State of the States: What is Working for Patients: 17 years of experimentation implementing medical cannabis laws has shown that not all medical cannabis laws are working equally for those who the laws are designed to aide and passing laws on medical cannabis is only the first step in bringing safe and legal access for patients. Advocates from around the country will share their experiences and perspectives on various medical cannabis models including new challenges and trends.
Matthew Allen graduated in 2000 from Antioch College, and has worked as an organizer on a variety of social and political issues. As an undergraduate he completed internships at the Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness and Democracy North Carolina. In 2006 Matt began working on changing sentencing for low-level drug offenders in order to increase funding for substance abuse treatment services. He formed a coalition in support of diversion to treatment legislation that grew to include the National Alliance of Social Workers, Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Bar Association and trade groups representing over 80 substance abuse prevention providers. Over the past several years he has focused on medical marijuana reform and has encountered similar success in building a broad coalition of supporters. As Executive Director of Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, he has spent countless hours traveling around the state speaking with hundreds of patients suffering from serious conditions who could benefit from safe access to medical marijuana, and working with them to bring their stories forward. He is currently earning a graduate degree from Northeastern in Urban and Regional Studies.
Kari Boiter is ASA's 2013 Patient Advocate Award winner. She spent the last three years as Executive Legislative Assistant to a ranking budget chair in the Washington State House of Representatives, helping craft several legislative proposals on cannabis. In her free time, Kari founded Free Chris Williams, which is dedicated to an imprisoned medical marijuana provider who faced a 90-year mandatory minimum sentence after being convicted at his federal trial. Kari accepted a position with the November Coalition last fall and was recently elected President of the Cannabis Defense Coalition's Board of Directors.
Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob
Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob is also the founder and Executive Director of Peace in Medicine, a model medical cannabis dispensary with locations in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, California. He is also the Executive Director of SPARC, a dispensary in San Francisco.
A diligent community leader and visionary entrepreneur, Robert was named in the Top 40 Under Forty list by the North Bay Business Journal for his leadership and business acumen. He is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Sebastopol Rotary Club, and Sonoma County Democratic Party. Robert developed and lead non-profit organizations serving disenfranchised youth and patients, formed a chain of salons, and even ran a nationally recognized charter school. Before being elected to the Sebastopol City Council, Robert served as the Chair of the Sebastopol Planning Commission.
Robert also serves as the City Liaison to Cittaslow Sebastopol, a project-based organization keeping Sebastopol green, local, friendly and artistic. He is also a member of the City Budget Subcommittee, the Energy & Sustainable Practices Committee, the Sebastopol Disaster Council, and Business Outreach Committee Task Force. Robert also represents Sebastopol at the county level at the Sonoma County Mayors' and Councilmembers' Association and at the state level via the League of California Cities, where he serves on the Public Safety Policy Committee.
Joshua Kappel, Esq
Joshua Kappel, Esq., partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in May 2010. While in law school, Josh received both the Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship and the Public Interest Law Clerkship to work for Sensible Colorado. Josh also interned with the National ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. At Vicente Sederberg, Josh routinely provides advice to patients, caregivers, and businesses about medical marijuana, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. In addition to his work with Vicente Sederberg, Josh is currently the Associate Director of Sensible Colorado, advocating for medical marijuana patient rights. Josh has testified at numerous public hearings on issues related to medical marijuana, sat on many panels at various conferences, and routinely writes articles about a myriad of medical marijuana issues. Josh’s work has been highlighted in the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette,Westword, Kush Magazine, West Coast Leaf, and Colorado Springs Independent.
Tim Smale is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn, Maine amd is a results-driven leader with 30 years domestic and international experience with non-profit and for-profit organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies, including a leading medical cannabis consulting organization. Competitive swimming at the YMCA at an early age gave him a taste for accomplishing goals, including tying a national record at twelve years old and paying for his own college prep high school education. Tim earned a swimming scholarship to the University of Toledo and focused on starting a family, competitive swimming, and his career. He earned an MBA and rose to high levels of management at Dana Corp. and Pilkington plc, both multinational corporations. In 1998 Tim began his foray into the nonprofit world, was named CEO of a national non-profit organization, The Independent Glass Association. He introduced seven new programs and services, and managed national conventions. Tim was a driving force for helping small independently-owned glass shops compete against national chains and end unfair trade practices. Later he joined The Dwyer Group, a leading franchising company in seven different industries, serving as Director of Business Development and Franchise Systems Manager. Tim began suffering from migraine headaches as a teenager which quickly became frequent debilitating events. He tried the medicines his physicians prescribed but they all failed because of intolerable side effects or addictive tendencies. After more than twenty years of suffering, Tim tried cannabis as a medicine and found that it helped his pain and nausea tremendously and often times he could stop a serious migraine. Learning about its safe use for thousands of years to treat migraine and many other ailments, he was deeply disturbed that cannabis was made unlawful and desired to help others understand what he knew. Tim and his wife, Jenna, opened Remedy Compassion Center in 2011 to serve patients in Maine in a successful, highly regulated model program. Tim also serves on various American Herbal Products Association committees developing recommendations for regulators and actively supports ASA.
Eric E. Sterling, Esq.
Eric E. Sterling, Esq., has over 32 years of experience as a lawyer working on medical marijuana issues. Since 1989 he has been the President of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. Mr. Sterling was counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, (Rep. William J. Hughes (D-NJ), Chairman), he was responsible for drug enforcement, gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, terrorism, corrections, and military assistance to law enforcement, among many issues. He received a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College.