The Cruel Consequences: Portraits of Misguided Law traveling exhibit was founded in 2018 by Tamara Netzel. Netzel became a medical cannabis advocate after finding relief for her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. She was a middle school English and Civics teacher for 16 years before liver failure from her MS meds caused daily excruciating chronic pain. A friend suggested she try cannabis oil. She joined Virginia NORML and a group of moms whose children have Epilepsy who had been fighting for medical cannabis for years in hopes of legalizing medical cannabis for herself and other patients. She was featured on NBC Dateline in May 2018 and interviewed by Harry Smith about her advocacy journey.

See the NBC Dateline episode below.

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“I bought into the stigma and stereotyping of cannabis consumers for years as a school teacher. I believed and took part in D.A.R.E. programs which support anti-marijuana propaganda. Not once had it occurred to me that the curriculum I was teaching kids was flawed. I truly thought marijuana was bad because I trusted our government’s decision to make it illegal. I actually thought they must have a good reason and never questioned it until I needed it as medicine for myself.”

-Tamara Lyn Netzel, Founder

NBC reporter, Harry Smith, and Tamara Lyn Netzel