Posts Tagged ‘marijuana prohibition’


This is what it’s all about.

Welcome to the front lines of Cancer treatment.

I would like to introduce you to my little motivator, and real life hero.

Please meet Cash Michael Hyde.

Cashy was born June 21, 2008 to Mike and Kalli Hyde in Missoula Mt. He came into the world with an older brother, Colton.  Today, he is due to become a big brother in April.

The Hyde Family – Mike, Kalli, Colton and Cashy

Cashy is very lucky to be where he is at today. You see, at 22 months of age Cashy was diagnosed with a Stage IV PNET brain tumor on his optic nerve.

It was May 3, 2010. Cashy had been sick for a couple weeks, and his mother and father became very concerned. They had been told that Cashy simply had mononeucleosis, and that it would go away.

It didn’t go away. As a matter of fact, it had gotten worse. Cashy was sleeping 18 hours a day, vomiting morning and night, and his left eye had started drifting and drooping. It felt to his parents like he was dying in their arms.

On May 3 2010 the Hydes took their son in for a second opinion, and an MRI. The doctors at first thought they were over reacting but consented to the testing. Thank heavens Mike was so persistent. The Dr entered with the devastating news of the tumor that was 4.5 centimeters in diameter, located directly behind his eyes, and wrapped into his optic nerves. Cashy was immediately life flighted to Salt Lake City.

Not two days later, they performed surgery on this sweet boys brain. They could only get 10% of the tumor and Cashy was left blind and terrified for about 6-8 weeks after this surgery.

May 10, 2010 recovering from brain surgery

It took a few stitches to sew his lil noggin back together.

Cashy was started on chemotherapy.

During Cashy’s first round of chemotherapy, he had his first seizures from the meds. They lasted 10 hours, and damned near killed his parents to witness it.

This sweet little child was OD’d at one time on Fentanyl, in the hospital.

The drug cocktails they give these children for cancer treatment are unbelievable!

Cashy celebrated his 2nd birthday in the hospital, blind, but happy to be alive with his family.

Slowly, Cashy regained his vision.

After the third round of chemotherapy another MRI was conducted. They found Cashy’s tumor to be completely gone, with only some remnants of cancer cells left at the base of the skull where they had been eroding his skull.

Poor lil blind kid…..
June 2, 2010

On to the high dose chemotherapy with 3 stem cell transplants on August 18, 2010.

This is where things got really ugly.

This process takes three “rounds” of treatment. The first round, Cashy fared well. The second round is when there started to be problems. It started with a few up and downs, extreme nausea, vomiting, chills, peeling of skin and diaper area, leaving severe diaper rash.

This was too much for Mike. Mike had become a caregiver in Montana to help sick folks, and now his son needed him. He had witnessed the success in his clients.

How could he deny the same remedy to his precious son?

Please see the Virtual Tour here. You will completely understand when you see Cashy.

Mike had some cannabis oil made…..and Cashy has been on it ever since. They started Cashy on his oil in September of 2010.

Within hours, Cashy transformed with the cannabis oil’ on board. At this point in September, Cashy had not eaten in 40 days. He had suffered cardiac arrest, and a stroke. The pain and anti nausea meds had taken their toll on Cashy. Pharmaceutical drugs were killing him.

Within hours of administering the cannabis oil, Cashy improved. He started eating almost immediately, and was again able to sit up, laugh, and play. Mike had insisted to the doctors to stop the anti-nausea and pain meds. In October while waiting for his counts to rise from the damage the chemotherapy had done, Cash developed septic shock and was immediately admitted to the ICU where he suffered stroke, pulmonary hemmhorage, pulmonary hypertenision, and 4 episodes of cardaic arrest which required full CPR, and was placed on full life support. Doctors told the Hyde’s numerous times that they didn’t think cash would make it and gave them the option to remove the life support and let him go.

Cashy’s parents didn’t give up hope and continued on with the life support. After 7 weeks of Cashy being on life support they were able to remove him completely from it and only needed a little bit of oxygen. He was out of Hopsital on December 17th, right before Christmas where they got to spend the holiday with Mike’s loving and caring family until their return home 6 weeks later.

October 18, 2010
Happy Boy
Boy of Steel
Cashy’s a FIGHTER!

They returned home to Missoula on January 31, 2011 after 10 long months away. Cashy was excelling, and healthy and happy again.

On March 17, 2011 Cashy went to the Montana state capitol to meet Irvin Rosenfeld, and share his story with the politicians.

They displayed their Reggae Racers, IV poles attached to cars for kids in Cancer units. The family makes them and donates them to cancer hospitals for the children, so they can play, and have fun without wires and IV lines impeding their joy.

January 12, 2012

As Cashy charmed the politicians, they all smiled and laughed at the precious boy. Cashy was so charming and adorable!

Then, they went into session and pushed the green vote button to repeal medical cannabis in Montana, and voted to kill Cashy. The very same day they met him.

