MDMJ Monthly Meeting #5

After everyone has cured themselves of election fever by casting their votes on November 6th, it’s time to shift the focus back to why we started this organization: CANNABIS REFORM! Join MDMJ for our fifth meeting being held at Roadie Joe’s Bar and Grill on November 13th from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. to recap election results, and discuss AJ’s second court date on November 14th. Please RSVP to this event on Facebook.


AGENDA

6:00 – 6:05 – Check-in & Introduction (including group exercise)
6:05 – 6:25 – Overview of election results
6:25 – 6:40Discuss October 2nd overdose action and Rachelramone’s civil suit against Andy Harris. (Discuss email sent out 10/24)
6:40-7:00AJ’s upcoming court date
7:00- 7:15 – Brainstorm dates and ideas for demonstrations against Andy Harris. (If Harris wins the election)
7:00- 7:15 – Seek co-sponsorship and support from Jesse Colvin for H.R. 6152. (If Colvin wins the election)
7:15-7:25 – Cannactivity!
7:25-7:30 – Closing


See you guys there! 

Joint Statement from MDMJ & DCMJ on the #OverdoseHarris Demonstration

Over two weeks ago, we announced our plans for two demonstrations at Congressman Andy Harris’ offices to highlight his callous attitude toward cannabis as a treatment for opioid addiction. As the sponsor of the budget rider that prevents the Council of the District of Columbia from legislating on cannabis reform, we have, on numerous occasions, both in person and in writing, sought a meeting with Congressman Harris to discuss why he continues to tyrannically stymy common-sense cannabis reforms in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and across the nation.  Harris has refused to meet with medical cannabis patients because he takes money from the pharmaceutical industry that would rather push pills than a plant.

At approximately 12 noon today, Tuesday, October 2, cannabis reform advocates gathered outside of Congressman Harris’ District of Columbia office at 1533 Longworth House Office Building. As advocates were making their way toward the Congressman’s door, he was walking down the hallway in the opposite direction and made a bee-line towards his office. DCMJ volunteer, Rachel Ramone Donlan, whom Congressman Harris promised he would talk to in person about cannabis reform, asked to speak with the Congressman and followed him to one of the entrances to his office. Instead of acknowledging her and fulfilling the promise he gave to her at his August 10 town hall meeting in Salisbury, Maryland, Congressman Harris slammed the door on her face. She tried to open the door only to find Harris had locked the door. Ms. Donlan then walked toward the other entrance to Congressman Harris’ office and his staff slammed the door on her leg. Ms. Donlan is disabled and suffers Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes her intense pain. She consumes medical cannabis in order to stay off addictive prescription drugs. After the door caught her foot, she proceeded to go on with the planned demonstration and used her medical cannabis in the hallway to help mitigate the physical pain caused by Harris and his staff.

At no time was there any assault on the Congressman, rather the Congressman and his staff assaulted cannabis reform advocates instead of attempting to hear why they were at his office in the first place.  Any bruising to the Congressman’s wrists was self-inflicted and not caused by Ms. Donlan. She weighs approximately 90 pounds and is about 5 feet tall and is spending tonight in jail due to Harris’ continued callous attitude toward cannabis reform.


This was first published on the DCMJ Twitter account


Apology Letter To Rep. Andy Harris

Dear Congressman Andy Harris,

After you and your staff rudely slammed your office doors on DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”), Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”) and myself, I believed that I should write a letter of apology to you and some of those affected by our recent visit to your congressional office in Washington, DC. on October 2, 2018.

I’m sorry to hear you might have hurt your wrist slamming the door on me. I’m a 46-years-old, 90 lb, handicapped, Christian, single mother that has a lifelong reputation for being a non-violent, peaceful advocate. For you to think I’m a threat to you or your office is inconceivable and ironic. It was never my intention to make you feel intimidated.

