Parents 4 Pot Blog

The Muzzle is Off – This Mom’s Truth

By, Jill Hitchman-Osborn

A little over a year ago, I begged the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts for cannabis

access from a program so poorly implemented that legal patients had no legal access. What I

couldn’t say that day was that my daughter, Haley was on CBD. She was enrolled in the Epidiolex

trial with a pharmaceutical company that was testing a version of CBD only cannabis. What I was

muzzled from saying was that Haley failed Epidiolex miserably.

 

Two Years and Counting – It’s a Parents 4 Pot Anniversary

By, Deannajean Ryther

On November 11, 2013, Parents 4 Pot began. For me, it came at a time when I was asking myself a

lot of questions about being involved in activism and what directions I should take. Did my voice

matter? Was I making a mistake? Cruising Facebook on my phone, I noticed that my battery was

getting low. Just then, Mickey Martin made a comment on my page that sparked a fire in me.

Please Support the Parents 4 Pot POW and Cannabis Community Holiday Drive!

We Need Your Support for the Third Annual Parents 4 Pot POW and Cannabis Community Holiday Drive. Help Us Help Those Affected by Cannabis Prohibition.

We are incredibly excited to announce our third annual Parents 4 Pot POW and Cannabis Community Holiday Drive. Our Holiday Drive is an amazing opportunity to bring joy and happiness to those who have suffered greatly at the hands of cannabis prohibition. This year we have really tried to expand our reach and are hoping to provide a great Christmas for over 30 families in need. WE NEED YOU TO STEP UP AND HELP US MAKE THIS A REALITY. Please consider making a substantial donation to this worthy cause.

The families we have chosen are all families who have suffered greatly from our Nation’s war on cannabis freedom. A number of the families are POWs who are currently serving time for cannabis related crimes, and who do not have the means to give their kids a great holiday. We provide a meaningful Christmas by hooking these kids up with gifts that they have asked for with a note about how their parents are heroes and not criminals. It is an amazing feeling to be able to support a prisoner who has been unjustly convicted by putting a smile on their kids’ faces for the holidays. For example, one of the prisoners we have supported is Luke Scarmazzo who is serving over 20 years for operating a dispensary in California. Last year after making Christmas special for his daughter, Jasmine, we received the following message:

Thank you. Really, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. Jasmine also wants to thank them and she coming up with some pictures and cards she wants to send out. P4P really made this year special for her. I really cannot express what it means to me. Jasmine is my world and for her to be happy and cared for in such a way was truly a blessing. Please let Parents 4 Pot know that I am in their debt and they forever have a friend in me… Regards, Luke

In addition to those in prison for cannabis, we also help medical cannabis refugee families who have had to uproot, and sometimes split up, their families to access medical cannabis in another state. This is often a real financial burden for families, and by providing support to them during the holidays we can help minimize the struggle for them. Can you imagine having to up and move to a completely different State leaving behind families, friends, and good paying jobs just to be able to use a medicine that is effective for treating the illness of one of your family members? It is unthinkable that we still live in a society where this happens, but it is all too true for many. We are glad to be able to help families who are in need due to this unfortunate reality.

We also provide support to cannabis activists and advocates who have come upon hard times. Tragedy can strike any of us at any time, and there are a lot of great families who need our support this holiday season to help make ends meet. It is an honor to be able to give back to members of this community at their greatest time of need, and to help them have great holidays regardless of the difficulties they may face. As a community, we can lift one another up and bring a smile to one another’s face. Life can be difficult, at times; and it is important for us to do what we can to help those in need who have dedicated themselves to cannabis freedom.

How Can You Help?

We are glad you asked! On our website we have created a Holiday Drive page where you will find a list of the many families we are helping this year. For each family you will find a short summary of their situation, and why we are supporting them. You will also find a link to an Amazon Wish List for each family that has specific gifts the family has chosen. You can simply find a family, or several families, who you would like to help and you can make a direct purchase from their Wish List. The gift will then be mailed directly to their home from you. It is an easy way for you to make a direct impact on the lives of these great families, and only takes a second of your time.

