Archive for the ‘Personal Reflections’ Category


This has been one of my hardest posts to write – ever – in my entire life.

It has taken quite a few days to get it together and a constant supply of Kleenex.

Yes folks – Cashy has passed on.

Believe Timeline

It was very sudden. The Hyde family was not expecting Cash to pass away. Not like this – and not so suddenly. Not ever. There was no “plan z” for a funeral.

It was November 14, 2012. I had just stopped to see the Hyde family on November 7, on my way out of state to Florida. Whenever I am in and out of Montana – the Hyde family is always my first and last stop. When I arrived back in state – Cashy was his rambunctious self – arguing with his Mama about who got to do what with him, and lively as ever. Loving his baby sister – and hassling Colty to play with him.

Always refreshing – even if he was cantankerous! That meant he was alive!

Colty met me as I parked. Colton is Cashy’s big brother – and I adore the young man. At 8 years of age – more wisdom can be seen in his dark brown eyes than many adults can fathom. He has been through and learned so much in the past three years, fighting cancer with his family.

badass colty

Colton Hyde is a Warrior in his own right.

He always greets me with a smile, and a hug when I can catch him. 😉 I adore Colty, and he knows it. That little smartass is the one who dubbed me “Hiedi Handfull” and left me speechless when he did it! Few adults can render me speechless, nonetheless a mere child?

I love you Colton! Ya twerp!

As I got out of the vehicle and went in to the house, I never dreamt it would be the last time I saw the Hyde family as a family of 5.

Not for a minute.

Cashy was sleeping that day – charging his batteries up for “Wet Wednesday” – every Wednesday the family and friends get together and go swimming in Missoula, or wherever they are. Not just 2 or 3 – but  the whole HERD. It’s a riot!

I never pushed in on Cashy – ever. I always figured he had so much intrusion in his life from all his hospital time, he didn’t need one more person pushing in on him. I let Cashy allow me on his terms, not mine. Let the lil man sleep for lands sake so he can have some fun. Kiss him for me. Give the lil stinker a squeeze.

The Hydes were the Hydes – vibrant and busy – caring and loving. Catherine Joy BEAMED her precious smile at me and I kissed her cheeks. Joy really fits in her name, as she brings so much joy to all who meet her. Precious baby girl she is!

Cashy and Catherine

Cashy and baby sis Catherine – he loved being a BIG brother

There is always family and friends at the House of Hyde. A blurring cacaphony of them at times. Laughter and happiness are more often than not the theme of the day.

Cashy, Kalli, Colton, and Mike Hyde

Cashy, Kalli, Colton, and Mike Hyde

One Love

One Heart

Yes…..they really do live it. It is wonderful, warming, and has changed my life for the better. When I ever get down and out….I remember the Hydes and embrace fond memories of roadtrips and the Bada Bing. One Love!

Fast forward one week. I am in Fort Lauderdale with Irvin Rosenfeld. I had seen the posting earlier from Kalli about Cashy not feeling well. I had seen the post of him failing.

I immediately got in contact with the family and was told Cashy had really headed downhill, and his respiration was failing. Cashy wasn’t looking good, and this was probably going to be “it”.

I asked Mike to please kiss his sweet cheeks for me. I was distraught being so far away, and only a week gone, to have this happen now. If I could have been within 1,000 miles of the Hyde’s, I would have been on my way there immediately.

As it was  I was too far away to even dream of getting there.

Irvin was so good to me, so supportive. I had pulled up Playing for Change’s version of “One Love” on my smartphone – and we were watching it when I got the text…..”Cashy has passed”.

There are no words for that moment.

Only tears.

Instant heartbreak.

Irvin and I had just been discussing how Cashy was known worldwide, how far his story had gone, how many people he affected in so many ways. Cashy’s story touched people on a level of compassion never seen before. Grown men cried in front of me when I told Cashy’s story and shared photos and videos.

Playing for Change’s version embodied Cashy for me, as it was the work of so many on a worldwide level. Many many people had worked so very hard to bring it all together. It was such a beautiful work.

Cashy accomplished the same thing. Cashy affected the world – his story has been viewed and read far and wide. At least a hundred countries just by my blog stats. Parents have been inspired, and saved their own children, thanks to Cashy and his message of hope.

The world grieves for Cash…..one very small sweet little boy with a brain tumor. He has touched and affected so many.

Those brown eyes…..exposing a soul so very much older than the vessel containing it.

Hyde 2011 (10)

One small child, with such a huge message and story. Not anecdotal. Not supposition.

Only proof.

GONE! Cancer Free! Official report dated 5/16/2012. This WAS a Stage IV PNET brain tumor on Cashy's optic nerve. How many children must die? WHY?!?!

GONE! Cancer Free! Official report dated 5/16/2012. This WAS a Stage IV PNET brain tumor on Cashy’s optic nerve. How many children must die? WHY?!?!

And with his death, proof that lack of access to medical cannabis kills people.

Yet again.

We can never forget folks like Robin Prosser, Scott Day, and Travis Michalski. Montana has had a history of serious issues with access, actually a lack of access to medical cannabis.

When will politicians quit killing Montanans?

SB423 was implemented in July of 2011. Even before implementation, a law suit was filed to stop it, and enjoin at least the most vicious parts and hold them back with a restraining order.

