May 26th, 2009 – Wow…what a weekend! What an experience! The (Medical Marijuana) movement is alive in Michigan!

When the MMMA had a chance to team up with Oaksterdam to bring their nationally recognized cannabis trade school to MI, we jumped on it. We knew this was going to be good and even then the reality turned out to far exceed even our most optimistic expectations.

Tim Beck, Chuck Ream, Jeremy Rupinski, Mike Whitty, Matt Abel and myself all had opportunities to share our “insights & wisdoms.” The instructors list was then rounded out w/ CA instructors (and batttle hardened veterans of the fray) Jeff Jones & Dale Claire.

Just as important, if not more so, were the networking opportunties this weekend. In addition to the 300 students there had to have been another 300 passing through–travel companions of students, those who came to the Sat evening Meet & Greet and people who came by during the day to check out the scene. The networking opportunities were invaluable.

I talked to people from MN, WI, IL, IN, OH, PA, TN, NC & NY. It is my understanding there were students from FL & NJ, too. Two doctors in attendence, one from SE MI, one from PA, both wanting to know how to recommend med mj.

A fair amount of that networking went on in the medication tent, btw. That was fun. Set up a large tent out in the parking lot. Entry to card carrying patients only. If only I hadn’t been working, I could have spent the entire weekend right there in the tent.

Last night the 4 of us–Brad & I from the MMMA and Dale & Jeff from OU, spent a couple hours debriefing and charting a path forward. We are now committed to doing another Cannabis 101 (2 day basic seminar) on a Friday & Sat and then Cannabis 102 (a single day advanced horticulture & business models course) on Sunday. Date & place, TBA shortly.

It was great to see so many old friends from the struggle. We’ve come a long way together and this victory belongs to all of us. Meeting so many new friends this weekend makes me just as optimistic about the future.

Still, it is just amazing to me how my life journey ever brought me to standing in front of 300 wildly enthusiastic cannabinistas talking about political activism and how to legally grow, distribute and ingest marijuana in Michigan. Who’d have ever thunk it? From complete white bread, middle class anonymity to arguably Michigan’s most notorious cannabis consumer.

What a boost! What a weekend. What a journey,. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Submitted by Greg Francisco

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