April 20, 2017 – 11-2 – Free Admission – Kid Friendly, no pets.
Master of Ceremonies - Dr. Pete Ludovice
After receiving his B.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois, and M.I.T. respectively, Pete did post-graduate research at IBM, NASA and the ETH-Zurich. He has taught chemical & biomolecular engineering at Georgia Tech for over two decades, and has worked as a professional comedian for over one decade. Pete’s efforts to use humor to educate the public on topics in science & engineering, include an National Science Foundation project on humor in the engineering classroom, a research project on the use of humorous improvisation to catalyze technical innovation, co-directing the Georgia Tech Humor Genome Project, and numerous performances at venues including the Atlanta Science Festival, the U.S.A. Science & Engineering festival and colleges and clubs across the U.S. He also finds time to teach and carry out research on the computer simulation of synthetic and biological macromolecules.
Pete’s first interest in the science of cannabis began a few years ago when he was telling jokes at the Sweetwater 420 Festival in Atlanta, and discovered how little the public knew about cannabis. Scince then he has begun researching various aspects of cannabis, including the simulation of the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, and the thermodynamics of cannabinoid extraction. He is also the consulting scientist on Altered Plates, an upscale TV show on cooking with cannabis that is designed as much to educate as to entertain.
Carla Howell - National Political Director, Libertarian Party
Prior to her joining the staff of the national Libertarian Party in December 2011, Carla Howell championed three statewide ballot initiatives in Massachusetts to cut taxes: Two to End the Income Tax (“Question 1”) in 2002 and 2008 endorsed by the Wall Street Journal, Steve Forbes and National Taxpayers Union and one in 2010 to roll back the Massachusetts sales tax from 6.25% to 3% (“Question 3”). Each initiative won almost one million votes.
The 2002 initiative shocked the political establishment of Massachusetts when it won 45% of the vote. The 2010 initiative was ahead in the polls prior to the airing of millions of dollars in opposition advertising. Her initiatives forced the Teachers Union and other allies of Big Government to spend $12,000,000 in 2008 and 2010 – just to prevent tax decreases.
Ms. Howell won 308,860 votes in her Libertarian U.S. Senate race against Ted Kennedy in 2000. It was the highest vote percentage ever for a Libertarian in a U.S. Senate race against a Democrat and Republican.
She opposed and debated Mitt Romney and high-profile Democrats including Robert Reich in her 2002 run for Governor of Massachusetts.
Ms. Howell won the endorsement of the Boston Herald in her 1998 race for Massachusetts State Auditor.
She has consulted for hundreds of initiatives and campaigns at the local, state and federal level and organized the 2009 Small Government Summit which trained candidates and activists how to formulate and sell liberty proposals with broad appeal to voters. One outgrowth of the Summit was the creation of her game Who’s Driving which she designed to train libertarians to proactively advance liberty in their campaigns, conversations and public appearances.
Ms. Howell has been a featured, stand-alone guest on the Neil Cavuto Show, O’Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck, andFox Business News Happy Hour and hundreds of TV and radio interviews and debates since 1998.
Her campaigns were covered by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, Boston Globe, The Economist, Financial Times, USA Today.
She created and was the original host for the radio show Libertarians Working for You. She also composes songs with libertarian themes and in 2001 released her tax spoof song How Could I Live Without Filing Taxes which was played on over 100 radio stations nationwide.
Prior to becoming politically active, Carla Howell worked for 22 years in the private sector in engineering, marketing and management in the fields of high tech and health care.
