Home Culture A Sign of the Times: Virginia’s First Cannabis Liberation Rally

A Sign of the Times: Virginia’s First Cannabis Liberation Rally


The first ever Virginia Cannabis Liberation rally was held on Sunday, July 10th at the Freedom Wall on the Downtown Mall of Charlottesville. In a bipartisan effort to get the Red State on board with marijuana reform, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (VA RAMP), VA NORML and the Cannabis Commonwealth groups raised awareness on the importance of marijuana legalization, medical marijuana accessibility, and political advocacy. A recent poll shows 62 percent of Virginians agree in their support of adult-use (recreational) legalization.

1Freedom of Speech Wall

Jefferson Area NORML Director, Jess Vegas, puts up pro-cannabis posters ahead of Sunday’s rally. The chalked up wall is called the Freedom of Speech Wall, on which members of the public may express their views, on any subject they choose. Permanently inscribed on one segment of the wall is the text of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

2Virginia Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition

Virginia Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition at their table, at the Liberation rally. They have joined forces with Virginia’s NORML chapters to bring the prohibition on marijuana to an end in the Republican-controlled Commonwealth State. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

3A Sign of the Times

A sign of the times, as Virginia seeks to garner attention for its marijuana legalization campaigns. The Commonwealth of Virginia currently has the most stringent regulations when it comes to marijuana of all three Washington Metropolitan area states (Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia). PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

4Executive Director of Virginia NORML, Pamela Langley Novy

Executive Director of Virginia NORML, Pamela Langley Novy, addresses the crowd at the Cannabis Liberation rally. The Navy and Air Force veteran has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She’s managed Specialized Treatment Programs for combat related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is committed to marijuana policy reform in Virginia. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

5Star-Spangled Banner Performance at the Liberation Rally

Matthew O’Donnell performed the Star-Spangled Banner at the Liberation Rally. He’s based in Central Virginia and is a performer of traditional Celtic folk and American roots. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

6Passionate about Legalization

Nic McCarthy was a Bernie Sanders National Delegate, he even represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in June’s Democratic National Convention. Now that Bernie has thrown his support behind Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, McCarthy has more time to spend on other issues he is passionate about, like legalization. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

7Rob Rowley Talks Cannabis Reform

Rob Rowley, co-owner of Shirts With a Purpose, speaks about cannabis reform in Virginia in front of the Freedom of Speech Wall in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. He spoke about other industries that would benefit from lifting marijuana prohibition, like hemp. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

8A Cannabis Activist Proudly Shows his Support

One cannabis activist shows off his sign. There were dozens of people in the area for the cannabis rally, which is a lot for the conservative southern state. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Vegas Facebook

9Participation Gifts from Local T-shirt Shop

Rally participants received these stickers and patches as a participation gift from local t-shirt shop, Shirts With a Purpose. PHOTO CREDIT: Shirts With A Purpose

10Support from a Feline Friend

Shirts With a Purpose helped organize the Liberation Rally with VA NORML’s regional chapters. The shirt shop is on a mission to end cannabis prohibition and they had a feline helper for the rally. PHOTO CREDIT: Shirts With A Purpose