Meet the Team Part II

Three facets that make a good volunteer are time, talents, and treasure. Ian Spomer has

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Ian Spomer

graciously given all three of these. He was the kick starter for our merchandise section of our website; an important component because it takes money to educate the masses. But he has given more than that. Often times we look at a volunteer or a community leader and forget that life is happening to them just as much as they are contributing to the lives and livelihood of those around them. Through personal turmoil of his own, he has still committed the time and energy into writing decriminalization legislation that we can all benefit from.

Jessica, is a strong voice for patient and doctor advocacy. This responsibility has turned into her own personal Mount Everest. There is a lot of hesitation from doctors and patients who should be openly supporting medical cannabis consumption but choose to opt out due to fear. It is a scary world to know that the one medicine that hasn’t failed your chronic pain can be the same thing that can take everything away from you. If caught by law enforcement, police have the right to take away your personal possessions, your freedoms, as well as your future successes. As a person labeled with cannabis convictions, it is a challenge to get employment and garner public trust. Can you imagine risking all of that just to escape a chronic ailment? Despite all this public stigma and fear she is the loudest patient and advocate to stand up and say, “HEY! This needs to change… we need to freely talk about this and be willing to change!”

There are others who understand the risks of this pro cannabis community and still give of their time, talents, and treasure but do so with a respected sense of anonymity. These volunteers are just as courageous, strong, and dedicated to our missions and values as everyone else on the board. So let me take this moment to ask of you? What can you give? What can you do or contribute to our mission of safe access of cannabis and ending marijuana prohibition?

Then there is myself, Stephanie Oxley. Your deep thinker, observer, writer, calculated risk taker, and humble servant. I have worked a number of years in the death care industry. I feel like I have walked down both sides of the shadows of life and death. Having ushered in two beloved daughters and ushered hundreds of families past the door of the Great Beyond. My heart pounds in moments of sadness and in moments of joy for those who

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Stephanie Oxley

grieve and celebrate life. Whichever juncture you are at, I implore you to wonder. Question, discuss, agree, disagree, but I also implore you to take action. No matter what your cause is, do something. Neglect the hours on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Ignore the mass opinions of people who never justify their reasons with action, but instead take up your media devices in arms of whatever battle you choose. Are you passionate for animals? Volunteer, donate, walk a dog… Are you passionate for children? Give of your assets to Big Brothers & Big Sisters, half way houses, or even just take your grandchildren out for a good time… Are you eager to make a difference? DO SOMETHING…. Because if there is only one thing I have learned in life is that it really is too short. We are blind to believe that there is always a tomorrow to really do something about some thing. I tell you the truth when I say, “Maybe not.” I have buried enough young people whose light has been snuffed out in the blink of an eye to know that tomorrow isn’t promised. We only have today. So I ask again… What are you wondering? What will you do? What are you waiting for?

I firmly stand next to this board of directors eagerly awaiting the next juncture in our journey; will you come with? Because I can’t wait to see what more this alliance can do!

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Meet the Team

What does it take to run a good non-profit organization? An amazing team…

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Jamie Kacz

First there is Jamie Kacz. She’s a homemaker by day and a cannabis vigilante by night. When I first met her she was this tiny thing announcing the presence of the “Amazing Dan Viets” at one of the first NORML KC gatherings (before the second coming of NORML KC was truly in action.) Strangers from all over our community gathered to hear about opportunities in the marijuana industry in Kansas City. Quickly she was deemed the most appropriate person for Executive Director of this new outfit. Behind that small stature is a bold personality who freely gives of her time and talents, who educates everyone to the turmoil of prohibition, and calls others to action against the evil Dr. Marijuana Prohibition…. Muah hahahaha… (Are you picturing her in spandex and a cape yet? I do.)
Beside her in what we prefer to NOT be spandex is Dave Shuck,

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Dave Shuck

Deputy Director Extraordinaire. He has a history with police officials and the judicial system that ignited his passion for serving those who have been wrongly convicted due to prohibition. He diligently works towards legislative changes that can positively impact not just the industry but also the people: the families, the wives, the daughters; who all hurt when someone is convicted of the crime of possession. His hope is to change people’s views on the negative stigmas of cannabis consumption. So far his dedication to learning and action has made a huge impact. I can’t wait to see what more he can do.

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Trevor Goodwin

Trevor Goodwin, Communications Director, is a soft spoken advocate from Blue Springs (Howdy Neighbor!) who is a cannabis novice but thirsts to learn more. He takes a lot in before commenting on what he believes to be righteous and justified. Because of that we have learned to shut up and listen when he speaks. He can very rarely be wrong. He is the anonymous face behind our FB page and the talented artist behind some of our graphics.  He may be quiet but he will give the shirt off his back for the cause… literally, check out some of his t-shirts here.

Ryan Flowers is the political backbone of our organization. We lean on his guidance and direction for tactful and intentional political actions when supporting medicinal marijuana options or when writing new

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Ryan Flowers

options for deregulation within Kansas City, Missouri. He speaks frankly and candidly when it comes to tactics in addressing changes in law. He’s a natural political leader and I greatly admire him because he is never willing to ask of someone something he isn’t willing to do himself. When New Approach Missouri was gathering signatures for their petition he was the first on the ground and the last to go home every night. He is gracious when thinking of his volunteers and inspires all of us to do more and to do it better.

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Jen Shockley

If any organization had cheer leaders, Jen Shockley and Julita Latimer would be ours. They are bold personalities who are confident in our mission and vision and they are courageous in asking others for their fidelity. Never a moment or opportunity passes them by where they aren’t asking people to commit to our cause. You will see them both planning tabling events, talking to patrons, and encouraging over all fun. Let’s face it, any time you commit to an organization as strictly a volunteer (and our volunteers carry a

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Julita Latimer

LOT of burdens and
responsibilities) your cup can easily run empty. Burn out is one of the top reasons why non-profit organizations fail. Jen, as Membership Outreach Chair and Julita bring a continuous spark of energy that is the blood source of our organizations body.

 

 

Join us next week for the second half to our team introductions…