Mothers and their daughters do many things together, from shopping and getting manicures to cooking holiday meals. But Kathy Tee and her daughter, Nancy Tee, do something together that not many mother-daughter duos do: they're activists and advocates for medical marijuana.
In 2008, the Tees formed Phoenix March, a registered non-profit group that seeks to educate people on the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
They are also both active in the Phoenix NORML chapter, and Nancy Tee was an integral part of the campaign for Proposition 203, the medical marijuana initiative that passed in November (Tee's boyfriend, Andrew Myers, authored and sponsored the bill in cooperation with the Medical Marijuana Policy Project).
Now that Prop 203 has passed, the Tees continue to advocate for the benefits of medical cannabis. On Saturday, March 5, they'll be with Phoenix March at the "Farm Over Pharma" demonstration at the Town & Country shopping center off 20th Street and Camelback Road.
Kathy Tee says they'll be handing out fliers and information pamphlets that encourage people to consider medical marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol and prescription drugs. "We need to make folks aware that Proposition 203 has passed, and we want to tell them they have options," Tee says.
"We've made it so [medical marijuana] is not just a 'Yay, let's get high' issue -- it's a serious issue. There are serious benefits to medical marijuana."
Tee cites what she sees as the over-medication of America by doctors who are concerned primarily with profits, and says one in four children are on some kind of medication. But she's quick to emphasize that she does not advocate treating things like Attention Deficit Disorder with cannabis. "We need to keep kids clean as long as we can," she says. "There's no reason to drug your child. Most children are fine; they just need attention."
And the Tees are not opposed to all prescription medications, either. "There are many beneficial drugs out there," Kathy Tee says. The point of the demonstration is not to demonize all prescription drugs, but to get people talking about the natural alternatives.
Nancy Tee has long been an advocate of the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but was very vocal during the Prop 203 campaign about maintaining a professional appearance and focusing on the medicinal aspects of marijuana, and not its recreational use. "I go beyond my daughter's advocacy for medical marijuana," Kathy Tee says. "There are many benefits to hemp oil, for instance. The things I've seen are miraculous, and the information is suppressed because the pharmaceutical companies don't want us to have this."
Kathy Tee owns her own business, but has recently taken the helm of Phoenix March since Nancy Tee's busy studying at ASU. "I'm very, very proud of her," Tee says of her daughter. "We've met so many good people since we started campaigning, and I couldn't be more proud of what we've done. Because most folks know the truth -- they just need someone to come out and talk about it."
The Phoenix March "Farm Over Pharma" demonstration is scheduled to take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at 1945 E. Camelback Road (in front of Men's Wearhouse). Visit www.phoenixmarch.org or www.phoenixnorml.net for more information.