Sunday, September 28, 2014

Medical Cannabis Advocates Urge AG Holder to Remove Plant from Schedule 1 Before Leaving Office

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Eric Holder has recently announced that he is resigning his position as Attorney General. Around that time the Justice Department leader told Katie Couric,
"I think it's certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin, especially given what we've seen recently with regard to heroin -- the progression of people from using opioids to heroin use, the spread and the destruction that heroin has perpetrated all around our country. And to see by contrast, what the impact is of marijuana use. Now it can be destructive if used in certain ways, but the question of whether or not they should be in the same category is something that we need to ask ourselves and use science as the basis for making that determination."

The Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis invites all advocates to call and write the Attorney General's office on September 30th 2014 asking him to remove cannabis from Schedule 1 before he leaves office.

Please leave a message on the comment line 202-353-1555 AND send an email with attn: Atty. Gen. Holder in the subject line to

To track the progress of this effort join our event page on Facebook.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lobbying Training Webinar for Medical Cannabis Advocates, Part II

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Part two of the Lobby Like A Pro training webinar will take place on Tuesday, September 23rd from 8:00-9:30 p.m. Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of Common Cause will share general lobbying guidance such as communication tools, strategies, and background about governments and how they work. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn effective strategies for engaging your elected officials.

For details on how to register please visit the event page.

If you missed part one notes from that session are stored on Google Drive.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why a Chemist Mom Turned Medical Cannabis Advocate

Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis co-founder, Gena Dalton of Alabama, was recently featured on the front page of The Huntsville Times.

Gena's daughter, Charlotte, who was eventually diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, had her first status seizure at seven months old. It lasted thirty minutes. One month later, in March of 2013, the infant had another status seizure, this time for forty-five minutes.

The local hospital had no sense of urgency. Sometimes babies have seizures, Dalton was told, as Charlotte was sent home with an appointment for the following month. Not having it, Gena quickly got her baby into LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis for extensive testing.  "Mid-May I get a call from a neurologist at LeBonheur: Charlotte had a sodium channel deletion (Dravet Syndrome). He told me whatever I do, don't read the internet. Of course, the first thing I do is read the internet."

Gena found an article in the Colorado Gazette about a little girl, also named Charlotte, who has Dravet Syndrome and experienced dramatic seizure reduction on cannabis oil. Though the medical details reminded Dalton of her own Charlotte, this straight-laced mother and chemist assumed it was just pro-marijuana propaganda. "Wouldn't researchers and the government already have a handle in this to help thousands of suffering children? Wouldn't something this simple already be considered?"

For Gena, what follows has the feel of destiny. "By late summer 2013 I went through a period of hard depression and grief. I never watch TV. Ever. But for some odd reason, in late August I turned it on. As fate would have it, CNN's documentary WEED aired that night." That's when she knew this was real.

Dalton was thrilled the help her daughter needed existed but heartbroken that it was inaccessible. Illegal even. Nevertheless, she was now a mom on a mission. Gena wrote dozens of letters to politicians sharing Charlotte's story and asking for help. The negative replies were piling up when one legislator, Mike Ball, asked for more information.

While Gena and her mother set about shoring up Mike Ball's support, police officer dad Dustin Chandler was forging a coalition across the state. "I went on a stalking mission to find Dustin. I knew if we worked together we would accomplish more together than separately."

Gena, Dustin, and other Alabama parents were crucial to the passage of Carly's Law, legislation that allows the University of Alabama to conduct a CBD oil trial for epilepsy, but their victory was hard won. "We were told, 'Can't you guys just wait until next year when we don't have to worry about reelection?' NO!, we said. Our children might not be alive next year." After many media appearances and trips to the state house in Montgomery, Carly's Law passed. Unanimously.

As fate would have it, Gena's work was far from over. "You know, everything has a place and a reason, though we may not be able to see it at the time. Back in March, my family, shoot, the entire state, was ecstatic." However, Gena's joy quickly transmuted to guilt and grief when the CBD bill in nearby Georgia failed to pass due to partisan politics.

"I literally cried when I found out Georgia's HB 885 had failed.", said Gena. "We live in America. How could one state support initiatives to help sick children and another a few miles away did not? I thought about the children in Georgia going without and the families feeling desperate and hopeless. It hurt my soul. I called Dustin nearly in tears saying, 'We have to do something!'. He put me in touch with Corey Lowe in Georgia and BAM!, you guys were born.", Dalton told fellow Parents Coalition members on our leadership organizing page. "Had HB 885 passed, we wouldn't be here on this thread tonight."

Parents across the country who, like Gena, helped pass medical cannabis legislation in home states hit roadblocks accessing these laws for their children due to federal restrictions. The Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis advocates the removal of cannabis from Schedule 1 so research can happen in the United States and patients can have safe access. To join our efforts contact us at cbdoilky@gmail com or visit our Facebook page.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lobby Like a Pro Training Notes for Medical Cannabis Advocates

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If you missed part 1 of Gail Rand's citizen lobbyist training with Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of Common Cause Maryland never fear. The training notes are available here in Google Drive format. Don't miss this opportunity to learn effective citizen lobbying skills from a seasoned advocate. This segment includes general lobbying approaches not specific to medical cannabis, but useful to our efforts nevertheless.

Remember Part 2 of this training is September 23rd 2014 at 8:00 p.m. To sign up visit the event page.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Citizen Lobbyist Training Webinars for Medical Cannabis Advocates

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Join Gail Rand of Maryland and Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of Common Cause will host online lobbying training webinars for parents and other advocates. Part I is scheduled for tonight, September 9th 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Though not specific to medical cannabis, this segment will cover basic citizen lobbying approaches essential to anyone advocating a cause.

Part II of this series, entitled Help for Parents with State Laws to Lobby Like a Pro, is scheduled for September 23rd 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

To pre-register for part I please visit the event page and click the Go to Meeting link.

To pre-register for part II please visit that event page and click the Go to Meeting link as well.