In April of 2011, Cash Michael Hyde was deemed cancer free. The boy of steel battled on.

April 6, 2011 Cancer FREE
Cancer Fears Me!

On July 1, 2011 Montana’s “blackmarket bill” aka “repeal in disguise” went into effect. SB 423 is very prohibitive.

In my opinion, no matter how you operate under SB423, you are a criminal.

To try to comply with the law, Mike Hyde cut down his garden of 16 strains and kept one. They never knew which plant had the cannabinoids that helped Cashy. They had dialed back his dosage. Cashy was cancer free.

It was a busy summer of advocacy for the Hydes, spreading the message of Cashy’s success, how the cannabis oil had helped this precious boy. Preaching a responsible message.

In October 2011, Cash went in for his routine every 3 month check up of brain and spine scans.

In July Cashy was still cancer free.

The family was devestated by the news that Cashys tumor had returned despite his energetic and playful ways, he displayed no signs of his cancer being back.

But it was back ,and the tumor was half as big as it was the first time at 2.5cm in the same place, wrapped around his optic nerves.

December 1, 2011 we find the young Hyde Family at Loma Linda Campus in California starting a serious series of chemotherapy. They are squashed into a Ronald McDonald house in a room with two twin beds, for 4 people. Keep in mind, Kalli is pregnant too. The family is undergoing serious, life-threatening treatment for Cashy through a second Christmas in a row.

Thank heavens they have the world-wide support system to keep them elevated through this time, and in good spirits. Shortly after arriving, they were blessed to be part of a fundraiser for Cashy in Beverly Hills. Tommy Chong even made an appearance.

The Hydes and Tommy Chong

Now….let’s talk about fundraisers. This is my opinion here, so please do not feel this is the Hyde’s opinion whatsoever. They were ever so grateful for the support.

The problem I have with the fundraisers is this, the benefactor walks away with very little after thousands are raised, and all the party costs eat up all the profits. Yay, we have a big party and raise awareness. Boo, the benefactor gets very little money in the end, and they are on the front lines fighting cancer. Fighting for their child’s life. Fighting to keep their family afloat, and happy and safe during such trying times.

I really hope folks think about this in the future, as fighting cancer is SO expensive! If you have a fundraiser for ANYBODY, get those expenses covered before you open the door. Sacrifice “Primo spot” for lower cost. When those parents are sitting next to a sick child receiving radiation, party location is the LAST of their worries. They still have all the regular costs of maintaining a home at home, as well as travel costs, and there is no magic money fairy there, handing over bills.

Shall we talk about medical bills?

Nah….I’m sure you get my drift.

Back to Cashy’s story……..

We were all transfixed, yet horrified to watch Cashy go through the next series of chemotherapy. Mike and Kalli kept everybody updated daily on Facebook, and eventually started Cashy’s Blog, as folks wanted to stay tuned, and follow the Boy of Steel’s progress.

Please join Team Cashy – http://www.cashhydefoundation.com

Cashy was undergoing full spinal and cranial radiation therapy. In the blog, you will be privy to all Cashy had to endure. They actually use a mask for what they had to do with Cash, and he had to be intubated and completely knocked out for the procedure each time, as it was done with him on his belly, lashed down to the table and secured so he could not wiggle and move. The radiation beams were very focused, and dialed in.

Radiation mask

Now, do you suppose ol Mike Hyde allowed those Doctors to give Cashy any of the anti-nausea cocktails or pain meds this round? He most certainly did not. Cashy Hyde went through SERIOUS full spinal and cranial radiation therapy with absolutely NONE of the pain meds, or anti-nausea cocktails. Only his cannabis oil, and a strict regemin developed by his Father.

June 2011 Cashy gets his oil

As other children lie suffering in their beds, Cashy got out of his every day, and left with his family on days he was checked out of hospital. The entire family came down with the flu in the end of it all, and cashy dropped a lot of weight.

As far as cancer treatment?

He ROCKED it!

Even with the flu and a very low white count, Cashy excelled compared to the other children. He could eat. He could play. He enjoyed his family and a much better quality of life.

These treatments could have left this child blind, or at the least brain damaged for the rest of his life. Myself and the Hydes believe the cannabis oil, with it’s neural protectant abilities, cancer fighting cannabinoids, and anti-bacterial aspects, saved Cashy.

We sincerely believe we will be changing how cancer is treated in America with Cashy’s story.

On December 29, 2011, the family celebrated with dinner at TGIFriday’s.

Celebrating tumor shrinkage 12-29-2011

Cashy’s tumor was shrinking, and the Boy of Steel was doing very well. The tumor had shrunk by over half, and the radiologists could see Cashy’s optic nerves on the MRI scans again. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was not suspected to be a freight train.

Have any of you ever been through radiation treatments? Ever had a close friend or family member go through it? It’s not pretty. Their skin is literally fried off of them in some instances by the radiation therapy.

