Freedom Fighter of the Month
September 2009 – Georgi Di Maria
Miss New Jersey 2006
By Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator
Beauty pageant contestants say the darnedest things. We laughed last year when Miss Teen South Carolina tried to explain American schoolchildren’s ignorance of geography. We cringed this year when Miss California expressed her views on gay marriage. But now there’s one beauty pageant winner whose speeches we can all be proud of – Miss New Jersey 2006, Georgine DiMaria.
Georgi came out of the cannabis closet at the NORML NJ / PhillyNORML 420 Freedom Forum, held April 20, 2009 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. As emcee of the event, Georgie told of her experience as a medicinal user of marijuana to treat the symptoms of her chronic asthma. Georgi’s speech can be heard on the April 23rd episode of the NORML Daily Audio Stash (stash.norml.org).
Georgi has been living with asthma since childhood, when her attacks were so severe she had to be home-schooled. When her uncle was battling cancer, he used medical marijuana and Georgi began to study how it might help her control her asthma. She found marijuana to be extremely helpful, but she always had to keep her medical usage secret, especially in the high-profile spotlight of the Miss America pageant.
Georgi has also served as a spokesperson for the American Lung Association and emphasizes that she does not condone smoking. However, she points out, edible and vaporized preparations of cannabis eliminate all of the harmful effects of smoking cannabis.
Currently Georgi is working with her brother, Fred, and NORML New Jersey (www.normlnj.org) to win passage of that state’s medical marijuana bill. As of press time, the Senate has passed the bill and it is before the Assembly, where if it passes, it will go to the governor, who has already indicated he would sign it into law, making New Jersey the 14th medical marijuana state.