I’m sorry that formal requests, to schedule an appointment with your office have been denied for years. You told me at the town hall meeting in Salisbury, MD on August 10th that you would talk to me “offline.” I believed you, and I’m sorry I did. I thought you’d want me to enter your office and have an honest discussion. At no time did I imagine that I wouldn’t be welcome in a congressional office and now, thanks to you, I cannot visit offices unless I get an appointment. I now know it’s impossible.

I’m sorry for your soul Congressman, I pray for it daily. You fail to have the decency and ability to listen to those whose lives you affect with your staunch opposition to cannabis. Your continued prohibitionist position on common-sense drug reform hurts the poor, sick, elderly, abused, students, and our valiant veterans in states where cannabis is already legal, Have you forgotten the Hippocratic Oath? You can improve the lives of medical patients immediately if you’d only evolve on this issue.

I’m sorry that you receive money from “Big Pharma,” As a doctor, you refuse to look at the overwhelming evidence that cannabis is a healing plant. You pretend to play both sides by expressing feigned interest in research to delay legalization when research already exists. You should listen to the people, like myself, that the plant has helped. The plant is not dangerous, rather it’s the antiquated laws you continue to support that makes it dangerous.

I’m sorry for my friends at DCMJ and MDMJ because you called us “violent protesters” on your congressional website. I know none of us ever are violent. The only violence endured came from you and your staff in the form a slammed door without any explanation.

I’m sorry that so many of our friends have died in the opiate crisis waiting for cannabis to become legal and accepted by doctors like yourself. I’m sorry that you won’t help disadvantaged communities by ending the racist war on drugs. I’m sorry my friends have gone to jail for a plant. The courts are still overflowing with cases of simple marijuana possession and consumption.

I’m sorry for the women of the United States. In this moment of #MeToo and after Dr. Ford’s recent testimony, that a member of Congress assumes that an assertive woman is the same as being physically aggressive or violent. It’s true, I’m a confident and assertive woman and I won’t apologize for that. I’m sorry you fear me so very much you resorted to calling the U.S. Capitol Police.

I’m sorry that, like many women after being assaulted by a man, you attempted to put all of the blame on me and not hold yourself accountable for your actions. To defame my friends and me is typical of the toxic masculinity that you and many members of Congress exude. However, don’t forget I still have two years to file an assault claim against you. It might take me that long to decide if I should put myself through that process, again. Hopefully, by then the Equal Rights Amendment will be ratified by the final state needed for the full passage and I will be equally protected under the law.

You should apologize, Congressman. Not just for slamming the doors on us but for all of the pain and suffering at your hands. Are you sorry for your part in the opiate epidemic caused by your hostility toward cannabis reform that could otherwise save lives? I doubt that.

Finally, I’m sorry you may not want to hear from the people like myself but you will on election day. I’m not the only strong-minded woman in the cannabis community. and we will not be silenced.

Sincerely,

RachelRamone Donlan


Ms. Donlan can be reached at Rachel@DCMJ.org or on Twitter @RachelRamone

First Annual MDMJ Cookout

JOIN MDMJ AT OUR FIRST ANNUAL COOKOUT

MDMJ welcomes you to our First Annual Fall Cookout! To show thanks for everyone’s hard work since we began this community organization, we are having a fun cookout gathering event this Saturday at the Salisbury City Park. Join us for food, music, games and good company as we finish off the summer season into fall. Bring your friends, family, and anyone in the community who also agrees with full cannabis legalization! We are passionate about removing the negative stigma affiliated with cannabis users. Come show your cannabis pride with us this Saturday! PLEASE RSVP ON FACEBOOK! 

The specific location for this event will be held at “Picnic Island” by the Salisbury Zoo.  755 S Park Dr, Salisbury, MD 21804
This is a NON-SMOKING EVENT
-Pet friendly
-Kid friendly

In your GPS, program in 755 S. Park Dr., Salisbury, MD 21804. You will arrive at the Salisbury Zoo.