So, how did Cashy do with burns? He had very slight burns, no more than a light sunburn actually. Why? Well, his parents, yet again, see the magic in the medicine. A local man in California had heard of their story, and brought them a hemp lotion for Cashy’s head. They applied it multiple times every day, Cash even asked for it. There was no severe peeling, and shedding of skin, as the hemp lotion handled the damage to the skin beautifully. There literally was none.

The radiologists reduced the beams, and dialed in smaller to focus tighter on the shrinking tumor.

The Hyde’s hunkered down, and made it through the holidays in a hospital, for the second year in a row.

So, where are the Hyde’s today? How is Cashy?

January 17, 2012 the Hyde Family completed Cashy’s last radiation treatment at Loma Linda, waited for Cashy to recover, and piled into their van to drive back to Montana.

I called Mike shortly after they got home, to welcome them back, and inquire about Cashy. I adore the little fighter man so much.

I was so pleased to hear Mike say “He’s a Rock Star Hiedi, eating like a horse and getting his weight back from the flu. He is doing very very well!”

I cried when we hung up the phone. It’s been a long two years, a long fight, and it ain’t over.

We still have a long way to go.

Cashy IS beating his cancer, and one day I will watch that boy play Griz football. I’ll fight to my dying day to see that.

Griz Nation Loves Cashy

I sincerely believe that.

That’s not the problem.

The problem is the laws, and the Federal Government. In Montana, we have a very prohibitive law now. The politicians didn’t even have the respect to call our new law medical. It’s “The Marijuana Act”, and it is SO prohibitive that I am of the opinion that anybody operating as patient or provider in Montana is at risk. No matter how one interprets the law, in one way or another, they are a criminal.

Period.

They even took away affirmative defense……we had 36 raids in 9 months. That’s roughly one per week. The media is not good to us either, and we never receive an iota of positive press.

That’s a daunting situation for a desperately ill young boy who relies on cannabis oil to survive his cancer.

That’s also why the entire issue of the next Montana Connect is dedicated to Cashy, and his cause. We will be focusing on the Plight of the Patient. Enlisting more Warriors in the ranks of Team Cashy.

We must protect this family, and share the news of the success. We must help other children, and give them support. We must preach a responsible message, and follow through.

Children’s lives depend on it. Children just like Cashy.

I swore two years ago I would be here in 20 years smacking politicians in the forehead with my magazines, and educating them.

I meant it folks. I hope you will join me in my smack-fest, because that’s ultimately what it is. We’re waking folks up to realities mainstream media never lets them see. We’re promoting it with a responsible message. One that respects the patient. The sickest of the patients deserve respect, and rely on it to save their lives. We’re reaching outside of our industry, outside of the choir.

What is more compelling than a child? A child who knows nothing of law, social stigma, or even medicine. He only knows he wants to live, and play with his brother, cars, and puppy dog. Love his parents, and relish their embrace and love.

Please respect the patient.

Lack of respect is what cost us our law in Montana, and threatens Cashy’s life daily.

Which team are you on?

Me?

Team Cashy…..until I die.

I hope you will join us in our fight.

Please folks, realize, every day, you are fighting cancer too. Your clients who walk in the door may never share with you why they are there, many do, but many do not.

It’s personal, and it’s very frightening.

You may have a Cashy walk in one day, or parents. Desperate, seeking help.

Please, help empower your patients today. Share Cashy’s story, and give everybody a little strength from the Boy of Steel.

Love you Cashy!!!

Please be sure to go on Facebook and Like the Cash Hyde Foundation page. Tune in for Cashy’s Cupids! A fundraiser in Missoula for the Foundation.

Subscribe and donate at http://www.cashhydefoundation.com

The Hyde’s head to Salt Lake next week for another MRI. We’ll see what that tumor is up to.

I bet it’s GONE…..or danged close.

Stay tuned and find out.

 

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?!?!

 

** Note from Hiedi

I re-blogged this from Colorado Connect – as Cashy’s story truly does belong in Montana – his home state. The Hydes today – June 21, 2012 – are doing very well – and this very day is Cashy’s birthday.

What are they doing? They are in California – donating a fleet of 20 Reggae Runners to children’s hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco.

What amazing, brave warriors they are. Each and every one of them I adore – and feel as close as family. No matter what hardships are thrown at them, they always face it with love, and laughter. Smiles, and hugs.

Stay positive folks, don’t let the negative eat you alive, because it will. Please Pay it Forward every day – even if it’s something as small as opening a door for someone.

You may make a difference in someone’s life with even the smallest gesture.

Cashy Crusaders are Everywhere! Think Cashy and DO GOOD DEEDS!

Also – if you can support the Cash Hyde Foundation – please do. Here’s how:

http://mtconnect.me/2012/03/19/you-want-to-save-the-children-start-here-start-now/

Become a Cashy Crusader today. It is SO worth it!


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.


MUST SEE viewing if you care about MT politics and medical cannabis.

