Parents 4 Pot Blog

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.

Zoey says “Up Yours” to Dravet Syndrome - 40 Days Seizure Free

Zoey is three years old and has been having several types of seizures since she was about three months old. In November of 2013, genetic testing revealed that Zoey had the SCN1A mutation, and she was given a diagnosis of Dravet syndrome. As people in this country and around the world are becoming increasingly aware, Dravet kids do not often have a positive outcome when using traditional methods to control their conditions.

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Regrettably, Zoey’s doctors saw fit to experiment with her using several dangerous medications including a sodium channel blocker named Depakote.  Depakote can actually increase seizure activity and cause many side effects when being used by a child with a sodium channel mutation. These medications were prescribed to Zoey even when genetic testing was ordered because a sodium channel mutation was suspected. This is actually a typical situation going on across the country for thousands upon thousands of epileptic children. These drugs can already be harmful enough on their own, even when used for the intended conditions..

Many of the seizures that Zoey had would land her in the Emergency Room, only to be air-lifted to another hospital. She has stopped breathing several times and has been put into medically-induced comas in order to stop the seizing. The helplessness a parent feels in these situations can only make or break you. It is terrifying, it is heart-breaking, and it is infinitely traumatic to witness over and over and over again. 

Fortunately for Zoey, her mother could not accept that there was no cure for her daughter’s condition. Lindsay immediately began researching alternatives for her treatment hoping to find something that could help her daughter. Not surprisingly, information about the strain Charlotte’s Web came up in keyword searches.  Lindsay was able to see that other parents and providers were having success at rebuilding and protecting the brain and preventing epileptic seizures in Dravet kids using cannabis oil. The more she learned, the more realistic it became to consider that Zoey could live the rest of her life like many other kids and be able to run, to play, to learn, to show love…Lindsay believed it was possible for her daughter. And she was determined to make it happen.

Over six months after originally receiving the diagnosis of Dravet Syndrome, Zoey had both of the doctos’ recommendations required for parents to be able to use cannabis legally to treat their child’s qualifying condition in Michigan. After obtaining cannabis oil made from a high CBD strain, Lindsay was confident that Zoey was on her way to getting better. She began using the oil with Zoey for three weeks, hoping for success.  And when the CBD oil didn’t work, Lindsey did not give up on cannabis. 

Lindsay found us in June through another Michigan Mom whose four year old with a diagnosis of Dravet and Autism was seeing over a 99% seizure reduction with us.  This Mom also saw accelerated development and communication using whole plant therapies. Having clearly not been affected by the dangerous and irresponsible idea that THC shouldn’t be used with children, Lindsay was open-minded to using whatever doses and ratios we recommended for Zoey. 

Zoey and her Mom just recently celebrated another forty consecutive seizure free days and huge developmental gains using cannabis oil that is higher in THC than CBD. The seizure that interrupted Zoey’s latest green streak was minor, at that. Within minutes of the onset of the seizure, Zoey was back to her smiling self, possibly even unaware that it had happened. Before using these medicines, there were not many seizure free days for her. If Zoey had too much fun, she could have a seizure that would send her to the Emergency Room again.

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Contrary to what many parents would expect, these higher THC ratios do not get Zoey stoned or high. In fact, they give her more energy than she’s ever had in her life while still helping her to sleep through the night and avoid seizures. Why paint the picture with words though when Lindsay was thoughtful enough to provide pictures of Zoey from before and after she started using our medicines. 

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We send our gratitude and appreciation to Lindsay and Zoey for sharing their beautiful story and photos so that others can have a chance for a similar opportunity with their own children. These kids are the future, let’s free this plant and get them off these drugs!

Join the Parents 4 Pot Board of Directors

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BEING A PART OF THE PARENTS 4 POT LEADERSHIP TEAM?

Parents 4 Pot is expanding their Board of Directors this year and adding four new active positions. We are looking for folks with approximately 5-10 hours a week to donate to furthering our mission. Candidates can email a short letter to parents4pot@gmail.com explaining why they would be a good fit for the available position. Please put the position you are interested in as the subject line.

