Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Compassionate Care Meeting Saturday, Action Day Tuesday

Hi Everyone,

We are having our Compassionate Care Meeting this Saturday Feb 28 from 1-4 pm at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge located at 4th Ave. N and 17th St. in Downtown Birmingham (Second floor...use the elevator). This meeting is CRITICAL because on the following Tuesday March 3 we are all going down to the state house for Action Day in the legislature. I need y'all to find as many people as humanly possible to be at this meeting and to attend on Tuesday.

At Saturday's meeting we will set the agenda for Tuesday. We will divide off into groups, each group will have a leader and a schedule of meetings with six members of the judiciary committee and meetings with each person's elected representative. We will provide breakfast and lunch for the day in Montgomery and of course there will be munchies at Saturday's meeting. I also have the STOP ARRESTING PATIENTS shirts for the patients and maybe a few left over for others.

I need to know as soon as possible if you plan to be at the meeting on Saturday and the action day on tuesday and how many people you are bringing with you. I also need to know if anyone needs a ride on Tuesday. Laura, a family member of a cancer patient who recently passed will be coming from BHAM and has said some can ride with her as long as they don't smoke or wear perfume (bad allergies). Christie O'Brien may also have some room and the Libertarian crew might also have a few seats available in their caravan. We'll discuss all of the logistics at Saturday's meeting.

See you on Saturday. Pass this along to everyone you know. We want a HUGE turnout for Tuesday. Nothing puts the fear of God in a legislator than a large group of people taking the time to show up and discuss the issues they care about.

Loretta Nall
Executive Director
Alabamians for Compassionate Care

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who is Your Rep. and Head Count for March 3 Action Day

Hi All,

Just wanted to give everyone an update on where we are with the Compassionate Care Act HB434. For the last couple of weeks I have been surveying the judiciary committee to get a vote count on this bill. About half of them have gotten back to me. There are still 6 that have not returned my phone calls or emails so it is time to switch strategy. Here are the six members that have not returned calls or emails regarding their stance on the Compassionate Care Act

Tammy Irons (Lauderdale County)
Jamie Ison (Mobile District 101)
Marc Keahey (Choctaw, Clarke & Washington Counties)
Charles Newton (Butler, Conecuh and Crenshaw counties)
John Robinson (Jackson County)
Howard Sanderford (Madison County)

If any of you live in these counties and this is your rep please let me know at once. If you are not sure if any of these people are your reps go here and look them up by zip code.

Also, if you are in Selma I need you to go and talk to Rep. Yusuf Salaam who is convinced that allowing cancer patients to use marijuana will ensure that they will move on to heroin and home invasions. If you live in Mobile and Steve McMillan is your rep then I need you to go and talk to him. He and Rep. Salaam are currently NO votes on the committee.

If none of the people represent you then think of who you know in their districts who would be supportive of the medical marijuana issue and willing to pay their elected official a visit. We have to have a comprehensive vote count before we drop this bill in committee. We currently have 5 yes votes and we only need three more to know we can get it out of committee.

On March 3 we are having our Action Day at the State House. I need to know ASAP who all plans to be there so we can work out the logistics and for food purposes. Please email me back today and let me know if you plan to attend the action day on March 3 and how many people you are bringing with you (as many as you can fit in your cars I hope). THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!

Loretta Nall

Friday, February 06, 2009

Making the Case for Medical Marijuana

Many, many thanks Courtney!

By: Courtney Haden Birmingham Weekly


As the planning session broke up in elegant old Prince Hall downtown, the former gubernatorial candidate strode over and asked a visitor, "So, do you think we're batshit crazy?"

All Loretta Nall and the Alabamians for Compassionate Care want to do is persuade our monumentally intractable legislature, on the cusp of an election year, to disregard 70 years of social taboos and a federal pharmaceutical jihad to ordain that the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes shall be legal throughout the state.

Of course they're crazy. But folks like Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. used to be called that, too.