Code of the West

Montana’s 2011 legislative session witnessed a backlash against the Treasure State’s medical marijuana program that still has patients and providers in legal limbo. Film director Rebecca Cohen was onhand with a production crew in tow to capture the action in Helena in the newly-released documentary Code of the West.
“I’m happy to deliver the film back to its home,” Cohen told a crowd of 150 or so at the Emerson Crawford Theatre in Bozeman on May 16. Code of the West chronicles the back-and -forth debate between pro-medical marijuana advocates and interests bent on seeing the repeal of what they interpreted as a loose law that essentially legalized the growing, selling and use of cannabis, to a point they insisted was far beyond that of helping sick Montanans.
A successful move by legislators to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law was vetoed by Governor Brian Schweitzer, but the law that the governor allowed to pass without his signature in the very waning hours of the legislative session, Senate Bill 423, was described by Cohen as “repeal in disguise.”
Parts of the new law were successfully blocked in court by medical marijuana advocates via an injunction issued last year by a district judge. Legal arguments concerning that injunction will commence in the Montana Supreme Court on May 30.
Federal authorities added yet another twist to the action during the session, executing 26 search warrants of Treasure State medical marijuana interests while repeal was being debated in the legislature, an action some people claim was not coincidental.
Code of the West follows one of the men caught up in the Federal raids, Tom Daubert, who worked with one of the state’s largest medical marijuana operations, Montana Cannabis, prior to the execution of the search warrants. Federal agents confiscated the marijuana and various other properties of those served in the warrant action, essentially putting Montana Cannabis and the other raided operations out of business.
Daubert is notable because he helped craft the initial Montana medical marijuana law in 2004 which voters approved by the largest margin of any state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, 62 percent.

The film also follows the activities of vetoed repeal bill sponsor Montana Speaker of the House Mike Milburn, and anti-medical marijuana lobbyist Cherrie Brady, whose stances during the session were unyielding.

“I can’t say I would change anything,” Milburn said during a showing of Code of the West in Helena on May 17. “What we set out to do, we did. I think we got a lot further than we ever thought we would.”

Also featured in the film were medical marijuana user and cancer patient Lori Burnam, who said she has now been forced back into using traditional pharmaceuticals instead of the cannabis that she insisted was managing her pain much more effectively and safely.

“It does seem there are changing social norms,” stated Cohen. “This film is an attempt at raising those questions. The way we talk about marijuana really matters…honest and thoughtful conversation is needed.”

After the film, some of that conversation took place onstage, as Cohen joined with other speakers for a panel discussion moderated by Yellowstone Public Radio’s George Cole (of YPR’s popular RealTime production), including retired Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell, Rep. Brady Wiseman (D-Bozeman), current Bozeman deputy mayor Jeff Krauss, who is also a member of the Montana Board of Regents, and Chris Lindsey of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association.

Photo: l to r: Chris Lindsey of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, retired Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell, Bozeman Deputy Mayor Jeff Krauss (also a member of the Montana Board of Regents), Rep. Brady Wiseman (D-Bozeman), filmmaker Rebecca Cohen, and panel Moderator George Cole of Yellowstone Public Radio’s RealTime show.

Like Tom Daubert, Lindsey is also a former Montana Cannabis employee caught up in the Federal action against the Treasure State’s medical marijuana industry, and said he is facing charges that could potentially add up to mandatory minimum sentences of 90 years behind bars.

“There are some fundamental liberties at stake here,” said Lindsey. “And the war on drugs has been a monumental failure…we need to change what’s going on…I hope Montana is at the forefront of change…I would hate to see Montana be the only state to go backwards.”

“Nobody can say with a straight face that the war on drugs is succeeding,” agreed Cashell. He said he believed that as far as the backlash on medical marijuana in Montana is concerned, “money and greed became the driving factor, though the intent of the law was good.”

Rep. Wiseman asserted that though efforts to regulate and reform the state’s medical marijuana industry, initiated by the industry itself, had begun in the 2009 legislative session, politics did the industry in.

“Republicans…refused to compromise [in the 2009 session],” said Wiseman. “That was the real beginning of the repeal effort, in my opinion.” But repeal did not happen in 2009, nor did regulation, and local communities were left to deal with the issue of how to regulate the medical marijuana business.

“We tried to do local zoning…we dealt in many ways with a regulatory framework,” said Krauss, describing Bozeman’s efforts at regulating the then-booming medical marijuana industry in the months prior to the 2011 legislative session. Krauss testified before the legislature regarding Bozeman’s approach, and some of that testimony is featured in the film.

“The legislature has the right to make or change law. I think it’s important to understand conversation is what will advance where we need to go (regarding medical marijuana in Montana),” said Krauss. Cashell agreed, but stressed that the “hard [political] lines need to come down.”

