“Marijuana actually helps my Cerebral Palsy and my pain issues.The pain I experience is leading to more frequent seizures, so many in fact, I’m not sure how much more pain I can endure.”
When it comes to actively working for marijuana law reform in America, no one has more skin in the game than Seth Green. At just 23, Seth finds himself an unlikely front-man for the medical marijuana movement in Tennessee.
Just a year ago Seth posted his personal story, his testimony if you will, on Facebook. Seth suffers from Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis and a seizure disorder. If you know anything about the medical marijuana movement and the miraculous effect marijuana has on certain medical conditions, then you know all three of these serious ailments are listed as qualifying medical conditions in most state’s medical marijuana regulations.
Imagine dealing with all three of these life-sucking conditions every single day of your life.
Spreading the word
Since making his Facebook post last April Seth’s days have gotten quite a bit busier. In addition to starting a successful Change.org petition to promote the medical marijuana bill currently before the Tennessee Senate, the Koozer-Kuhn Medical Cannabis Act (HB1385), Seth has been featured in local media and blogs, spearheaded a successful cannabis rally, testified before the Tennessee House Health Committee and was featured in an article in Sativa Magazine. He will also be attending the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference hosted by Americans for Safe Access next month, where he has been nominated for the patient advocate award.
I recently contacted Seth to solicit his involvement in forming a nonprofit organization to promote cannabis-related businesses in the South and was struck by his humility and propensity to give most of the credit to others for moving this unlikely bill so far into the spotlight. I also got a clear picture of just how unpredictable access to marijuana is for Seth, who was able to completely wean himself off of strong anti-seizure medication by replacing it with whatever marijuana he is able to get on the street. And unfortunately his sources aren’t always that reliable, so sometimes he can medicate and sometimes he can’t.
Continuing the Fight
Whether this legislative session brings relief to Seth and thousands of others that could benefit from cannabis in Tennessee, there is no doubt that medical marijuana will soon be available in the South, something that was unthinkable just a year or two ago. The momentum is too great at this point and Southern politicians have precious little time left to get their politics in order before people like Seth and the moms of children suffering from Dravet Syndrome come knocking on their doors.
Medical marijuana bills have been introduced in most Southern states and some patients, like those in Florida, could have access to legal marijuana by next year. As marijuana law reform continues to snowball it is important that activists and reformers in these states begin thinking of a way to shape a responsible medical marijuana industry in the South. That is why I reached out to Seth, one of the most vocal medical marijuana activists in the South, for his help with the Southern Cannabusiness Association.
SouthCANN will be an organization run by those that have served in the trenches in the South in order to move reform forward. The goal of SouthCANN will be to promote responsible, legal cannabis-related businesses in the South, and to establish a code of conduct and a set of ethical standards that all members will follow. Membership fees will be used to represent the interests of member businesses in the form of lobbying efforts, the promotion of our members and the promotion of the cannabis industry in the South.
The goal at this point is to establish a board of directors, incorporate and attain nonprofit status. Seth has lent his support to this new organization and we are sure others will too. Keep up with the latest news from SouthCANN by liking our facebook page and signing up for news updates on our website. And if you are interested in being part of a unique organization please feel free to contact us.