By Chris Butts
Early in the day at the Conference
Yesterday, on May 18th 2013, Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition held a first of its kind event. The North Alabama Marijuana Conference and Fundraiser in Huntsville, Alabama drew just under a hundred attendees throughout the day. Although we had hoped for a larger turnout it was a great day for the patients of Alabama and allowed AMMJC to begin funding preparations for a planned advertising campaign for the 2014 Legislative Session and November 2014 elections. Those of us on the AMMJC staff would like to sincerely thank everyone who made this event possible, starting with everyone who came out and payed the $10 admission and who purchased our merchandise. So many of you have been helping support this organization for two years now and we can’t thank you enough for helping us continue this fight. Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition doesn’t get any money from special interests or national organizations, it is and has always been, the people of Alabama who have funded AMMJC’s efforts. Again, we thank you!
We would also like to thank the Small Business owners who donated goods and services as sponsors for this event. It is so wonderful to see businesses taking an interest in what we are trying to accomplish
Our good friends at Still Smokin’
Still Smokin’ of Huntsville donated several door prizes and has always been a great friend to AMMJC . We can’t begin to tell you how appreciative we are for their help.
Execuplex Mini Storage of Huntsville is another business that has gone out of their way to help AMMJC and have allowed us to use properties under their management on more than one occasion. We would like to express our greatest gratitude to them for continueing to help AMMJC.
Our friends on Whitesburg Drive
We would like to thank the Owners of the Baskin Robbin’s location on Whitesburg Drive in Huntsville who have, on two occasions, provided ice cream for our events.
We want to express our thanks and appreciation to Tye-Dyes by Jim who came out and spent the entire day with us selling some of the best tye-dye work on the planet, only to give AMMJC a generous donation at the end of the day. Thank you Jim, we relish the thought of continueing a relationship with Tye-Dyes by Jim.
We want to express a huge thank you Elise from Alabama Dancing Bear for her generous door prize donations.
And last but certainly not least, we would like to thank “Sixth Sense” of Athens, Alabama for their door prize donation. They are a new, locally owned business and everyone in Limestone County should go patronize their store and thank them for supporting AMMJC and the patients of Alabama
We emplore all of AMMJC’s supporters to support the businesses that support you. Ask small businesses in your area about sponsoring an event like the one we just had in Huntsville. Let’s all work together to change marijuana policy in Alabama and protect the patients here who can benefit from the therapeutic use of marijuana.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the guest speakers and musical guests who donated their time to help make this event possible.
Alabama’s own, Steve Elliott
First a huge thank you to Alabama native Steve Elliott, author of “The Little Black Book of Marijuana” and owner/editor of Tokesignals.com. He made a whirlwind flight into Atlanta of all places and didn’t get to spend quite as much time in Alabama as we would have liked, but we appreciate him taking time out of his schedule to come across the country and help with this event.
We have much love and admiration for James Bell of the Ga Care Project for traveling 4 hours on his own dime to be a guest speaker. We can’t thank you enough James, anytime you or Georgia CARE need AMMJC just let us know.
Laura Lynn Hardy
We want to thank Dean Sines of Peachtree NORML for agreeing to be a guest speaker on short notice and sharing his knowledge of years of activism with everyone. Thank you also goes out to Kelly of Peachtree NORML for coming out taking lots and lots of pictures, and keeping Dean in under control for most of the time.
Thank you to the fun-loving guys from Acoustify fo taking a Saturday out of their lives to play for us.
We also want to thank Laura Lynn Hardy for closing out the show in grand fashion.
On a personal note, I (Chris Butts) would like to thank the Staff of AMMJC. Sharon White our Vice President has been a tireless worker since the I signed the Articles of Incorporation for AMMJC two years ago this June 3rd. Cristie Clark our Communications Director has been busting her rear end for well over a year for AMMJC, as has her husband Eric Clark our District 2 Coordinator. Joe Rogers our District 1 Coordinator has been with the AMMJC staff for almost a year. Jim Dement our Treasurer has been spending weekends pushing the AMMJC message for almost 2 years now. And finally my wife, who despite having an illness that can flare up at anytime (Lupus SLE) has been giving up most of her weekends for almost 2 years.
None of the AMMJC staff get payed for what they do, or the time and work they put into what this organization has accomplished over the past couple of years. The fact is, that on many occasions the AMMJC staff reach into their own pockets to pay operational costs to keep the organization afloat. I want to say, I love you guys and I can’t think of a better group of people to have leading the charge for medical marijuana in Alabama.
Mon, May 20 2013 » Chris' Blogs, Marijuana News » No Comments
The North Alabama Marijuana Conference and Fundraiser. A first of its kind event for the State of Alabama. Come and hang out for a while and meet. Alabama Native and the Author of “The little black book of marijuana” Steve Elliott. Listen to live music and help Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition step up it’s efforts to secure medical marijuana in Alabama.
Sun, May 5 2013 » Uncategorized » No Comments
By Chris Butts
It isn’t every day you read a headline like the one above regarding medical marijuana in our state. The medical marijuana conversation has however become noticeably more prevalent in recent legislative sessions. So many of you reading this have been instrumental in driving the shift we are seeing. Your emails, letters, phone calls and personal visits to your legislators have brought about interest in the legislature in factions where there previously was none. Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition would like to thank everyone for keeping the pressure on the Statehouse to make changes to protect the patients of Alabama who can benefit from the therapeutic use of marijuana. We would also remind everyone that hearing a little encouraging news doesn’t mean it is time to stop badgering our elected officials regarding medical marijuana. The old saying goes; “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”, we need to continue being that squeaky wheel.
