Today was the scheduled appointment with Senate Judiciary Committee Member Tonya Schuitmaker. Unfortunately, Senator Schuitmaker, a known Schuette supporter, and anti-cannabis representative, did not attend the meeting because of a Budget Bill Delay. We were given the opportunity to speak with Schuitmaker s Communications Director, Derek Sova. The conversation started a little slow, and he seemed a little put out at first. We went around the table each of us had an opportunity to speak.
Joe Cain spoke about the civil liberties, human rights, and law enforcement issues occurring in the community, and the fact that we will be addressing these issues when securing a lawyer to take the case.
Ci Ci Taylor spoke of the beating she experienced by Cass County Police Officers, how marijuana saved her from a life of deadly, and addictive pharmaceuticals. Now that the Safe Access has been removed she is left without medicine that helps her cope with her illness.
Malissa B is a trooper, suffering with abdominal cysts, and extreme fibromyalgia has been without the Rick Simpson oil since Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka closed the dispensaries in Jackson County in February. Malissa explained that she is enduring not only physical suffering, but emotional suffering from her pain, and it becomes a financial issue when being forced from Jackson to Ann Arbor, and pay $50 a gram for the Simpson Oil that cures her pain. All of the Ann Arbor dispensaries are open, we guess the law only applies to a select few. The medical marijuana patients in Jackson are left without the safe access to the medicine needed to help them.
Scott mentioned that living on a fixed income, limits your spending on all medicine. Not just marijuana, but pharmaceuticals as well. Scott is a caregiver and patient, and is a front line witnesses to the pain happening in Jackson.
Sharyl fighting an aggressive lung cancer, also has squamous cells on her leg that are rapidly increasing. Her caregiver cannot supply the amount of medicine needed to fight her aggressive form of cancer. Sharyl with tears in her eyes says that she has been without Rick Simpson Oil for the better part of three days. It is harder for me to obtain this life saving medicine. My caregiver cannot grow enough to supply the amount of medicine needed to slow the aggressive lung cancer she has. The Jackson Farmers Market owned by Joe Cain had a community of caregivers that kept a steady supply for all of the cancer patients. Since the McQueen ruling the people of Jackson Michigan are without life saving medicine. We are in pain and hurting ever single day. I am on a very fixed income. There is no way that Sharyl can afford to pay $50 a gram for this life saving oil.
Malissa offered that most patients cannot afford to pay these outrageous prices at these commercialized dispensaries. It’s not bad enough that a cancer is trying hard to take over, but the pain, and mental trauma from being without life saving medicine has been too much to bear.
Sharyl speaks up with tears in her eyes as she pleads, why did the people pay into the system, get promised hope, and then have it taken away? How can this be happening, isn’t this America? Don’t we have rights?
Cain continues that we see our friends, family, loved ones, and our community suffering, but because of an unjust system, we the caregivers are choosing to continue to help these patients. It is against the law, and caregivers now face criminal charges for helping a patient that is not their own.
Vivian speaks not all patients in Michigan are suffering. It seems that many in other cities are still functioning really well at $30 a gram or higher for 1 gram of Simpson Oil. These dispensaries that have used the Supreme Court ruling as opportunity to hi-jack and push through a monopoly ridden HB 4271. Mi-Norml, which goes against its own by laws has made a futile attempt to cash in on a Michigan version of the broken Colorado System.
Cain includes that Michigan voters, patients, and caregivers inside the National Marijuana Coalition do not support HB 4271. Cain said these people paid into the system, and that system was supposed to protect them, but now the system is gearing up for big dollar interest, and the expense of the sick and poor that this law was intended to protect.
Cain continues it protects the patients, but caregivers cannot assist each other. This component was the balance needed to supply a community burdened with high numbers of cancer patients.
Vivian includes that the protection is given to a select few like Hydroworld in Jackson which remains open to this day. Even after The Jackson Farmers Market has been served with two cease and desist orders, and faces a steady stream of parked police cars in front of the building. Does this seem fair? How can the State pick and choose who gets access to this valuable life saving medicine and gets denied?
Vivian continues that as Secretary of a newly forming non-profit political activist committee we are obviously losing the battle in Jackson, and some other counties across the State. On behalf of the patients in our newly formed organization we do not support HB 4271. This newly formed organization includes an active state wide coalition of voters, patients, caregivers, and civil rights activists. As Secretary of the Board of Directors, I am speaking on behalf of a 1,423 members organization that is less than one week old. These members are active cannabis, and civil rights activists that are joining forces to address these unjust actions taken by our government.
Joe Cain finished by saying that commercialized interests have been allowed to take over. They have forced the market to close which has created a shortage of valuable medicine. This market successfully kept prices between $5 and $10 a gram. That is what the market brought to the community, and we received upwards between 200 and 300 patient and caregiver interchanging with each other.
These caregivers were able to donate the overages to the oil shiners for them to make the life saving Rick Simpson Oil. It takes 2 pounds of marijuana to make just 2 ounces of the Rick Simpson Oil. When the market was running our cancer patients, and severe pain patients were given for free, the oil needed to keep their conditions without pain.
Cain continued that it takes a community to heal a cancer patient. It takes a tyrannical government to kill them. The Supreme Court McQueen Decision overturned Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, and eliminated the rights of caregivers to obtain life saving amounts of cannabis that are needed to assist a cancer patient with aggressive cancers. Caregivers need to be able to work with other caregivers, that is what the Michigan voters intended when they voted yes to support this law.
Derek Sova, somber faced, almost appearing with a corner tear, just maybe, after listening to Sharyls emotional plea. Maybe these people just didn’t understand the entire scope of the patient hardship and suffering this injust attempt . He took lots of notes, said he would be reviewing the collection on CannaTV, at part of the system. He took lots of notes, and was emotionally stirred, you could see it in his eyes. We shook his hand, thanked him tremendously for taking the time to hear all of us speak. For this we were very grateful.
We are asking abNorml members to please write an email to Derek Sova, and copy Senator Tonya Schuitmaker. Please tell them you speak on behalf of the newly formed political action committee that is focused on taking care of the people in our communities. Tell them that you are not criminals, you are compassionate, tender humans, and tell them your story. We need everyone to jump in on this one.
We Got this My Friends!! It only gets better from here!
Viv TakeIt-Easy Breezy, Secretary on The Board of Directors for Newly formed PAC that is still working on their name.
Senator Tonya Schuitmaker- firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Director- Derek Sova- email@example.com