By Sarah Haas
Boulder Weekly | June 16, 2016
I sat down to talk with Terri Robnett on the banks of Boulder Creek, and it wasn’t long before a gust of thick, dank cannabis smoke wafted past our noses. She breathed in deeply. “I just love that smell,” she says, a heartfelt smile spreading across her face.
Robnett is the founder and executive director of the Cannabis Patients Alliance, an organization that works to protect and advance the rights of medical marijuana patients by “changing hearts and minds, one conversation at a time.” It is in this capacity that she sits on Boulder’s Marijuana Advisory Panel as it prepares a lengthy list of recommendations to present to City Council at the end of the summer.
After sitting through several meetings, I reached out to Robnett in hopes that she could help me make sense of all that policy work. Laughing, she quotes Otto von Bismarck, “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.”
Robnett has a lot of experience trudging through policy and has been instrumental in passing pieces of legislation at both the state and local level. She worked on Amendment 20, which legalized medical marijuana and, more recently, on Jack’s Law, which allows students to take medical marijuana while at school. In essence, she has been making sausage for decades.
Involvement in all this policy work gives Robnett a unique vantage point as she stands at the fulcrum of the paradigm shift of cannabis, watching as legalization replaces prohibition and challenges long-standing beliefs in the process.
Where others get impatient, she remains composed (although still passionate and fiery in advocating for these issues). She explains to me that over the years she has come to expect incremental changes because she understands how difficult change can be on a personal, let alone governmental, level.
Cannabis Patients Alliance is working hard to change hearts and minds one conversation at a time. We can’t do it alone. We need your support! Please DONATE NOW or BECOME AN ALLY so we can continue this important work.