Incredible; that is about the only word to describe the "Seventh Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeudics" held in Tuscon this past weekend. Your North Carolina Delegation, composed of Dr. Kevin Baiko (Musician Extraordinaire), (Dr) Lee Porter, NP, and his wife Liz along with myself. I have asked Liz, who writes like a journalist, to write an "after action report" for the event and will post when she finishes it. There will be much more later and I encourage all to google information on the event..especially Patients Out of Time who sponsored the event.
I titled this posts a "turning point". This is based on the "mood of the event" by those present. It was a record attendance and when asked for the person who traveled the greatest distance to attend, it was a toss up; Siberia in Russia or Australia. Australia was the winner. There were two fact filled days with some of the most able presenters I have ever witnessed. Dr. Baiko will describe the proceedings much better than I so look for his column on the website later. BTW, I saw a couple of computers with our website up during the conf..it was highly praised for activity and content.
There is so much happening that I cannot put it all into this one post. The most exciting has to do with the Speaker's office. As you may recall, prior to the Asheboro town hall meeting, Thom Tillis and I spoke briefly. His comments were to the effect that the alarming spike in narcotic deaths must be dealt with and the relative safety of cannabis compared to them needed attention. In other words, we need to find a way to make this happen. I called the office after that meeting and was told to contact the speaker's Chief of Staff...Charles Thomas.
I had not yet made the appointment, and you may imagine my surprise to find that he was on the front page of the paper after an affair with a lobbyist was disclosed in the N&O, and he is NO LONGER employed as the COS. The lobbyists was also terminated from her employment. Mr. Thomas thinks he was targeted by an operative in Asheville over a local issue....hummm...
I called the speakers office yesterday and unexpectedly, Joe (?) answered the phone. I identified myself and he recognized my voice. We spoke for nearly 20 minutes. I can only tell you that this is Divine Intervention. I could not have arranged the sequence of events that has been happening to our advantage; it will become evident as we proceed. He is working to set up a meeting with us and the speaker. By the way, when I was told to contact Charles before his termination, I did not realize that he shared an apartment with the speaker.
The petition is approaching 12,000 signatures. We will be taking it with us when we meet with the speakers office, along with some of the many comments. As you know, it is not legally binding in NC, but it still represents nearlt 12,000 people who took the time to respond..a politician ignores numbers like this at their peril.
I have decided to violate my democratic party rule that elected party members "must not do anything to assist the opposition". Kirk Sherrill, a brilliant and outspoken member is running for the House of Representatives as a Republican. I have informed him that I will actively campaign with him..not as a democratic party officer..but as the president of nccpn. Anyone else who lives in his district..please do everything possible to help his campaign.
Speaking of campaigns..look for any opportunity to address questions about the medical cannabis act in any public settings where they respond to questions from the audience. Then report their answers on the website. We must get more politically educated and make this argument "LOUD" in the public venue.
WE DEMAND CHANGE TO THIS INJUSTICE.