2013 Conference Speakers
Donald I. Abrams, MD. is chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology consultation practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He received an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Brown University in 1972 and graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. After completing an Internal Medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he became a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at the Cancer Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco in 1980. He was one the original clinician/investigators to recognize and define many early AIDS-related conditions. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal marijuana. In 1997 he received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct clinical trials of the short-term safety of cannabinoids in HIV infection. Subsequently he was granted funds by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to continue studies of the effectiveness of cannabis in a number of clinical conditions. He completed a placebo-controlled study of smoked cannabis in patients with painful HIV-related peripheral neuropathy as well as a study evaluating vaporization as a smokeless delivery system for medicinal. His last NIDA-funded trial investigated the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between vaporized cannabis and opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pain. He co-authored the chapter on "Cannabinoids and Cancer" in the Oxford University Press Integrative Oncology text that he co-edited with Andrew Weil. He is one of the editors of the NCI PDQ© CAM Cannabis and Cannabinoids website.
Sunil Kumar Aggarwal (M.D, 2010, Ph.D., Medical Geography, 2008) is a graduate of University of Washington's NIH-supported Medical Scientist Training Program and an Associate Member of the New York Academy of Medicine. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and is currently a Resident at the NYU Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. As a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Dr. Aggarwal conducted and published studies of medical cannabis use under the first-ever granted federal Certificates of Confidentiality which protected 176 study subjects recruited from sites of cannabis delivery and medical consultation.Â He has authored or co-authored papers on cannabinoid medical science, dosing, and human rights in journals of Pain medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, General Medicine, and Law, in addition to book chapters. He has presented at the national meetings of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the University of Denver School of Law, with his writing and testimony being used by several state health agencies such as the Iowa and Oregon Boards of Pharmacy as expert evidence. He was a delegate to the AMA Medical Student Section and successfully lobbied the Washington State Medical Association and AMA, through education and internal coalition-building, to change their position on the scheduling status of cannabis in the federal schedules and served as an expert reviewer their report on medical cannabis science. The AMA now urges the government to reconsider the schedule I status of cannabis and have struck down their prior policy advocating its retention in schedule I. This was broadcast on numerous news outlets, including CNN and LA Times.Â His work has been cited in The Medical Letter, Discovering Psychology-a widely used college-level introductory textbook, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and MayoClinic.com.
Matthew Allen graduated in 2000 from Antioch College, and has worked as an organizer on a variety of social and political issues. As an undergraduate he completed internships at the Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness and Democracy North Carolina. In 2006 Matt began working on changing sentencing for low-level drug offenders in order to increase funding for substance abuse treatment services. He formed a coalition in support of diversion to treatment legislation that grew to include the National Alliance of Social Workers, Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Bar Association and trade groups representing over 80 substance abuse prevention providers. Over the past several years he has focused on medical marijuana reform and has encountered similar success in building a broad coalition of supporters. As Executive Director of Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, he has spent countless hours traveling around the state speaking with hundreds of patients suffering from serious conditions who could benefit from safe access to medical marijuana, and working with them to bring their stories forward. He is currently earning a graduate degree from Northeastern in Urban and Regional Studies.
Bianca Barnhill - Bianca Barnhill was a successful model traveling the world and working for top designers Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani for 15 years. Her career was cut short when she was diagnosed with ColoRectal cancer. 2 years post cancer she discovered cannabis as an alternative to the 13 medications she was taking and realized it’s medical benefits. Since making this discovery Bianca has worked for her family’s magazine “High Times” as a West Coast Correspondent utilizing her mainstream network to come forward for the Medical Cannabis Movement and speak on this issue. In that time she has gotten Melissa Ethridge, Oliver Stone, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khlaifa, NAS, and Damien Marley to do interviews. After working at the first High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco 3 years ago and she met several fellow patients. It was then she realized it was her duty to lend her voice to the movement. When she was searching for somewhere to put her new found activist energy, she found ASA that shared her personal mission to change laws and create new rights by bringing the patients voice to the struggle for safe and legal access.