“Polarization has led to gridlock,” the retired sheriff said. “The venom in Helena these days is crippling us.” Rep. Wiseman, who is not seeking another term in the state house, said he was “not so optimistic” regarding the future of medical marijuana in Montana, and he reminded the crowd of a key factor regarding this and other political issues.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” said Wiseman. “The Obama Administration has betrayed progressives in every manner…I think [the Federal action on medical marijuana] is connected to the healthcare reform bill…my suspicious mind at work.”

All the panel members seemed skeptical of the Federal Government’s actions regarding medical marijuana across the nation in recent months. Krauss said he was “not ready to fire on Fort Sumter yet” regarding Federal action. He also said people should not “be so willing to have the government used to control, when you don’t want to be controlled.”

“It is a question of getting the facts straight,” Cohen stressed. “We need a media that is on guard.”

Medical marijuana patient Sarah Baugh of Helena, who testified during the 2011 session, uses medical cannabis to control her epilepsy. She said she was not impressed with the legislative process surrounding medical marijuana in Montana. Baugh appears in Code of the West addressing legislators at the podium during her testimony.

“We did quite a bit of filming with Rebecca that was not used,” said Baugh. “When we were interviewed by the crew, I told them the number one thing I had learned speaking to legislators on a one-to-one basis was that you have to hold on to your thoughts and feelings for a bit and let them talk about the issue, especially if they are opposed to medical marijuana. You must listen to and address their personal issues or you get nowhere fast. My impression of the session was a sad one. Our laws need to be based on fact, not on religious hysteria or personal opinions. I was horrified by how votes were traded and how often I was lied to directly by my Senators and Representatives. It felt corrupt, undemocratic, and wrong.”

Baugh had a more positive opinion of Code of the West, however.

“I thought that Code of the West did a fantastic job portraying both sides of the issue,” she said. “I felt that Rebecca did her utmost best as a documentary filmmaker to provide factual and concise evidence to back up the film. Medical Marijuana was a last-resort treatment for me to find health and save my life. I don’t want to see these blatant acts of prejudice and discrimination happen legally in Montana anymore. We are better than that; we must be better than that. We should not be judged unfairly for seeking healthier and better lives for ourselves.”

Pat Hill is a freelance writer and photographer from Bozeman, MT


And Cashy is WINNING!

WINNING!

Our Hyde family from Missoula Montana is currently in Salt Lake City, celebrating with an elated family at beloved Uncle Sam‘s Badda Bing.

How do I know this? I was there 3 months ago – when we got results on Cashy’s first scan since his second bout with his PNET brain tumor wrapped around his optic nerve in that precious little boy’s noggin.

I sobbed that day….3 months ago. I was SO relieved….so happy.

This time – I cried when we all saw Cashy being sedated. Poor little man has been through so much – he knew what was going on. He wasn’t too happy to be going to sleep – and held his breath in defiance. He eventually relented, and his little body went limp.

To see that happen to a three year old (soon to be FOUR!) is heart wrenching – but a fact of life for the Hyde’s. A fact of life for many families around the world, unfortunately. Every day around the world thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer. When you really go looking and examine the numbers, it is chilling.

Today – we got heartwarming news – Cashy’s 2nd MRI came back with negative results. To quote Kalli Hyde’s Facebook post “SO ive tried posting this now 3 times……The verdict is in…..Cashy is still cancer free, and there is no evidence of reoccuring tumor!!! Still waiting on thoracic spine report, but cervical and lumbar spine is all clear as well! Thank you God, and thank you everyone for the prayers and support, we would’nt be where we are today without you all cheering Cashy on! Cashy your a rockstar, your my little three foot tall hero!! :)” Kalli also updated their blog – be sure to read up HERE

Cashy is such a hero and inspiration to so many. People hear about and read the news of Cashy’s success and burst out in tears of happiness. It happens in every state, every time – all across the nation, and around the world.

Cashy is a Warrior – and he is beating the scourge……that scourge is cancer.

Support the Cash Hyde Foundation TODAY! Join the Cashy Militia!

http://mtconnect.me/2012/03/19/you-want-to-save-the-children-start-here-start-now/

Help save childrens lives!

To learn about what happened to Montana’s Medical Cannabis law – please be sure to catch this documentary made entirely through the session – detailing the saga of medical cannabis in Montana. Be sure to see Code of the West

Also – I ran across this today – and felt it was important enough to share here. The author is a seated Judge in Brooklyn New York, and a Pancreatic Cancer survivor of 3 years.

He is also a medical cannabis user.

A Judge’s Plea for Pot

By GUSTIN L. REICHBACH
Published: May 16, 2012

New York Times Opinion Pages

 THREE and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.
Kristian Hammerstad

My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, mycancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that takes three hours, I wear a pump that slowly injects more of the drugs over the next 48 hours.

Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Sixteen states already permit the legitimate clinical use of marijuana, including our neighbor New Jersey, and Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming No. 17. The New York State Legislature is now debating a bill to recognize marijuana as an effective and legitimate medicinal substance and establish a lawful framework for its use. The Assembly has passed such bills before, but they went nowhere in the State Senate. This year I hope that the outcome will be different. Cancer is a nonpartisan disease, so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to imagine that there are legislators whose families have not also been touched by this scourge. It is to help all who have been affected by cancer, and those who will come after, that I now speak.

Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue. But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight. It is another heartbreaking aporia in the world of cancer that the one drug that gives relief without deleterious side effects remains classified as a narcotic with no medicinal value.

Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.

Gustin L. Reichbach is a justice of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.


Montana Connect has been championing children since it’s inception.

Please meet the first child featured in Montana Connect.

Meet Joey, and his amazing mother Mieko Hester Perez.

The Unconditional Foundation for Autism

Joey and Mieko Jan 2012

It wasn’t always smiles when I met this family 2+ years ago. It was pretty dismal actually.

Joey was at least 50 pounds lighter than he is now, emaciated, and withdrawn into his lil autistic world. He had not been eating, and Mieko discovered Cannabis, and started her fight. Please be sure to visit the foundation website for the entire story.

Mieko was a very determined mother who had never had anything to do with Cannabis. EVER. She worked in the legal profession, her family had law enforcement ties.

Cannabis was Taboo.

When a child is on the verge of dying, parents will do ANYTHING to save their child. Mieko had found herself in this position, and Joey is alive today because of a Mother’s determination.

In turn, the immersion of Mieko into the California medical cannabis community had it’s own challenges. On top of a full time job and a kid with autism, Mieko had an infant and a teenager in the house. Challenges presented themselves daily, if not hourly on some days, and Mieko battled through.

It has been a LONG haul, and I must say, I am very privileged to have had the glimpse into Mieko’s life I have had. It has been a very rewarding experience, one to be cherished for a lifetime.

Watching Joey – MAN – what a miracle. Visit the foundation site – go see for yourself. That young man was on the brink of death……

Today? Joey has gained over 50 pounds and eats foods he never experienced before. He has come out of his autistic “world” and interacts – smiles – and plays with his siblings.

Mieko – she battles on, protecting her children, and advocating for others. Always helping, always supportive for the parents who reach out.

Some may not like her advice, but rest assured, she speaks from experience. She has seen it all, and survived.

Survived and fought so Joey can have LIFE.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Please keep up with her story here: Mieko’s blog – a Mother’s Tale of Advocacy

Make it a point to share her story, help her to empower more parents, and bring more autistic children LIFE

Show your support TODAY visit http://www.uf4a.org to get your bracelet!

Let’s Connect!

MTConnectMe@gmail.com

406-594-7932


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.


First – a message from Irvin Rosenfeld. To quote:

