Mark Pedersen: Legal & living exp
Education has always shaped my endeavors. Making cannabis therapy safe and accessible to all, particularly those our most vulnerable, has become my life’s mission. I truly believe the paramount importance of Colorado’s medical cannabis program is exemplified in work such as this.
It is unfortunate that at this time I must ask for your help. The legal circumstance that I have seen and documented effecting patients across this nation has now reached me as well. I have been served with civil forfeiture for personal property seized from my home, and I am currently facing five felony charges for the production of medicinal cannabis oil.
I am seeking donations, for myself and my associate, Ron Niehouse who is facing identical charges - to offset legal, travel and living expenses throughout this time leading up to and including our trial.
As you can imagine, this experience has inflicted considerable emotional and financial hardship on us all. I live quite meagerly, but nothing has prepared me for the monumental legal and incidental costs that accompany a case like this.
I am concerned for those patients and their families who will ultimately suffer because of this legal ordeal, but the severity of my charges and the importance of this case demands my utmost attention.
The security of caregivers across Colorado and this nation is in jeopardy. How do we protect those who provide for our disabled and our terminally ill?
On August 24th, 2016, law enforcement used the death of a child, 15 year old, Jack Splitt, to enter the home of Stacey Linn and her children, where Ron Niehouse and I are her tenants. I was also Jack’s cannabis caregiver.
Jack has come to be known internationally for his namesake, “Jack’s Law”. Spearheaded by his mother, this groundbreaking legislation mandates that Colorado schools must accommodate those students that require cannabis therapy.
Jack was born with multiple debilitating and life threatening conditions, but particularly cerebral palsy and Dystonia. With both conditions quite profound, Jack had a G tube and was on life support, requiring 24 hour RN nursing care. He did not have common use of his limbs and though he could hear somewhat and understood sign language, he could only speak through a digital devise. Remarkably, he possessed an uncommon intelligence.
Though Jack’s passing was by natural causes, our home was still treated as a crime scene. Even though I produced and provided cannabis oil for the three adults and one adolescent living in the home, local law enforcement still seized my oil making equipment and supplies, as well as all the personal meds for all who lived there.
My small safe was taken containing personal papers, old money, collectors items, my mother’s jewelry and the remainder of a settlement, class action lawsuit with the company whose pollutants harmed my family and brought about my disability.
The charges against me are uncommonly severe, but this isn't just about me winning my case. It's about all of us no longer living in fear, just for trying to survive life threatening illness. And caregivers should not risk loss of property or incarceration just for preserving the life of one stricken with disease.
Over the coming months, I will be traveling the nation, bringing attention to the plight of the terminally ill and those who care for them. I am continuing my state initiative pursuits with REAL legalization initiatives for no less than 5 states.
Your financial gift will enable us to continue bringing the truth about cannabis efficacy, providing hope and comfort to those facing terminal illness. The one-on-one patient counseling, the patient stories and video – the truth that is so sorely lacking throughout this nation. The real story behind medical cannabis. It must continue.
If you’ve followed my work and travels over the years and wanted to help, there is no better time. We urgently need your help.
For the better part of two years, we have existed within the fear of an uncertain and terrible future. Five felonies is not a slap on the wrist. The Jefferson County DA's office was seeking to make an example of us. We were being portrayed as organized crime. These were nothing short of racketeering charges...
..... and I can tell the REAL story.
Cannabis is nontoxic. Cannabis is food. Cannabis is the single most important medicine of the 21st century.