David Bearman, MD: David Bearman is one of the most clinically knowledgable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medicinal marijuana and was a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement. His career includes public health, administrative medicine, provision of primary care, pain management and cannabinology. Dr. Bearman has taught courses on psychoactive drugs at UCSF, UCSB and SDSU, and has worked at all levels of government including USPHS, Director of Sutter County Health Department, and Director of SDSU Student Health Services. He has over 40 years of experience providing drug abuse treatment and prevention and was named Doctor of the Day by the Wall Street Journal Medical Blog in 2007. In 2001 after retiring as Deputy Director of the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority, Dr. Bearman began his private practice in the field of pain management. He has served as an expert witness in numerous court cases and has written articles for journals and magazines as well as the book Demons, Discrimination, and Dollars: A Brief History of American Drug Policy. Dr. Bearman was recently recognized by NORML with the Peter McWilliams Award for his work in promoting medical cannabis
Wendy Chapkis is a Professor of Sociology and Director of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Southern Maine. Her publications include three books, Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine (co-authored with Richard J. Webb, New York University Press, 2008); Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor (Routledge, 1997); and Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance (South End Press, 1986). She is also the author of numerous articles including "The Trouble with Mary Jane's Gender: gender politics in the marijuana policy reform movement," forthcoming in the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations special issue on "Current Perspectives on Marijuana and Society" and "Cannabis, Consciousness and Healing," which appeared in the December 2007 issue of Contemporary Justice Review. Dr. Chapkis has served as the Vice-President of the national Society for the Study of Social Problems and is currently on the editorial board of Contexts, a journal of the American Sociological Association.
Valerie Leveroni Corral is the Director and Co-founder of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the longest running medical marijuana collective in the nation, founded in 1993. WAMM is not a dispensary or a buyer's club. Rather, WAMM is a unique model in the medical marijuana industry, dedicated to the needs of seriously ill patients, providing medical marijuana and care on a donation basis. WAMM's services expanded as patient's need emerged, serving patients to include bedside care, shopping, cooking, and emotional support. WAMM propagates organic medicine in the collective garden. WAMM develops all organic products and provides a holistic approach to healing. Weekly meetings provide a forum for patients to connect, a means to advance and collect anecdotal evidence important in researching patient experiences. Naturally WAMM has grown to meet the needs of dying members by developing a sister non-profit, called Raha Kudo, the Design for Dying Project in order to. Following an auto accident in 1973 Valerie learned that marijuana could control her seizures. In 1992 Valerie was thrust into the medical marijuana debate as the first patient to challenge California's medical marijuana laws. Subsequently, Valerie co-authored P215, the Compassionate Use Act, was appointed to the California Commission to regulate P.215. She has conducted research projects and has peer reviewed published findings in Journal Of Cannabis Therapeutics. She is co-plaintiff in law-suits against the federal government enjoined with the City and County of Santa Cruz, including a 2010 settlement with the federal government allowing "collectives" to continue WAMMs work without federal interference. Valerie's work has spanned the nation and the globe in the political, legislative arena and through direct services and patient care with medical marijuana. She has advised the US Congress on marijuana policy, as well as government agencies in the Middle East, the British Commonwealth and other EU countries.
Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Center, in Oakland is a cannabis industry leader, movement strategist and lifelong activist. Steve writes and speaks widely on the subject of cannabis, and his creation of the world's model medical cannabis dispensary has been extensively covered in national and international news media. His past accomplishments include organizing I- 59, Washington D.C.'s medical cannabis initiative; Hemp Tour, which brought hemp to the heartland; and Ecolution, Inc., which produced hemp garments and accessories 1990-2000. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Maryland, Steve is a founding, charter member of ASA (Americans for Safe Access); on the board of the Emerald Growers Association and the star of the Discovery Channel mini series, "Weed Wars" which is currently rolling out internationally.
Don Duncan has served on the Board of Directors since he co-founded American for Safe Access in 2002. As California Director, he is coordinating the grassroots and grasstops campaign to fully implement the states medical cannabis laws, respond to federal interference, and build a broader and more powerful coalition for medical cannabis in California. Mr. Duncan was instrumental in galvanizing grassroots resistance to federal raids and in seeding local self-regulatory alliances for medical cannabis providers statewide. He has worked closely with elected officials, law enforcement, collective operators, and community members in local implementation efforts in several California cities and counties, and is currently working with lawmakers in Sacramento to adopt legislation to expand rights for patients. Mr. Duncan co-founded one of the oldest and most reputable families of medical cannabis dispensing collectives in California, helping to open legal facilities in Berkeley, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles. He is a leading consultant in the field of medical cannabis and has been featured in major media coverage, including 60 Minutes, Dan Rather Reports, Retirement Living TV, and the Los Angeles Times.