In July of 2011 Cashy was declared cancer free. He was again cancer free as recent as May of this year.

Rewind and go back to July of 2011. The Hydes cut down their garden, to remain within the new boundaries of the law. They had 16 strains. They had never determined exactly which one worked for Cashy. Heck – Cash was cancer free….we were home free right?

Not hardly…..

Mike had volunteered to take Cashy out in Montana to help with Initiative Referendum 124. To help educate Montanans. To help save not only his son, but other Montanans. He would take him down mainstreet in every town in Montana if he could get there.

It was that important to him. He was fighting to save his son’s life, as well as the lives of many other Montanans.

It was imperative we stop this evil and completely unconstitutional law.

Unfortunately, pediatric application is frightening to folks. Even “industry folks” in Montana……”our camp”.

The Initiative Referendum struggled forward, and the Hydes focused their energies into fighting cancer nationally after being rejected in their own state.

I still to this day cannot tell you why Montana folks didn’t take Mike Hyde up on his offer. Cashy’s message could have killed that law right out of the gate in my opinion.

Montanans are compassionate folks, and they don’t take kindly to hurting folks.

I stated then “A child shall lead them”……and it fell on deaf ears.

Hundreds of folks turned out for Cashy’s funeral November 19 in Missoula. KPAX TV was there and followed the event and the police procession through Missoula from the church to the funeral home. There were two funerals for Cash – one in Montana and one in Salt Lake City. Cashy was buried on Mount Calvary in Salt Lake City in the family plot on November 24.

My point here is….the VERY people Initiative 148 was developed and voted in by Montana voters in 2004 with more than 62% of the vote in support are who is affected directly by SB423.

The sickest of the sick. The cancer patients. The children.

SB423 is designed to repeal and destroy an industry. To reduce patient numbers to <2,000 in Montana – the Legislature’s “magic number” they desire to see in the registry.

There are more cancer patients in 3 counties than the magic number desired by the 62nd Legislature!

With the current law as it is – access for cancer patients is near non-existent. Does the Legislative body have a magic wand where they can determine there will only ever be 2,000 cancer patients in Montana? Especially after incidents like Libby and the vermiculite issues? Cancer in Libby alone is off the charts statistically.

Ever since this law – SB423 – was enacted – it has done nothing but hurt people. It hurts patients. It hurts Montana.

SB423 killed Cashy

The Hyde’s had to fight tooth and nail for access to life saving oil when his cancer came back last year after the law changed. It wasn’t easy – it was a CONSTANT battle to get the right oil – and even to find the CBD plants needed to make the right oil for Cashy.

Lab testing? Wiped out by the last session. There are absolutely no parameters for lab testing under SB423.

Dr referral? IMPOSSIBLE – or nearly impossible for a child with cancer. Children with cancer in Montana need two dr referrals to be carded in Montana at this time. If their parents are professionals who may owe on a student loan, do not even consider it. Any Federal debt is a dis-qualifier to be a caregiver for your very own child.

The law is even designed to ensure low plant volume – and immature medicine. It takes 2 pounds of plant material to make about a months supply of oil…….cancer patients will do nothing but die under this law.

We seriously need some change.

SO – what can you do to help?

First – please donate to the Cash Hyde Foundation.

CHF logo

The Hyde’s fully intend to carry on with the Foundation and fighting pediatric cancer. Folks want safer options for their children – and will go to lengths to get them. Cashy’s memory and legacy shall carry on with Reggae Runners and Reggae Rockers and Foundation events all across the country.The day after the Hyde’s buried Cashy in Salt Lake City – they went and donated 6 Reggae Runners to the Children’s hospital there in Salt Lake where they spent the first 10 months fighting cancer with Cashy.

The Hyde’s will never quit.

As you can see from this Huffpost Live story – pediatric application is really moving to the forefront rather quickly. Reggae Runners and the legacy of Cashy will help keep that momentum going forward.

In addition – a Gift Card has been established at the Good Food Store in Missoula Montana.The Hyde’s have spent the past 2 years of holidays in the hospital fighting cancer. Please help ensure they have a super nice Christmas dinner for their family.

Please dial 406-541-3663 and press 1 for customer service to get to a representative there who will collect your donation and apply the funds to the Cash Hyde Family Gift Card. They will keep a list of donors and we will be getting Thank You’s out to all.

Legislative Session starts January 7, 2012. Please be prepared in Montana for session. Soon, we will be introducing the Cash Hyde Memorial Medical Cannabis Act of Montana and lobbying for change in Montana – so we have access for all sick Montanans. We are collecting bill sponsors now, and it is going well. They know SB423 is a bad law.

Cashy’s Law will be so much better – and I truly hope you folks out there will assist in the fight to make it become a reality in Montana.

SO many Montanans rely on it.

We can memorialize this precious boy and gain proper access to safe medicine for all Montanans.

It’s long overdue.

For more information or to assist – please send an e-mail to MTConnectMe@gmail.com

Be well folks – and do good. The world needs to be a better place – and with your help – we can make it a better place.

One Love

alluneedislove

Please feel free to share this post far and wide and leave any comments below.

Thank you


Arguments over MT medical marijuana law underway | KPAX.com | Missoula, Montana.

