Medical cannabis topic of meeting


The medical cannabis advocacy group Big Island Americans for Safe Access invites patients, caregivers, physicians and activists to talk story at the Pahoa Neighborhood Center in downtown Pahoa at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12, which is Veterans Day.

The purpose of the event is to solicit feedback from blue-card holders and caregivers with regard to how to improve the medical cannabis program.

Topics will include interisland transportation, cultivation problems, number of plants allowed, patient/caregiver ratio, moving the program to the health department, need for research, and legal and safe access to medical grade cannabis.

Guest participant will be organizer Charlie Cook from Oahu. As the representative of the newly formed Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii, a project of the Drug Policy Action Group, he will serve to bring together the voices of the state’s 11,000 patients and caregivers. Visit www.mcchi.org.

“Listening to the concerns and needs of the patients and caregivers will be incorporated into proposed legislation we will strive to introduce,” Cook said.

DPAG has, also, hired a medical cannabis lobbyist to facilitate the introduction of bills and guide legislation as it goes through the complicated committee process.

On the Big Island, ASA has been working to improve Hawaii’s medical cannabis law, according to chair Andrea Tischler.

“During the coming legislative session we will be receiving help from new places, but we still need to be vocal and involved,” Tischler said.

“BIASA and MCCHI are optimistic that 2013 will see program improvements that have seen no changes from its inception 12 years ago,” she said.

New faces in the legislature, continued momentum from the campaign season, organizing and lobbying efforts and greater public acceptance of medical cannabis will play the leading roles.

“The meeting on Veteran’s Day highlights that our veterans and returning soldiers many who suffer from injuries and PTSD could greatly benefit from medical cannabis,” said Tischler. “All our meetings are 100 percent confidential.”

For more information, call her at 959-8091 or email bigslandsafeaccess@gmail.com.

 

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