After graduating from Yale Law School in 1996, Joe served as a law clerk for the Honorable Vaughn Walker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California before working in criminal defense. In 2003, after assisting in all facets of the highly publicized prosecution of Edward Rosenthal and, later, his appeal, Joe joined ASA as the organization's attorney. In addition to compelling the California Highway Patrol revise its policy regarding the seizure of medical marijuana from qualified patients through a civil action in 2005, Joe has served as counsel for Gary Ross in his challenge to the indiscriminate firing of medical marijuana patients by private employers, which is pending before the California Supreme Court. Joe has also trained public defenders throughout the state how to defend medical marijuana patients.
Tjalling's ErkelensTjalling's Erkelens interest in plants began as a freelance writer covering agriculture and horticulture. In 1984, he and his brother in law formed a company that specialized in indoor cultivation and processing under highly standardized conditions. That company was awarded a contract from the Dutch Health Ministry in 2002 to produce medicinal-grade cannabis, and became Bedrocan, of which he is currently the CEO. Tjalling is committed to the science and sustainability in cannabis production one reason why Bedrocan's facility uses 100% wind power, and composts, rather than incinerates its cannabis waste. He coaches a team of teenage cyclists, and regularly leads them on rides of 60 km or more through the area around his home in the North of the Netherlands.
Early in his career, Neill served as a narcotics agent with the Maryland State police, focusing on everything from high-level drug dealers in the Washington suburbs to the guy growing one marijuana plant on his balcony. Neill was proud of his work and the hundreds of arrests he executed. "I had been taught that the people who use and sell drugs are trash, and that we needed to put those people behind bars forever." But two people permanently changed his steadfast belief in fighting the drug war. The first was Kurt Schmoke, who declared while he was the sitting mayor of Baltimore that the drug war was not working. Schmoke explained that fighting a war on drugs was counterproductive and created excessive violence. This was a turning point for Neill, who began to research and evaluate his own experiences in law enforcement. Not long after Mayor Schmoke's announcement, Neill's close friend, Corporal Ed Toatley, was killed in Washington, DC while making a drug deal as an undercover agent. "When Ed was assassinated in October 2000, that is when I really made the turn. That's when I decided to make my views public," Neill explains. He became executive director of LEAP in 2010.
Meet Melissa Fults-grandmother, entrepreneur and cannabis activist. Melissa became involved with Arkansans for Compassionate Care in 2010 while searching for a way to help save her son's life. After seeing the results in her own son's life, she and husband, Gary, decided to step out into the spotlight and help bring a medical cannabis program to Arkansas. Melissa is now part of the steering committee for the new 2014 campaign.
Jim Greig is an Oregon medical marijuana patient, a member of the Board of Directors for Voter Power Foundation, Director of Patient Advocacy for Oregonians for Law Reform, and an ASA Organizer. During the 2010 election cycle, he was the Co-Director for the Regulate Medical Marijuana PAC for Measure 74. Jim is a published author who is currently lobbying to add PTSD to the OMMP approved condition list, lower sentences for marijuana possession, and to add a regulated medical marijuana supply system.
Kris Hermes brings nearly 20 years of social justice activism experience to the fight for safe access to medical marijuana. He has worked in various cities around the U.S. generating media and mobilizing people to effect change in federal and state policy on issues involving hunger, poverty and access to health care. Over the last few years, before joining ASA, he dedicated much of his time to legal activism, helping support those arrested during mass demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. Previously as ASA's Legal Campaign Director, Kris and the legal staff led the organization in numerous victories that have provided greater protection for thousands of patients.
After completing graduate studies in Human Rights and Drug Policy, Hunter worked at a prominent medical cannabis dispensary in San Francisco as a Community Liaison and Cannabis Consultant. He was also a member of the San Francisco ASA Chapter Steering Committee before relocating to DC to work for ASA as the National Field Coordinator in late 2012. Hunter is committed to ASA's efforts toward creating a more compassionate, sustainable drug policy, and he is proud to be a member of the country's leading medical marijuana organization.
As executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Aaron Houston oversees the work of a national staff that coordinates students on more than 200 campuses around the world. Named a "Rising Star of Politics" by Campaigns & Elections' Politics Magazine in 2008, Aaron is a nationally recognized expert on drug policy and marijuana law having played a key role in pushing the Department of Justice to formally issue written guidelines on medical marijuana in October 2009. Aaron has appeared on NBC's Today show, The Colbert Report, FOX News, CNN, and NPR, and his efforts on Capitol Hill were chronicled in a 2007 Showtime original documentary, In Pot We Trust. A Bloomberg News review of the film noted that, "Anyone wondering how lobbyists operate will benefit from watching Houston. [He] is ... clearly comfortable with political combat." Aaron attended the University of Colorado at Denver, and in his free time, he volunteers on behalf of homeless individuals and the food reform movement.
Sebastopol Vice Mayor Robert Jacob is also the founder and Executive Director of Peace in Medicine, a model non-profit healing center and medical cannabis dispensary with locations in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, California.A diligent community leader and visionary entrepreneur, Robert developed and lead several non-profit organizations serving disenfranchised youth and patients. His professional background in corporate operations and project management includes managing construction of three international hospitals and the successful development of two proprietary businesses: a chain of salons and spas and an award winning charter school.Robert was named in the Top 40 Under Forty list by the North Bay Business Journal for his leadership and business acumen. He is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Sebastopol Rotary Club, and CERT, the Sebastopol Community Emergency Response Team. Before being elected to the Sebastopol City Council, Robert served as Chair of the Sebastopol Planning Commission. Robert continues to be an outspoken advocate for patient access to medical cannabis, helping mobilize the community around positive regulation and implementation in Sebastopol and beyond. Robert educated local residents in his recent campaign by walking to every home in Sebastopol, dispelling common myths around cannabis and discussing local issues. He earned a landslide victory over more conservative candidates in the City Council race last November. Robert was honored by his peers at the first meeting of the new council, who unanimously voted for him to serve as Vice Mayor.
Mr. Krawitz is a 49-year-old resident of Elliston, Virginia, who suffered an automobile accident in 1984 while serving in the United States Air Force.Â Mr. Krawitz has been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as being totally and permanently disabled. Mr. Krawitz uses marijuana to treat chronic pain and trauma associated with his accident.Â He also use marijuana to treat central serous retinopathy. However, because of Mr. Krawitz's medical marijuana use, he has been denied pain treatment by the VA.
Alex Kreit is an associate professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Alex clerked for the Honorable M. Blane Michael on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then worked as an associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco where his practice focused on securities and appellate litigation. Alex's articles have appeared in journals including the American University Law Review, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal. He is author of the casebook Controlled Substances: Crime, Regulation, and Policy (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2012) and co-author of the treatise Drug Abuse and the Law with Gerald Uelmen (West, forthcoming 2012). Alex is actively involved in the community. He is currently President of the San Diego Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society. From 2009 to 2010 he served as chair of the City of San Diego's Medical Marijuana Task Force, a position appointed by the San Diego City Council.
Rachel Kurtz is the chair of the political committee for the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics.
Jill Lamoureux is a former cannabis business operator in Colorado with extensive experience in cultivation, manufacturing and distribution. Jill was the only industry representative to serve on both the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado Department of Revenue medical marijuana advisory committees. Jill has personally experienced the positive quality of life impact medical cannabis has on individuals and their families and has been an ardent patient advocate. Due to her first-hand experience with developing a newly regulated system in Colorado, Jill understands the importance of addressing patient, industry and regulator needs in an effective system. Jill has presented on cannabis operations, financing and regulation in multiple venues including finance conferences, continuing legal education courses, law review panels, and most recently at RAND's public policy workshop. Jill is currently the Patients First program director for Americans for Safe Access. The Patients First program focuses on bringing patient centered issues to the regulatory arena providing training for operators and best practice guidelines for policy makers.
Talana Lattimer is the Social Media Director at Americans for Safe Access (ASA), where she builds social advocacy campaigns that leverage digital media and marketing communications to impact policy initiatives.Before joining ASA, Talana worked for the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), where is lead the National office's digital practices. Talana worked to develop and execute social media strategies and multimedia projects where is she specialized in customizing content for the Web, and working to develop viral interactive media.She has served as a media trainer and public speaker for various social change organizations. Prior to ACTE, Talana worked on media and communications campaigns for the Terry McAuliffe gubernatorial campaign, Department of Commerce, Marguerite Casey Foundation's Equal Voices for America Campaign and American University. In addition, she is an award winning producer, having produced for CNN, CBS News, XM Sirius Satellite Radio, Black Entertainment Television and WTTG Fox 5 to name a few.