I have been watching this closely today……woke up with it on my brain. Have been anticipating it for weeks, no, months – as many Montanans have been.

To quote Molloy ““Look at all of the things that people do in which they give of their time, their talents and their money to support issues & causes that they believe in. I reject the notion that people will not agree to serve as providers to provide for the compassionate use,” Montana Assistant Attorney General Jim Molloy said.”

He rejects the notion eh?

Look at our healthcare system already.  Right here in Montana – we have folks of all ages suffering to attain traditional health care. “Health”care where seniors spend money on pills and starve. Didn’t they just put out a study about hunger in Montana children?

WHERE are all those good folks Molloy references in THAT situation?

And he expects folks to possibly suffer Federal Prosecution for their acts of compassion?

That’s what they face. Montana politicians let Montanans down terribly this past session with the passage of SB423.

Well folks – I hereby reject the notion that our elected officials and Attorney General’s office have ANY CLUE what is going on with Montanans.

Steve Bullock – Jim Molloy – may you never have a family member stricken by cancer.

To all of you who live in reality…..VOTE THEM OUT – every one of them.

If ANY of you out there need help – please call me. 720-722-0501

Me and mine know what compassion is…..and we ACT.

The fight is ON.


Well….it has most certainly been an interesting journey over the summer.

Nothing like fighting to survive to get yer blood pumping. What a freakin roller coaster……

In April – when SB423 was birthed – folks on “our side” were pretty well whooped. and I mean WHOOPED. We had fought long and hard on Capitol hill. We had arrived in January – full of hope – with hat in hand begging for regulation.

Begging for a stop to the insanity – begging for help. Begging to be heard.

Well….that all fell on deaf ears now didn’t it? The session was out for repeal – and the evil Mike Milburn led the charge. I can call Milburn evil – because he is. I saw him on the Capitol lawn Monday, September 19, 2011. In an attempt to talk to him to even see if the man had “settled” (ol Mikey avoided me like the plague during session – and would get big eyes when he saw me – and scurry for his office).

Well….he hasn’t. He was all slick and smiley when I walked up to him – until he realized who I was and that I had a petition clipboard in my hand. Then – well – his demeanor changed completely. The slick smiley politician was GONE – and he was immediately stern and all twitchy again.

I almost thought he was going to get violent – his body language was so…..

His comment to me immediately was “You’re all just a bunch of potheads wanting to smoke dope” and off he stormed. I called after him “Educate yourself Mike – it’ll make you a better person”

At this point – I think you could dip that man in a vat of education and not one drop would absorb. He flat out does NOT care – never will.

So….that was his attitude all session, and still remains today. Point is – this man was Speaker of the House – leading the charge – and was put in this position.

We can NEVER let that happen again. Mike Milburn should NEVER be re-elected -and I hope the good folks in Cascade can find a good replacement to run against him. An educated, compassionate person – who will listen to the people.

Mike showed up at the Wheeler Conference on the 20th. I only saw him there briefly…..and he was gone, much to my relief. The Wheeler Conference was a place for open dialogue – and education. After I had spoke with some of the organizers and informed them of what had happened the day previously – they reassured me that would NOT happen at the conference.

I’d like to think they asked him to leave……as his attitude would not be conducive to the conversation.

Enough about that asshole – he doesn’t deserve the time of day – and I hope folks are smart enough to never GIVE him a vote again. If he runs un-opposed – vote for Snoopy. You can write Snoopy in…..and pretty much guarantee better results.

Alas….I digress.

In May – the Governor let us all down and did not veto SB423. I never trusted him to veto it. I had HOPE…..but didn’t think he would -and he didn’t.

We were railroaded from day one. EVERY regulation bill was shitcanned after the first reading. All the politicians were distracted by HB161 – and that push. A common excuse offered to us was “There’s nothing else on the table”.

Well of course there wasn’t – they had shitcanned it all.

In March – we had the raids. Raids timed exactly to coincide with a Senate hearing on repeal. I had Irvin Rosenfeld in state at the time – we were in Billings that day – March 14, 2011. On the 16th – we had Irvin and Mike Hyde at the Capitol to meet the politicians. Mike had brought his son Cashy, Montanas youngest medical cannabis patient – alive and cancer free today because of Cannabis. That sweet lil kid survived a stage IV brain tumor that was killing him at this time last year.

Meet Cashy here:

http://www.cashhydefoundation.com/cannabis.php

PLEASE support the Cash Hyde Foundation……they are saving children’s lives. Make it a point to meet Mike and Cashy – and if you are lucky enough to get to spend time with them – cherish every moment.

They are amazing people.

The ENTIRE tribe…..and I mean all of em. They are some of the most educated, compassionate folks you will ever have the privilege to know.

And when it comes to love……and family……they are an exemplary example of Montanans with a passion – and helping others.

So….Mike brought Cashy to the Capitol to meet the politicians, tell their story, and help educate with Irvin and I on March 16, 2011.

The politicians met the gorgeous baby boy with his skull scars still fresh and fully exposed. As Cashy played in our Great State Capitol and they all smiled and enjoyed the child – these very same politicians went in and pushed the green button on repeal – essentially saying “FU Cashy – go die”.

Nice folks huh? A two-year old child who survived a TERRIBLE brain cancer…..

