Trim, white-haired Tom Hayden gave a talk at the NORML conference in Los Angeles Oct. 4. NORML is the National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws. It was founded in 1970 by Keith Stroup, who is now the group’s trim, white-haired general counsel.
Hayden had been invited and was introduced by Fort Lauderdale attorney Norm Kent, who recounted Tom’s resume from Freedom Rider at the start of the ‘60s to California Assemblyman and State Senator (1982-2000) and, most recently, a participant in the Caravan for Peace.
Hayden congratulated NORML on its longevity. The early feminists didn’t live to see women get the vote, he observed. “It seems to be a law of social change that it comes inch by inch. Each inch is sacred ground.”
Glass high-rises loomed above the Omni hotel in downtown L.A., where the event was held. “Here in Southern California we are in the former Mexico,” Tom reminded the pot partisans. “We are on the border of Central America, our population is heavily Mexican and Latino.”