The Friday 20 July 2012 episode of the Time For Hemp radio program heard nationally on the American Freedom Radio Network had on 2 local activists involved in supporting State Senator Perry Clark’s Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act of 2013. Ron Moore of Kentucky Veterans For Medical Marijuana an organization working to bring medical marijuana to the Bluegrass State. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky, and Msgt Thomas Vance of Alexandria, Kentucky, a Senior Adviser to Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, a national organization promoting Veteran access to medical marijuana thru the Veterans Administration.
The Time 4 Hemp show is a creation of and hosted by long time marijuana law reform activist Casper Leitch. On air since 1991 he has been known as the father of marijuana television. Fridays on the program are Small Town Fridays and Mr. Leitch has a co-host with him. Mr. Mike Krawitz was the Co-host on the 20th. He is Director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, a national organization promoting Veteran access to medical marijuana with the ultimate goal of Veterans Administration provided medical marijuana for Veterans receiving medical care thru the VA.
Ron Moore started by relating his meeting and working for Gatewood Galbraith since 1990 and was a part of the marijuana oil fueled bus ride taken across the state by Gatewood and Willie Nelson. He went on to say he was inspired by Mike Krawitz’s successfully getting an official policy statement from the Veterans Administration on Veterans and medical marijuana. Thanks to Mike’s work, Veteran medical marijuana patients need no longer fear having their medicine withheld because they tested positive for marijuana if they live in a state having medical marijuana laws. Ron went on to say that the need for Veteran medical marijuana access brought him to support State Senator Perry Clark after he filed a medical marijuana bill during the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly.
I became an activist after retiring from the Air Force and not having to worry about urine tests any more. I started by writing letters to the members of the Assembly asking for reform. Some friends said I talk about it so much I should write a blog so I started one on the Cincinnati Enquirer web site. I would write one a week and if it was about marijuana reform I would put Dear Sir, or Madam on it and send it to every member of the Assembly. If I couldn’t get them to change the law at least I could educate them. Last year when Gatewood Galbraith died there was an article in the paper about the Assembly holding a minute of silence for Gatewood. That got me riled and I fired off a letter to the Assembly members that the minute of silence was an insult to the man. I said that if they really wanted to honor him they would propose support and pass a medical marijuana bill and name it after him. On the last day of January 2012 a bill was filed by Senator Perry Clark titled the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act. Two days later I’m washing dishes and my wife comes with the phone saying there is some guy saying something about some bill? She holds the phone to my ear and I hear a gruff voice saying, “ Sergeant, you got your bill!”. I replied, “What?” and he replied that he was Senator Clark and he had filed the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act.. I was floored but it certainly reinforces what can happen if you just keep writing these guys and are persistent.
Mr. Krawitz pointed out that I had also found the way to get the information out to the public in local ways by using things like the letters to the editor in newspapers. With internet forums papers usually publish all letters they receive on their websites. It is fairly easy to get a letter printed on the websites of these papers and in advertising language can be worth a lot of money. One can also watch the local news programs and talk shows and get a marijuana related question before the viewers. I caught legislators on the Bill Goodman show on PBS which interviews local legislators with 2 questions about the KY medical marijuana act.
Ron mentioned the chances of getting the law passed this year and I related that Senator Clark had told me that the Chairman of the Judicial Committee had told him it was time to move the bill forward this session. Ron said the Senator was forwarding him letters from supporters all over the state and the prospect is looking possible. Continuing education of the legislators and the public is the key. Making use of social networks like Facebook is also promising and the movement would not be as large if it. were not for them.
We ended noting that the bill ending arrest for simple possession in Kentucky was a step in the right direction but was only the beginning. Next up, passing the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act, nothing less will do!
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