FU Cashy – we’re going to repeal this – go die lil kid.

Well….as we all know – repeal failed – at least in HB161. Our mighty Governor vetoed that bastard. Probably the last instance of any intelligence regarding medical cannabis witnessed from that esteemed office, in my honest opinion.

That in turn really pissed off some politicians – so….they created the monster we have now – repeal in it’s own manner. SB423.

Medical Cannabis patients in Montana were pawns in a poker game……a losing hand. At this time I discovered that we were essentially the “new gay” in Montana…….

We’ll get back to that and its results.

By June – the petition to get IR-124 on the street was chugging through the process – and folks were getting cranked up about the lawsuit. The MTCIA had raised funds to hire Jim Goetz – and the fight was on.

The fight really WAS on too – even inner-industry. Certain folks had already undermined many areas of our industry by their actions – and now we had a whole new tribe of pissed off people trying to maintain crash control.

It was like watching a trainwreck…..no matter what you did to stop it – there wasn’t a chance. That train was hurtling off the top off Going to the Sun highway – and it had enough steam behind it – it probably coulda made the Canadian border before it landed.

Yikes…..painful. It had been a brutal session – and now our folks were eating themselves……

I got the hell out of Dodge in July……it was a needed mental break. I had went to Colorado with my daughter in June – spent three weeks working and played a little with my kid. But I was still immersed in the Cannabis industry – and the new pressures and problems facing my home state.

I do love Colorado – I was born in Weld County Hospital in Greeley. My family homesteaded Conifer – and the family farm is still in Milliken.

It was good to be home – but I truly felt I was losing my mind. No matter where I went – the patients had not been represented. It seemed ALL the new laws in states were designed to corral the “evil caregivers” who are actually some of the bravest, most compassionate caring folks a person could have honor to know. That was the key focus – corral the caregivers (Colorado) or just flat out run em out with a pitchfork (Montana).

It was maddening….because I KNOW these folks. I have met so many, and heard and witnessed so many stories. I know the TRUTH about these people – and how wonderful many are.

Don’t get me wrong….we have our bad guys too. EVERY industry does. But to categorize an entire population of people based on a few idiots and abusers….well….that just doesn’t sit so well with me. As a matter of fact – it makes me fighting mad.

I was fighting mad too……

I was mad at the politicians. I was mad at MY politicians! I was mad at our industry and the derision, the division, and the lack of unity and support. We had fought SO hard for SO long…..and everything was going to hell, or so it felt to me.

It was time for Hiedi to take a mental break…..and it was SORELY needed. I had been immersed in everything cannabis….it’s all I read – all I talked about. All I could DO was east, sleep, and dream cannabis – when I sleep. I don’t sleep much – haven’t since I got involved – and really got to know the patients and providers.

After learning all I have and meeting the folks I have – I cannot stop.

THAT is MY addiction to Cannabis……Advocacy.

It has cost me everything….almost. I have went in the hole financially to help others when nobody else would listen….because nobody else would listen. We’re all so busy – we forget about the human condition….we forget to listen…..

I guess that’s why I have my place in this industry. Loudmouth Redneck woman from Montana screaming for patients rights. I’m not going to give up either…we have built one hell of an army of Warriors. Giving up is not something I was never taught growing up – or ever taught my children.

When you want something – you go for it with all you’ve got. No 99% here…..Give er 200%!

On with the tale…….

When I was in Colorado in June – I was invited to be a paid speaker for an event in Florida. My flight was booked shortly after I returned to Montana in June…..

I was both anxious – and very excited to go to Florida. This Montana woman had never been further South than DalHart Texas – or further East than Greeley Colorado. The tropics? In JULY? Holy shit…..I was gonna melt and die. I’m a freakin snow bunny!

My flight was booked – and I got to go to Florida for 10 days. Amazingly, I did it on $8.

That’s a whole nother story…..

Then….dad had a stroke July 15.

My father is of significant importance in my life – as he has been my ONLY parent since 1972, when my mother so graciously decided to excuse herself from our lives via a couple bottles of valium 4 days before my 6th birthday.

Pop raised three of us, by himself in entirety, for the past 38+ years now….so he’s been a pretty big influence. HE is the man who walks on water in MY life.  Pops was both Mom and Dad…..and he taught us well. For such a quiet man…..he sure got a rabblerouser loudmouth for a daughter. 😉 Love ya Pops!

Anyway….dad lives in Helena, 60 miles away from me. On the 15th, when he had his stroke – we didn’t know if for a full day. My brother found him on the 16th. On the 15th, I had went to get my daughter from Camp Utmost, as she had been there all week. On the drive home…..I had the most desperate feeling come over me about 1:00 that afternoon. It was a black cloud of despair and anxiety – something I NEVER experience – and something I couldn’t shake. When we got home I tried to function – and just couldn’t. My mind was racing with anxiety and fear – then depression and sorrow. This went on all night – I woke up with it the next morning too.

About noon the next day – on the 16th – I got a call from my brother. He was with my dad – and the ambulance was there. He didn’t know what had happened – but they were guessing a stroke.

I have never experienced anything like the feeling I got with that call. All the feelings of anxiety and despair, sorrow and depression – well – it’s like they were a coat -and they fell off my shoulders – never to be felt again. In hindsight – I realize now I was tuned into my dad…..and from now on will always listen. Now I know…..

