By John Payne
Our spring conference is less than a week away, and I am extremely excited about it! Barring any speaker cancellations, I have finalized the schedule, but we were able to make one exciting addition since I last wrote to you.
Representative Paul Curtman (R - Pacific) has agreed to speak on both the panel on reforms in the legislature and one featuring conservatives in favor of cannabis law reform. Curtman will join Representatives Rory Ellinger (D - University City) and Mike Colona (D - Saint Louis, provided he is in town) on the legislative reforms panel, demonstrating that this is a bipartisan issue!
The final schedule is below, and I think it is extremely solid. We have several members of law enforcement, a number of legislators, and many notable activists and writers!
11:00 - 11:15: Opening Remarks (SMCR Executive Director John W. Payne)
11:15 - 12:00: Law Enforcement for Cannabis Law Reform (former narcotics agent Travis Noble, former U.S. Assistant Attorney David Rosen, former Denver police officer and LEAP member Tony Ryan, and Saint Louis City police sergeant Gary Wiegert)
12:15 - 1:00: Break for Lunch on Your Own
1:00 - 1:45: Local Reform -- Promises and Perils (Saint Louis Alderman Shane Cohn, Joplin activist and former SMCR board member Kelly Maddy, SMCR board member and president of Springfield Cannabis Regulation Maranda Jo Reynolds, and SMCR board chair and author of Columbia's cannabis reforms Dan Viets)
1:45 - 2:30: Conservatives for Cannabis Law Reform (Gary Wiegert and Bill Hennessy, both of the Saint Louis Tea Party, and Rep. Paul Curtman)
2:30 - 2:45: Coffee Break
2:45 - 3:30: Reforms in the Legislature (Rep. Rory Ellinger, Rep. Mike Colona (depending on his availability), and Rep. Paul Curtman)
3:30 - 4:15: State of the Movement in Missouri (SMCR board members and NORML chapter leaders)
4:15 - 4:30: Break
4:30 - 5:00: Publisher Ray Hartmann (Saint Louis Magazine, founder of the Riverfront Times, and co-host of TV news show Donnybrook)
5:00 - 5:45: Keynote (Tony Ryan of LEAP, 36 year Denver police officer, and spokesperson for Colorado's Amendment 64)
5:45 - 6:00: Closing Remarks (SMCR Executive Director John Payne)
(N.B. The names of institutions that speakers are affiliated with are for identification purposes only and should not be read as institutional endorsements of the speaker's views. Nor do any of the speakers speak for Show-Me Cannabis as a group.)
Tickets for the conference can be purchased for $10, or, if you are disabled, you can reserve a space for free by emailing me. However, space is limited, and I believe the event is likely to sell out, so purchase your tickets now!
After the conference, please join us at the Saint Louis Italian Restaurant and Pizza Company (310 De Baliviere Avenue, formerly Talaynas on the Park) to celebrate the progress we are making and raise money for the cause. Tickets for that dinner can be purchased here for $10. We will be holding a live auction after the dinner, so if you have an item you'd like to contribute to the cause, bring it with you. If you are not able to attend, but would still like to contribute an auction item, email me, and I will do what I can to see that it gets there.
Finally, I have been contacted by several disabled individuals who told me that they would like to attend the conference but cannot afford to pay for the travel. Consequently, I have created a page where you can contribute to travel stipends for for disabled attendees. Even if you cannot attend, you can help someone less fortunate than yourself make the trip.
If you appreciate the important work we are doing, please show your support by contributing to the cause now!