Incarceration Nation at Vanderbilt

At our Vanderbilt Young Americans for Liberty chapter, it has become an annual tradition (as I’m sure it is for several other chapters) to hold a 4/20 bake sale to raise awareness of the failed war on drugs. This year, upon hearing of the Incarceration Nation initiative, our chapter decided to combine this with our current tradition.
 Before the storm forced us inside
We usually try to hold a speaker event a week before the bake sale in order to get people thinking about the issues. Luckily, NORML TN was gracious enough to have their President, Doak Patton, come into speak about<--break->” title=”<--break-->” class=”mceItem”> their plans for getting marijuana on the TN ballot. In addition, we watched a short video from Generation Opportunity on “The Story of Weldon Angelos.” This heart-wrenching story is an unfortunate example of how punishment does not always fit the crime.</div>
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<div>On 4/20, we had our brownies all made and all our literature laid out on a table in front of the busiest student center on campus. Since this was also held in conjunction with Incarceration Nation, it was complete with a PVC-piped, spray-painted “prison” where a passerby could snap a photo and declare to #FIXTHESYSTEM. </div>
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All in all, the event went well. We collected several new names, garnered a substantial amount of interest and conversations, and had a blast promoting a cause we were passionate about.  
 
Lastly, a tip for chapter presidents: Don’t be afraid to reach out to nearby chapters. I had the idea for NORML by looking at nearby events and was able to save time building the makeshift prison by asking a YAL member at Lipscomb, a campus only a few minutes away, for help. Best of luck! 
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