I immediately went into recovery mode. Re-assured my brother I was on my way – and spent the next two days in the hospital with my Father after a hurried drive over Fleisher Pass.

My beloved father had had a pretty serious right brain stroke. When my brother found him – he was alert and conscious – but could only speak gibberish. He had lain on the floor for almost a full 24 hours before anybody found him we determined. That was so painful to discover – but dad had been independent. For YEARS. He was still living in the house he raised us in. We had no warning signs – and after he had his stroke – he had no way to contact is from the floor.

We could have lost this precious man.

I’m not even going to think about what that would have done to me at that particular point in time.

As I spent time in the hospital with my father it was apparent he was still “in there”. His speech was coming back as he got fluids into him and recovered some – and he even had his sense of humor.

Thank GOD for that…..Pops has a wicked sense of humor – and when I saw it in the emergency room – fighting it’s way out – I know he still had his marbles. Pops brain had been horribly damaged and left him immobile on the left hand side – but my precious father was still “in there” mentally. If he could crack a joke in the ER – he was still with us.

2 months into stroke recovery – Pop is doing well. His speech is improving every day – and he gains more feeling in his left side extremities.  He can wiggle his fingers and toes on the left side now – and is gaining more feeling every day. It kills me to have him so far away…..but that just can’t be fixed right now. Where he’ll land post-rehab….nobody knows. We’ll get it figured out – and keep him happy and surrounded by love. Nobody deserves it more than my father.

By July 19…..I had packed for my trip – and I flew away with apprehension. Dad had just had a stroke – and I was about out of my mind mentally. Also – I had never gotten to visit my eldest in Florida, and she had lived there 5 years already. We had made plans and quite honestly…..I needed to get away from everything for a time.

I’m glad I went. It was a necessity. I needed to just walk the hell away from everything for a few days. Get away from Montana – Montana Politics – Cannabis – Industry – Advocacy. I needed a mental break…..a dis-connect for a time – so I could re-connect. Re-focus.

It was Florida….or the Funny Farm. I made the right choice I think…..

Florida was everything and more than I ever expected. The foliage fascinated me – and everywhere I stepped – lizards scooted across the ground. I was in a pool EVERY day – and I was outside every day. It felt good to swim and float….and I spent a lot of time doing just that. Floating….thinking….sorting out things in my mind.

Folks encouraged me to “Go see this…Go see that….” and all I could think was “Why?…..I’m still absorbing THIS”.

The mental break and disconnect was hugely needed…..and I cherish that time to this day. It was the best thing I could do for myself at that time.

Since I have been back – the batteries are recharged – and I’m re-focused. I know what we need to do – and what I have to do to survive – and I’m doing it. Launching Colorado Connect is a primary focus now – I have received SO much support – and it is so desperately needed. Montana Connect is still alive – and content is developed for the next issue. Still developing – and I intend to get one out no later than November…..it’s just a struggle in Montana after the new law and all.

Montana Connect will never die……ever. I intend to be here in another 20 years whacking politicians around with it then too….if they don’t ever get smartened up.

It’s time to end the ignorance and lies.

Hope to hear from you folks – and see some of you jump in the next issue. Your support is needed – and welcome.

Give me a call at 406-594-7932 or e-mail me at montanaconnect@gmail.com

Walk Proud Warriors!


I sincerely believe that. It sickens me every time I see a charge – and hear of one of my friends, fellow patients, or a provider out there anywhere getting raided or charged.

I may not know the specifics of each case, and actually each case I read, I have a critical eye to it – as the media is always looking for fanfare. Looking for a criminal to have guilty before they even get to court.

Personal suffering and tragedy sells newspapers now doesn’t it?

They simply don’t see the caregivers and growers as I do. I cannot put them in the criminal category because to me, they are a Farmer. They garden a plant. They suffer pests. They suffer crop failure. They suffer the same trials and tribulations the farmers we see every day in Montana do.

Big difference is in harvest. After a Montana Cannabis Farmer harvests their crop they get to see the up close, personal results of their work. They get to see how they help people. They get to see folks get better, function better, and free themselves from the chemicals.

They get to see folks get their lives back and thrive.

It is so VERY rewarding for folks.

That world is gone now in Montana. At least for the time being.

Personally, on July 1 when I woke up, I woke up in tears. Sobbing tears. Uncontrollable. Wrenching.

The wait was over – and our destiny was upon us. DOOM is a better word for how I felt that morning….

Montana medical cannabis patients and caregivers across the state woke that day to a virtual wasteland. A comparison I use frequently is this:

The innocent little bunny (Montana patients and caregivers) was nibbling some greens in the forest when WHAM – the nuclear bomb of SB423 hit. As the little bunny came to and looked around, the forest was gone. It was a wasteland. Life as the bunny knew it was upside down completely…..

The wasteland this little bunny saw that morning was horrifying.

Judge Reynolds ruling came late in the day on June 30 – almost 5pm. Little room left in the day to get interpretation done, and the news out. Caregivers across the state destroyed plants to attempt to stay in compliance. What defined compliance?