We will be taking submissions through February into March, and making selections in late March. We are excited to expand our horizons in the coming year and look forward to you being a part of it! We appreciate all of those interested in these positions and look forward to your addition to our team of activists ad advocates focused on "Ending Prohibition One Family at a Time." 

Below are descriptions of the four available positions:

Membership Director

  • Oversees Membership Program
  • Recruiting new members
  • Ensuring all members get cards and benefits
  • Developing creative ways to promote memberships
  • Creation and distribution of Parents 4 Pot monthly newsletter
  • Organizing Member Events
  • Tracking of members on Nation Builder Site
  • Blog entries for membership related activities and events
  • Skills needed: Organization, Computer Skills, Social Media, Communication, Innovation

Fundraising Director

  • Oversees all fundraising activities for the organization
  • Manages sponsorship and donor relationships
  • Creates innovative ways of raising funds for the organization, its chapters, and families in need
  • Promotes fundraising opportunities in the community
  • Solicits major donations for planned projects and events
  • Works to develop grant opportunities for the organization
  • Coordinates to host a major donor and sponsor event yearly
  • Uses Nation Builder site to encourage fundraising
  • Develop materials and literature to encourage fundraising and support for P4P
  • Contribute regularly to organization communications and newsletter
  • Blog entries about fundraising needs and opportunities
  • Skills needed: Outgoing, Fundraising Experience, Computer Skills, Communication, Creativity, Record Keeping

Public Policy Director

  • Manages public policy matters for P4P
  • Solicits consensus on positions and form policy statements and press releases
  • Coordinates with state chapters to work on policy matters in their area
  • Stays informed of policy issues that affect our mission
  • Develop sound strategies to use our collective voices to create change
  • Implement programs that work to create public policies that are workable and desirable
  • Work with public officials to encourage cannabis freedom and safe access
  • Contribute to organizational communications and newsletter regularly
  • Blog entries about public policy matters
  • Skills needed: Policy Experience, Writing Proficiency, Computer Skills, Communication, Insight

Families Outreach Director

  • Work directly with families suffering from prohibition
  • Manage the Help a Family program and web page
  • Reach out to families in need of support and legal help
  • Work with social workers and legal professionals to create resources for families
  • Maintain relationships with families we help and ensure long term health
  • Organize family outreach events and support groups within state chapters
  • Develop materials and communications for families
  • Manage yearly holiday drive
  • Contribute to newsletter regularly about family stories and matters
  • Blog entries about families and issues facing families
  • Skills needed: Communication, Computer Skills Outgoing, Organization
Smoking Pot Makes Me A Better Parent

That is right. I said it. Pot makes me a better parent.

I smoke pot daily. Mostly because it helps me to take the edge off of an often hectic world. Call it anxiety relief if you want to. I was also a Ritalin child, so I have always had some issues focusing. Smoking some weed allows me to slow my mind and focus on things more clearly. I also have severe arthritis from traumatic injuries in my foot and knees, so cannabis helps cut the pain and my need for pain medicines. Pot even helps me to enhance activities and find more enjoyment in many things.... and all of these benefits make me a better parent.

My kids enjoy me when I am stoned. I am relaxed and calm, and more enjoyable to be around. I don't drink much because I enjoy smoking weed more, and choose it as an alternative to a drink at the end of my long days. Every parent deserves the right to make that choice, and if more parents could use cannabis legally instead of booze the world would certainly be a better place. I am not saying drinking is a bad choice, I am just noting that statistically there are a lot more societal issues related to alcohol than pot. That is just a fact. Stoned people are generally more easy going and calm, where alcohol can make some people less in control, and often even violent. Cannabis just does not have a history of those characteristics, even if abused.

I also am not advocating for parents to abuse pot, and weed is certainly not for everyone. There are people who do not respond well to it, and that is okay too. To each their own. But statistically it is a good choice for a lot of people and many good parents smoke weed regularly. They should not be ashamed of that one bit. It is unfair that cannabis has been demonized in our society, with very little evidence of it doing any harm.

