Our Unity 2019 Speakers!

Diana Dodson, Florida Advocate

 

Diana Received a blood product in 1985 the contained HIV. In 1998 she developed AIDS. Diana was first recommended cannabis by her doctor in 1998 for the extreme nausea that came with taking her HIV medications. She later discovered that cannabis was mitigating the pain that came from neuropathy. In 2002 Diana participated in Dr. Abrams' Federally funded HIV neuropathic pain study, which concludes that cannabis works better than opiates for neuropathic pain.

 

Diana first became an activist for medical cannabis while caring for her brother who passed away in 1995 from AIDS. In 1999 she became a board member of the www.wamm.org . The Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz California. Diana was at the Wamm Garden the morning of the  DEA raid. She locked the gate on the DEA, and negotiated the release of Valerie and Mike Corral. Diana has spent uncounted hours sharing her story with law enforcement and legislators  advocating and educating about medical cannabis. Most recently Diana has worked in Florida to help pass amendment #2 that allows medical cannabis for patients in the state of Florida. The State Legislators have refused to follow the letter of the law and refused to allow smoking of cannabis. Diana is currently a plaintiff against the state of Florida for all patients to be allowed to smoke cannabis as the medication. 

Don Duncan, Board of Directors, Americans for Safe Access

 

Don Duncan has served on the Board of Directors since he co-founded American for Safe Access in 2002. As California Director, he is coordinating the grassroots and grasstops campaign to fully implement the states medical cannabis laws, respond to federal interference, and build a broader and more powerful coalition for medical cannabis in California. Mr. Duncan was instrumental in galvanizing grassroots resistance to federal raids and in seeding local self-regulatory alliances for medical cannabis providers statewide. He has worked closely with elected officials, law enforcement, collective operators, and community members in local implementation efforts in several California cities and counties, and is currently working with lawmakers in Sacramento to adopt legislation to expand rights for patients.  

Mr. Duncan co-founded one of the oldest and most reputable families of medical cannabis dispensing collectives in California, helping to open legal facilities in Berkeley, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles. He is a leading consultant in the field of medical cannabis and has been featured in major media coverage. 

Nic Easley, CEO, 3C Cannabis 

 

Nic Easley is the CEO of 3C and provides the leadership for the organization. Nic's experience includes over 15 years in the commercial cannabis industry. Nic holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology; he is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and is based in Denver, Colorado.

Kendra Fershee, 2018 Democratic Nominee, U.S. House West Virginia District 1


I am a working mom who has dedicated the majority of my professional life to public service. I am a law professor, a family law expert, and a mom of two kids. I’ve been married to Josh, the love of my life, for almost nineteen years, and together we’ve built a life in West Virginia for ourselves and our family. We live and work in Morgantown, our kids go to Monongalia County public schools, and we were so happy when our careers allowed us to choose to move to wild and wonderful West Virginia. And because we love it so much here, it’s hard to see West Virginia struggle so mightily. We work hard, love our family, and want the best for our gorgeous state. I know that people in the First District of West Virginia deserve better from their representative than they’re getting right now. So, I want to go to Washington, D.C. to shine a spotlight on this incredible place so that others can recognize it for the gem that it is and join us as we fight the unparalleled challenges destroying our people and our communities. In short, I want to fight for your freedom to stay in West Virginia.

Here’s a fundamental American truth: living free in a free country requires team effort. An individual’s success is often hard fought, but individuals cannot reach their full potential without a little help from their friends. West Virginians deeply value freedom, and we can achieve freedom if we work together to ensure stable employment, access to healthcare, and quality education for our fellow citizens. Unfortunately, right now, many of your legislators are the biggest obstacles to your success. They are not fighting for you or your community at the ground level. They are doubling down on a failed attempt to give money to the top 1% in the hopes that some of that will drip down to you, even though it never does. You deserve a teammate who fights with and for you, your kids, and your community.

