Theresa Nightingale Receives Tokey Award “Celebrating famous female cannabis connoisseurs throughout herstory to the present day.”
They have just announced the 2015 “Tokey Awards” recipients and Theresa Nightingale was one of five women honored for “Activist of the Year” for her work bringing decriminalization to the city of Pittsburgh.
Theresa, who is also a founding member of the Pittsburgh NORML Womens Alliance, took some time out of her busy day to answer a couple questions about her work as an activist in the state of Pennsylvania.
How did you first get involved in the legalization movement?
Theresa:  I started by showing up to a Pittsburgh NORML meeting in January 2012. I knew that NORML was the oldest cannabis reform organization in existence and I wanted to be a part of it.

What has been the most challenging part for you, personally?

Theresa:  By far it has been the constant danger of having my child taken away from me due to the fact that I am so outspoken. I am lucky to live in the city of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, which is by far more liberal than the suburbs.

What lessons have you taken away from your experience?

Theresa:  That almost everything negative that you have ever heard about politicians is spot on, and then some. I’ve also learned that many of my peers don’t vote, and that is incredibly sad and frustrating. However, we as an organization are working to change that. We have voter registration information on our website and at many of our events.

You were Miss High Times in March 2015– how did that come about?

Theresa:  I found out about the contest via a copy of HIGH TIMES magazine I had. I thought it would be fun to try to win a month. I then took some pictures of myself and uploaded them to the Miss High Times website, I was voted into the top 10, and after that I was invited to a few Cannabis Cups. The staff got to know me and eventually I received a month in the magazine due to my activism and other assets. It’s been a wonderful opportunity and experience.

What challenges does the legalization movement in PA face in the coming year?

Theresa:  Our Republican dominated House continues to stall any and all medical marijuana legislation. House leader Mike Turzai is our biggest opposition at the moment. We encourage everyone to give him a call and let him know how you feel about him stalling medical cannabis in Pennsylvania. His number is (412) 369-2230.

What is most rewarding thing about your activism for you?

Theresa:  As a mother I really enjoy helping other parents and their children. I have been able to see first hand how medical marijuana works for some of these children with seizure disorders. The idea that these parents are considered criminals in my state is sickening. We will not stop until every single patient in PA has safe and affordable access to this medicine.

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