I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at the Metro Tulsa Civitan Club’s weekly meeting today. Joanna Francisco, secretary of Drug Policy Reform Network, accompanied me. I spoke about cannabis legalization. I briefly discussed the war on drugs, how cannabis is medicine, and who the true victims of prohibition are. Someone even brought brownies so this was a fun crowd! Everyone at the meeting was genuinely interested in the issue. They asked excellent questions and I hope that they share what they learned with their family and friends.
During my talk, I mentioned the story of two Oklahoma girls, Jaqie Angel Warrior and Avagrace Spencer. Jaqie Angel and her family traveled to Colorado this weekend and Jaqie received her first dose of CBD oil. Here is an update from her mom, Brittany:
“Jaqie received her 1st dose of medicine yesterday afternoon…Yay! Its been a journey to say the least and right now we are just trying to get settled in and rest. The medical marijuana oil is already working! Yes, I said already. Just with 2 doses I’ve already noticed more alertness. She can see my face better and is more full of life. I know we made the right decision to do this for her.
I spoke to Mary Fallin’s director yesterday, Mr. Cody. He laughed at me as I cried to him on the phone telling him we wanted to return home with Jaqie. It burnt me up inside. The phone call was recorded and will be released by the week’s end. All of our friends and supporters feel free to call Fallin’s office and ask for her public response in regards to my letter to her about baby Jaqie.
Our family is blessed and happy to be here giving Jaqie the medicine she needs! BUT, at the same time this is very lonely for us. We have no one here. The kids have been crying because they miss their friends and school and they just want to go back to their home. This is so heartbreaking for me as a mom. But at least Jaqie Angel has access and is receiving the medical marijuana oil she needs. This is the most important factor in all this and I know things in Oklahoma will change soon. It’s my personal mission in life to see to it.”
Meanwhile, Avagrace is still waiting. She cannot travel to Colorado unless her mother and father legally separate as he is in the military.
Why does a family need to separate, uproot and leave behind their home, support network, and jobs to receive life saving medicine for their children that is available across an arbitrary line? Why are they pleading to exercise their very basic rights? Who is accountable for this gross infringement upon their rights? If a parent was withholding life saving medicine to their child, how would they be treated? How about when the government does it? Should government dictate what treatments people are allowed to use or should that be a decision made by the individual and their health care provider?
When will this injustice upon the people of Oklahoma end?
Lisa Bowman – President Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma
If you would like us to speak to your group please contact us. 918-609-3095 DrugPolicyOK@gmail.com
Your baby suffers from life threatening seizures 100 times or more a day. Conventional medicine is ineffective, causes dangerous or undesirable side effects, and there is not much more doctors can do. However, there is a safe, effective treatment that other children are using. Their seizures have decreased dramatically and they are doing things they were unable to do before. They are off their dangerous pharmaceutical medications. It truly is almost a miracle.
A veteran lives with PTSD. He is prescribed anti-psychotic medications, anti-depressants, or a cocktail of psychotropic pharmaceuticals. In many cases they do not help and also have some serious dangerous side effects. However, there is a safe, effective treatment that others are using and they no longer need pharmaceuticals.
A cancer patient who has opted for highly toxic chemotherapy and radiation is experiencing severe nausea, loss of appetite and pain. She is prescribed very strong anti-pain meds, anti-nausea meds, and a slew of others to offset the effects. However, there is a safer alternative that would alleviate pain, nausea, and increase appetite therefore reducing or eliminating the pharmaceuticals. This treatment has also been shown to cure some cancers.
The treatment referenced is plant based and has curative and preventative qualities. It could benefit many people in many ways, so it must be available to all, right? Wrong. It is only legally accessible to a few. It is cannabis a.k.a. marijuana. Here in Oklahoma if you possess this plant or any of its derivatives you are criminalized and if caught, your life could change in a heartbeat in a very negative way.
I attended a fundraiser this past weekend for a little girl named Jaqie Angel Warrior. She is 19 months old and suffers from multiple seizures daily. Her life could be taken by one at any moment. She has had many hospital stays in her short life. The family is traveling to Colorado to get her potentially lifesaving cannabis oil which has been used successfully with many other children who live with epileptic seizures. The fundraiser was created to help offset the expenses. Moving to Colorado is not as easy as simply packing up and moving. It creates a hardship for the family who has a home and support network in Oklahoma.
Colleen Scarlett-Stice organized the fundraiser and has a baby boy who suffers from seizures. One of the speakers, Andee Cooper, also has a son diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut.
The Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma brought in three speakers for the event. Porter Davis of Oklahoma City is a longtime activist, former representative in the Oklahoma legislator, and has held many other political offices. He is an advocate of cannabis freedom and he highlighted the beneficial qualities of cannabis and why everyone should have free access to it.
Chad Moody, also from Oklahoma City, is a defense lawyer specializing in drug offenses. He stressed the civil rights violations of current Oklahoma drug policy and how it relates to Constitutional law. Andee and Jaqie’s mom, Brittany, followed up with heartfelt, tearful testimonial about the struggles with their children and how the drug laws are impacting their lives.