When you see the big playground, you’re in the right place! The park sits adjacent to the zoo and the park. 

Simply walk across the bridge that crosses the creek. 

Follow the smell of burgers and hotdogs on the grill. You’ve arrived! 

 

 

Let’s have some fun!

MDMJ Planning Meeting #4

Our 4th meeting will be mostly consumed with discussion about Andy Harris Overdose action THIS TUESDAY (OCT. 2ND).

Join us at Roadie Joe’s Bar & Grill for our 4th MDMJ meeting!!!!                                  213 W. Main St. Salisbury, MD 21801

-AGENDA-
5:00-5:15pm – Check-In and Introductions
5:15-5:45pm – Overdose Rep. Andy Harris Planning
5:45-6:00pm – Updates Since Last Meeting
6:00-6:15pm – Discuss AJ’s Court Date
6:15-6:30pm – Announcements
6:30pm – Adjourn

CLICK HERE TO RSVP ON FACEBOOK

Demonstrations Planned Against Rep. Andy Harris to Highlight His Callous Attitude Towards DC and Maryland’s Opioid Epidemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 21, 2018

CONTACT:
ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
Adam@DCMJ.org
KRIS FURNISH (720) 607-8369
Kris@MDMJ.org

Demonstrations Planned Against Rep. Andy Harris to Highlight His Callous Attitude Towards DC and Maryland’s Opioid Epidemic

       “Overdose” at Rep. Andy Harris’ Offices Announced For Tuesday, Oct.  2

BEL AIR, MD – Cannabis reform activists from DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) and the newly formed Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”) will come together for a series of demonstrations against Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD-01) at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2,  2018 at his Washington, DC office at 1533 Longworth House Office Building; and 4:20 p.m. at his Salisbury, MD office at 100 East Main Street Suite 702, Salisbury, MD.

Citizens were incensed by his statements at a recent town hall meeting on Aug. 10 in Salisbury, MD, where the congressman continued to reiterate his staunch opposition to cannabis reform.

“Citizens of Maryland and the District of Columbia are tired of Andy Harris turning a blind eye to a safe solution to the opioid crisis,” said Kris Furnish, co-founder of MDMJ. “Marijuana is a proven pain management alternative to opioids, but in Maryland we have only seen an increase in opioid related deaths since Harris was first elected in November 2010. Members of the GOP Congress led by Congressman Harris remain willfully ignorant and outright hostile to cannabis reform. This MUST STOP!”

Many cannabis reformers have lost friends and family members due to prescription opioid abuse and addiction. Members of DCMJ and MDMJ will be a voice for those people by demonstrating “overdoses” at Harris’s offices. The action will simulate opioid “overdoses” by laying on the ground one person at a time as others read eulogies written by members of DCMJ and MDMJ for loved ones lost to opioids.

Members of DCMJ and MDMJ have repeatedly sought meetings with Harris to discuss the need for cannabis reform. On June 1st, Harris held three consecutive public events and refused to respond to cannabis reformer questions. Members of DCMJ and MDMJ were outspoken at his town hall meeting in Salisbury, Aug. 10. In addition Rachel Donlan and Kris Furnish (members of DCMJ and MDMJ) hand delivered copies of H.R. 6152, to his Washington, DC office with no response. To follow up, Furnish contacted his office Sept. 10, where his staff was unaware of our unanswered requests. MDMJ has informed Harris’s staff that protests are in the works due to his continued unresponsiveness.

“These protests wouldn’t be necessary if someone would just sit down with us advocates. We’ve tried to meet with Rep. Harris and they won’t get back with us,” said Furnish, a constituent who lives in the district Harris represents.