Another way you can help is to make a direct donation to the holiday drive to Parents 4 Pot through PayPal, and we can do the shopping for you! We understand that it is difficult to choose from so many great families, so if it is easier for you just send your donation to parents4pot@gmail.com through PayPal and we will make sure it is fairly distributed among the families. You can use the PayPal portal on our site HERE, or directly through PayPal just click on “Send Money” and enter our email address, and select “Send Money to Friends and Family.” In the area where it says “Write a note” just put “Holiday Drive” or you can specify a family you want to help as well. Enter the amount you would like to donate and click Continue” and then “Send Money Now.” We will receive the donation and add it to the Holiday Drive effort. Easy, right?

If you cannot do PayPal and would like to arrange for a donation by cash or check, please email us at parents4pot@gmail.com with your contact information and one of our Board members will contact you to make those arrangements. Due to banking matters, Pay Pal is the easiest solution; but we can certainly take your donation in other forms of payment, as well.

The P4P Seal of Approval

For those individuals and organizations going above and beyond we will be presenting them with the official Parents 4 Pot Seal of Approval. Any organization contributing $1,000 or more to the Holiday Drive this year will receive recognition for their generous effort. We will send you a certificate like the one below that you can display showing your amazing support for families affected by prohibition. You can use our seal in any promotional materials, and we will mention your organization on our social media outlets, on our website, and in our monthly write up in Skunk Magazine! We are honored to have several great organizations that have made this commitment already this year. Can we count on you to join them in making this holiday season incredibly special for our families in need? We are counting on you and truly appreciate your support. You can make the donation directly through PayPal, or we can make arrangements to get your donation through other means of payment. Just let us know what works best for you!

Thank You!

Parents 4 Pot is dedicated to helping families who are suffering due to the injustices of cannabis prohibition. Through the support of folks like you we can continue to help those in need, and provide education to help create a broader understanding about cannabis in relations to families in our society. It is long overdue that we end cannabis prohibition and quit destroying families by imprisoning people for cannabis and treating cannabis users like second-class citizens. We are eternally grateful to those who continue to support our mission and vision, and we are asking you to give generously to this year’s holiday drive. Last year we were able to provide an amazing experience for over 20 families through several donations from members of the cannabis community and cannabis businesses. This year we are taking on more than 30 families, so we need your support now more than ever. We appreciate your kindness and support. Together we really can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cannabis prohibition, and begin to end this battle once and for all. Thank you. 

Parents 4 Pot at Portland Hempstalk

By, Brandon Krenzler

Hempstalk 2015 was held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon after a

hard battle with the parks department. The roster of speakers was full, and the conversation has

shifted from legalization to social acceptance and support for the medical program. The Parents 4

Pot booth was manned by members from the Oregon chapter.

hempstalk_anna.jpg

Apples to Apples – One Parent’s Perspective

By, Daniel Martinez

Generally, when my kids ask what’s for dinner, I go and rattle off the special of the day. Tonight,

it’s spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and a salad. Our favorite! You see, when you’ve got

growing kids you want to make sure they eat well, sleep well and most importantly, stay focused

on school. To me education is everything. And, on this particular night we were all about to get

an education.  "Tell me, what do you guys know about marijuana?"

Cannabis Community Holiday Drive

By Mickey Martin

We are proud to announce that our third annual Parents 4 Pot Cannabis Community Holiday

Drive is going to be bigger and better than ever! Last year, we helped twenty-five families by

providing them with their holiday wishes through the generosity of the community. We raised

over $15,000 that all went directly to families for holiday lists on Amazon and in-kind donations.

This year we are hoping to help even more families and raise twice even more funding. We are

counting on the community to come through big for families who have been challenged by the

restraints and punishments created from the war on cannabis. We focus primarily on three types

of families to help with our Holiday Drive.

 

Looking for More Families That Need Help 4 The Holidays!

Child Present

We are proud to announce that our annual P4P Cannabis Community Holiday Drive is going to be bigger and better than ever! We are currently considering additional families in need, that we can help have a good holiday season regardless of the difficulties that prohibition has created for them. Last year, we helped 25 families by providing them with their holiday wishes through the generosity of the community. We raised over $15,000 that all went directly to families for holiday lists on Amazon and in-kind donations.

This year we are hoping to help twice as many families and raise twice as much funding. We are counting on the community to come through big for families who have been challenged by the restraints and punishments created from the war on cannabis. We focus primarily on three types of families to help with our Holiday Drive.

The first are POW children whose parents are serving time for cannabis related offenses. We have been honored to be able to help the families left behind by our nation's archaic drug laws. It is sad enough that these families do not get to see their moms or dads on a daily basis, but it is paralyzing to not be able to be a part of the holidays because you are serving time for pot. Our objectives of filling some of the gaps with gifts from P4P in the name of their parents goes a long way to making a bad situation at least a little better.

