Sunday, June 11, 2017

Secrecy, Stolen Voices & Community


Credit: Safe Access Now

There really seems to be a huge misunderstanding on what the LECUA, 2007 law is about and who this was create for.
“Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT.--The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”
This program was created for the people in the state suffering with the debilitating health conditions NOT for Producers and the Providers who only issue medical cannabis cards, or Ancillary Businesses or "advocacy" groups operating in a questionable manner in the community.  

We are a medical cannabis community and we must foster “Community”

So the NM Medical Cannabis Alliance formed in secrecy and did the same in advising and lobbying for legislation that affects all patients, who had no idea they were even doing so. What they have done as producers, providers and the very few patients - you have stolen the voice away from the medical patients in your own medical cannabis community!  And you’ve made it a pay to play game with legislators by hiring paid lobbyists. Game of Thrones is a TV show on HBO it has nothing to do with the medical cannabis program - so don’t make it a game of thrones in our program. OUR medical cannabis program is about no single one person, it’s not about competing to stamp your Name on something to say you did it, it is not about one group or one producer or one provider.

Once more, the vast majority of the over 40,000 participants in the medical cannabis program- also 40,000 registered voters, also 40,000 New Mexicans fighting debilitating health conditions with many just hoping to see the next day- once more we have had our voice taken away.  

The NM Medical Cannabis Alliance website event furthers this by using pre-written scripts for "what I should say or write" in contacting our lawmakers; telling patients what to say. That takes away the patient's voice, Americans for Safe Access also mentions this in the Medical Cannabis Advocates section of their website.
To hear Senator McSorley say he speaks for patients and patients told him they wanted this or that - such a misrepresentation of the patients voice...
And to have DPA there for every committee and see questions they could not provide answers for really hurt the overall cause: “Why should the Department of Health not have sole authority of the Medical Cannabis Program”, was asked in committee and DPA had no answer to that…
Inclusion would have provided better having three different patients being at each different committee hearing - that’s also a great example of the kind of feedback members of the medical cannabis community could have provided.
 Drug Policy Alliance was sitting in the seat that patients should have been sitting in during the legislative session.

Why Did The Medical Cannabis Alliance Form As They Did as Producers, Providers, and Patients?

It’s the same garbage we have seen as a patient community with other “Advocacy” groups forming in 2016.
That is the same exact kind of stuff the NMMCPA has done in trying to reorganize the last 1-2yrs with NM EMPACT - both under the same leadership. NM NORML did this too as they formed last year. The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Patients Alliance adds people to their board in secrecy and doesn’t even follow their own bylaws. Former board members who have left have alleged to community members about some serious questions regarding the groups funds and what happens to money in the non-profit. And in no way does the group provide any transparency about the NMMCPA groups fundraising and where money goes, currently or under the registered Director - Nicole Morales. If a group is honestly using funds, then they should have no reason to not be transparent in showing where those funds are spent.

When a group can not follow their own rules they created - they have failed.  To many claiming "advocacy" in these groups use exclusionary tactics in the medical cannabis community, all engaged in work that lacks in transparency, and it’s been the same people/patients involved in these few groups and that hasn’t changed in almost 3 years- with what results?
There are 40,000 plus other patients in OUR medical cannabis community who have a voice, thoughts, and ideas --- that all deserve to be heard. When a non-profit is used to get a finacial gain from the community as the Alliance President did in 2015/2016 and now does with NM Empact in promoting a family members business, thats a business not a community organization. Conflicts of Interest and wrong doing are a big issue here.

What about the other 40,000 plus in the MCP...

Many of the groups mentioned above, all participated in the Cannabis Awareness Day at the Roundhouse that was organized by NM EMPACT.  What was the EMPACT ? Well every medical cannabis bill stalled or died in committee with-in a week of the event.  I got a few calls about this event that day of the event and those lawmakers were less than impressed, just as the two members of the media that contacted me were...medicating in the parking lot of the state capitol building is not smart to do and reflects poorly on all of us.  When there is an event going on called “Cannabis Awareness Day” people are paying attention at the Statehouse that work there.  The email lawmakers forwarded to me about the event sent by Drug Policy Alliance, was sent 12 hrs before the event, and viewed as disrespectful on the short notice.  Nor was this event open to all community voices, most of the event’s participants were patients with business, producers who want to make money off of you. Myself and a couple of others in OUR community could have had an impact if we were there but we were not invited and given that chance...typical actions by Nicole Morales to divide the community for self-promotion. Even Kurple magazine said that was a mistake and bad move by NM Empact.

