By John Payne
Motorists traveling Westbound on I-44 at mile-marker 73.2 just outside of Springfield will now see a billboard urging Missourians to support medical cannabis. The billboard, pictured here, features Daryl and Trish Bertrand of Ozark, who were victims of a violent SWAT raid in 2010.
Daryl was using medical marijuana to treat serious spinal disorders at the time of the raid, and, as a result, both Daryl and his wife Trish are now labeled as felons. He was willing to appear on the billboard in an attempt to share his story and bring about an end to cannabis prohibition.
"Sharing our story on a billboard was not an easy decision for us to make, but it was something we felt we had to do," Daryl said. "We hope our story can help bring awareness to the real-world harms of cannabis prohibition and prevent others from going through the traumas we've experienced."
The billboard also directs people to visit med4mo.com, which takes visitors to a page on our websitue explaining the Bertrands' story and the stories of other Missouri medical cannabis patients and refugees.
The Springfield sign joins our billboard featuring Jeff Mizanskey, who is serving life without parole for a non-violent cannabis offense, located about 60 miles east of Kansas City on Interstate 70. These two billboards bring our messages to tens of thousands of motorists every month.
We would love to spread that message to every part of the state, but we are limited by our resources. The Springfield billboard alone cost over $1,300 to produce and $600 per month to lease, and it would not exist without people who believe in the cause enough to go beyond just talking about it and put their money where their mouths are.