Over 30,000 Montana medical cannabis patients have no access to medical cannabis now. Not legally anyway. We were all forced to the black market on July 1, 2011. The relationships we had developed with people who genuinely cared for us was separated overnight – and folks were reeling. Still are. The paperwork is in action to get everybody tied up and linked again….connected. DPHHS was flooded with calls and questions.

The devastation this bunny saw was the Montana medical cannabis community – and across the wasteland lay the patients. Strewn about and lost.

Caregivers are strewn across that wasteland too. There are folks out there I know who put their entire life savings into their business. They took out mortgages on their homes. Gave it the 200% treatment to do the best for their clients. They had faith in Montana – and it’s people and beliefs. Proud Montanans were slaughtered that day….their livelihoods gone. The blood from the loss will be strewn for years I think.

With the new law – many folks are quitting. Patients are giving up cards and going back to the black market. Caregivers are quitting and looking for other options to survive. The threat of Federal intervention is just too much for some.

Who can blame them? Many of the folks are sick themselves. It’s safer to be a patient in today’s world in Montana – until we get our law back anyways……

We WILL get our law back folks.

When we do – we will have to remain low key – and remember we are under the Ogden memo now. We have to always remember they are MEMOS – and can be withdrawn….and that is exactly what happened to the Holder memo. GONE. Gone is the semblance of protection we all so foolishly counted on….relied on….for protection.

So much for that idea……

I also noted a shift in the environment when I got back. Something wasn’t quite right – there was a shift somewhere. I had been gone for three weeks in Colorado – working with Irvin Rosenfeld and launching Colorado Connect. I expected to be excited and relieved to get back to Montana. I wasn’t…..the tone had changed.

I had spoke with a leader of a group in the state this day – working on events. They had asked what Irv’s schedule was – and if he would be available for an event on the same day Irvin and I are both scheduled to speak in West Palm Beach FL. I told them No – Irvin was booked – but I had a better idea.

George McMahon is another of the Federal patients. A good ol boy from Iowa with a serious disorder, and a daughter with the exact same condition he has. A daughter who is a Montana resident – and has no access now. As she lives in Billings – she may not have access in the future. I gave the contact info – and hoped to see it transpire.

On Saturday – I got a message from George’s daughter. They had been contacted by the group and had started to make plans, but when George found out it was a legalization effort – he refused to come.

What in the HELL?!?!

When I left – we were all focused on a medical bill – when I came back – legalization was the slant?

That was a stunner…..especially after the last session. With what I had witnessed on the hill I just don’t understand how anybody in Montana would even DREAM of a politician in this state embracing a legalization bill. I was up there – I witnessed the prohibition. They slammed doors in the Federal Patients face. As a matter of fact – it was Chas Vincent – when we wanted to talk to him about SB423…the day before Irvin left in March.

Right here, right now, I am going to lie down my views on legalization vs decriminalization and I would HOPE folks would respond and comment. I know many of you may not agree with my views – and that’s ok. You are entitled to yours as well, whether I like them or not. Let’s just generate some dialogue….so we can have a better understanding.

I am a decriminalization girl. Now….don’t get me wrong. The day we ever free this wonderful plant and it is legal – that will incite the MOTHER of Snoopy dances in me – in a HUGE  garden of Cannabis. The injustices to Cannabis over the past 80+ years is a crime.

It is also a huge dilemma to be unraveled. We have to stop putting people in jail before we can just open the floodgates and turn everybody loose.

It makes me knot up and sick inside – knowing all the folks that are in prison over such a harmless plant. A victimless crime – cannabis. I believe that.

Here’s the big problem though.

Law enforcement and the prison system.

We have to decriminalize and stop putting people in prison. Slow down their money flow – change up the way they attain their funding – and for what. Right now – they are so hugely funded by drug war monies – no politician anywhere will ever embrace a legalization effort. It would be an opening of floodgates.  It would take the justice system out at the knees. It would be political suicide.

I mean think about it. How do you legalize a schedule I drug? How do you take that legalization and work it into your system as you know it? Believing we can legalize and just open the doors to our prisons and “turn em all loose” is a pipe dream.

There is no way we could leave them there if we legalized either. I couldn’t stand for it.

The folks would HAVE to be freed. Personally I dream of the day – but have to think logically here.

Reality is a bitch.

See the problem?

If we decriminalize….it slows the flow into the prison system.  Crime rates drop – which in turn forces law enforcement to seek alternate funding sources. If crime rates are up – they get more money.

I wish we could turn all the cannabis prisoners free with a legalization effort – but I just don’t see it happening. If somebody else has another idea or vision – please feel free to comment.

I look forward to a solution.


It has been a whirlwind of a book tour. Got it slapped together in just under two weeks……I was SO TIRED when we got back from Breckenridge last night I was fast asleep long before 9pm. OUT COLD from sheer exhaustion (and maybe some altitude sickness – Breckenridge is HIGH!) and a great week of work and meeting folks with my dear friend.

Irvin Rosenfeld and I have been touring the Colorado Cannabis Industry for the past week. It has been amazing.

We started in Denver on Monday. Now – I do have to say….it started out sideways. I had made arrangements with a rather large outfit to schedule two days in Denver. I’m not going to get into the ugly details – as we are on the road to redemption and I don’t like to get sideways with anyone. Let’s just say – BOTH days entrusted failed…..and I pulled it out myself.