The second type of families we focus on are refugee families who have had to move to a different state to receive cannabis treatments for children and family members. This is often a difficult situation for families to pull off. In some cases, half of the family is forced to live in one state, while the rest of the family is forced to live in states where cannabis is legal and available. Helping them with holiday gifts goes a long way to them being able to make ends meet. It is crazy that we still live in a society that forces people to move to different states to find safe and effective treatments.

The other types of families we look to help are members of the cannabis community who have simply fallen upon hard times, whether because they lost their jobs or had their homes destroyed in floods or fires. There are people in this community who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place for cannabis users who have come upon difficult days. We want to make sure to lift up and help the people who have helped the community, and who need a little help to make their holidays special.

If you think you know of a family that falls into one of these categories, please contact us as soon as possible so we can get them on our list. In order to be considered, please send an email to parents4pot@gmail.com with the subject line "P4P HOLIDAY FAMILY" with the following information:

  • The name of the family in need
  • Whether they are a.) a POW family; b) a Refugee family; or c) A Cannabis Community Member in need 
  • A short description of their situation 
  • How to contact them
  • How many people are in the family
  • Any other information you think is relevant

We are hoping to get going on the list sooner than later so please do not hesitate on this. Get those emails out ASAP and share this page on your social media and communication channels. We are very excited about our ability to help these families and appreciate your assistance in making the holidays a reality for those in need.

If you or your organization would like to commit funds to the drive, please email us at parents4pot@gmail.com with the subject line "P4P HOLIDAY DONATION" and we will follow-up to make arrangements. People can also PayPal money at any time to that email with your request for it to be used for the Holiday Drive in the message area.

Once again, we thank you and are proud to be a part of such a vivacious and generous community. We are truly humbled.

State of Kansas VS Shona Banda

PRESS RELEASE

June 8, 2015

Parents 4 Pot is a national organization that supports recreational and therapeutic cannabis use. The recent actions by the State of Kansas against Shona Banda violate her constitutional rights and have no basis. Ms. Banda is a cannabis activist, author and mother of two children. She uses cannabis to treat her Crohn’s Disease and documents her success in her book. Her prosecution may violate mandatory federal and state statutes under the Controlled Substances Act. Parents 4 Pot contends that the actions of the State of Kansas are criminal at best.

Parents 4 Pot Board of Directors

Parents 4 Pot was organized in late 2013 to provide a voice to families affected by the war on cannabis. The organization provides support for parents who use cannabis, families with children in need of cannabis medicine, and families affected by the incarceration of their loved ones for cannabis crimes. Cannabis prohibition has been detrimental to families, and it is our objective to end cannabis prohibition one family at a time. 

We initially established a developmental Board of Directors to help guide the organization through its first year. Over the past few months we have added some key roles that will help the organization grow and expand its mission. We look forward to the coming year and all it will bring for the cannabis reform movement. We believe that parents and the families they care for are an intricate part of ending the madness and returning cannabis to its rightful place in our society as a medicine and as an enjoyable and helpful resource for so many. 

Our mission guides us. That mission is:

Parents-4-Pot is a dedicated voice for all families who support the end of hemp and cannabis prohibition. We strive to defeat the social stigma surrounding adults who use cannabis responsibly. We support a parent’s choice to use medical cannabis to treat their children's illnesses. Our work helps families with cannabis related issues through education, direct action and organizational support.

We are honored to have assembled a great team to serve on the Board of Parents 4 Pot who are dedicated activists and stakeholders in the cannabis community. It is a blessing to serve the cannabis community and provide education and support to so many in need. While we are proud of our accomplishments thus far, we are only getting started and look forward to growing the organization to be a powerhouse of activism and advocacy across the globe. We continue to enlist great people to develop local chapters, and are inspired by the work we see happening in those communities. There is no shortage of need, as every day there are families suffering at the hands of cannabis prohibition. Our new Board of Directors will work closely with our chapters and membership to advance the voice of cannabis freedom and to stop the war on families that cannabis prohibition has created.

So it is with great pleasure that we announce our 2015-2016 Board of Directors....