I have a two-track plan for the West Virginia’s First District. First, we are trying to fight a war at home – with little help from Washington – to attack a drug addiction crisis that is devastating our state. This is not political rhetoric. No one is immune from this catastrophe because we are living in ground zero. We need resources – money for detox facilities, rehab centers, and law enforcement – and we needed the help yesterday. At the same time, we must build economic and individual stability by supporting and strengthening our communities and infrastructure. We must ensure that we all have access to quality health care, and we must improve our struggling schools. Make no mistake: this is a struggle for your freedom. People dying from drug addiction are not living free. People who can’t get jobs are not living free. People who can’t get healthy are not living free. People who can’t access the education they need are not living free.

My experiences as a teacher, lawyer, high-level administrator, public servant, and mom have honed my skills as a team player, leader, listener, counselor, negotiator, unifier, and communicator. I know I can work with others in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, to seek creative and innovative solutions to the challenges faced by both our state and our country. No idea is too bold or too small, and nothing is off the table. It’s time for real change in Washington. Who better to change things than a working mom who knows West Virginia families and wants the best for yours? I am ready to go to Washington to fight for your freedom to stay. Want to help me? Join Team Kendra, and let’s do this.

Dr. Meredith Fisher-Corn, Editor-in-Chief, TheAnswerPage.com

Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD is a board-certified physician specializing in anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine.  She received a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from Duke University School of Engineering and a Medical Degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Following an anesthesiology residency and fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, she was an attending anesthesiologist at Women and Infants Hospital, Brown University Medical School.  Since 2009, Dr. Fisher-Corn has served as Editor-in-Chief of TheAnswerPage.com.  In this role, she has overseen the creation of hundreds of continuing medical education courses in multiple areas of medicine, including Perioperative & Hospital Medicine, Palliative Care, Opioid Prescribing & Risk Management, Medical Marijuana and Medical Statistics. In addition, she has co-created the “New York State Practitioner Education-Medical Use of Marijuana Course,” “Florida Physicians Low-THC Cannabis Course,” “Florida Physician Cannabis Course,” “Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Required Course,” The Massachusetts Medical Society’s “Comprehensive Cannabis Curriculum” and a six-module opioid prescribing risk management course.  At the recommendation of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the content created by Dr. Fisher-Corn and TheAnswerPage is featured in Israel’s National Healthcare Provider Cannabis Program. 

In 2016, Meredith Fisher–Corn, MD was named “Medical Professional of the Year” by the Americans for Safe Access in Washington DC and in 2017 Meredith Fisher-Corn, MD along with Stephen B. Corn, MD were the 2017 co-recipients of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine’s “Special Award for Major Contributions to the Reintroduction of Cannabis as Medicine."  

Trish Flaster, Executive Director, Botanical Liaisons  


Trish Flaster, Executive Director of Botanical Liaisons, LLC, is a professionally trained ethnobotanist who has worked in the natural products industry since 1973. She has been a pioneer in implementing botanical standards and integrating cultural knowledge into dietary supplements and pharmaceutical research. Botanical Liaisons provides research, on all continents, product development from field to consumer, botanical references for researchers, government agencies, and manufacturers. 

Dr. Deb Kimless, Medical Director, ForwardGro

Debra Kimless, MD is the medical director for ForwardGro. She has spent the past three years to immersing herself in all aspects of medical cannabis, including scientific and medical applications for the treatment of patients. She has traveled the world studying under the most respected experts in cannabis medicine and science, most notably, in both the Netherlands and in Israel, two countries regarded as best practice models in the use of medical cannabis.

Kimless is widely regarded by her peers as one of the most experienced physicians specializing in the endocannabinoid system (“ECS”), micro dose, topical therapies, and how medical cannabis can be beneficial to help treat medical conditions as well as reduce or replace opioids for pain relief. She is frequently invited to speak at industry leading conferences and symposiums regarding the use of medical cannabis, and shares her knowledge by consulting with patients in legal states pro bono, to introduce cannabis as a medicinal option. She has first-hand experience in successfully aiding patients with various medical conditions. She helps patients tailor their treatment plans by using different methods of administration and cannabinoid ratios, which influence patient response.