Mike Liszewski (B.Sc. Towson University, 1999; J.D., University of the District of Columbia, 2011) is Policy Director at Americans for Safe Access. After a few years of working in the financial and education technology industries, Mike became a community organizer for Banner Neighborhoods in southeast Baltimore, MD. At Banner, Mike helped form after-school reading, art, sports and employment programs for elementary and middle school-aged youth. As a law student, he helped lead a successful lobbying campaign that defeated a poisonous "gang injunction" bill and represented D.C. high school students in disciplinary and special education matters, and clerked in DC Council Committee on Health as it was considering B18-622, the District’s medical cannabis law. Mike served as a student member of SSDP's Board of Directors (2010-2012) and the ACLU-NCA (2010-2011). Shortly before joining ASA’s staff, he co-drafted the original version of what was eventually passed and signed into law in D.C. as the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Amendment Act of 2012. As Policy Director at ASA, Mike has helped the organization work with patients and legislative offices at the state, local and national level to create laws that allow patients to have safe access to medical cannabis therapy.
Philippe Lucas MA is a Research Affiliate with the Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia and a founding Board member of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies Canada and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Additionally, in 1999 Philippe founded the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, one of Canada's longest running non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries. His research interests, projects and publications include the therapeutic use of cannabis, Canada's federal medical cannabis program, and the use of cannabis, ibogaine, and ayahuasca in the treatment of addiction. Currently, he is a Primary or Co-Investigator on a number of studies examining cannabis substitution theory, and Coordinator and Co-Investigator of an observational study of ayahuasca-assisted treatment for addiction and stress. Philippe has testified before the Canadian Senate and House of Commons on cannabis-related issues, advised the Israeli Ministry of Health on their medical cannabis program, given court expert testimony before the BC Supreme Court, and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work on medical cannabis and drug policy reform.
Jahan Marcu, Ph.D. is the Vice-Chair of the Americans for Safe Access Multidisciplinary Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors at Temple University. He received his Ph.D. for studying the structure and function of the CB1 receptor, and the role of the endocannabinoid system in bone. Before earning his Ph.D., Dr. Marcu worked at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute studying the anti-cancer properties of compounds from the cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. He effectively translates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience and is developing international networks of key cannabis researchers. He has served as a volunteer for Americans for Safe Access (ASA) since 2003. He has been invited to speak on the subject of cannabinoid science at universities, medical cannabis cooperatives, libraries, and high schools. Dr. Marcu is a contributing author and/or editor of several publications including: O'Shaughnessy's: The Journal Of Cannabis In Clinical Practice (beyondthc.com), projectCBD.org, the West Coast Leaf newspaper, the Philadelphia examiner (www.examiner.com) , and the sensible science blog atÂ freedomisgreen.com. Dr. Marcu is also court qualified cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid expert.
Mary Lynn Mathre has been an RN for more than 35 years since beginning her career in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. Her area of practice has been in medical-surgical nursing and nursing education. She changed to an addictions specialty in 1987 and is a certified addictions registered nurse (CARN). Her interest in medicinal cannabis began as a result of her thesis work (Disclosure of Marijuana Use to Health Care Professionals) for her masters degree at Case Western Reserve University in 1985. She served as the Director of NORML's Council on Marijuana & Health from 1986 to 1992 and on NORML's Board of Directors from 1988 to 1994. Ms. Mathre is Co-founder and President of Patients Out of Time (incorporated in 1995), a 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to educating health care professionals and the public about the therapeutic use of cannabis (www.medicalcannabis.com). Ms. Mathre has served on the planning committee for Patients Out of Time's biennial conference series since it began in 2000. She is the editor of Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana (1997) and co-editor of Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology (2002). Ms. Mathre is a Founding member and President of the newly formed American Cannabis Nurses Association. She has authored numerous articles, drafted cannabis resolutions for several professional organizations, served as an expert witness on medicinal cannabis at legislative hearings and in court cases, appeared on numerous radio shows and presented at numerous regional, national and international conferences on medicinal cannabis.
