February 2017 NORML KC Newsletter and Events

Hello activists!

We have a lot of information to share with you about cannabis law reform in KCMO and Missouri and how you can get involved.

NORML KC’s January chapter meeting with local neurologist Dr. Matthew Markert was extremely well attended! The doctor showed an informative powerpoint presentation filled with facts and data. He gave us a glimpse into how the minds of doctors work and what types of scientific studies are still needed to advance the cause of cannabis as a medical treatment. The only way these doctors can thoroughly study cannabis as medicine is for it to be legal.

Our chapter is supporting the legalization of medical cannabis in Missouri by hosting New Approach Missouri petitioner trainings to teach volunteers how to gather signatures correctly and how to effectively advocate for this healing plant. Our next volunteer trainings in the KC Metro area are:

  • Sunday, February 12th at 7PM we are hosting a NAM petitioner training event in Lee’s Summit at Tiff and Jay’s. RSVP and get more details here.
  • This Valentine’s Day we are hosting the NAM and NORML KC Lonely Heart’s Petitioner Training and Notary Event at 6PM at Tapcade. RSVP here.

In addition to the petitioner trainings, we are hosting several fundraising social events in support of NAM in February and March, along with a Bingo Fundraiser in support of our NORML KC chapter, and a Game Night Fundraiser in support of Project 22.

  • Sunday, February 19th at Side Pockets in Blue Springs we have a Bingo Fundraiser in support of NORML KC. There will be raffle prizes from local businesses and awesome food and drink specials. Bring your friends! RSVP here.
  • Friday, March 24th at Opera House KC, starting at 5PM and going until 9PM, we are hosting a Game Night Fundraiser with Level One Game in support of Missouri Veterans educational program Project 22. Project 22 is raising funds to send 22 MO veterans to CO to attend an educational conference at the Colorado State University- Pueblo. Encourage your friends to join you in playing fun games like Cards Against Humanity and Stoner Fluxx while contributing to this important cause. RSVP here. Learn more about Project 22 by watching this short video.

These social events will be a lot of fun and a great way to get to know the activists working hard alongside you to bring MO patients much needed relief. Please share these events with your friends and online via social media to help this cause reach the largest possible audience. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering and in need of medical relief.

Learn more about some of the patients in Missouri who desperately need access to legal medical cannabis by visiting The Missouri Patient Project.

Our next chapter meeting will be held on Saturday, February 25th, 3PM at the Westport Branch Public Library, with special guest speakers from The League of Women Voters.  The League of Women Voters will teach us what it will take to get people registered and out to vote for our local cannabis decriminalization initiative on April 4th, and in support of the NAM medical bill on the November 8th  ballot (once it reaches the required amount of signatures for placement). 

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The brother of NORML KC and NAM activist Adam Johnston will also be speaking at our February meeting. Adam tragically passed away recently and his life possibly could have been prolonged if he had safe and legal access to medical cannabis.

NORML KC takes advocating for cannabis law reform very seriously, and one of our most important jobs is to educate our lawmakers about the need for reform. One of those opportunities is coming up soon:

  • Tuesday, February 28th, at 10AM is the statewide Missouri NORML Lobby Day in Jefferson City. NORML KC will be attending. Contact us for more information and to plan rides. You are the experts they need to hear from.

We also support law reform for hemp – which has industrial use as a fiber, biodegradable plastic, fuel, food, and more, but which is still illegal to grow in Missouri simply due to it being in the same family as the cannabis plant. National NORML, MO NORML, and Show-Me-Cannabis board member and activist Dan Viets recently attended a hearing in Jefferson City in support of two hemp bills introduced to the Missouri House Agriculture Committee. One of those bills, HB 170 was approved and is headed to the House Rules Committee. To learn more read the article here.

Be sure to save the date for March 3rd and 4th for the Missouri NORML and Show Me Cannabis Spring Conference with New Approach Missouri fundraiser, hosted by NORML KC. The day of the conference, March 3rd, will be a full day of informative talks from health care providers, including Dr. Markert, and activists around the nation. More details coming soon!

Thank you for your continued support in local activism. We couldn’t do it without you! To volunteer, donate, and purchase cool NORML KC themed t-shirts, click here.

