The 113th Congress (2013-2014) saw the greatest federal progress in medical marijuana reform with over a dozen bills introduced in the House and the adoption of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment into the Dept. of Justice budget. This session will briefly cover the progress that has already been made and will focus on information concerning all areas covered in the CARERS Act (S. 683), the comprehensive medical marijuana bill that was recently introduced in the US Senate.
Rick Doblin is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment.
Dr. John Hudak is a fellow in Governance Studies and Managing Editor of the FixGov blog. His research examines questions of presidential power in the contexts of administration, personnel, and public policy. Additionally, he focuses on campaigns and elections, bureaucratic process, legislative-executive interaction and marijuana policy. He is the author of the new book, Presidential Pork.
Rabbi Jeffrey A. Kahn has three decades of experience serving as the spiritual leader of four synagogues – in Adelaide Australia, Rockford Illinois, Miami Florida, and Central New Jersey. Ordained a Rabbi on June 5, 1981 – the day the CDC reported the first AIDS patient – he devoted his career to ministering to families and individuals struggling with the devastating effects of serious illnesses. Rabbi Kahn has been fully engaged in the development of Takoma Wellness Center since 2010 and now works full-time at the center.
Mike Liszewski, J.D., is the Government Affairs Director at Americans for Safe Access. He spent his early career as a community organizer for Banner Neighborhoods in southeast Baltimore, MD, forming after-school reading, art, sports and employment programs for elementary and middle school-aged youth. As a law student, he helped lead a successful lobbying campaign that defeated an ill-conceived "gang injunction" bill, and clerked in DC Council Committee on Health as it was considering B18-622, the District's medical cannabis law. Mike served as a student member of SSDP's Board of Directors (2010-2012) and the ACLU-NCA (2010-2011). Shortly before joining ASA’s staff, he co-drafted the original version of what was eventually passed and signed into law in D.C. as the Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Amendment Act of 2012.
T.J. Thompson is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served from 1998-2004. He was stationed on board USS Portland, LSD-37 from '00-03 and deployed to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea, South America, and in support of the Global War On Terror to the Persian Gulf in early 2003. During this time on the ship, he sought mental health treatment and was ostracized from the rest of his co-workers because of this decision. Against the recommendation of a military commissioned psychiatrist, his chain of command refused to discharge him and he remained in this hostile work and living environment. Because of this, he is now a disabled veteran and fights to not only help empower those who may be in a similar situation as he was, but also for the rights of his and other patients' (especially veterans) access to medical cannabis. Medical cannabis activism along with participation in the veterans' peace movement with groups such as Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War have been tools he has used in helping himself as well as other veterans heal.