Today, December 21st, is my birthday!
My big birthday wish, what I want most for my birthday, is for you to support the work I do by becoming an Ally of Cannabis Patients Alliance!
When I started this journey back in 2009, working at a dispensary in Denver, talking to patients from across the state, I had no idea where it would lead. In 2012, when the Colorado legislature was considering a DUI for THC per se law, friends asked me to come to the Capitol and speak out against the bill. That was the first time I testified before a legislative committee… and we won!
That year, my husband and I made the decision to dedicate our time and resources to standing up and speaking out for medical marijuana patients. Little did we realize the importance of that decision or where it would take us.
We’ve been through a lot since then. The passage of Amendment 64, legalizing the adult use of marijuana for those over 21. The Governor’s Task Force and the legislative battle that followed. Working with local governments to develop reasonable regulations. Rulemaking groups for the Marijuana Enforcement Division (DOR/MED). More committees, stakeholders groups, hearings and meetings than I can count.
We’ve had some important legislative successes.
- We beat back the per se limit on THC in the blood in favor of a more reasonable permissive inference standard. “Permissive inference” didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but is proving to be an important distinction, particularly for patients.
- Two years in a row we destroyed attempts to further criminalize cannabis-consuming parents through legislation defining a drug-endangered child. Since then we’ve worked to build relationships with child welfare organizations and agencies while continuing to fight for the rights of parents and patients, in hopes of developing regulations that protect rather than demonize cannabis parents and their children.
- Recent successes include mandatory testing of products from the medical marijuana industry beginning July 2016; an allowance for medical marijuana while on probation; an allowance for medical marijuana by students in schools (Jack’s Amendment); and so much more.
Over the years, we’ve done a lot to make sure that the needs of patients are included in policy decisions. Here are just a few examples:
- Appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council, overseeing the disbursement of $9 million in grants for research into the medicinal benefits and efficacy of marijuana. Also reviewed the petition and recommended the addition of PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana (which was rejected by the Board of Health).
- Fought to get PTSD added as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Colorado. We spearheaded this year’s effort to convince the Board of Health, and although were denied, we continue to work through a variety of means to push this issue forward. We are determined!
- Appointed to the Marijuana Education Oversight Committee which oversees the statewide education campaigns from the Department of Health: Good to Know.
- Worked with a coalition under the guidance of the Colorado Alliance for Drug-Endangered Children to develop an educational campaign on keeping kids safe from substances called Smart Choices Safe Kids.
- Represented patient interests on MED/DOR Rulemaking groups.
- Represented patients on the CDPHE’s Testing working group.
- Worked with the media to get the patient perspective included in stories and blog posts across the country.
- Recruited, coached and mentored new advocates to speak out on behalf of patients.
- Participated in panels, town halls, and other local and national events, most recently speaking on a panel at the Drug Policy Alliance’s International Reform Conference in Washington, D.C.
Now we’re preparing for the 2016 Legislative Session that’s right around the corner.
Mark your calendar for the Second Annual Cannabis Patients Day at the Capitol on January 26, 2016. Last year, over 200 patients and supporters stopped by to put a face to what it means to be a medical marijuana patients They had the opportunity to meet with legislators and staffers, become familiar with the Capitol, all while munching on Sexy Pizza and socializing with others in the community. We expect it to be even bigger and better this year! (We’re looking for voluteers and sponsors.)
We’ve already been in discussions with legislators and other organizations on marijuana-related bills to be introduced in the upcoming session addressing issues like testing, education, parenting and more.
I need your support!
As you can see, keeping patients’ voices in the discussion of policies about marijuana is critical. But we can’t continue to do it if we don’t have your support. Whether or not this important work continues depends on you.
Please, give me the birthday present I really want. Become an Ally by joining Cannabis Patients Alliance. Make a generous donation to the cause (NOT tax-deductible).
We’re working hard to ensure that patients have legal, safe and affordable access to medical marijuana.
We are changing hearts and minds, one conversation at a time.
Join us and make this my best birthday ever!
— Rx MaryJane (Teri Robnett)
Cannabis Patients Alliance is working hard for patients by continuing to advocate for legal, safe, affordable access to medical marijuana across Colorado and around the country. Your contribution will go a long way toward keeping our advocacy alive and ensuring patients needs are included in the discourse on public policy and education. We are changing hearts and minds, one conversation at a time. Please DONATE today so our work can continue!