When I co-founded this blog in 2010, one of the first activists I met online was Serra Frank. Serra Frank was from Idaho, and since I have a lot of family in Idaho, I immediately admired her work and passion because Idaho is not an easy place to be an activist. Reefer madness has had a foothold in the minds of many Idahoans for many decades, and I know first hand from trying to talk to some of my relatives that live there that it's going to take a concerted effort to achieve reform there. But that's why I commend activists there like Serra Frank because while the mountain they have to climb is high, the effort to do so is noble.
Serra Frank has a blogspot that I hope readers will check out. If you are a mom, you should send her words of encouragement from time to time. And if you live in Idaho, absolutely reach out to her. Idaho activists need to stick together! Below is her first blog post since she started posting again. You can check out the 420 Mommy blog on Blogspot at this link here:
I started this 420 Mommy blog in 2009, as a way to document a few of my observations of being a Medical Marijuana patient in a Non-Medical Marijuana State like Idaho, my beautiful home.
I documented a few different things about living in Idaho and using Marijuana illegally as my only medicine. You can find these posts under archive on the right.
Then in Spring 2011, I moved my family to the West Coast and became a legal Medical Marijuana patient in Portland, Oregon. I created a new blog, Adventures of a 420 Mommy, to document a few of my observations in an actual Medical Marijuana state. I had many experiences in the medical Marijuana community in Portland, and learned a lot about the use of Marijuana as medicine for many different illnesses.
I worked in a Medical Marijuana Clinic, helping patients connect with legitimate doctors that would provide medical Marijuana recommendations. I attended many Oregon Medical Marijuana Community events, including Portland Hempstalk and other awareness events.
And for about 6 months, I was also co-host on a Marijuana focused Women's Round-Table podcast called A Different View.
I returned to Idaho briefly at the end of 2012, but ended up moving to Washington State in the spring of 2013 to help my friend, Billy Fisher, fight for his daughter, Lilly, who was in the custody of Child Protective Services after being taken from her mother. They refused to give Lilly to her father and the key issue was his medical marijuana use for chronic pain caused by a broken back.
Luckily, Washington has been a Medical Marijuana State since 1998 and I was able to become a legal Medical Marijuana patient again, and personally experience the Washington Medical Marijuana Community, while fighting against the stigma that surrounds parents who use Marijuana as medicine.
I traveled around the State of Washington, meeting with local activists and attending numerous Washington events. Washington had just legalized Marijuana for recreational use in November 2012, so I was able to witness the opening of recreational stores and the fight to distinguish between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana.
I was also able to travel to Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona, and personally experience the same type of Medical Marijuana community that I had found in Oregon and Washington. I saw the similarities and the differences between these communities, and witness first hand many Marijuana related ventures that worked very well, and even some that didn't work at all.
Through these adventures, I realized that everything I had experienced in Idaho, prior to my recent adventures, and everything I posted in this blog was based upon trial and error in a very restricted and underground market, as well as based upon what research I did on the internet.
Through my own personal experiences, I have learned so much more than I could have ever even imagined when I was merely an illegally self-medicating marijuana patient in Idaho. I have met patients from all over the world, in person and through social networking, and I have had the opportunity to speak with lawyers, doctors, scientists, educators and even law makers and law enforcement, about the risks and benefits of Marijuana. I have heard the opinions and experiences of these professionals and have been given new perspectives into the concept of using Marijuana as Medicine.
I am a scholar at heart, and every where I went, I spent as much time observing and learning and filling my head with everything Marijuana related I could find. (Yes, in more ways than one.)
I also realized that, despite the laws, there is the same Medical Marijuana Community in Idaho that I witnessed in these legal states. It's just underground and the laws desperately need reform so that thousands of these patients across the state can stop hiding their use and finally find a better quality of life.