Background

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland is one of eight states that had significant increases in death rates involving prescription opioids, based on analytical data from 31 states and Washington D.C. in 2015.  Moreover, Maryland is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid related overdose deaths. The death rate in Maryland has consistently been above the national average since 1999, ranging from roughly 1.5 to 3 times the average rate. In 2016, there were nearly 30 deaths per 100,000 persons related to opioids compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 650 of the 1,821 deaths in 2016 were a result of synthetic opioid overdose. Deaths related to heroin and prescription opioids have also been increasing rapidly from 173 deaths in 2012 to 650 deaths in 2016 related to heroin and from 52 to 812 deaths in the same period related to prescription opioids.

“We believe medical cannabis can help curb the number of opioid deaths by being used as safe alternative for opioid addicts in Maryland, but Rep. Andy Harris is standing in the way,” said AJ Dawson, a founding member of MDMJ, who is currently facing multiple charges involving marijuana in Wicomico County. Dawson’s Sept. 25 court date stems from a brutal arrest during a June visit to Maryland for political activism. Learn more about Dawson’s fight for freedom by clicking here.

Harris is one the top recipients of pharmaceutical money in Congress.  He currently sits on the board of a drug development company that is making synthetic products for cancer treatment nausea and pain which can also be alleviated more cheaply and safely by marijuana.  Harris, an anesthesiologist by trade, is one of the few medical doctors in Congress and has received over $200,000 from health professionals.

“We are tired of letting Rep. Andy Harris take money from pharmaceutical corporations while simultaneously looking the other way as increasing deaths related to the opioid epidemic devastate the Eastern Shore,” concluded Adam Eidinger, co-founder of MDMJ, who introduced Initiative 71 that legalized home cultivation of cannabis in the nation’s capital.

Another reason Harris will be the target of protests is his interference in local DC cannabis lawmaking. Despite the passage of Voter Initiative 71 in Washington, DC by a majority of 70% in December of 2014, Harris introduced a budget rider that prevents federal and local funds to be used for legalizing recreational marijuana in the District of Columbia. At past public events Harris attended, members of DCMJ and MDMJ have pressed him on his solution to the opioid epidemic in his district, but also on the immorality of one person not elected by by 700,000 blocking an entire jurisdiction from crafting responsible marijuana reform.

“In April of this year I moved my voting residence to Salisbury, MD in Harris’s district so I could convince him he’s got to change on cannabis as his policies are hurting DC and Maryland citizens,” Eidinger said. “So far he’s not listening or even talking to me, so it’s time to take the gloves off and protest.”

Members of the media may contact Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671 or by email at Adam@dcmj.org with inquiries.  The general public is encouraged to RSVP via FACEBOOK.

###

CANCELLED – DCMJ & MDMJ BEACH DAY

Due to Hurricane Florence, we are cancelling the DCMJ & MDMJ Beach Day! Please sign up for our email list to find out about our latest plans!


Greetings!
Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Florence we are cancelling this Sunday’s DCMJ & MDMJ Beach Day in Ocean City, Maryland. We hope to reschedule it if there is a nice weekend day forecast in the next few weeks. In lieu, of going to the beach, we are ramping up our efforts to the highlight the region’s biggest enemy to cannabis reform: Rep. Andy Harris.

Since we will not meet this weekend, we suggest doing something to support cannabis reform from your home. Please take a few minutes today and call Rep. Andy Harris’ office: 202-225-5311 and tell him to meet with MDMJ!

Over the next few months, we are planning a series of demonstrations to showcase how backward Harris is when it comes to drug reform. We are going to need your support, so stay tuned!

Follow Up Regarding HR 6152 With Andy Harris Staff

We followed up with a phone call today to Andy Harris’s office after hand delivering co-sponsorship packets for HR 6152. Hopefully he will meet with MDMJ, or else we will protest at his office. Be prepared!


If you live in Maryland’s first district, please support MDMJ as well as 5 million Americans that this bill will protect by calling Andy Harris’s office and  urge him to co-sponsor this bill.

Andy Harris Contact Information

1533 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

202-225-5311

Click here to email Harris.