William D. McColl, Esq., the political director of AIDS United has been an advocate on behalf of criminal justice reform, alcohol and other drug treatment and reform issues and the HIV/AIDS community for 18 years. In his current position he works on strengthening the health care and public health systems in the United States. His most recent work encompasses implementation of health care reform, strengthening the Medicaid, Medicare and the Ryan White CARE Act systems, ending the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange and implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Prior to joining AIDS United, Mr. McColl worked to shape national policies on syringe exchange, treatment instead of incarceration, and drug policy reform as the national affairs director at Drug Policy Alliance. As director of government relations and later executive director of NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals, he worked on alcohol and substance abuse parity legislation and state level licensing issues. Earlier, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Member advancing to the rank of Captain in the U.S.A.F. Reserve. A native of Michigan, he earned his law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law where he wrote the first major law review article on drug courts. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in International Relations from Troy State University.
Michael McGuffin is a leading expert on dietary supplement regulation. He has been published in scholarly and scientific journals, including the Food and Drug Law Journal and Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and also wrote the highly-lauded publication AHPA's Annotated Final Rule on Dietary Supplement cGMP (2007). Additionally, Mr. McGuffin served as Managing Editor of AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook (1997) and Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition (2000). He speaks frequently on dietary supplement regulation in the U.S. and abroad. Michael McGuffin was honored in 2010 for over 20 years of dedicated service, having served as the President of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) since 1999 and a member of the Board of Trustee's for 10 years prior. Mr. McGuffin has represented the herbal industry at state and federal hearings on herbal regulatory issues. He has served as a member of the FDA's Food Advisory Committee Working Group on Good Manufacturing Practices for Dietary Supplements (1998-99), the FDA's Food Advisory Committee's Dietary Supplements Subcommittee (2003-5) and currently serves on California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Analysis Food Warning Workgroup and the Advisory Board of the USC School of Pharmacy Regulatory Science Master's Degree Program. He also serves on the boards of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and United Plant Savers.
Dr. Melamede is a tenured associate professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, He is CEO and President of the publicly traded company Cannabis Science. Dr. Melamede serves on numerous boards including The Phoenix Tears Foundation, The World AIDS Institute, Sensible Colorado and The Unconventional Foundation for Autism.
Regina Nelson is a Ph.D. student at Union Institute and University concentrating on Leadership studies and interdisciplinary research within the medical cannabis movement. Her educational background consists of undergraduate and graduate level Interdisciplinary degrees: a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Vermont College (1998) and an M.L.S. in Leadership from the University of Oklahoma (2002). Regina’s dissertation work involves challenging the structure of evidenced-based medicine. Additionally, Ms. Nelson is a founding officer of Cannabis Patients Union, a patient-led and driven organization desiring to unify patients, encourage collective action, link community resources, and reintegrate cannabis into society so the world may share its benefits.
George Pappas was a long-time activist in the US before joining Bedrocan. He's worked with groups such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Americans for Safe Access, alongside many of the leaders and patients who've helped build medicinal cannabis into what it is in the US today. He focuses on medical cannabis programs in North America, and wants to contribute to helping the programs here continue to mature. He lives in Chicago and is learning to sail.
Bill Piper is director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, responsible for developing and implementing strategies for ending the federal war on drugs. He lobbies Congress in support of cutting drug war waste, preventing drug overdoses and the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, protecting state medical marijuana programs from federal interference, reforming draconian sentencing laws, and re-prioritizing federal law enforcement agencies. Piper has appeared on numerous radio shows, from "NPR Marketplace" to the "Oliver North Radio Show." He has been quoted in dozens of regional and national newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Roll Call, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today and The Washington Post. He is the author of DPA's 2008 report, "A Four-Pillars Approach to Methamphetamine: Policies for Effective Drug Prevention, Treatment, Policing and Harm Reduction," and co-author of DPA's 2003 report, "State of the States: Drug Policy Reforms, 1996-2002." His drug policy opinion pieces have appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Sun-Times, Des Moines Register, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and The Washington Post. Prior to joining the DPA, Piper was director of research for the Initiative and Referendum Institute, a national nonprofit working to preserve and expand the rights of voters to change public policy through the ballot box. Before that, he worked for U.S. Term Limits, the largest grassroots organization working to enact term limits on elected officials. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a double major in political science and economics, and has more than twelve years of political experience in Washington, D.C.