Kimless’ passion for education extends to physicians, other health care workers, patients, and the general public where she gives lectures to help explain how medical cannabis can be used as an effective tool to regain and maintain health. She shares the knowledge she gains from patients with her peers in this country and around the globe.  In 2016, Kimless was invited to present at Harvard’s CannMed, Israel’s Cann10 conference, and at the prestigious Doherty Lab of the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases at Kings College, in London, England. Thus far in 2017, she has shared her expertise at Harvard’s CannMed and the United Patients Group Conference, and will presenting at the Cannabis Science Conference in August.

Kimless graduated magna cum laude from Muhlenberg College with a double major in natural sciences and biology where she was selected to be part of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She went on to medical school at Rutgers, and residency at Temple University Hospital. She is a boarded Anesthesiologist with a subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine. Kimless spent 15 years in private practice where she served on the executive board of one of the largest Anesthesiology groups in the country.

Dr. Pavel KubůChief Executive Officer, International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) 

2016_kubu_headshot.jpg

Pavel Kubů, MD is the expert in the medical informatics and addictology. 2001 graduated in general medicine with a focus on diseases prevention and public health at Charles University in Prague, 3rd Medical Faculty.

Between 2005 and 2015 was working for Intel Corporation as the Business Development Manager. He was leading projects of Intel World Ahead Program for Healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe and Education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In 2006 appointed as chairman of the Ethical Commission at the Czech National Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Abuse. This government agency is among others responsible for evaluation of ethical conditions and human rights compliance in all R&D project related to illegal drug use requesting public fundings.

Serves since 2007 as the board member of the Czech National Forum for eHealth, between 2012 and 2015 as the steering committee member of Czech Healthcare Forum and from 2013 as the board member of medical cannabis patient organization KOPAC. In March 2015 became founding member of International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition. He is primarily devoted to education of healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers and support of research and development of new treatment and preventive methods in these non profit NGOs.

Since 2011 leads medical strategy implementation at co-founded company Elon Medical devoted to R&D of wearable plastic electronics actually using printed light and smart nanotechnologies in new treatment methods for dermatology, neonatology, mental health oncology, ophthalmology and surgery.

December 2015 founded with colleagues International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute and become Chief Executive Officer of research and innovation hub focused on clinical knowledge, services and tools development for implementation in clinical practise of new treatment methods using whole-plant medical cannabis in combination with personalized medicine tools and integrated care methods.

Sarah Laucks, Director Education and Events, Abilities Expo

Sarah Galbraith Laucks is an education and event production specialist in the disability, health and wellness communities. She is a skilled developer of education programming for conferences, events and shows. She thrives on identifying attendee interests and needs, and crafting programs that fulfill those objectives. She is also a nationally recognized expert in the planning of meetings, conferences and events that are accessible for people with disabilities. Her professional experience is in the hotel, meeting, and marketing industries. She has worked extensively with VIP’s and speakers, managing details for the likes of actor Henry Winkler, figure skater Kurt Browning, Dr. Temple Grandin, and international bestselling author Rupert Isaacson. As a child her best friend was an adult with intellectual disabilities. That experience instilled in Sarah a love of diversity and respect for the abilities of all people. She has a Bachelors of Science in Education summa cum laude from Susquehanna University. She blogs about holistic wellness and children’s literature, and is an avid advocate for the importance of play in our lives. Her personal time is focused on her family and her passions – books, figure skating, and Lego’s.

Daylin Leach, Pennsylvania State Senator, Senatorial District 17


Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), a former attorney and professor, has been a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly since winning his seat in the House of Representatives in 2002. In 2008, he was elected Senator of the 17th District. He is currently the Minority Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Appropriations, Education, Environmental Resources and Energy, Labor and Industry, and State Government Committees.

