Florida: I Want to Come Home and My Fate is In Your Hands November 4th

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I want to come home and my fate is in your hands November 4th. In 2011, I had to move out of Florida, so that I could legally access medical marijuana to treat my Late Stage Lyme Disease. It was not an easy decision; it was a matter of life and death. Here is my story…


I’m a fifth generation Floridian. My family roots run deep in Florida, from the keys all the way up to Jacksonville. I grew up on the beach, wore flip-flops religiously no matter where I traveled, and can still wear a hoodie during 80 degree F weather on a humid Miami night. My entire family lives in Florida, from my fifteen-year-old brother, Cody, my parents, my cousins, my best friends, to my great Aunt Edith who just turned 100 this past September. I missed her birthday party because I must live where I am legally able to treat myself with medical cannabis, in California. My only choices in Florida are to be a criminal, or to be addicted to prescription narcotics; neither of those choices is acceptable.


I was born in Miami in 1989, went to grade school in Tampa, and attended Florida Statealexis University on a Bright Futures Scholarship. During my freshman year spring semester, I went camping with a bunch of friends from my dormitory for the weekend. We all slept outside in sleeping bags around the campfire…not worrying about a thing. Over the next six months, I experienced many strange symptoms, wound up in the hospital several times with severe fevers, a bout of strep throat one time, and dehydration, but in the excitement of college life, I shrugged off the warning signals.


neurons, transferring pulses and generating information.June 6th, 2008 was the day my life changed forever. Excruciating nerve pain, that would haunt me for the next five and a half years set in, rendering my arms useless. I couldn’t unscrew bottles of water, pull open a door, push shopping carts, even write with a pencil. I was at the mercy of the loving support of my friends and family, on the goodwill of other people. The dozens of doctors that “treated” me had nothing to offer me, except narcotics…not even a diagnosis! Each doctor I tried failed to alleviate my pain or improve my condition in any way. Over a three-year period, they prescribed Gaba pentin, Vicodin, Percocet, lorazepam, and cyclobenzaprine. The drugs made me tired, and altered my mood, and did nothing for my pain. Worse, I had grown up in a family that consciously minimized pharmaceutical use.


One day, a friend suggested I try cannabis. Pot? No way! I had been taught my whole life that marijuana was a gateway drug; but having exhausted every other option my family could think of, I figured that trying one more “drug” couldn’t hurt. The immediate relief shocked me. Finally, something worked! I had discovered a wonder drug that could interrupt my misery. My mood improved, the visibly bulging vein on my neck would subside, and I could and would actually relax.


The only problem was that I couldn’t access it legally. Living in constant fear that I wouldLeaf Of Cannabis get caught, I kept the marijuana a secret from everyone, except a close few friends. I shared the secret with my doctors but they wouldn’t acknowledge its efficacy. So, I kept my medical use hidden; only using cannabis when the pain was so agonizing that I was on the verge of incapacitation. I felt guilty that it helped me…like I was letting everyone in my family down. But without it, I could not sleep, eat, or escape the incessant pain wracking my body. Eventually, I had to accept that living with the risk and the guilt was better than not living at all.


In June of 2010, a doctor in Florida diagnosed with Late Stage Lyme Disease with a Western Blot test. My infectious disease doctor prescribed a six-month regimen of daily Warning Signintravenous and oral antibiotics. I was prescribed Marinol, the synthetic form of THC, but it did nothing to help my pain. Within six months, the intense doses of antibiotics had destroyed my gut. My infectious disease doctor paused the treatment, as if to wait the storm out, just waiting until he could put me back on antibiotics. Visit after visit (at $500 a pop) went by with no change. My digestive system was trashed; it wasn’t repairing itself, and I dropped from 130 lbs. to 89 lbs. My family was worried I might not survive.


So, we looked for different doctors. I saw a nutritionist, and then an acupuncturist, and I found mild relief with craniosacral chiropractic therapy. Even though it felt like I was tryingHand Silhouettes Protecting A Human Brain Or Mind - Mental Healt everything, no real progress was felt or seen. I had no local family in Tallahassee. My boyfriend, Aaron, graduated from FSU a year and half before me; I had had to suspend my studies for a few months because I simply couldn’t function. Steadfast, he stayed in town to take care of me while I finished my degree. He even had to wash my hair. Chronic pain does not just alter the person suffering; it affects everyone who cares for and about that person.


But even with Aaron’s generous assistance I was still fading. I needed alternative treatments for a body ravaged by the Lyme spirochetes and, now, by mega doses of antibiotics. And I needed the cannabis to survive; it alleviated my pain and stimulated my appetite. Without it, I believe I would have died.