Senator Curt Thompson
Senator Curt Thompson was first elected to the Georgia State Senate from the 5th District in 2004. Senator Thompson, a Democrat, represents parts of Gwinnett County. He currently serves as Chairman of Special Judiciary Committee and is also member of the Judiciary, Appropriations, Ethics, and Rules committees. He served Georgia in the House of Representatives from 2002-2004. Sen. Thompson is a life-long resident of Gwinnett County. He graduated from Shiloh High School, where he was a National Merit Scholar. He then went to American University in Washington, D.C., majoring in international studies and broadcast journalism. Senator Thompson then went to law school at Georgia State University. He passed the Bar and represents government employees (including firefighters and police) and service workers. Senator Thompson currently practices law in Norcross serving a variety of business and private clients with a focus on administrative and corporate law at his firm—Thompson & Associates. Senator Thompson has been active in civic affairs, such as his neighborhood garden club, petitioning for speed bumps, and opposing destructive re-zoning applications. He has also been affiliated with the Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity, the Sierra Club, Norcross Cooperative Ministries, and AID Gwinnett. He has long been involved in the Gwinnett County chapter of the Democratic Party of Georgia and is firmly committed to ensuring that his neighbors have a voice in the State Legislature. In 2002, he ran and won election for the then newly-created District 69 and in 2004 for the State Senate District 5, in both cases running with a message to the voters: “Your Voice Counts!” In his district, he hosts a monthly public gathering called the “Citizens Advisory Forum,” allowing members of his community and others to communicate with him directly on issues concerning them the most. He also engages in organizing umbrella groups to unite and assist neighborhood associations and neighborhood revitalization efforts. He currently serves as the President of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement Association. In addition, he has learned to speak Spanish to better serve the Spanish-speaking members of Senate District 5. He worships at Chattahoochee Friends Meeting and All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta.
Diane Fornbacher - LadyBud Magazine
Recipient of the NORML Pauline Sabin Award (2012) for contributing 20 years of activism to many grassroots & national drug policy reform organizations including Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP), Tri-State Drug Policy Forum of DE, NJ, PA; PhillyNORML. In January 1999, Diane was the HIGH TIMES Magazine Freedom Fighter of the Month. In addition to being a former national Member of the Board of NORML, Diane was also Founding Member of the NORML Women’s Alliance Foundation (NWAF), former member of the Board at the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ), and current Advisory Board Member at Parents 4 Pot. Diane served as the former Editor and Managing Editor of SKUNK Magazine, an international cannabis magazine based in Montreal, Quebec. Fornbacher’s writing has appeared in Good Morning America Parents, been quoted in the New York Times and appeared on NYT Video News. She and her family were featured on Fusion Network with Jorge Ramos and Ryan Nerz. She has been extensively quoted by such publications as USA Today, FOX, San Francisco Gate, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Weekly, Oregon Post, CNBC, The Denver Post, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Durango Herald, Washington Post, Yahoo! News, CBS, AOL Real Estate, The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and Huffington Post. She has had the honor of being the keynote speaker and panelist at many reform conferences. She is the publisher of Ladybud Magazine but most importantly, Diane is a mother to two young sons and wants them to live in a more compassionate and sensible world.
Ebony Knight - NORML Womens Alliance
Author, artist, and activist are just a few of the many hats Ebony Knight wears. In addition to serving as the newly-appointed National Director of the NORML Women’s Alliance and her work with various organizations (Urban Hippie, A Rebel Minded, and LEAP to name a few),this trailblazer is also well-known for her unique style of political comedy, and boasts an array of writing/publishing credits ranging from SKUNK Magazine to legal journals. She is also the founder of Knight Consulting Group and a member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
Gareth Young - Compassionate Atlanta
Gareth is a radio show host, a blogger, and a regular speaker and leader on topics of authenticity, intimacy and curiosity – central to a New Business Mindset. As an independent businessman, he has been able to develop a very successful livelihood and at the same time cultivate his spiritual path. Gareth is very active in interfaith work. A couple of years after being ordained a Zen Buddhist priest, Gareth left formal Zen practice to co-found Red Clay Sangha, an Atlanta Buddhist community. He has served as president of the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta and is a regular observer of Ramadan, the Jewish High Holidays, and other faith and interfaith events. He is engaged with a number of other interfaith and social justice organizations, serving on boards and participating in grass roots activism. He has written a number of books, including two novels, and contributed to several others. Gareth is a father of two almost-adult children.