Executive Directors:

Tori LaChapelle

Tori LaChapelle, a nurse, mother and civil rights activist in Madison Wisconsin, began advocating for cannabis patients and the repeal of Prohibition in 2010. Her advocacy began when she discovered cannabis treated her chronic pain conditions more effectively than dozens of pharmaceuticals with negative side effects. Tori not only advocates for patients but she also teaches them how to make their own cannabis medicine at home, safely and affordably. To that end, Tori believes in and fights for all patients to have the' right to grow cannabis at home for personal use. In the past, Tori has served as Secretary for WI ASA and Medical Advisor to the Flowering Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that supplies cannabis oil to pediatric patients in Colorado. She currently serves as an Executive Director of Parents4Pot and acts as a Public Policy and Family Outreach liaison. With her experience in political strategy, Tori also serves as an adviser to cannabis advocates across the country especially those in Conservative and "Swings States" to turn the tide of Prohibition. Tori's mission is to help end cannabis Prohibition, secure home grow rights and ease the plight of cannabis refugee families across the country. She looks forward to and fights to see the day that there is no such thing as a cannabis "refugee" or prisoner so that families are no longer destroyed by Prohibition.

Anna Diaz

Anna is one of the co-founders of Oregon NORML and sits on their advisory board. Anna was the captain of the Oregon NORML Race for the Cure team, the first chapter in the country to participate in 2010. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the NORML Women’s Alliance. She volunteered at the World Famous Cannabis Café in Portland, working alongside Madeline Martinez as an advocate for registrants in Oregon’s medical cannabis program. In addition to writing for Weedist, she has reported on Oregon's cannabis community for the West Coast Leaf newspaper, West Coast Cannabis magazine, hightimes.com and state and local media. She was also a featured writer for Skunk Magazine’s 50th Issue, as author of their Tokin’ Female interview with Diane Fornbacher. Anna is the recipient of the 2011 Pauline Sabin Award, presented by NORML each year to recognize women leaders in the cannabis movement. She celebrated her ten-year anniversary as a cannabis activist at the Global Cannabis March in May 2011 and continues her work as the founder of Oregon Women for Legalization and Parents 4 Pot, groups that are working to end cannabis prohibition.

Brandon Krenzler

Brandon (Cannadad) is a well-traveled, free-thinking father, opinionated writer and dedicated vegetarian food guy living organically in Portland, Oregon.Brandon writes his own blog, "Cannadad's Blog" as well as regularly having articles run by Skunk Magazine, Dope Magazine and Cannabis Now Magazine. After helping to treat his daughter Brave Mykayla's leukemia successfully with Cannabis oil he became an active and vocal advocate for the rights of parents and children who seek the therapeutic use of cannabis. He is also caregiver to many pediatric cannabis therapy patients. He is a founding board member of Parents 4 Pot. He also grows and uses cannabis both recreationally and medicinally.

Executive Secretary

Bettie Retro

Inspired by the loss of a close friend due to lack of safe access to Cannabis and driven by new found motherhood to make the world a better place, Bettie Retro dove headfirst into activism. Often found leaving post it notes with cannabis facts around town or hosting chalk walks, Bettie believes that the only way to break a stigma is to stare it down fearlessly and counter its lies with truth. Bettie is a founding director of both the International Women's Cannabis Coalition and Parents 4 Pot where she currently serves as the Executive Secretary.

Treasurer

Mickey Martin

Mickey Martin is the Author of Medical Marijuana 101 and has dedicated his life to cannabis freedom for many years. His work in providing food-based medicines for many years revolutionized the industry in the areas of quality assurance, packaging, and labeling of cannabis products. Mickey Martin’s consulting firm has been successful in helping several clients navigate the competitive application process and secure permits for operating medical cannabis dispensaries. His regulatory program is second to none, and he has helped several municipalities and state governments develop and implement good medical cannabis laws and guidelines. His development of several voter initiatives, and countless hours at city council meetings, have made him a regulatory expert for the cannabis industry. Mickey Martin graduated with honors from St. Mary’s College of California in Business and has spent over 13 years developing cannabis-based businesses in the community. His call for self-regulation and responsibility in the cannabis industry has lead to several victories for medical cannabis organizations across the country. He has researched extensively many aspects of the cannabis industry, including nomenclature, history, safety, quality control, and cannabis production environments and methods. Mickey Martin does freelance writing for several well-known cannabis publications and maintains a cannablog at www.WeedActivist.com, which chronicles his experiences in dealing with major issues facing the cannabis movement. Mickey works with select clients in the cannabis industry who share similar goals and objectives to achieve cannabis freedom.