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We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event. Together, we will be the change we want to see in our communities. To contact us, email us or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and our website

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NORML KC to decriminalize cannabis in KCMO

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Local Marijuana reform group submits required amount of signatures for Spring 2017 ballot

Kansas City, MO – Marijuana activists with the Kansas City chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML KC) submitted over 4,200 signatures on Tuesday, Nov 15th, to clerks at City Hall. NORML KC’s executive director Jamie Kacz said she was thrilled that the group had gathered far beyond the required amount of signatures needed to be included on the April 4th 2017 ballot.  “I am extremely proud of all of our volunteers- with their help we surpassed our goal of 2,300 signatures.  We have received great support from our community.  A lot of people are ready for this to happen, especially after New Approach Missouri did not make it on the state-wide ballot this November.”

The New Approach Missouri initiative would have allowed for medical use of cannabis for qualified patients in MO, authorizing doctors to recommend the plant to treat serious health conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, and MS, to name a few.  The initiative failed to meet the required amount by just 23 signatures, dashing the hopes of thousands of sick patients and caregivers in the state.  “I want them to have hope,” Kacz continued.  “Attitudes towards cannabis are changing nation-wide, as well as here in Kansas City.  I have received positive feedback from members of the City Council, and we will be working closely with them going forward to ensure that the decriminalization efforts are successfully implemented if their constituents choose to vote the initiative in.”

Kacz stated that members of NORML KC believe strongly that law enforcement should be allowed to focus their time and resources on stopping and solving violent crimes such as rapes, instead of locking up people for utilizing a medically safe, non-toxic plant.  As of January 1st 2017, marijuana will be decriminalized state-wide in MO, but only for less than 10 grams, and only for a first time offense- all other offenses are considered criminal and could result in jail time. Under that law, the fine for under 10 grams is $250.  NORML KC’s initiative is modeled after the ones passed in Saint Louis and Columbia.  It would allow for up to 35 grams of cannabis (in all forms) to be considered a city ordinance violation, penalized with a $25 fine or community service, based on the judge’s discretion.  That means no jail time, and no record. Between now and the Spring vote, NORML KC will continue their monthly educational chapter meetings at local libraries and will be registering people to vote.  Their next meeting is Nov 19th, 2pm at the Waldo Branch Library, all are welcome to attend.  To learn more visit their website http://www.normlkc.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter @normlkc

Jessica Kelly (Secretary) and Jamie Kacz (Executive Director) can be reached at newnormlkc@gmail.com NORML KC is a nonprofit advocacy group and is sanctioned by National NORML

NORML KC Events

Volunteers for local non-profit NORML KC have been out in full force raising support, and awareness for Cannabis Law Reform in Kansas City, Missouri.  KC NORML tabled an event at The Uptown Theatre for the Re:Creation Shpongle and Alex Grey show.  Close to 2,000 fans attended, and an overwhelming majority who stopped by the NORML KC table turned out to be adamant supporters of our cause.  Intrigued by the appealing display, many of the party-revelers took time out from the festivities to pick up informational brochures, purchase t-shirts, and sign up with their personal contact information to become active, supporting members of the chapter.  Our volunteers heard many touching personal stories that night of lives unfairly destroyed by the Drug War, and even more stories of ill-patients forced to emigrate to Colorado in order to medicate properly and safely.Recreation table

The positive momentum carried over into Tuesday, as NORML KC hosted a very successful first fundraising Bingo and raffle event at Hamburger Mary’s, located next door to The Uptown Theatre.  Over 70 people attended and generously donated.  Up to $1,000 was raised for Dolores Halbin, widow of Gene Halbin, and local Drug War victim.  The atmosphere was riotous and upbeat as supporters enjoyed their food and drink, many while playing multiple bingo cards at once.  Hamburger Mary’s Drag Queen announcer did a spectacular job of rallying the crowd!  Each Bingo winner took to the stage to choose from an array of prizes donated by local businesses and restaurants.  One lucky raffle winner walked away with $187 cash prize!

NORML KC’s Executive Director, Jamie Kacz, gave a very moving speech in support of Dolores and the importance of legislative reform in Missouri to prevent more families from being destroyed by the Draconian laws currently in place.  Dolores herself, despite grief and the impending court case against her, spoke strongly and resolutely to the attentive crowd.  She shared her inspiring message of finding purpose and taking ownership of this cause that was thrust upon her.  “I will not give up!” she declared with gusto and assurance.  The crowd applauded and hollered in agreement.

The overwhelming consensus from our recent events points to an exciting future- one where the local community stands strong together, turning passion into action in order to create positive change in Kansas City.  We look forward to each and every person’s support as we move forward in this endeavor.  Be on the look-out for the NORML KC table at more upcoming local events!