Daylin is the Pennsylvania legislature’s leading voice on progressive issues. He has championed countless important causes, including marriage equality, repealing the Voter ID law, environmental stewardship, redistricting reform, and campaign finance reform. He has been recognized by advocacy organizations for his work on the environment, education, animal rights, and human rights. Many of his proposals have been enacted into law, including a ban on the shackling of pregnant prisoners, new efficiency standards for PA’s fleet of automobiles, and a protocol for medical marijuana use in the Commonwealth.

Daylin is a graduate of Temple University and the University of Houston Law Center. He serves on the boards of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and the Norristown Farm Park. He is also a member of the Lower Merion Conservancy and the Philadelphia World Affairs Council. He is married to Jennifer Anne Mirak, a psychologist, with whom he has two children, Brennan and Justin.

Chanda Macias, Owner and General Manager, National Holistic Healing Center Medical Marijuana Dispensary (NHHC)


Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Under her leadership, NHHC has earned $6.5M in annual revenues in 3 years with 98% retention, and adding 100+ new patients/month. Dr. Macias contributes growth to the market through education on ailment strain alignment, aligning a medical marijuana strain with a specific condition or ailment.

Dr. Macias serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on the growth of the industry in existing and emerging markets. She also educates through her outreach platform with Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 50,000+ people and potential patients. Dr. Macias is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health. Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the Advisory Board of Southern University, a state-funded university, which was granted a license to cultivate medical cannabis in Louisiana. 

Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and extensively studied cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, and evolved into developing a model to understand the mechanism of prostate cancer metastasizes to bone. She has several scientific publications to support the contribution to biomedical research.

As a Research Scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral diseases and possible treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Fortune 500 Company. She contributed to the launch of several billion-dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations, U.S. and Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization).

Dr. Macias was the Director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences at Howard University, where she was awarded over $10M in federally funded grants. Through the NIH-Minority Health International Research Training grant, Dr. Macias trained students including MD’s, PhD’s, and advanced undergraduates in biomedical research including infectious diseases in several global communities to address healthcare disparities.

Dr. Macias earned a MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management, and has demonstrated excellence in the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of the supply chain in the medical marijuana market.  She has created net value, built a competitive infrastructure, leveraged logistics, synchronized supply with demand, and measured performance in the industry. Dr. Macias’ education, experience and skill set have contributed greatly to the medical marijuana industry. She is dedicated to biomedical research, the personal and healthcare industries, and education which is clearly demonstrated.

Debby Miran, Former Commissioner, Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission

Former commissioner, Deborah Miran, was a member of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from 2013- 2016. While serving on the commission, she was also a member of the executive committee, policy, and research subcommittees, and was chair of the education subcommittee. She was responsible for developing education programs for doctors and patients, and was also an integral part of crafting the current regulations. Prior to the commission she was president and founder of Miran Consulting, Inc. There she advised both brand and generic drug makers on the FDA approval process. Ms. Miran was senior director of regulatory affairs for Alpharma, a generic drug manufacturer, where she directed the submission activities for new and abbreviated new drug applications to the FDA. She has spent over 30 years in the US pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Miran received her bachelor of science in chemistry from Iowa State University.

Daniel O'Donnell, New York State Assembly Member, District 69

Daniel O’Donnell, the first openly gay man elected to the New York State Assembly, has been a progressive voice advocating fair and sensible legislation since he was elected to represent the 69th District in 2002. His district includes Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side.

Born in Queens and raised with his four siblings in Commack, Long Island, O’Donnell put himself through college and law school, earning a B.A. in public affairs from George Washington University and a law degree from CUNY Law School. After seven years as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society, he opened his own public interest law firm on the Upper West Side. His community practice helped clients with tenant representation, as well as civil rights litigation ranging from employee discrimination to First Amendment rights.

During his tenure in the Assembly he has been the prime sponsor of several trailblazing bills, most notably the Marriage Equality Act, a bill O’Donnell led to passage in the Assembly five times before it was finally signed into law in June 2011. He was also the prime sponsor of New York’s anti-bullying legislation, the Dignity for All Students Act, which requires public schools in New York to combat bias-based bullying and harassment.

