There are so many people doing so much (with so little) that I want to ask forgiveness right now for those I do not mention. You are ALL appreciated beyond words and I am beginning to really believe this can happen. The planning meeting went great..the weather was awesome, and Liz Porter has sent a list of tasks from the meeting that will require great effort. Rest assured that we are all working hard for this to happen and YOUR effort is recognized and appreciated.
Also, thanks to bewell, we have an exploding money bomb. If you can help, this money will be used to help provide lunch for the lobbyist and legislators on the 12th. We had one $250 donation....hooray.
I HAVE IN MY HANDS A COPY OF THE NEW BILL; READY TO BE INTRODUCED AS SOON AS THE HOPPER OPENS ON JANUARY 30TH.
I went to the legislature on Thursday and met with Rep. Robert Brawley for about 45 minutes. He is impressed with the bill. His concern is that we keep our goal as medical use only..His words, "I could support a medical bill, but if it crosses the line into legalizing drugs, I'm out". I referred him to our front page and mission..."patients" network. He also wants the NC Medical Society on Board and the NC Nurses Ass. I will work on both of these but the medical society has not been forthcoming in the past. Hopefully, we can get other doctors to encourage them. If you see your doctor, ask him/her about cannabis..if it is positive, get in touch with me.
I then went to the Speaker Tillis' office. I met for a few minutes with Joe Nolan. He has kept his job as Director of Operations and that could be very helpful. Rep. Alexander sent a copy of the bill to him to review and I have asked him for a meeting on the 12th of February with the Speaker. In the meantime, I have asked him to see how vocal the speaker may be in encouraging this bill or encouraging other Republicans to join us. He mentioned that in his home state of Colorado, there were pot shops on every block; not a pretty sight. I reminded him that our intent is medical only.
He then mentioned something surprising. He asked if we intended to introduce in the Senate at the same time...which we had not planned. His statement that it is difficult to get a law in one year starting in only one house. This is a scramble, but I am rolling it around in my head. Anyone with ideas, call or posts on front page.
PLANNING Meeting UPDATE:
More specifics later but the general plan is to meet on the Mall area between the Legislative Building (LB) and the Legislative Office Building (LOB) around 9AM. If you google the state legislative complex, you will see these buildings on the corner of the mall. They are connected by a "cross walk". Pray for good weather..if it is bitter cold or raining, we will have volunteers to direct everyone inside the LB. It has four courts with room to gather.
Once you arrive at the Mall, volunteers will be available with directions to legislators offices. If your legislator has a four digit office number, he/she will be in the LB. If they have a three digit office no. the office will be in the LOB. The first no. in the LOB building is the floor no..ie 303 is on the third floor of LOB. Don't worry, we will have folks to direct you and if you have never done this, I or another nccpn member with experience will go with you to meet with your rep.
IMPORTANT, If you have not done so already, call or email your representative and ask for a meeting on Feb 12th. Also, ask for a meeting with you senator. The most important person to a legislator is his/her "constituent". Mine are Sen McLaurin and Rep Ken Goodman. I have requested meetings with both. If you need help, ask on the website.
When you request the meeting, tell them about the educational program we will present at 11 O'clock. Auditorium to be announced in next letter. Dr. Baiko will give a brief overview of his practice n Hawaii and answer questions anyone has. On the panel with him will be Ben Scales to answer any questions about the bill itself. Other programs will be scheduled also including one on the endocannabinoid system. An agenda will be available before the event with other educational information, including Michael Krawitz on the history of cannabis as medicine.
If anyone is very familiar with the legislative campus and would identify parking lots and directions to get to the mall, it would be helpful. We need volunteers with legislative experience to assist on the 12th.
We will (if donations permit) provide lunch for the legislators. Usually on the mall just outside the crossover walk between the buildings. Some who are reluctant to be seen in the auditorium will stop and share a sandwich so be prepared to help with lunch.
Dr. Baiko spent several hours reviewing the bill. He stated that it is one of the best he has seen. Many of the loopholes that have caused problems with other states have been addressed by Ben already. Lets get to work and make his efforts worthwhile.
Look for more detailed information about the event on the 12th later. Anyone with ideas or comments, PLEASE post as a comment to front page.