Continuing the charades of the drug war that has resulted us in locking up 25% of the world's prison population is not longer a viable option. Parents should not have to worry about arrest, or losing their kids for their choice to use a safe and beneficial plant. For a lot of people it helps them to not only be just a good parent to their kids, but helps them to be a much better parent.

I firmly believe that cannabis has added value to my two sons' lives. I am a happier person when I use cannabis to ease my tensions and pain. Ice cream tastes better. Movies are more interesting. I can sit at a table a draw with my boys because I am focused and patient due to the mild side effects of euphoria that cannabis can cause. Since when did euphoria become a bad thing? 

I am able to use cannabis safely and responsibly in my life. I treat it like I would any other substance in my home. I keep it out of my children's direct reach and I educate them on what cannabis is and why it is a good choice for their dad, both as a medicine and an adult-use enjoyment. They understand that it is dangerous when misused and is not meant for kids, unless they are severely ill. My kids get it, the same way they know not to drink their mother's beer or eat pills if they come across them. They know all of that because we taught them all of that. That is called parenting.

I smoke pot and my wife does not, as it is just not her thing and makes her feel weird. I don't really drink much, as it is not the best choice for me personally. Our family is much better off because my wife and I are able to both responsibly use our substance of choice to take the edge off, and make our sometimes mundane lives just a little more enjoyable. That is how it is supposed to be and there is nothing wrong with that.

Smoking pot makes me a better dad. That is just a fact. We need to ensure that mothers and father like myself have the right to smoke some pot without fear or being treated like a lesser person. It is a very natural thing and something that should be celebrated. We must take back the meaning of what it is to be a responsible stoner again and help the world to understand that weed is a plus in our lives, and as parents.

Thank You for Supporting the Parents 4 Pot Holiday Drive

I am always amazed at the generosity of many of the folks that make up the cannabis community. When we started Parents 4 Pot a little over a year ago we wanted to make it an organization that helped find ways to directly affect the lives of families who are victims of the war on cannabis. Our mission is valid. We are here to be 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.

The outpouring of support from large donors and small donors alike have enabled us to make a real difference in some families lives this holiday season and we want to personally thank those who have stepped up to make this a reality. Imagine being a kid whose dad has served a decade in jail while your family struggled, and to have gifts you want and need show up with the message "We think your dad is a hero... Love, Parents 4 Pot." Or to be a family torn apart having to move half of the family to a state with cannabis to treat your kid's disease, and struggling to make ends meet. When presents show up saying "We hope you are doing well" it is life changing for these folks.

As I sit here in tears thinking about the way people have given even when they had very little to make these families holidays special, I am truly honored to know you folks. I cannot express how grateful we are to have such an amazing group of support and kindness. It truly is touching... so THANKS to all who have helped.

If you still want to help there are plenty of folks on the list who you can still get presents for directly through Amazon at parents4pot.org. If you want to donate funds directly through PayPal you can do that with the email parents4pot@gmail.com. I can assure you it will make you feel better and that your funds will go towards a noble and just cause. We are appreciative beyond words.

Support the Parents4Pot Second Annual POW/Cannabis Community Holiday Drive!

We love to make a difference in the lives of those in our community. No one knows first hand how terrible this war is than the families of those who are struggling to make ends meet in their role as an activist, medical refugee, or those serving time for cannabis. We are organizing Amazon.com Wish Lists for each POW’s family. We hope you will chip in a few bucks to send a gift to a kid whose family is paying the ultimate price from the drug war.

There are gifts of all shapes and sizes. Feel free to choose some gifts that are within your budget, or you can donate directly to the P4P Holiday Drive by PayPal. Send your donation to parents4pot@gmail.com with “Holiday Drive” in the memo/notes section. We will select presents for families on the list for you.

We appreciate the support and are overwhelmed by the generosity of this community. Together we can ensure our community stays strong and that those less fortunate have a wonderful holiday despite life’s many challenges. Feel free to contact us directly with any questions you may have, and again… THANK YOU!

If you know of a family who could use some help but is not listed here, please let us know in the feedback section below. We need the name of the family, the kids names and ages, what they would like for Christmas (clothes, backpacks, video games, music, movies, etc.) and where we should ship it too. Also send us some information about the hardship situation.

