in all age groups from 5 states (AZ, MS, TN, KY, NC), a black lab, a turtle and a parrot. It was a first time run through with the course, but all went smoothly. The marchers gathered at the parking lot, marched across the bridge let by Howie singing and playing his new anthem “I Like Marijuana”. A rally was held at the steps of the State Courthouse with a bullhorn supplied by a march who came all the way from Bristol, TN. Dave Carew, the Libertarian and certified independent candidate running against Bob Clements for the U.S. House of Representatives gave a speech about the importance of voting, and ending the war on drugs. Richard Pearle, Chairman of the Tennessee Libertarian Party said a few words, followed by Howie Hempalot thanking the attendees for making the journey.
“The symbolism was tremendous.” explained March organizer Howie Hempalot. “The Tennessee flag has 3 stars, so the flag we’ve designed has 3 pot leaves. For us they stand for Ecology, Freedom and Cooperation. Poetically speaking, these 3 ideas found their way into the march through the 3 animals that attended. Someone found a turtle on the bridge, which represents ecology because of it’s sensitivity to the environment. Dr. Pearle from the Green Party brought the parrot, which represents freedom, because of the beautiful expressive colors, and it’s vocalizing abilities. And the black lab was coope ration, because of the dog’s history as man’s best friend, and showing how the dog’s good nature has been manipulated by our enemies to sniff out pot.”
There was no interference by the police, just a cop on a moped driving by the parking lot, and another policeman waving to us as he drove by in his car as we crossed the bridge.
After the march, participants left the parking lot as a caravan, driving single file 2 miles away to Shelby Park to party and get better aquainted. Some felt like this was the beginning of a new movement for Nashville. An attendee from North Carolina described this as the “New N-ville Scene”
See y’all later