Senator Harold Jones II
Senator Harold Jones II, a Democrat, was elected to the senate in 2014. He represents the 22nd district, which includes portions of Richmond County. Sen. Dugan is the Vice-Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee and Secretary of the Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Committee. He is also a member of the Economic Development and the Transportation committees. In 2004, he was elected as the first African American Solicitor General for Richmond County. In 2008, he was reelected with endorsements from the Augusta Chronicle, Augusta Focus and Metro Courier for Solicitor General. As solicitor general, Sen. Jones handled misdemeanor crimes and strived to balance representation of the State with advocacy for victims and to maintain policies that apply standards of fairness and equality for all concerned. Senator Jones has long been an active member of his community. His affiliations include the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Downtown Rotary Club, the American Red Cross Board of Directors, Girl Scouts Board of Directors, the Greater Augusta Arts Council (former chairman), the Richmond Burke County Youth Council (former chairman), Democratic Party Member, Leadership Augusta (former board member), and Leadership Georgia. Senator Jones created the Harold V. Jones II Social Studies Award, which is given to a Glenn Hills High School senior who plans to study political science in college. Senator Jones earned his bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University in 1991. In, 1994, he graduated from North Carolina Central University Law School. Senator Jones is a former adjunct professor for Georgia Military College, Paine College and Voorhees College. Currently, he works as an adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix. In his free time, Sen. Jones enjoys spending time with his wife, Kimberly.
Jeremy Sharp - Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Jeremy is a Senior at the University of North Georgia, where he is studying Political Science with a concentration in pre-law. He is the President and founder of the University of North Georgia SSDP chapter, as well as a board member for Georgia Overdose Prevention. Jeremy has also been active in Peachtree NORML where he serves as a board member. Jeremy regularly speaks at public forums and enjoys the challenges of lobbying for Harm Reduction in the Deep South.
Jeremy’s greatest success in activism to date comes from helping pass GA HB 965 (GSP and Naloxone Access.) This bill has resulted in an immediate and positive impact in Georgia. Calls for help in Hall county Ga, where the UNG SSDP chapter was started and is active, have increased by 400% since 2014. In Georgia, as of May 2016, there have been 453 Naloxone opioid reversals since the comprehensive law was signed.
Along with SSDP alum Esmee Bancroft, Jeremy wrote a 22 page paper titled Student Synopsis On Current Peer Overdose Endemic, which was given to legislators during the chapter’s lobbying efforts. It was used in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee hearings by the legislators. Jeremy also testified on behalf of the bill, and helped build a grass roots effort that passed the inclusive bill. The local SSDP chapters are currently working with a plethora of organizations to inform Georgians about the laws immunizes as well as Naloxone access. Jeremy’s life has been negatively affected by our 40 year-long Drug War. He has seen how our poor and minority populations have become demonized by Draconian drug laws. Helping end these corrupt and inept policies will most likely become Jeremy’s life’s work. “I hope my children do not have to live in an America where their rights are diluted and diminished by a system that operates on the presumption of serving justice.”
Kevin Fortune - Founder, President, & CEO- Liberty America, Inc.
Founder, President, & CEO- Liberty America, Inc., a national organization dedicated to putting the fundamentals of liberty (individual freedom, free markets, smaller government, & nonaggressive foreign policy) in action.
His nickname is “KK” (King Kevin because he is called the king of liberty.
Personal testimony of how libertarianism can take you from welfare to wealth via laissez-faire capitalism. He runs his own business (Kevin Fortune, LLC) where he invests in the financial markets.
He is very involved in the community as an activist & volunteer. He is especially recognized for his fundraising where he has raised great amounts of money for worthy causes. He is also very active in one of Atlanta’s most prominent churches (Briarcliff Baptist Church), a historic institution that has stood for individual freedom and liberty. Kevin is proud to be a Christian and has been a leader in the Christian libertarian movement.
But, most of all he is proud of the many new people he has introduced and brought into libertarianism!
Paul Maner - Republican candidate for Georgia State Senate District 40
Paul D. Maner
Republican candidate for Georgia State Senate District 40
As a lifetime resident of Atlanta, in the soon-to-be City of LaVista Hills, Paul Maner identifies strongly with his community. Paul is a graduate of Morrow Senior High School, and is dedicated to continuously furthering his education in ethics, social security, Medicare, compliance, taxes and estate planning, amongst other areas of expertise. With over 19 years in business as a Financial Advisor, Paul currently works with National Financial Services Group in Atlanta, GA.
Russ Belville - The Russ Belville Show
By Gooey Rabinski, original here
“Radical” Russ Belville, the hyperkinetic host of The Russ Belville Show on CannabisRadio.com, is one of the most ardent and well-informed voices in the fight to legalize medical and adult use cannabis in the United States.