The preceding text was originally published on the Parents4Pot POW Holiday Drive webpage, which can be viewed here. The Parents4Pot site includes pictures, backstory, and wishlists for the POW/cannabis community families that Parents4Pot is organizing the drive for this year. So far, that list includes the family of Luke Scarmazzo, sentenced to two decades in prison, Jaqie Angel Warrior and her family, the cannabis refugee family of young patient Cyndimae Meehan, and the families of POWs Weldon Angelo, Ricardo Monte, and Chris Williams.

Check back on the POW Drive page often, as more will be added. Share the site and this article with those who are in a position to give and those who could possibly benefit from knowing about the drive!

It is a tragic fact of the War on Drugs that some loving, dedicated parents who never hurt anyone will be spending the holiday season incarcerated, far from the ones they love. Thanks to Parents4Pot for organizing this beautiful community giving opportunity for the second year in a row, and for bringing much-needed attention to the damage the War on Drugs is doing to otherwise happy, healthy families.

For previous Ladybud coverage of the amazing activism efforts of Parents4Pot, click here.

Photo Credit: Albert Chevallier Tayler under public domain via Wikimedia Commons

#UNACCEPTABLE: A Direct Action Demanding the State of Massachusetts Put Patients Before Politics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Medical Cannabis Patients, Families and Supporters to Protest Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Tuesday, October 14th to Let Them Know Their Inaction is #UNACCEPTABLE. Protest, Press Conference, and Solidarity March.

Boston, MA, October 7, 2014 – On November 6, 2012 Massachusetts residents voted overwhelmingly to allow citizens to have access to medical cannabis. Nearly two years later the will of the people has still not been implemented and patients are still forced to go without cannabis medicine, or to seek it out from often dangerous black market sources. It is unacceptable.

The program has been hampered by incompetence and seemingly political positioning. The DPH received millions of dollars in fees to vet applications, and failed to do so. It took media sources reviewing the applications and publicly acknowledging their shortcomings to realize many inconsistencies and politically charged issues. The DPH was forced to delay the program and rescinded nearly half of the original 20 dispensaries that were selected for approval. Because of their inability to review the most basic of issues in the applications, this has resulted in them dragging their feet resulting in thousands of patients being forced to suffer needlessly.

To date, patients still do not even have a simple identification program for law enforcement to verify their patient status. The planned caregiver program is non-existent due to cumbersome and unnecessary regulations. Patients cultivating their own cannabis have no way to know if their gardens are legal or if they are violating the law, as DPH has no guidelines or registration. Dispensary groups approved for the inspection phase continue to be limited by unsure direction and confusion from the DPH. Patients with serious and life-threatening illness are being denied access and are suffering diminished quality of life (and even death) as a result of the State’s failure to implement the program.

This is no longer okay and we demand the Department of Public Health immediately begin to open up the program and allow for patients to access safe and quality cannabis medicines through experienced caregivers able to serve multiple patients; and clean, well-lit dispensary facilities.  We demand DPH limit restrictions on hardship cultivation and allow more patients the opportunity to grow their own safe medicine. We demand the DPH expedite the current dispensary applications waiting for approval, immediately issue permits in counties without access as required by law, and allow for at least 35 dispensaries statewide to serve the needs of the tens of thousands of Mass residents who qualify for medical cannabis. Hundreds of patients and activists will gather on October 14th to make these demands heard at the MA Department of Public Health offices in downtown Boston.

What: #UNACCEPTABLE: A Direct Action demanding the State of Massachusetts put Patients before Politics.

When: Tuesday, October 14, 2014: 11:00 a.m.- Protest Rally • 11:30 a.m.- Press Conference (Community Leaders, Physicians, Patients and Families to speak out) • 12:00 p.m.- Solidarity March to State House

Where: Massachusetts Department of Public Health • 250 Washington Street Boston, MA 02108

Why: To demand the DPH and state quit putting politics before patients and implement access to medical cannabis immediately. To bring public awareness to a cause that has forced people to suffer needlessly, including children and families dealing with major health issues. To call for immediate change and progress.  