Amanda Reiman is the California policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. Based in San Francisco, Reiman leads DPA’s marijuana reform work in California. Reiman has conducted numerous studies on medical marijuana dispensaries, patients and the use of marijuana as a treatment for addiction. Reiman served as the first chairwoman of the Medical Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley and has consulted with various cities and states on the development of medical marijuana policy. Reiman is currently a lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California-Berkeley, where she teaches Drug and Alcohol Policy, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Sexuality and Social Work. Originally from Chicago, Reiman earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work. Reiman moved to Oakland in 2002 to attend the University of California-Berkeley, where she earned her PhD in Social Welfare in 2006.
Darrell Rogers is the Campaigns and Communications Director with the Alliance for Natural Health USA. He has a Masters degree in American Government from The Catholic University of America and has worked in government relations, public affairs, and nonprofit management for twelve years. His political background is highlighted by Senatorial campaign and Capitol Hill experience. A native of New Jersey, Rogers graduated from William Paterson University and quickly started his Washington, DC career working for some of the most recognized and accomplished nonprofit organizations in the world. Previous to his position with the Alliance for Natural Health USA, Rogers was a public affairs specialist with a noted Washington, DC political consulting firm.
Dan Rush is the National Director for the Medical Cannabis and Hemp Division of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). UFCW is North America's Neighborhood Union with 1.3 million members standing together to improve the lives and livelihoods of workers, families, and communities. Mr. Rush is a medical cannabis industry pioneer and authority. He is the spokesperson for the Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana and the board secretary of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR). In 2010 he established UFCW5's Cannabis Division and organized the very first union members in the medical cannabis industry."UFCW is the union of retail, food processing and agricultural workers, and the medical cannabis industry is a retail, food processing and agricultural industry", says Mr. Rush. "Our union is bringing dignity, legitimacy, stability, standards and strength to both workers and employers. We advocate for a regulated industry that creates good jobs and significant tax revenue for our communities." Dan is a native of Oakland California. He is a Central Committee Delegate of the California Democratic Party and an expert on statewide ballot initiatives. He coordinates an annual National Labor-Community Awards in San Francisco, which is the largest event of its kind in the United States.
Michelle Sexton is a Naturopathic Doctor, herbalist, educator and clinical Cannabis researcher. Dr. Sexton completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on the endogenous cannabinoid signaling system (eCS) in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Washington. On an award from the National Center for Complimentary and Alterative Medicine (NCCAM) Dr. Sexton's completed a clinical study measuring novel immune markers in Multiple Sclerosis and the effect of Cannabis use on these markers. Dr. Sexton is passionate about and skilled in lecturing on the biochemistry and pharmacology of the eCS, the phytochemistry of Cannabis and the clinical intersection of the two. It is her specific passion to educate care providers on how to help guide patients in its' rational use. Dr. Sexton practices clinically and is research faculty at Bastyr University Research Institute. She previously owned a company that provided chemical analysis of Cannabis varieties grown in Washington State. She is a technical advisor to the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia on the development of a Cannabis monograph. Currently she is dividing her time between Washington, California and Texas (where her grandchildren live!).
Steph Sherer is a medical marijuana patient with over eleven years of experience servicing and managing non-profit businesses and community organizations including: event planning, consulting, fund development, public relations, and project management. She has worked with community development, education, social justice, human rights, peace, social change, and youth programs. She is a powerful advocate, a skilled spokesperson, and an energetic initiator of campaigns. Steph is a nationally recognized activist in the global justice movement and has received several community awards for work including the San Diego Peacemaker of the Year Award in 2003. She is a guest lecturer at University California, Berkeley and George Washington University, DC.