He currently serves as the Chair of the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee and the Chair of the Codes Subcommittee on Criminal Procedure. His other Standing Committee Assignments include: Codes; Education; Environmental Conservation; and Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.

He and his husband, John Banta, live in Morningside Heights.

Julie Prom, Director & Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Illinois Women in Cannabis 


Julie Prom has over 30 years of advocacy and education experience in the causes of child safety, medical cannabis, and Veterans issues. She is intimately familiar with PTSD and the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Julie has been a medical cannabis patient since the mid-80s to treat her PTSD and traumatic brain injury symptoms and chronic pain from multiple other injuries suffered in a car crash. Julie currently serves as a Director and the Veterans Outreach Coordinator for Illinois Women in Cannabis and the Illinois Liaison to Americans for Safe Access. Since 2013, Julie has assisted in writing multiple successful medical cannabis applications, standard operating procedures, and compliance documents for over twenty companies in six states. She has assisted opening dispensaries in New York and Illinois.  

Prior to her cannabis consulting work, Julie provided consulting services to many local, state, and national organizations including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Safety Council, DaimlerChrysler, Safe Ride News, Indiana University, and several child restraint manufacturers. She also spent eight years as Minnesota's Child Passenger Safety Program Administrator. There, she developed state and local programs, and wrote child passenger safety brochures and training manuals. 

Ezra Pryor, Heidolph North America Applied Market Specialist, Past-Chair and Founding Member of the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision of the ACS 


Ezra Pryor is an Applied Markets Specialist and Immediate Past Chair of the Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision of the American Chemical Society.  Ezra brings both his own experience and the wisdom of Heidolph to the table.  For over seven decades, Heidolph has developed a wealth of experience by working in highly regulated pharmaceutical labs, agriculture industry and academia.  The new Heidolph Botanical Extraction (HBX) business unit is focused on providing unique solutions that are both efficient and compliant with cannabis industry regulations. 

Dr. Jeffrey Raber, Founder, The Werc Shop


Dr. Jeffrey C. Raber received his B.S. in biochemistry from Lebanon Valley College, PA and subsequently a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California with an emphasis on developing new synthetic methodologies useful in pharmaceutical drug discovery and manufacturing. Dr. Raber studied botanical phylogenetic relationships based on the RuBisCO enzyme’s evolution while in college and was named to the USA Today 1997 All-USA College Academic Team for his research accomplishments in this area. While at USC he was awarded the Harold and Lillian Moulton Fellowship for his efforts on the construction of novel heterocycles and peptidomimetics utilizing a proprietary boron-based multicomponent condensation reaction. Since graduate school Dr. Raber has pursued various entrepreneurial endeavors highlighted by KinetiChem where he guides the development and commercialization of a novel continuous flow chemical reactor technology positioned at the forefront of what is called process intensification. Dr. Raber initially joined KinetiChem as the Chief Chemist and quickly became the Vice President and eventually the President and is currently on the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Raber has numerous peer-reviewed publications, including 5 on cannabis chemistry, he has given invited lectures around the world and is also an inventor of multiple patented technologies. Driven by a desire to make a positive contribution to society while creating American jobs Dr. Raber founded The Werc Shop in 2010, an independent laboratory focused on botanical analysis, product development and sustainability with an initial emphasis on serving the unmet public health and safety needs within the medical cannabis community. Dr. Raber’s detailed investigations into the chemistry of cannabis as a medicine have provided him with a unique perspective and knowledgebase useful in assisting state and local regulators in the construction and implementation of effective regulatory solutions for the safe and sustainable delivery of medical cannabis to qualified patients. Today The Werc Shop is widely recognized as a leading scientific pioneer and educator in medical cannabis that continues to further everyone’s understanding of the plant and its possible product developments. The Werc Shop being guided Dr. Raber is recognized as leading the way towards chemotype designations for strain identification and are creating standardized broad- profile based derivative products through utilization of their innovative solvent-free concentrate processing methods coupled to a novel terpene infusion methodology which allows for the creation of unique and effective cannabis products across many therapeutic categories.