Contact: #UNACCEPTABLE Coalition- Mickey • (774) 473-7969 • unacceptablecoalition@gmail.com

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Parents 4 Pot Speaks Out Against California Police Chiefs Association and League of Cities

For Immediate Release: July 8, 2014

Sacramento, CA – Parents 4 Pot, a non-profit mutual benefit organization based in California, has a clear mission to end cannabis prohibition policies that result in the destruction of families and decimate poor and minority communities. We are dismayed that the California Police Chiefs Association and the California League of Cities are using their lobbying muscle in Sacramento to create more crime and pad law enforcement budgets unnecessarily across the State. Their suggested amendments to the Senate Bill 1262 (SB1262) work to criminalize legal patient activities and cultivation practices in favor of criminal charges and more wasted revenues in law enforcement and court costs. It is amazing that nearly eighteen years after the passage of California’s historic Proposition 215 we are looking to make criminals out of patients.


These groups have long undermined the legislative process with big budgets that seek to maintain the status quo. SB1262 looks to limit patient access to cannabis and create a burdensome licensing process orchestrated through local jurisdictions. This will pass the cost of regulation on to local communities, who are already struggling with limited budgets, and create an environment ripe for corruption. The State’s willingness to pass the buck and the costs of regulating this complex industry to local governments is unnecessary.  It creates a pay to play opportunity in every city and county in the state. While local approval is always necessary, it is dangerous to allow municipalities to construct individual framework for how cannabis is to be distributed to qualified patents.


The proposed timelines for implementation of this bill are unreasonable.  If left to local governments to decide, they will take many months to accomplish. The system is set up to fail and ensure very few producers and providers of medicine are able to compete in the process. In turn, the many small batch producers of safe and effective medicine will be driven from the marketplace, which will result in increased black market activity. The process needs to be inclusive of the thousands of people who currently make a living providing quality cannabis medicines to hundreds of thousands of patients across the state.   Through effective statewide regulations with fees based on actual size and scope of the operation, more small-batch producers could thrive in the same manner small grape farmers and micro-breweries succeed in a market dominated by large corporations.


We also believe the restrictions placed on patients are unnecessary. SB 1262 will interfere with a patient’s choice of physician and manner of ingestion. It will also limit their choice and quality of medicine by creating a market of a few large producers. This will limit the market based on what is popular.  It will not necessarily provide what is most medically effective for the wide variety of patients across the state, including patients who need CBD specific medicines. We demand that the bill that becomes law includes a comprehensive, affordable and fair distribution system for cannabis. The current watered down half-measure on the table creates more problems than solutions.

 

We are organizing patient, parents, and providers to speak up against the current regulations being proposed. We are prepared to organize direct action protests against the bill if appropriate amendments are not made.  As the walls of cannabis prohibition crumble across the country, it is up the State of California to lead the nation with the implementation of a regulatory model that ensures uniform public safety, promotes patient safety and access to cannabis.


We hope legislators will consider a more comprehensive licensing system that can be implemented fairly across the State. There are too many people in jail for cannabis.  This bill ensures that thousands more Californians and their families will fall victim to unjust and immoral policies.  We need to stop overzealous law enforcement lobbying groups whose interests are based on greed and their motivation to continue to fight the failed war on drugs. It is time for lawmakers to demand that sensible statewide regulations be implemented in California’s medical cannabis program. SB 1262 in its current form does not accomplish that objective.  It creates more criminal costs for our already bloated criminal justice system.

 

The current proposal of SB 1262 can be found HERE.

 

THE P4P MISSION

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.

CONTACTS: Phone: (925) 309-7110  •  Email: Parents4Pot@gmail.com   •  Web: Parents4Pot.org

Global Cannabis March Brings Out Families

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The Global Cannabis March is my personal activist anniversary.   I attended my first march in Portland, Oregon in 2001.  I volunteered to register voters that day.  The March, the speakers and talking to people about why cannabis should be legal fanned an ember inside of me.  Thirteen years later, that ember has become a passionate fire that won’t be quenched until prohibition is over.