I arrived on Friday evening so, unfortunately, I missed the keynote address given by Dr. John Schwarz (one of the father’s of string theory); however, the panels and workshops on Saturday and Sunday were jam-packed with a plethora of knowledge and tools designed to equip activists to advocate more proficiently. Saturday morning began with a panel on the history and current state of medical cannabis in America. Panelists included Valerie Corral of the Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Mary Lynn Mathre of Patients Out of Time, Don Duncan of American’s for Safe Access, and other advocates who have dedicated many years of their lives to patient advocacy and the movement to decriminalize cannabis. Of all the incredible panelists represented, each with their unique stories, impressive resumes, and varying levels of experience in the movement, I found the firsthand testimony of Joseph Casias (Casias v. Walmart) to be the most riveting!
|Ebony & Ricki Lake|
As an activist, my stance on marijuana has always been decriminalization/legalization. When I hear the term “for medicinal use”, I can’t help but wonder ‘what kind of marijuana isn’t medicinal?!’ While I understand the entire argument behind medical marijuana, and have many friends who fight strictly for patients’ rights, I also understand that simply allowing patients access to medical cannabis will not provide access to the millions of people who will never qualify as patients, nor will it decrease the ever-burgeoning prison population or secure the next generation’s access to financial aid is not quelled by antiquated drug laws. However, this conference opened my eyes to the dire needs of patients. Having heard, firsthand, the stories of patients with varying diseases and their amazing testimonials of the healing effects of cannabis, my zeal for patients’ rights has been ignited!
+Steph Sherer on the birth of a vision she has carried for over 10 years, and many thanks to +Americans for Safe Access for hosting such a fabulous conference! My heartfelt appreciation goes out to Peachtree Norml, the +NORML Women's Alliance, Dr. Bronners, and the many friends and fellow activists who made this experience possible and contributed to my growth as an activist.
|Ebony w/ +Ken Wolski & Vanessa Waltz of Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey|
|Ebony w/ fellow activists Vanessa Waltz, +Diane Fornbacher, & +Neill Franklin|
|Ebony w/ 71yr old federal marijuana patient, Elvy Musikka|