To all my friends in Montana:
Didn’t you learn anything from what just took place in your state?
70%-80% of the people in the United States are in favor of Medical use of Cannabis and you still almost lost your law.
40%-55% are in favor of legalization of Marijuana.
Protect what you already have.
Our president is changing his stance and not living up to what he promised. What happens if he loses in 2012 and we have a total backlash against all use of Cannabis, even medical?
I have been around this issue for 40 years. In my opinion, talk of legalization and support of the social culture is only going to keep hurting the Medical use as the country is starting to lean the other way. It is too easy for our opposition to hold up an ad telling people how to pass a piss test and say “This is what legalization causes.”
Decrim is one thing, trying to shove legalization in the face of our opposition without a decrim law makes no sense.
While legalization would allow all patients to have their medicine, as a nation we are not there yet, however
Patients are Out of Time.
signed,
Irvin Rosenfeld, the longest surviving Federal Cannabis Patient and an adopted Montanan.
The woodpecker to me is the legalization effort and “Culture Club” effect on the Medical Cannabis ship – and in my opinion it’s gonna SINK if it keeps up.
I have always agreed with Irvin on this view.
One thing folks seem to forget, as we get so casual in our Medical Cannabis,
THIS IS STILL A SCHEDULE I DRUG!
Until it is re-scheduled – we have NO business stumping for legalization. It’s just TOO much for the general population to absorb. Re-scheduling should be the focused effort – and decriminalization.
The Federal Government has reversed its stance. Barack Obama has backed up a step or TEN – and the idea of the Holder memo protection is hereby GONE.
Many of the previous Caregivers I have been in touch with will NOT re-register to become a Provider under the new law. I can’t really blame them for that…..as all of their information will be handed to law enforcement on October 1, 2011 under the new law. Unless we get all of our signatures of course. Until then – times are frightening. After the past legislative session it is QUITE apparent that law enforcement is NOT on our side.
Quite the opposite in my opinion. We are viewed as potheads and criminals.
So….as of July 1, 2011 – we have the Judges ruling – and the referendum is under way.
We also have a SERIOUS lack of providers – and 30,000 patients out there – with no provider to care for them.
I have come up with a solution to help folks – as I feel I am in a position to do it.
First – I have NEVER been a caregiver – EVER. I respect the HELL out of the brave souls and warriors – but it was never my place – not my niche in this industry.
I consider it my job to attempt to protect – and promote Caregivers. Right now – PROTECTION is the priority – and safe patient access.
I am also in a position NO OTHER magazine in Montana can be in. Not just a Trade publication – but my NOT caregiving makes me NO competition for ANY of you. The other 2 magazines in Montana are not only Culture magazines – but they are owned and/or managed by Caregivers.
Now – this is not said to imply any foul play – just the facts. They simply cannot offer what I am about to offer – as the Feds could come and get THEM at any time they saw fit. All of their records would be exposed to the Federal Govt if they came and got the other caregiver magazine owners.
As I have NEVER been a caregiver – there are no records to go after retroactively. They have NO reason to even come and get me. I own a MAGAZINE and I am a patient – and under the new law, as I have declared a provider – I don’t even grow.
Here is what Montana Connect can do for YOU Caregivers – to add an extra layer to attempt protect you from this heinous bill in heinous times.
I will offer this to my advertisers – an extra layer of protection for the same price. You can still post an ad – and promote yourselves (most likely sans garden names) and on said ad – will be a contact code for the patient to use. They will contact ME via cell or internet – and I can pre-qualify patients – and direct them to you folks. This gives you a buffer – and I can screen folks. If it’s a sketchy call or law enforcement – I can help weed them out – and attempt to PROTECT caregivers without any of you being under threat of the Feds finding locations and coming after folks. They have made their intent known.
Without the Caregivers (or Providers – under SB423) – the patients have nothing.
We must work to protect and help all.
If you have a better idea – fly it by me. Anything to help.
In addition – patients have responded very positively to Montana Connect – and have loved the content and educational aspect. Montana Connect will continue to ALWAYS have 60% content vs 40% advertising.  I will NEVER sacrifice that.
Another thing we are doing here is building a strong medical community – where we can share science and stories – conduct peer review. Bring credibility and Integrity to medical cannabis – it is desperately needed.
I wish I could tempt folks with deeply cut advertising rates for attending events, or sponsorship of a group, but I simply cannot. If I were to do that – Montana Connect would become all ads – and no content. I cannot do that with my publication – will NEVER do that. The ad rates are structured to support the content.
I’m here for you folks – and I believe you will see from my history that I have never wanted anything more than to help folks and promote this industry I love. I have paid dearly for that since legislative session started – as I gave up my garden to stay on the hill – and by the time we needed to print again – SB423 had essentially put the brakes on EVERYTHING.
So folks – I am asking for your support – and in turn – I will do anything and EVERYTHING to support and help all of you.
Patients – if you love Montana Connect – encourage others to read and subscribe. Give copies to your providers.
Providers – even if you don’t need new patients now – help provide a voice. Keep Montana Connect out there – and have a voice yourself! Ads don’t have to promote your business – you can state opinion too. Within reason of course – we can’t be libelous or anything…..
Another advantage Montana Connect has over all other publications is feedback, stories, and guidance from Irvin Rosenfeld, the longest surviving Federal Medical Cannabis Patient. Irvin has been involved in the movement for 40+ years – and has a wealth of knowledge to share. He also lends quite a bit of credibility to our cause.
NO other publications have that.
I look forward to your response to this – and hope to have an issue out mid-August. I have ALL of my livlihood tied into this magazine – and I am not financed by out of state money.
It’s me….and I am here to help you as much as I can – in any way I can.
You matter to me……and it’s much more than dollars and cents.
Let’s build this folks…….Mike and Cashy Hyde are on the cover of the next issue. Let’s get it OUT there!
Call me at 406-594-7932 for ad rates or e-mail me at montanaconnect@gmail.com
I look forward to hearing from you!
Walk PROUD Warriors!
Hiedi

Senator Essman

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me yesterday. We covered quite a bit of ground in 15 minutes.

As we spoke about – I promised to send an article regarding advertising and Federal ruling re: medical marijuana.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/rightsandfreedoms/a/mjadsupheld.htm

I also found more information regarding the constitutionality of the infringement upon patients rights in medical cannabis states by attempting to repeal medical cannabis laws and reduce safe access to patients:

http://www.totalinjury.com/news/articles/major-injury-news-events/medical-marijuana-movement-milestone.aspx

I sincerely hope you will take the time to read them.

Also – Senator – I have to bring one more story to light for you here – as it was the birthstone for my education in medical cannabis – and where I am grounded. It is a wonderful tale told by a Grand storyteller to the California Judges Association in 1995 at their annual conference.

If you take the time to read ANY story on any link I have presented here – this one would be the most important link to click:

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/whiteb1.htm

Please pay close attention to this section – as I feel we have repeated history…..

“The first group of states to have marijuana laws in that part of the century were Rocky Mountain and southwestern states. By that, I mean Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana. You didn’t have to go anywhere but to the legislative records to find out what had motivated those marijuana laws. The only thing you need to know to understand the early marijuana laws in the southwest and Rocky Mountain areas of this country is to know, that in the period just after 1914, into all of those areas was a substantial migration of Mexicans. They had come across the border in search of better economic conditions, they worked heavily as rural laborers, beet field workers, cotton pickers, things of that sort. And with them, they had brought marijuana.