3D Map of CaliforniaMoving to California wasn’t a decision we came to lightly. My parents agreed that it wasn’t safe for me in Florida. I couldn’t risk arrest for my health any longer. I wouldn’t survive jail in my condition. As we drove cross country, through states that had even stricter marijuana laws than the one I was leaving, I felt more trapped than ever. We will never be free until every state in America has legal access to cannabis. Patients live in fear unable to travel to visit doctors or out of town family. Forget vacations. Anywhere that I can’t take cannabis, I cannot visit. How can we call ourselves the “land of the free” when some of us are shackled this way?


In California, I found a new infectious disease specialist, Dr. Harris, who is ranked number one in the state for treating Lyme disease.


The only thing that helps my pain is medical marijuana,” I mentioned with trepidation.


For the first time in my life, the doctor didn’t break eye contact when I said that but insteadDoctor nodded along agreeing that my medicine of choice was, in fact, medicine. I can say that through his open, alternative approach to my disease, my life has remarkably improved.


Three years later, I juice cannabis daily that I grow in my own closet. Juicing cannabis does not get the user “high” but has been proven to contain the curative properties. After three years of intensive natural treatments, California law has allowed me to heal in peace by providing me with the freedom from fear and pain. My California infectious disease doctor is an MD; he treats people with antibiotics and pharmaceuticals, as well. The point is that people need and deserve choices. Unfortunately, my body required an option that wasn’t “on the table” in my home state. Your vote could change that.


The care I received from my doctors in Florida was restricted. We must provide FloridaYes on 2 doctors and patients deserve to have the ability to participate in the whole conversation. This is why I ask you, old neighbor, to get out and vote Yes on 2 this November 4th. I want to be in Tampa when Aunt Edith turns 101 and when Cody graduates from High School down in Miami. Please let me come home.

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The Floodgates Open For Cannabis Businesses In Colorado

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The Floodgates Open For Cannabis Businesses In Colorado

DENVER, CO — At the turn of the new year, Colorado became the first state to allow cannabis to be retailed for adult-use. Licenses were previously available only to applicants operating in the medical marijuana market, but that all changed this week.

Cannabis Business Licenses Open To All Applicants In Colorado

After six months of retail cannabis in Colorado, the state could expect to see an increase in “big money players” making their way into the market. The state has opened the gates a bit wider to allow those who have never operated a medical marijuana facility to apply for a cannabis business license.


It comes as a logical next step when you consider the vast positive impact marijuana legalization has had on the state. Colorado has seen a decrease in crime, state tax revenues are already in the millions, and jobs are being created. The tourism industry in Colorado has enjoyed a simultaneous boost in revenue, hitting an all time high of $4 billion.

“Running a marijuana business is much, much more difficult than it might initially appear.” – Mike Elliott


Due to this increase in business opportunities, many families and businesses have relocated to the Denver area, giving a great surge to the housing industry.

michael elliot

Considering all the zoning requirements that keep these establishments a certain distance from schools, etc., Colorado is running out of available space for adult-use marijuana businesses quicker than many people realize. That being said, there is uncertainty about who will actually apply for these licenses now that the floodgates are open.


“It’s tough to know how many people are really going to apply,” Mike Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group said. “Running a marijuana business is much, much more difficult than it might initially appear.”


An application checklist and the required application forms can be found here. These new licenses won’t go into effect until October 1st, and will require local approval.

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Let’s Come Out of the 4/20 Closet

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Every day a patient passes away who could have had a longer life with the aid of cannabis. Every day someone gets arrested for smoking a joint and spends time behind bars. And on that same day, someone in a different state alleviates their pain with cannabis on the comfort of their couch or local park lawn in peace.


State lines shouldn’t impact what is medicine or certain inalienable rights to freedom. So many people proudly display their cannabis culture daily and others hide in the shadows. Maybe you were arrested, maybe you’re paranoid, or maybe you’re just living in the wrong state.


4/20 is no stoner secret; it’s the one day a year where everyone thinks about marijuana,1ccddd17aecc3ea0a2df65187bed6636 and this year even Grandma.


Marijuana has been under attack in the USA for almost seventy years. Why is a plant that can more effectively treat cancer than any other option we have, against the law?


Marijuana should have never been persecuted and we can’t right that wrong with enough haste. Enough people have been wronged, enough lives lost, and enough money wasted. Now that the truth is being set free and we are on a steady slide into full legalization, the best thing to do is to talk about it. We have freedom of speech in this country for a reason; we need to use it!