Representative Patricia Todd is a champion in the legislature for the patients of Alabama
The encouraging news from the Statehouse is that Representative Patricia Todd, (D House District 54), has begun measures to form a commission consisting of members of the Alabama Legislature, law enforcement officials, the medical community and representatives of other state agencies to study “current medical research and current medical marijuana policies throughout the nation”. Reportedly the purpose of the commission will be to craft a piece of legislation that will protect patients, and that everyone feels comfortable with making law in Alabama.
At the moment only two members of the Alabama Legislature have been named as a member of the commission.
Representative K.L. Brown
Yesterday, April 30th, it was reported that Representative K.L. Brown, a Republican from Jacksonville and the original sponsor of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights Act said he would be honored to serve on the commission. In the 2012 Legislative Session Representative Brown asked Members of the House to help make the bill better rather than try to kill it. It appears as though some members were listening.
Representative Alan Farley
Today we recieved another announcement, that Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, Republican Alan Farley of McCalla, will also serve on the commission.
Representative Farley at the hearing on HB550 in the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on April 23rd 2013 spoke about retired law enforcement friends and how many of their views had changed regarding marijuana, specifically the medical use. As a 36 year law enforcement veteran, Representative Farley has certainly had the opportunity the see the failures in marijuana policy in the state. He should be prove to be a valuable member of the commission.
Representative Mickey Hammon
Another name mentioned, was Representative Mickey Hammon (R) of the 4th district (Limestone and Morgan) who serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. While Representative Hammon did say he would like to be informed of commission meetings so he could attend and participate when his schedule allowed, he did not want to be a member.
Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition has asked to have representation in the commission meetings as well as being involved in the commission member selection process. We will keep you up to date as things progress. In the meantime, now is the perfect opportunity to contact your legislator and ask them to keep up with this commission and keep you informed of their findings. If every legislator in Montgomery receives a few emails from people in their district asking them to offer their name to serve on the commission or keep track of the commission’s findings, this mission to protect the patients’ of Alabama will be a whole new ballgame.
Wed, May 1 2013 » Uncategorized » No Comments
On Saturday April 27th 2013 the Board of Directors of Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition held a Special Meeting. The meeting was held at the request of more than 51% of the Board and all Board members were present. The meeting was originally scheduled to address some concerns expressed by several members and staff regarding the intermingling of the Crumpton2014 campaign and AMMJC community outreach. There were also concerns expressed about the “Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition “ page sharing Crumpton 2014 items on Facebook. AMMJC has always strived to be non-partisan organization and there was a mutual feeling among the majority of the board that we weren’t sending that message. Other than a few personality conflicts that were to be addressed, that was pretty much describes the scope of the originally scheduled meeting. Because of Ron’s departure the meeting ended up with a totally agenda, more on that in a minute.
Since April 14th we have been inundated with emails and other messages asking why Ron Crumpton resigned and what had happened that led him to that decision. As a whole, the remaining Board of Directors of Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition have been pretty tight lipped about everything because we just don’t want to muddy the waters surrounding the medical marijuana movement in Alabama. Along with that, many of us (the remaining Board Members) consider Ron a friend and none of us are looking for any kind of character assassination against him. That said, the Board, including myself, believe that the people who have been supporting this organization for so long deserve an explanation. Everyone deserves to know what happened.
So, the answer to the big question of “what happened?” is Ron refused to attend the Board meeting and subsequently resigned. I don’t pretend to psychoanalyze anyone, but my thoughts are, that Ron felt as though he was being ganged up on by the Board. Of course that wasn’t the case, but he obviously did take it personally.
So there you have it, and that is all I have to say about it. It is sad, it was unexpected, but it does not detour us from our mission.
DJ Butts with one of our oldest supporters to date.
This Organization was created to keep the medical marijuana conversation going year round via community outreach and lobbying the legislature. We intend to continue doing just that. Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition has never been a one person show. It never will be. AMMJC is people from every corner of this state. AMMJC is the patients across Alabama who live in fear of obtaining and possessing the medicine that works for them. AMMJC is every Alabamian who believes patients should have the option of safe access to quality cannabis if their physician believes it will be beneficial to them. The bottom line is it is going to take all of us to make changes in Alabama, there is no silver bullet and there no hero is coming to save the day..
Back to the Board Meeting.
The Board made a few changes on the 27th to fill the Executive Director position. Please allow me to introduce your new Board of Directors. The following is an excerpt from the minutes of the special meeting:
RESOLVED, that the following persons are elected to the office set beside their respective names until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
• President/Executive Director- Chris Butts
• Vice President/Board Chair – Sharon White
• Secretary- Dora (DJ) Butts
• Treasurer- Jim Dement
• Communications Director- Cristie Clark
• Dist. 1 Coordinator- Joe Rogers
• Dist. 2 Coordinator- Eric Clark
The officers so elected, each being present, accepted his or her office(s).
All of these people have been donating their time, money and other resources to support AMMJC since coming on board. I am humbled to work with so many people who only have the agenda of furthering the Organization’s message. The patients of Alabama couldn’t have a better group of people taking the lead.
The meeting wasn’t all work, work, work. We also began putting together something special that will be coming up soon, we hope you’ll hang with us and be on the lookout for an announcement in the very near future. Additionally, the Board voted to begin interviewing for a few staff positions we feel are needed in the organization. Watch for those announcements as well.
I hope that this answers some of the question many of you have had, along with letting everyone know with certainty that Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition isn’t going anywhere.
Tue, April 30 2013 » Chris' Blogs » No Comments