Basically, none of the white people in these states knew anything about marijuana, and I make a distinction between white people and Mexicans to reflect a distinction that any
legislator in one of these states at the time would have made. And all you had to do to find out what motivated the marijuana laws in the Rocky mountain and southwestern
states was to go to the legislative records themselves. Probably the best single statement was the statement of a proponent of Texas first marijuana law. He said on the floor of the
Texas Senate, and I quote, “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff (referring to marijuana) is what makes them crazy.” Or, as the proponent of Montana’s first marijuana law said,
(and imagine this on the floor of the state legislature) and I quote, “Give one of these Mexican beet field workers a couple of puffs on a marijuana cigarette and he thinks he is in the bullring at Barcelona.”

Well, there it was, you didn’t have to look another foot as you went from state to state right on the floor of the state legislature. And so what was the genesis for the early state
marijuana laws in the Rocky Mountain and southwestern areas of this country? It wasn’t hostility to the drug, it was hostility to the newly arrived Mexican community that used it.”

During and post 62nd Legislative Session – I have to state here and now – especially after Representative Howard’s “scourge” statement: History has repeated itself – it’s just the “community” has changed.

The views are STILL the same…..

Here’s a refresher of Rep. Howard’s statement:

Feel free to visit my channel ANYTIME….I have over 500 videos from session.

My Senate example of Democratic Party standing up for my personal rights and freedom to treat myself:

Re: Howard and his “credentials” and medical cannabis being such a killer drug……answer me this please:

What about Irvin Rosenfeld? He has been smoking it for almost 40 years! That 58 year old man looks younger than BOTH you and I – and is probably healthier! Cannabis is all Irvin has used to manage his pain for over 18 years. AND – you and I have been paying for Cannabis at a FEDERAL level for 33 years now….the IND program has been in place THAT long.

http://www.mymedicinethebook.com

And regarding this past session and that particular video – I have another question I did not get to ask you on the phone. I will have you know Senator – I have been conservative ALL of my voting career. I began voting in Helena Montana when I turned 18 – my birthday usually falls on election day. My party and my values have been VERY IMPORTANT to me residing in Montana for 34 of my 44 years.

I was QUITE appalled to witness this session a complete reversal of party values on BOTH the House and Senate Floors……

I’ll just SHOW you:

Ellie Hill – VEHEMENTLY defending patients rights and freedoms. Personal liberties – and an INITIATIVE:

Mind you – she is a FRESHMAN! The Freshman Democrats KICKED the conservative parties butts this session – and defended our Constitution in a manner to be respected and honored. I was as horrified this session watching my OWN PARTY shat upon the Constitution as I was watching Jason Christ shat upon Montana’s Initiative, and abuse and extort it.

WHY did the Democrats – FRESHMAN no less – wipe the floor with my beloved party? WHY did this past session have a 15% approval rating? WHY did the Governor break LANDMARK records in vetoes this year? Are you folks SERIOUSLY proud of the work done with a 15% approval rating?!

If you had a staff member who made a 15% approval rating on a performance appraisal given by your company – would they still be employed?

I would really appreciate answers to these questions…….

I don’t imagine you got to watch a lot of testimony over Session – so I would like you to meet Daniel Decker. It was quite a challenge for him to make it that day to testify and wait so long in the halls. I hope you take the time to listen to him:

I heard about your meeting Wednesday, and I was sorry I missed it. Heard it was a humdinger.

I will be chasing down a copy of the video made there – and hosting it on my YouTube channel if they want me to – or I will help them host it – and go viral……heard it was a 3.5 stars out of 4 on the viewing “must see” scale.

I also owe you one more thank you Jeff…..bless your little heart.

Thanks for the TIP re: my magazine.

Over the next few weeks – Montana Connect will be metamorphosing…….

I won’t have to “walk around a corner” to conduct my business as you want the caregivers to do.

Montana Connect is now a Political publication – and I owe it all to you…..GREAT tip!

I can sell it STRAIGHT too – no bullshit games.

Figures……..a politician would suggest I walk funny……..and bend the law.

What in the hell does THAT say?

My first FEATURE story is in outline form – but I figured I should share it with you – as it features you….in a way.

It’s titled: “The Scarlet Letter”

and it’s image will be this

MAC's

Grown in your honor in your own District…….enjoy!

It’s a political LEGACY!

Nice talkin to you Jeff….

Hiedi Handford
Montana Connect Magazine
Bringing Integrity & Credibility to Montana’s Politics from here on out…..at least in MY magazine!

I edited and added this 2 hours later – when I saw it on Facebook. Whoever did it – if you want credit – speak up!

AWESOME! The “A” fits so……WELL!

Appropriate "A" placement!


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……..