An Idaho native now based in Portland, Oregon, Belville travels extensively, taking his show on the road. He interviews the people who are shaping legalization and defining the parameters of regulations that directly influence cannabis businesses across the nation.
Belville brings a wealth of experience to his current cannabis advocacy efforts, including contributions to High Times and Marijuana Politics. He has also spoken at popular events such as the Seattle Hempfest and he is the former executive director of Portland NORML.
Sharon Ravert – Executive Director Peachtree NORML
Sharon Ravert – Executive Director Peachtree NORML
Sharon is a wife, mother, caregiver, business owner and life long resident of Georgia. Her eyes were opened when her family was traumatized by the “War on Drugs”, she uses her ears to listen to other victims and her voice to tell their stories and educate others on the direct and indirect harms of prohibition and how it affects us all.
Sharon has been a guest on numerous radio stations across the country as well as local and regional TV news affiliates. As well as LadyBud Magazine, HighTimes Magazine and Main Street. She was recently nominated by Mass/Cann NORML for National Female Activist of the Year. Sharon has traveled the country speaking on various topics including drug policy, activism, southern strategies and harm reduction. She produces a segment on 420radio.com highlighting the stories and work of other women in the fight to end marijuana prohibition.
Stanley Atkins II - The Cannimedic
Veteran, father, patient and survivor. Cannabis saved my life, I have now dedicated my life to the plant that saved my life. From Firefighter to The CanniMedic.
Stephanie Grande - Industrial Hemp Activist and Colorado Hemp Farmer
Star Captain Steph (aka Stephanie M. Grande) is the founder of Indie Hemp. Indie Hemp is a social awareness movement about the benefits of industrial hemp cultivation.
Star Captain Steph is a technical writer and contract negotiator and hemp farmer advocate. Born in Arizona and raised in a military family, her family settled in Durango, Colorado in 1992. In 1998, she graduated from Colorado’s Campus in the Sky (Fort Lewis College) with undergraduate degrees in French and Business Administration and also attended Ecole Superieur de Commerce de La Rochelle (France) and George Washington University’s School of Business.
She has provided electrical products and services to the petroleum, military, mining and utilities industries for more than 20 years.
She now resides in Peachtree City, Georgia with her daughter and serves as a Flint River Basin Advisory Council Member to the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District. Star Captain and her daughter are both black belts in taekwondo, certified scuba divers and aerial artists. Star Captain speaks French and Spanish and enjoys skydiving, private pilot training, yoga and as you might have guessed, talking about hemp!
Ted Terry - Mayor of Clarkston
Senator Vincent D. Fort
Senator Vincent D. Fort was first elected to the State Senate from the 39th District in 1996 and has been reelected ten times. He represents parts of the City of Atlanta, East Point, College Park, Union City and unincorporated Fulton County in Georgia. Senator Fort serves as the Democratic Whip in the Senate, the number two position in the Senate Democratic Caucus. He has served in that position since 2011. Senator Fort serves on the Appropriations, Judiciary-Civil, Judiciary-Criminal, Education and Youth, Reapportionment and Redistricting, Interstate Cooperation, Urban Affairs, and the Marta Oversight Committees. Senator Fort has chaired the Retirement Committee, Interstate Cooperation Committee and the Fulton County Senate Delegation. Senator Fort authored the first hate crimes law in 2001. This legislation was designed to provide for enhanced penalties for defendants who intentionally select their victim due to bias or prejudice. In 2001, Senator Fort authored a predatory lending law, which was the basis for the strongest predatory lending law of its kind, passed in 2002. Since then, he has become nationally recognized as a leader in the fight against predatory lending and foreclosures. Senator Fort also authored a law which increases disabled access to housing. Senator Fort is responsible for securing $40 Million in funding for buildings at Atlanta Technical College and Atlanta Metropolitan College. As a member of the Education Committee, Senator Fort has been on the forefront in the movement to protect public education. Senator Fort has been recognized by several organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Georgia Council on Aging, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. He has been recognized as legislator of the year by the Georgia Association of Educators, Alpha kappa Alpha, Improved benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the National Association of Consumer Advocates. He has also received the Unsung Hero award from the Anti-Defamation League. Senator Fort has appeared on or been quoted numerous local national and international media outlets including CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, New York Times, MSNBC, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Nation Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, HDNet with Dan Rather and Financial Times.