Tim Smale is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn, Maine amd is a results-driven leader with 30 years domestic and international experience with non-profit and for-profit organizations, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies, including a leading medical cannabis consulting organization. Competitive swimming at the YMCA at an early age gave him a taste for accomplishing goals, including tying a national record at twelve years old and paying for his own college prep high school education. Tim earned a swimming scholarship to the University of Toledo and focused on starting a family, competitive swimming, and his career. He earned an MBA and rose to high levels of management at Dana Corp. and Pilkington plc, both multinational corporations. In 1998 Tim began his foray into the nonprofit world, was named CEO of a national non-profit organization, The Independent Glass Association. He introduced seven new programs and services, and managed national conventions. Tim was a driving force for helping small independently-owned glass shops compete against national chains and end unfair trade practices. Later he joined The Dwyer Group, a leading franchising company in seven different industries, serving as Director of Business Development and Franchise Systems Manager. Tim began suffering from migraine headaches as a teenager which quickly became frequent debilitating events. He tried the medicines his physicians prescribed but they all failed because of intolerable side effects or addictive tendencies. After more than twenty years of suffering, Tim tried cannabis as a medicine and found that it helped his pain and nausea tremendously and often times he could stop a serious migraine. Learning about its safe use for thousands of years to treat migraine and many other ailments, he was deeply disturbed that cannabis was made unlawful and desired to help others understand what he knew. Tim and his wife, Jenna, opened Remedy Compassion Center in 2011 to serve patients in Maine in a successful, highly regulated model program. Tim also serves on various American Herbal Products Association committees developing recommendations for regulators and actively supports ASA.
Dr. John Schwarz is the co-founder of 'Superstring Theory' and a Theoretical Physics professor at California Institute of Technology.
Boaz Wachtel - Initiator (1995-2013) & co-strategist (as an activist) with the Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Medical Cannabis program encompassing today over 11,000 patients, 8 growers and 8 specialist physicians authorized to issue licenses. January 2013 – Israel officially establishes the National Medical Cannabis Agency to adhere to UN drug conventions! B.A. - Jewish Education + teaching Diploma, Hebrew College, Boston. M.A., Marketing & Management, Maryland University. Assistant Army Attaché' - Israeli Embassy in DC, (1983-1988) Founding member – 'Israeli foundation for drug laws' reform' (1994) Public representative, Knesset (Israeli Parliament) nominated Drug Committee “Examining the legal status of Cannabis” (1995). Submitted to the MOH Cannabis 'Drug Master File' (safety & efficacy data on MC) & representing patients vis a vis the MOH since. (1996) The MOH established (1999) a MC committee to review requests and provide licenses for patients to possess MC. 2000-2002 Co-producer with Maripharm Holland of "The Medicinal Uses of Cannabis". Organizer (2007), with MOH, of the Medical Cannabis Education Seminar for Doctors. Founding member (and a volunteer) of the Centralized National Medical Cannabis distribution Center in Abarbanel Hospital (2009) Founder and former Chairman (1999-2006) - The Green Leaf Party: Civil Rights, Ecology, Harm reduction and Legalization of Cannabis. (The party won 1% of the national votes in 1999 elections, 1.2% in 2003 elections and 1.4% in the 2006 elections) Addiction Treatment provider with Ibogaine, a sacred African Shrub, to over 100 addicts. Co-Author with Howard Lotsof of the "Ibogaine - Treatment Manual". Certified 'Clinical Research Administrator', Israeli M.O.H and Bar-Ilan University, IL Certified Consultant, EU Research & Development Program, T.A.U, IL. Since 2006 - Member of the Board of the Israeli AIDS committee Independent researcher and writer on Middle East water. Published more then 25 articles, papers and 3 chapters in books. Guest Researcher – Water and Peace in the Middle East, Freedom House NYC Member, Steering Committee, ENCOD - European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies – a coalition of 200 organizations. Currently: developing two invented agricultural technologies under the Israeli Chief Scientist technological incubator company.
Dr. Mark Ware is the executive director of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC) and associate professor of family medicine at McGill University.
Ken Wolski is executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana - New Jersey, founding Board member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, and 2012 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate.
Caren Woodson has over ten years’ experience as policy expert and has worked extensively on medical marijuana law and policy. She has experience analyzing, formulating and implementing policy initiatives and related communications to State legislatures, on Capitol Hill and within executive agencies. Ms. Woodson has advised policymakers at all levels of government about moving marijuana from unsafe, unregulated markets into successful regulatory systems. Prior to moving to California where she consults on business development and regulatory matters, Ms. Woodson was the chief lobbyist for Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and previously served as the Senior Policy Analyst for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in Washington, DC. Ms. Woodson holds Masters Degree in Public Policy (M.P.P) from The American University in Washington, DC, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She and her husband occupy Oakland, CA and serve as core members of the San Francisco Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (SF-ASA).