Last year I published a 'Call to Action in 2011'. I encouraged current card holders (about 65,000) at the time to make it their 'mission' for 2011 to find and encourage other qualified patients to sign up in 2011- one a month if possible. Obviously we weren't able to get one a month, but I am pleased to report that in 2011 we DOUBLED the number of card holders. There are still over 200,000 potential card holders in this state, and I would encourage you to continue to search them out, have them get their records, and sign up. We want a card holder on every jury.
Last year we looked for numbers, lets make this year the year we changed thinking. There are several issues we need to address. Doctors are taught marijuana has no medical use, we need to show them RESULTS. Make this the year you are going to wean off narcotic pain medications with marijuana...
this will surprise your doctors and go a long way to convincing them to rethink their opinions when it comes to your card and the status of marijuana as medicine. Let's get primary care doctors involved in the program and put me and all the other certification clinics out of business- because you feel comfortable going to your regular docs and getting your certifications there.
Second, let's stop the wishful thinking and start getting practical. We all know that caregiver to designated patient is legal and accepted. Let's make this the framework of our strategy to defeat those that would take our Act from us due to the abuses of a few. Rather than argue fine points of wording from a cell, NETWORK! This is a primary mission for compassion clubs, help caregivers and patients get together, establish connections, and take away the excuse Schuette and the other 'antis' are using to kill the Act (and some of our basic freedoms like the need for a warrant before they search our homes). I've set up a free caregiver exchange based on compassion club moderation in my forums to do just this, use it. Caregivers, post your slots with your local clubs; Patients browse the listings and sign up at the club. Stop complaining about the 'unfairness' of the latest court ruling or how the court 'got it wrong' and LISTEN to what they are telling you to do, and DO IT!
Finally, get active with your local compassion club. There is an interactive map of all Michigan Clubs on the lower right side of my website. If you have a club that isn't listed, drop me a note with a link to your web page and information, I'll add you to the map so patients can find you. If you run a club, read the 'Promoting and Financing a Compassion Club' article I wrote, again it is on the upper right menu. Clubs need to identify and meet the needs of their patient/caregiver members, provide fellowship/education/political support for their members, and educate the public. This latter point is very important. Offer your facilities for local pain, cancer, crohns, etc support groups- free of charge if needed to get them in contact with your club and your members- you will gain new members and community advocates. Host craft shows, rent out the facility for other meetings, have a speakers panel available to talk to other groups, anything to get the non-mmj public aware of what you do and the true face of medical marijuana.
Happy New Year and Best Wishes for your health and your families.
Dr. Bob and the Certification Crew