Meanwhile, Brittany, has contacted Governor Mary Fallin numerous times begging for an executive order to allow CBD oil for her baby and the countless others who could benefit from it. What is disturbing though, is that people are having to beg for permission to exercise their rights to use whatever treatment that they choose to use. Why are legislators dictating medical treatment? Why are they preventing people from using a safe, effective treatment while many FDA approved legal medications are extremely harmful and dangerous? Some people will choose to use cannabis and will obtain it illegally thus making them criminals. Some are willing to take that risk but many cannot. I met Jaqie’s family. I spoke with them personally and I saw their little girl. How could the powers that be morally criminalize these people for doing whatever was necessary to save their little girl?
Is withholding potentially lifesaving medicine an act of aggression? Are those doing so accountable for the deaths of others who have been denied access based on absurd drug policy? What is the proper role of government in this issue? Is the role of government to protect individual rights? If that is true, their actions are not supporting this.
Some believe the cannabis issue should not be a priority right now and there are more pressing issues on which we should focus. We do not agree. The Drug War in general is the single most pressing issue in our society for numerous reasons. People, including innocent children, are suffering and dying or are being locked in cages for exercising their natural rights. This is a human rights issue and an extreme abuse of power by the government. It must be addressed immediately.
The real crime is preventing peaceful people from exercising their rights and locking them up for possessing a plant that has never caused one fatality and contains many curative and preventative health benefits. If legislators such as Senator Newberry, Senator Barrington and Governor Fallin are not willing to have a conversation or stand up and protect liberties then they are not fulfilling their job requirements. Unfortunately, individuals have little recourse for reprimanding representatives. The cannabis issue is not going to dissipate and quietly disappear before their next election. It is expanding, growing louder, and gaining momentum. It would be wise for the politicians to start listening to the citizens of Oklahoma and stop harming the most vulnerable among us. The government violence must cease and we will not stop speaking out, exposing politicians, and educating the public until it does.
Lisa Bowman, President Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma, can be reached at Dprnok1@gmail.com
A statewide petition initiative for medicinal cannabis is in the works. This is great news! We are organizing now and will need volunteers to gather signatures when the time comes. If you would like to be a part of this, please fill out the contact form.
You will be notified and kept updated on the effort.
This is the story of Jaqie Angel:
“Every year hundreds of children are diagnosed with severe forms of epilepsy. My 18 month old daughter, Jaqie Angel, suffers from a deadly form of epilepsy due to a rare genetic disorder. She has had uncontrollable seizures since she was 5 months old and has 75-150 seizures daily. She’s been on painful daily injections, ketogenic diet and every medicine known to man..except CBD! She’s on 4 different medicines right now(2 narcotics) but nothing works!
Because of the laws here my baby is denied CBD, the only thing that could possibly save her life and improve the quality of it. She deserves that chance, just like the other children here in Oklahoma suffering from multiple daily seizures. Seizures kill, any seizure could take a child’s life.. Kids die ever day because of this! If you’re diagnosed with severe epilepsy here in Oklahoma they’re basically handing you a death sentence along with it because they refuse to treat our sick babies.
It’s difficult enough as a parent to find out your child has a life threatening illness then you have to come to grips with the devastating reality that your child may very well die if you don’t move to Colorado or somewhere they actually care about our kids. Please sign this petition if you have a heart and you want to save the lives of these kids who have no choice but to suffer because Oklahoma says NO to CBD to SAVE LIVES!! Our children don’t have time to wait, they need this medicine now! My daughter needs this medicine now! We have to have a united voice for our children and all children in need of this medicine and DEMAND to be heard!! Don’t let our children suffer!
Sincerely, Brittany Hardy”
This just one of other families trying to move to Colorado because their rights are being denied. This must end.
This story is getting a lot of attention as it should. This is a peaceful couple. A man treating his glaucoma with plants that he grew in his basement. He wasn’t selling it, they weren’t bothering anyone yet his property was stolen right before his eyes while all he could do was sit quietly and watch it happen.
His pharmacist says it all:
The couple’s pharmacist in the nearby town of Drexel, Mo., thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.
“They are good people and he found a treatment that works for him,” said Mark Finke at Drexel Pharmacy. “I fully support them. He has tried things I have here, but nothing works for glaucoma like marijuana and you would be hard-pressed to find a doctor to say otherwise.
“He wasn’t hurting anyone. I have drugs in here like OxyContin that are legal and they kill someone every day.”
DPRNOK board members, Lisa Bowman, Joanna Francisco, Dax Ewbank and Jeff Pickens were guests on Tulsa based Liberty Talk Radio where they talked about legalization and answered questions from viewers.
Here is the archive labeled “Zombies and Marijuana Legislation”
“Oklahoma Republican legislators, such as Sen. Dan Newberry of Tulsa, are rallying Republicans to support anti-cannabis legalization. They use divisive rhetoric such as calling supporters of cannabis legalization “liberals.” As a Republican myself, I am curious: When did using legislation to allow government to trump the rights of individuals become conservative? When did refusing to hear bills because of personal beliefs become conservative? When did eroding liberties by advocating for the nanny state to micromanage our lives become conservative?”