NM EMPACT are No different in their actions than what the new producer lead group just did to the community thru this Medical Cannabis Alliance that Minerva created. The President of the group formed by Minerva also said he talk to NM Empact before the legislative session in January, but NM Empact sure acted like they didn't know who that group was. Thats what happens with a lack of transparency.

Then there was the petitions provided to the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board in April, 2017. For NM Empact take work done for the community and pass this work of as there own doing and then to put a DPA weblink to try to fundraise of that work neither group had anything to do with- that shows the community what these people from these groups are about and it is not community and integrity. This is exactly what I am talking about, the work that I did on those petitions I did for our medical cannabis community I wanted to turn them without my name on them and I wasn't allowed, I wanted to put medical cannabis community and here we have these two group claiming credit for work that I have done for the community. Exactly what I'm talking about right there folks. People going out of their way to do things like this with something that was for the community and trying to fundraise of it is disgusting. All petitions can be found here:  (Since Empact forgot that key detail and others)

Now lets not forget about those close ties Ultra Health maintains with many of these “patient advocates” and groups. That was exposed this past summer in 2016, where Duke Rodriguez was, so were those same people with the NMMCPA and NM Empact agreeing with Ultra Health. Ultra Health and Drug Policy Alliance are working together as well and it is NOT to improve the medical cannabis program. Ultra Health wants one thing and that’s legalization.  Ultra Health is driven by greed. And so are those on the Ultra Health bandwagon.

And for patients in the community to do this to other patients in their own community and support something that forms in such a manner - sad and makes a person sick to their stomach thinking about how this hurts the medical cannabis community. Not a fun feeling for the patient community when our debilitating health conditions are seen as a means of profit and income by others…

As long as a select few in OUR medical cannabis community continue to do this and form groups in such a manner that excludes the vast majority of the community and ignores their voices - then the entire program will suffer.  Nor should any group be operating in the shadows if they are doing community advocacy.

When Advocacy & Inclusion are combined and put into Action = >  the results reach the Entire Community.

What is “Community” ?

noun: community; plural noun: communities
a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
"Rhode Island's Japanese community"
synonyms: group, body, set, circle, clique, faction; More
a group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership.
"a community of nuns"
synonyms: brotherhood, sisterhood, fraternity, sorority, sodality; More
a particular area or place considered together with its inhabitants.
"a rural community"
synonyms: district, region, zone, area, locality, locale, neighborhood; More
a body of nations or states unified by common interests.
"the European Community"
the people of a district or country considered collectively, especially in the context of social values and responsibilities; society.
noun: the community
"preparing prisoners for life back in the community"
synonyms: public, general public, populace, people, citizenry, population, collective; More
denoting a worker or resource designed to serve the people of a particular area.
modifier noun: community
"community health services"
a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
"the sense of community that organized religion can provide"
a similarity or identity.
"writers who shared a community of interests"
joint ownership or liability.
"a commitment to the community of goods" People in the patient community who advocate aren't immune either-just a shame to many are in it for themselves, for that ‘Green Ru$h, and not for the medical cannabis community... and this same type of stuff continues the to occur, as it has the last couple years; we all pay the price-both patients and producers will end up with the short end of the stick it the majority allows it to continue.

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is speaking in support of a person or an issue
Advocacy supports human rights
Advocacy is NOT case work, support work, self interest, mediation, conciliation,  counseling, or a means to achieving an individual's agenda and/or receiving a personal or financial benefit.

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion is full participation in the community
What is Transparency?

Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in other social contexts, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed.

Advocacy is having someone or group to stand beside you and with you if you think something is unfair or that someone is treating you badly and you would like to do something to change it.
An Advocate will:

• Listen to you
• Identify the issues they can help with
• Provide you with information
• Stand beside you so that you can be heard
• Assist you to solve your issues yourself
• Refer you to other organisations if necessary

There are three components to a successful facilitated advocacy plan:

Structure: Create a structure that establishes an ongoing advocacy program for health care policy relating to our medical cannabis program.

An organization's advocacy operations should include; specific goals, accountability, inclusion of its community and action plans. .

Relationships: Develop ongoing relationships with critical policymakers and key community leaders.

Action: Put your structure and relationships to work.
What is Exclusive? (per merriam-webster)
1a :  excluding or having power to exclude
b :  limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group
2a :  excluding others from participation
b :  snobbishly aloof
3a :  accepting or soliciting only a socially restricted patronage (as of the upper class)
b :  stylish, fashionable
c :  restricted in distribution, use, or appeal because of expense

“Exclusive” originated in the late 15th century (as a noun denoting something that excludes or causes exclusion): from medieval Latin: exclusivus, and from Latin: excludere ‘shut out’

“Advocacy” originated from late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin: advocatia, and from advocare ‘summon, call to one's aid’