Community Outreach Directors

Deanna Jean Ryther

Deanna Jean or DJ as she is known in various communities, is a medical cannabis patient due to a traumatic brain injury she sustained 6 years ago. Formerly from Golden, Colorado now farming on a 6th generation family farm in Minnesota which does not have a medical marijuana program in practice, so she uses her medicine of choice as a criminal. She is the founder of the Austin, Minnesota Hempfest, a published writer for SKUNK Magazine, fellow founder and a chaper coordinator with Parents 4 Pot.

Martin Wuest

Martin Wuest is a proud parent, husband, and an activist from Detroit, Michigan. Martin advocates strongly for the legalization and decriminalization of Cannabis and works hard with others to raise awareness about the benefits of Cannabis and nutrition for preventing and reversing diseases and developmental disorders. Martin works from home and spends most of his free time writing, growing, and healing....and catching bad guys. Martin is a founding member of Parents 4 Pot, Creator of Cannabis Family Seeds, and is currently co-building a non-profit organization called Hearts & Stars that will help thousands of families this year find resources and medicine.

Families Outreach Director

Jill Hitchman-Osborn

Jill Osborn is an activist but more importantly a mom. She began advocating for cannabis in 2012 with the MA medical use ballot initiative. She documents her journey as a Mom and activist on her blog titled Seizing Hope. She has a daughter with a severe seizure disorder and fully understands the hardships families face balancing the demands of a disabled child and fighting for cannabis access. She also empathizes with families of incarcerated individuals. She genuinely believes that no one should go to jail for this plant. Jill is the chapter coordinator for P4P MA and also serves on the Mass Cann/NORML board. She likes to remind legislators and the public alike that kids are patients too. She looks forward to serving Parents 4 Pot and connecting with even more families.

Membership Director

Danielle Vitale-O'Brien

Danielle is a wife, mother of 2, shop-owner and cannabis activist from Ohio. She is currently the Secretary of the Board for Ohio NORML as well as Vice President of her local chapter. She is an Executive Director, National Admin and Ohio Chapter Coordinator for The Human Solution International, which works with cannabis defendants and prisoners. She is a founding member and Ohio Chapter representative for The International Women’s Cannabis Coalition and the Parents 4 Pot Ohio Chapter. Her most recent role as P4P Membership Director will be a great compliment to her current activities. She has become a contributor to various magazines, including the NW Leaf and most recently was named as one of the Skunk Magazine Women of Weed (along with over 300 other amazing women) including many of her comrades from right here at Parents 4 Pot.Danielle has both supported and enjoyed the many benefits of cannabis for over 25 years and says, she can finally see the light at the end of this dark tunnel which is prohibition. Danielle is proud to be a parent who smokes weed and is a good person.

Public Policy Director

Ronda Marcy

Ronda Marcy, or “Marcy”, as she is called by her friends, lives in Wasilla, Alaska, the heart of the Matanuksa Valley. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University, and a Bachelor’s in Justice from the University of Alaska. She has over 30 years of experience in the legal field as a paralegal, and has been a cannabis activist even longer. Though she has seen great progress made in the State of Alaska recently, she knows there is still more work to do in her state, and throughout the “lower 48”! Besides being the proud mother of two grown daughters, she owns and operates several businesses including, but not limited to, Professional Paralegal Services, Marcy Wellness Center, and Alaska Hemp Industries! Ms. Marcy is passionate about life, community, her work, helping children, and educating everyone about the health benefits of the incredible cannabis plant! She says she was a parent for pot, long before she ever heard of this wonderful organization! She is proud to serve as Public Policy Director.

Fundraising Director

Daniel Martinez

Daniel is a proud hard working father, husband and I smoke weed. I am excited to be a part of the P4P family and look forward to working with each and every member of P4P as well as fellow activist across the United States! Ive recently started exploring CBD as an alternative for my 11 year old son who is dealing with a mild form of Tourettes. I am originally from San Diego and now reside in Las Vegas. I am excited to continue learning and educating the world about the true benefits of MM especially to our children. I am full of ideas and have met alot of important people in Las Vegas which can only benefit my family and I. And my family now includes P4P! I am sincerely looking forward to making history and giving our children the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life. Thanks again for the golden opportunity to work with P4P and I am excited to help put an end to this war on MM and remove the label of criminal that MM users deal with on a daily. But most importantly give our children a chance because they are our future.