So – as Monday was shot – Irv and I went to our appointment at Greenway University. We met with Tom and got to see Chloe…..and we booked an event – In FLORIDA.

I know….right?

So….it is a ticketed educational event scheduled for West Palm Beach Florida on July 23 and 24th. I will get more details as they come – but the REALLY cool part here is – I have MY first official speaking event! MINE! Yes – Irv will be speaking too – but I have my own time slot – my own message. I will go over that in another post soon….but I am thinking it will be about what NOT to do – and kickin the culture club to the curb.

Medical Cannabis needs a facelift!

I go back to Greenway Monday morning – so will have more details. I am SO PLEASED though – to be going to Florida to educate folks. I get to go to Florida!!! CRAP it’s gonna be HOT!

Let’s get on with the tour.

Tuesday, the 14th – Irv and I were scheduled for Colorado Springs. Now….I have fallen in love with Colorado Springs I have to tell you folks. Gorgeous place – and just flat out AWESOME folks! As we drove in I was in love with the layout of the town – and it’s charm. Garden of the Gods is on my list to take Gracie to see – and the Giraffe zoo.

As we drove looking for the first appointment we were pleased to find it VERY hard to find. Even with my droid navigator! We stopped at the natural food store (next door we were to discover) and I was amused to find the clerk had no clue a dispensary was in her area.

Well…..we went BACK to the place the navigator said it was and found cars had arrived – so we got out to look.

Their sign was 5″ x 5″ big on their door……black and white – no leaf – no fluff – no hype.

“SOCO mmj” was all it said.

We met Don & Elisa there – owners of the discreet shop. They had built their business on word of mouth – and generated a dedicated clientele. In getting to know Don & Elisa – it was quite apparent they TRULY love what they are doing – and helping folks. Elisa is retired from HP – a HUGE employer in Colorado. She took her entire 401K to build this business……and a year ago the Feds nailed her for cultivation.

This wonderful, caring, HARD WORKING and dedicated woman could stand to lose EVERYTHING. Her court date is in July……

I was horrified to hear the tale….not mine to tell as of yet. I would have to have Elisa’s blessings. I will tell you this though – she is in my prayers every day now. They had scheduled Irvin early in the day – because as soon as we left – they had to go to Denver to get all employees licensed under the new program. Elisa may not get licensed – and when I return to the Springs next week – I hope to learn she was – but don’t expect to. You see – her cultivation charge she’s up against prevents her access to her OWN BUSINESS as of July 1 in Colorado.

Makes me HOPPIN MAD! Especially knowing their dreams of owning a catamaran and sailing the ocean when they retire……as they should be able to do.

We all want the proverbial “American Dream” in our own vision…..don’t we? If we work hard and do good for others we should be able to get that dream right?

One would think so…..it USED to be how it was.

Apparently the Federal Govt has a different idea…..

Next stop on the tour was MMJ supply. This shop was in kind of a strip mall – but discreet, clean, and neat – with good folks behind the counter. MMJ supply has also been a HUGE supporter of their teenage patient Chaz and his father. “I am Bill Smith” was the campaign. Chaz is a very nice young man – with a SERIOUS condition – and Cannabis is the only thing that works for him.

MMJ Supply had been working with Organna Labs out of Denver – and had some SUPER neat stealth medication vaporization items. They have the new Vape Pen by Atomis(?) – they make them – and they feature a small pen like apparatus that is an electronic vaporizer. Cartridges are manufactured by the lab and contain a specially processed honey oil – thet is delivered in metered doses. There were anywhere from 50mg doses – to 200mg.  I didn’t get to ask a TON of questions – as we were only there an hour and I learned more about the pens the next day in Denver. I suspect MMJ supply stays very in tune to stealth medication efforts to help patients such as Chaz. I mean YIKES! The kid is VERY ill with a TERRIBLE disease – and all he wants to do is be able to go to school and be as “normal” as possible……..

As we left MMJ Supply – Tanya Garduno pulled up in her car. I had met her the previous Saturday at the Cannabis Expo in Colorado Springs they held – where Mike Hyde spoke.

Yes – the Hyde Tribe was in Colorado. I love those guys – and will drive anywhere to hug each and every one of them.

Anyways….Tanya Garduno is the President of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council (CSMCC) – and I am telling you folks – we need to CLONE HER and have one in EVERY TOWN. Amazing amazing woman – who has done GREAT proactive work in the Springs. Talking about Tanya and her accomplishments is a story for Colorado Connect.

Tanya let us know dinner at the Ritz was on for sure – and greeted us ever so warmly. We had a tight schedule and had to scurry on – but it was good to touch base at the beginning of a long day with a familiar face and voice.

Briargate Wellness Center – was a good stop again. Nice place and discreet – good folks. Love their logo – very classy – with no leaf – promoting health and wellness. Many folks in Colorado have cossed over into holistics and herbology – which is good to see. Chemicals are never good.

Strawberry Fields was next on the stop – a small house converted into a shop – cute and quaint. Met a super neat man there – a client of Strawberry Fields – who had his life changed by cannabis. I hope to have Bud’s patient story in Colorado Connect -as it is compelling – and he is a lifelong resident of the area. He is SO HAPPY and feeling better in his life now. Absolutely heartwarming to hear these stories. The staff at Strawberry Fields were exceptional – and they run a nice shop. We also met Jessica from Vibrant Health here. Jessica was a pleasure to spend time with and had quite a wealth of knowledge.

