Medical cannabis patients across Colorado owe my brother Mike Robnett a huge thank you, and they don’t even know it.
Today, December 26th, 2016, would have been my oldest brother’s 68th birthday.
Growing up, I absolutely adored my big brother who was 10 years older than me. I loved to listen to music in his room, which he allowed as long as I could sit still. It didn’t take but a few minutes before The Rolling Stones, The Who or The Doors would get me moving and bouncing on the bed. After a few warnings I’d eventually get thrown out.
He went off to college to study architecture when I was just 8 years old, making holidays and summers when he came home that much more special. No matter what, he always had his guitar. I remember watching him playing and singing “Sounds of Silence” with my 4th grade Catholic school teacher, Sister Mary Jordan. And up until his death, he was known for playing “Alice’s Restaurant” from start to finish by heart.
As a child in the 60s with a brother in college, I was often witness to heated debates between my brother Mike and my dad over the Vietnam war and civil rights. I learned a lot about disagreeing and still loving each other. When I got older, it was my turn to debate my dad, but over women’s rights.
I sang at Mike’s first wedding. And when my father died, I sang “Amazing Grace” at his funeral. As I finished the final note, Mike walked up to the altar, wrapped his arm around my shoulder, and escorted me back to my seat. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church, including my own.
Mike was a talented architect and project manager in San Diego, but after the economic downturn in 2008, his job was gradually eliminated, along with his salary and health benefits. He admitted later that he put off medical testing and treatment while he was out of work until he was hired by the Navy; he waited too long. On April 24, 2012, Mike lost his battle with prostate cancer.
After Mike died, he left a few thousand dollars to me, something I never expected. Amendment 64 was looking pretty good, and patients were going to need a voice. My husband Greg and I decided to use that money to help fund our efforts advocating for medical marijuana patients. We would stretch it out, a little at a time, to fill in financial gaps so that I could spend time at the Capitol.
We would not have been able to do the work we have done for medical marijuana patients without the financial support of my brother Mike. It was through his generosity that we’ve been able to make sure that patients are included in policy decisions. In other words, for several years Mike paid for us to be out in the world working for patients.
Over the years, his posthumous contribution allowed us to follow the Governor’s Amendment 64 Task Force and work with the legislature and local governments to pass reasonable regulations. It enabled us to bring patients to the capitol, to participate on numerous working groups and committees, and to hold two Governor’s appointments. It allowed us to defeat harmful legislation like the Drug-Endangered Child Definitions and to pass beneficial legislation allowing for medical marijuana on probation and for kids in schools. Because of his support, we’ve testified at city council and county commissioners meetings and spoken on panels and at conferences about the needs of medical marijuana patients. We’ve worked with agencies and organizations to develop reasonable policies and regulations. In addition, we’ve worked to educate, advise and elect cannabis-friendly candidates at all levels of government.
Mike gave us a great start, but it’s up to you, our supporters, to keep us going. Tell my brother Mike thank you! Help us carry on his legacy by making a generous donation to Cannabis Patients Alliance.
There’s a lot more work to be done, and our ability to do it depends on your support. The 2017 Legislative Session is right around the corner. Please donate today.
— Rx MaryJane (Teri Robnett)
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.