 

Dr. Ethan Russo, Director of Research and Development, International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI)   


2016_russo_headshot.jpg

Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher. 

Previously, from 2015-2017, he was Medical Director of PHYTECS, a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system ("ECS"). From 2003-2014, he served as Senior Medical Advisor, medical monitor and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals for numerous Phase I-III clinical trials of Sativex® for alleviation of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid treatment and initial studies of Epidiolex® for intractable epilepsy.

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (Psychology), and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, before residencies in Pediatrics in Phoenix, Arizona and in Child and Adult Neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was a clinical neurologist in Missoula, Montana for 20 years.

He has held faculty appointments in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Montana, in Medicine at the University of Washington, and as visiting professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He is a former president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council. He is author/editor of seven books on cannabis and medicinal herbs, and has also published numerous book chapters, and over fifty articles in neurology, pain management, cannabis, and ethnobotany. He has consulted or lectured on these topics in 38 states and provinces and 33 countries

Tomas Sadilek, Director of Government Affairs, International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) 


Mr. Sadilek recently joined the ICCI in the position of Director of Government Affairs. He brings with him extensive experience from the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic in the field of Legal and Illegal Drugs: Represented the Czech Republic in the Horizontal Group on Drugs in Bruxelles; represented the Czech Republic in all drug related meetings in United Nations institutions (Vienna, New York); responsibility for the negotiations of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Outcome Document on behalf of the Czech Republic (held in Vienna from December 2015 – March 2016); represented the Czech Republic in meetings in EU area, Eastern Partnership countries area, occasionally the US; these are related to UN meetings, Council of the EU meetings, Council of Europe meetings.

 

Ellen Lenox Smith, Board Member and Co-Director for Cannabis Advocacy, U.S. Pain Foundation 

 


Ellen Lenox Smith has emerged as a leading voice for patients living with pain in Rhode Island. Mrs. Smith suffers from two rare conditions - Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and sarcoidosis. Both these conditions are presently not curable. She presently has endured twenty-three surgeries and countless visits to her doctors.   

Presently, she is a Rhode Island ambassador for both the US Pain Foundation and Arthritis Foundation, on the board of both the US Pain Foundation and the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC) as media coordinator, appointed by the governor to the ATEL Program, (Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Program), helps with media exposure for the six year old EDS RI Support group, bringing in speakers to educate the group and recently was selected to represent patients on the Oversight Panel in RI that will oversee the medical marijuana program. She is a staff writer for Pain News Network and speaks out to educate others about her condition and pain management. She is also an author of two books: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain-- And Have A Good Life Anyway and My Life as a Service Dog! Mrs. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Springfield College, and her previous position was teaching middle school social studies.

Christine Stenquist, President, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (TRUCE) 

2016_stenquist_headshot.jpg

Christine Stenquist is a brain tumor patient turned medical cannabis advocate. In 1996, she was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma and removal was attempted; 60% of the tumor remains and with it a host of complications. After a decade and a half of a house-bound and bedridden life she approached her doctor about medical cannabis. Finding cannabis to mitigate most of her symptoms she sought out how to gain access. Being a daughter of a narcotics officer she was faced with the dilemma, break the law or change the law. Utah had passed a highly restrictive CBD only law when She started Drug Policy Project of Utah, a nonprofit dedicated to policy to champion legal access to cannabis in the state of Utah. In 2015, she lobbied and testified in support of SB259 Medical Cannabis Act, which failed in the Senate by one vote. After this narrow loss, Christine’s passion was further ignited to see cannabis legislation passed within the State of Utah, and she was determined to make an even greater impact during the following legislative session. Realizing the need for patient lobbyists on Capitol hill, the citizen lobbyist group, TRUCE, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education, was formed to help raise awareness for the need of safe, legal access to cannabis. In the 2016 legislative session, Christine brought patient and caregivers from differing ideologies and conditions together to effectively lobby in support of SB 73, Medical Cannabis Act, outcome yet to be determined. Federal rescheduling of cannabis has also become an area of interest for Christine.

 


get updates