Our last stop was Provenance care – and we had a good time there. The owner and Irvin had a lot in common – and with two Erik’s – it was a challenge. Spunky, smart, educated staff – with a big hospital patient base – and a clean scene. Folks really striving to do what is best for their patients – and the industry.

Now…..I cannot say I liked one better than the other here – I am simply trying to detail out what I experienced through my eyes. Irvin and I were BOTH very impressed with all the places we went to this day – and Colorado Springs has a GREAT cannabis Community – who work together to protect their patients.

THAT to me is the best part…..the unity of their community and protecting patients. Each and every one brings their own “special touch” to the table – and it is valuable to the patients and their needs.

It was a great day -and I will get to the rest of them here directly……watch for Part II.


I watched a movie this morning……Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts.

It really hit home with me – as to parallels in my life, in its own way.

Here’s the storyline from IMDB.com

Liz Gilbert (Roberts) had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – a husband, a house, a successful career – yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wanted in life. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali

I will be newly divorced soon – and as far as a career – well – success is a definition yet to be fully defined in my life.

This movie hit home on an industry level for me too – as the title of this particular post should imply. As an industry in Montana – I truly feel we have been ruined. I have been suffering serious grief as of late at the loss of so much. The idea of losing the strains, the labs, the science. The idea of losing relief for SO MANY patients……and they blame it all on one – or a select few – yet punish ALL, rather than fix the problem. It just sickens me.

In my personal life – I am leaving a man I adore and love very much ~ for he has a mistress – and her name is Rainier. It has been a very difficult decision to make – as I knew when I met Bruce he liked his beer – but back in that day – I guess I still believed I could win over the beer.

15 years later – it is quite apparent I lost that battle. My highly intelligent, hard working man cannot give up his 12-18 ladies per night – and enters the complete stupid zone by 8pm every night. He busts his ass – and he works hard – but emotionally – he checks out.

I can’t play that game anymore…….my soul screams for it’s mate.

It’s not even a sex thing – that was great – and is what held us together all those years I believe. Sex only goes so far though – and if your mate cannot be present for you – appreciate you – hell just be THERE for you on a daily basis to face life’s challenges together……as a TEAM – well – then sex really doesn’t mean much anymore……

I listen to this every day – even though I’m the “leaver”…….I still have to get Stronger every day. I will always love Bruce:

The connection is gone though……has been for many years. Drowned in an ocean of beer. I hope this brings to light for folks my aversion to alcohol……

I need to connect on so many different levels in my life right now…..which is probably why this movie hit so close to home for me. Ruin IS the road to transformation – and I am learning that very difficult lesson in life right now – privately and publicly. In my home life – and with my magazine.

I’m wrapping my head around the utter destruction of an industry I LOVE. I saw so much good here – before the legislative session. I had so much HOPE. I REALLY had faith Montana would be able to make a difference. My GREAT STATE I grew up in – grew to love values of liberty and freedom and truly UNDERSTAND those values……

Now – I didn’t have blinders on. I KNOW we have “bad guys” out there dammit. Folks who have known me for any period of time know I have my “list” – and I have refused and not pursued certain folks inner-industry exactly for that reason. I had a feeling, or had observed behavior, that I was not comfortable with, and there was and still is no amount of money that will ever allow them to publish an ad in ANY of my publications. I could be bleeding on the side of the road gasping for air – and I would still VOID the check with a fat Sharpie before I would ever take blood money.

Yes….it’s THAT important to me, and I have stood by that premise from day 1.

So….where do I go from here? Good question. Montana Connect is flopping like a trout out of water in the Blackfoot River in November – and de-watering faster as every day goes by. This big ol Brown trout looks to the pools – and hopes for water – and re-birth. Another chance.

I knew a boy once who saved trout from de-watering in the Blackfoot – that kid caught and showed me some of the HUGEST brown trout I have ever laid eyes on. Well – in his 12th year growing up on this river – that young boy found the trout dying – and he called out. He called out to our community, and we all came runnin…..and we saved them all.

We lost Jack to a terrible accident at the young age of 20 just over 4 years ago – he grew up with my eldest daughter – and I will ALWAYS remember Jack Horner – and his love for the Blackfoot River, his Family, and his Community.

I wish we had more Jacks in this world…….he was an amazing young man with a HUGE heart – and I am so blessed to have the Trout memory – and every other memory.

Colorado looks to be my Jack Horner folks…….my savior – who will put me back in the deep water – and help me keep Montana Connect alive.

Alive to rebuild – and be reborn…….to protect and serve the patients and caregivers of Montana.

Also – a new chance for me – and my life. My families lives…….I raised my children to be LEADERS – can’t stop now can I?

WHAT would they think if their Momma just up and quit?

I’m not going to find out…….because I ain’t no quitter!

Going to join me? I’m MARCHING forward…….

Let’s Ride! Time to END the War on Cannabis.

This song is for ALL of you – please take the time to watch the video. The videos of activists shown throughout…..well…..we CAN change the world folks.

I intend to……..