For many, the phrase "medical marijuana" conjures up visions of tie-dyed zonkers malingering their way through bales of government ganja. ( In terms of image, Nall says, "Cheech and Chong have not necessarily been our friends." )

The people at Prince Hall Saturday afternoon looked neither hippie nor dippy. For them, medical marijuana is a crucial factor in improving the quality of life for chronically ill people, and they couldn't be more serious about changing the law.

Our modern hysteria over the use of marijuana would have bemused our ancestors. The Chinese employed it 4,000 years ago as an anesthetic, in ancient India, doctors prescribed it to mothers in labor and the Egyptians of long-ago dynasties even used it in suppositories for hemorrhoids. Here in America, many of the Founding Fathers grew hemp on their plantations, and marijuana was widely used as a pain reliever in an age before the invention of aspirin.


HB434 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act

HOORAY!!! We have a bill number for the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act.

HB434 is sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd (she's awesome!) and named in honor of the young man in the picture below. You can read Michael's story here

Right now our next step is to get this bill out of committee. Thank you all so much for all of the calls you have already made. The Judiciary committee hears us loud and clear and for right now we do not need to make any more calls to the committee. We expect this bill to be in committee either this coming Wednesday or the next Wednesday. That could change and of course as soon as I know exactly when I will let all of you know.

Please DO call your own member of the House in Montgomery and ask them to support HB434 when it comes to the house floor for a vote. This is especially important if your member of the house is also on the rules committee as I understand that is where it will go after it passes out of judiciary. It has to go through the rules committee before it can go before the entire house for a vote.

If you don't know who your elected official is in Montgomery go here (for the House) and look them up by zip code.
Go here for Senate

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Medical Marijuana Bill Moving Fast


I got word yesterday that we can expect our bill to be in the que tomorrow (Thursday) and that we may have it in judiciary committee by next Wednesday. This is moving a lot faster than I had anticipated, which is good. What we are trying to do at this point is have it passed out of committee on a voice vote and save patient testimony for when it goes to the house floor for a full debate. However, if this bill comes up in committee next Wednesday I want each and every one of you packing out the committee room at the state house. I will order our STOP ARRESTING PATIENTS shirts today so that we will send our message loud and clear without saying a word.

Today Christie O'Brien and I will be contacting members of the judiciary committee and figuring out if we have the votes to pass this. I would also like for each and every one of you (starting Thursday) to contact them as well and ask them to support the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act when it goes to committee. Phone calls are best and the sooner you make them the better. We do not have a bill number yet but we will hopefully have one by tomorrow. If any of you need a phone skit let me know and I will send you one.

Here are the members of the judiciary committee and their contact info with notations about who needs to be called and who doesn't.

Here are the members of the judiciary committee and their contact info with notations about who needs to be called and who doesn't.

Marcel Black (do not need to call. Marcel doesn't get a vote as chair of the committee)
Room 516-F
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7667

Spencer Collier (Burn his phone up)
Room 540-D
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7719

Paul DeMarco (Burn his phone up)
Room 537-F
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7740

Priscilla Dunn (supporter no need to call)
Room 540-B
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7702

Chris England (Burn his phone up)
Room 539-B
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7703

Laura Hall (former sponsor and supporter no need to call)
Room 518
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7688

Tammy Irons (Burn her phone up)
Room 526-B
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL. 36130
(334) 353-9032

Jamie Ison (Burn her phone up)
Room 527-B
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7711

Marc Keahey (Burn his phone up)
Room 630-A
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7748

Steve McMillan (Burn his phone up)
Room 532
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7723

Charles Newton (Burn his phone up)
Room 541-E
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-4460

John Robinson (Burn his phone up)
Room 534-D
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7728

Yusuf Salaam (Burn his phone up)
Room 539-E
11 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7746

Howard Sanderford (Burn his phone up)
Room 528-B
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-4368

Cam Ward (No need to call he is a supporter)
Room 625-C
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7750