I finally moved home to Idaho again, at the end of 2014. Despite my grand adventures, I missed my family and I missed my home. For the last year I have been observing the accelerated decline in my health now that I have less access to my medicine because of Idaho laws. I clearly see the obstacles I once again face as a Medical Marijuana patient in a non-legal state. It is scary as hell, the risks of using Marijuana in Idaho. The risk of loss of freedom, loss of my children, loss of normalcy, all because I am attempting to regain my health. But I realized shortly after returning home that my adventures had led me to the top of the metaphorical marijuana mountain. I have seen the other side, and there is definitely no going back.
Despite tremendous trepidation I face and the fact that I am not the best blogger, I have made the decision to start writing again. There is just too much that still needs to be said to everyone in Idaho. Too many things I have learned that need to be shared with my neighbors here at home. There are many experiences that still need to be added to my 420 Mommy Adventures blog, and too many observations that need to be addressed regarding Idaho's underground Medical Marijuana Community.
So I begin again...
My first observation upon moving home continues to be that WE NEED A LEGAL MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM IN IDAHO AND WE NEED IT NOW!
Just in the short time after coming back, I have already spoken with hundreds of patients in this state who could benefit greatly and desperately need safe access to medical quality Marijuana. So many patients are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are fed up with the toxic and harmful side effects of prescription pharmaceuticals.
I already know of too many children in Idaho whose lives might be saved, and too many adults whose futures have already been ruined through the legal consequences of using marijuana in Idaho. I have observed the current issues in Idaho and realized how much the income and taxes from medical marijuana, decriminalization, and industrial hemp could help Idaho's budget and communities.
So, over the last year I have worked with several dedicated local activists to begin a new marijuana reform group in Idaho called New Approach Idaho.
Through this organization, we have produced a citizen's initiative called "Idaho's New Approach to Cannabis" This petition includes a Medical Marijuana Program, Decriminalization of Possession 3 ounces or less of Marijuana and of Marijuana paraphernalia (with 50% of fines from tickets going to Idaho Schools), as well as an Industrial Hemp program.
Before I left Idaho, in 2011, Boise State had just released the results of a survey that showed that 74% of Idahoans supported Medical Marijuana.
Yet, upon my second departure in 2013, the legislature had just declared they would never legalize Marijuana in Idaho for any reason.
Shortly after my most recent return home, Idaho's legislatures passed an affirmative defense for CBD only use in children with epilepsy. I was so proud of my home for finally pushing past the stigma and at least pushing something Marijuana through to the end.
Until Butch Otter vetoed it and implemented a clinical (experimental) trial for some pharmaceutical epilepsy medication. Because toxic drugs we know nothing about are apparently deemed safer by Idaho than a non-toxic, proven beneficial medicine that a good majority of the country has already demanded from their local governments.
When Otter vetoed that bill, I got really sad. Then I got really mad.
And now I am once again determined that true reform must come to Idaho.
I agree with the rest of the world.
Idaho will never legalize Marijuana. For any reason.
But it isn't the citizens of Idaho who feel that way.
It is the legislators, and the government.
The people of Idaho WANT Medical Marijuana.
And it's time for the people of Idaho to stand up and say so.
I truly believe that if everyone does their part, through a citizen's petition, we could finally bring Medical Marijuana to Idaho, and finally begin to reduce the harm caused by over 80 years of misinformation and twisted propaganda that continues an extremely detrimental and archaic law which only works to harm the future of our children and of our society.
If every Marijuana supporter in Idaho would register to vote, sign our petition, and vote yes for Medical Marijuana in 2016, we could finally bring a better quality of life to Idaho's patients, and finally stop throwing non violent people in jail for using a safer drug than the alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals that are glorified and readily available throughout our beautiful state.
But we need help. The small board of directors of New Approach Idaho and our few dedicated volunteers cannot do this by ourselves. We need volunteers. We need people to be serious about registering to vote and signing the petition. We need donations, and we need awareness.
We really need YOUR help.
Will you help us?
You can learn more about our efforts at www.LegalizeIdaho.org
And keep an eye out for new blog posts.
Because a lot more needs to be said about Marijuana in Idaho...
And after my recent adventures, I'm no longer scared to say it.