California native and cannabis activist, Coral Reefer suggested in one of her Stoney Sunday webisodes we make 4/20 our “coming out” day. This would be a day that we as a “taboo community” come out of the closet, if you will. No one is telling you how to do it but the one thing we can all do is share our relationship with cannabis with others. Rather than take to the streets like a mob, introduce someone who doesn’t know about the benefits of cannabis to your world.


Warning SignThe hardest people for me to tell were my parents. They have both never smoked a day in their lives and it wasn’t an easy thing to explain. Months later, they saw first hand the way cannabis alleviates my pain from Late Stage Lyme Disease. They even had to help me medicate when the pain was so excruciating! Now they share my story with everyone they know to encourage more people to get passionate about cannabis legalization.


I’m pledging today, 4/20 will forever be the day we all talk to someone new in our lives about cannabis. Will you take the pledge with me?

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3 Ways You Can Support the Legalization Movement Today

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Comedian Daniel Tosh said it best in his crass stand-up style, “I think we should legalize marijuana in this country… so potheads have nothing to talk about ever again.” Marijuana and humor have a long-standing love affair, which makes it easy to forget that it’s a miracle plant with life-saving properties.


The War on Drugs and the revolt against it have one interesting connection: they have both lost the attention of the nation. States moving toward legalization are spinning in circles with California taking the lead for inconsistent laws, while law enforcement officials agree the system is riddled with chaos. From a pathetic lack of raid coverage in the news to the President’s inconsistent promises, one message rings loud and clear: the true medicinal power of cannabis is being snuffed out and buried. So how do were-ignite the blaze?


1. Learn. The most reliable resources are studies done by university research programs and connoisseurs of the industry. Being a part of puts you on the right track!


Modern science validates the efficacy of cannabis to treat multiple serious conditions,310770_534310036607083_994507433_n cancers, and diseases, with virtually no negative side effects. Yet, the Supreme Court has not reclassified Marijuana from its Schedule 1 status alongside heroine. Children, adults, and elderly alike are suffering, some dying needlessly every day, while a remedy is within reach. With so many other crucial issues demanding center stage, it’s painful for people to invest their energy unless directly affected. So how do we bring attention to the issue?


2. Share to anyone and everyone within earshot; friends, family, strangers at the grocery store. Get comfortable with the discussion. Explain the importance of this issue, and that lives are at stake!


The Chinese were the first to record Cannabis as a food, textile, and then medicine beginning in 6000 B.C., so it’s not exactly a new topic. If we can shed the stale stigma, just imagine what cannabis can accomplish with our assistance. With our support, the government will have no choice but to stop wasting 180k a day undermining state law but instead ensure success.


3. Act on your knowledge. Keep the conversation alive by contacting your senators and attending local protests. Hold the rest of the world accountable.


Learn, Share, Act


Inspire others to follow suit. Together, we can replicate the passion of the breast cancer campaign and the Livestrong movement! Together, WE CAN see medical marijuana become a healing, popular, and legal alternative drug.

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The Political Future of Cannabis

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With the upcoming 2012 election around the corner, deciding where your loyalties lie is of pressing concern. Our generation bears the responsibility for making sure that this medicine is still available legally for years to come. Our President has not kept the promise he made to leave the issues of cannabis to state and local government. He has unleashed what Rolling Stone termed a ‘War on Pot.’


On a late-night television interview with Jimmy Fallon… Obama laughed off a question about marijuana legalization. “We’re not going to be legalizing weed — or what — anytime soon,” the president said.


When questioned in Colorado, Mitt Romney said that he thinks “marijuana should be illegal in this country and that it is a gateway drug.” We, as voters, have no one in our corner. Those suffering from serious health complications use cannabis to sustain as close to normal lives as possible. They do not need the added stress of worrying about the political climate affecting their access to what, for them, is medicine.


The solution has and always will be in your hands. In 1996, California paved the way for the rest of the country to begin recognizing the need for compassion. This isn’t an issue of recreation but of saving lives and maintaining the highest quality of life available. In the last twenty years the medical cannabis industry has travelled light years, now catering to the needs of patients by providing entirely safe lab-tested consumption alternatives from pills to salves.


According to Rolling Stone, “Over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana.”


Read more:


Obama promised in 2008 that he would “respect state law.” Then in his Rolling Stone article, he clarified what he meant from the beginning, which was “I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.’” Then why was Oaksterdam University (the first official cannabis school in the US) raided April 3rd, 2012?


The only thing we can do to make a difference is to engage in our democratic way of life and speak out. We already started the movement; the hard part is done. We must proceed only supporting those who will protect our right to justice, liberty, and the pursuit of the best health we can possibly enjoy. We have a right to our access to medicine! Don’t compromise on yourself!

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