30+ People Attend Informational Session, Take Action To Support HB 4271
3rd Coast Compassion Center was the first medical marijuana distribution center in the state to be licensed by their community, and they are still acting like community leaders. In the wake of a Supreme Court ruling and the introduction of pro-cannabis legislation 3rd Coast held a seminar to help patients and caregivers understand the way their world has changed.
Over thirty people packed the meeting room at Hamilton and Pearl Streets to hear 3rd Coast co-founder Jamie Lowell and Compassion Chronicles Editor Rick Thompson explain the changes wrought by the recent Supreme Court ruling in McQueen. "How patients interact with each other, what they can do with their caregiver, who and how their caregiver interacts with others- all of these things were more clearly defined," said Lowell.
"The Court gave us a very narrow interpretation of the law," Thompson agreed. "Activities we've become used to over the last four years are no longer legally available to us." Encouragement and insight was offered to attendees by Charmie Gholson of Michigan Moms United, Kevin Spitler of Kalamazoo's The MedJoint, and Ken Beyer from Michigan Testing Authority.
Just days earlier Rep. Michael Callton, R-Nashville, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would alleviate some of the disruption to Michigan's 150,000 card-carrying participants in the Medical Marihuana Program. Called the Provisioning Centers Act, the bill was originally introduced in 2012 but was not brought up for a Committee vote.
The 2013 version of the PCA is leaner, more patient-friendly and has the support of the Detroit-based National Patients Rights Association. After explaining the advantages the PCA has to offer the patient and caregiver community, Thompson and Lowell got the crowd in action mode by asking them to hand-write letters to their Congressperson asking for their support of HB 4271, and to ensure the Bill is brought to a vote in the Judiciary Committee. Phone banking and electronic submission of letters are part of the overall seminar strategy.
A surprise visit from Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, brought applause from the attendees. Irwin praised the letter writing effort and emphasised the need for direct communication with a citizen's elected representatives. "A face-to-face meeting is best," he advised the audience.
"This combination of giving information and taking action is the new model for our Seminars," confirmed Lowell. "Other events like this one are being planned for Ypsilanti and we'll take it on the road, too." Representatives from CannaCure attended the seminar and have asked to host a seminar at their facility soon.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles