The dissension apparently arose after the Moms For Marijuana Board of Directors had questions about the structure and operation of the organization, and Serra Frank (also known as Jennifer Bennett) allegedly refused to answer the Board’s concerns or present financial reports.
Instead, according to Junkin, Frank dissolved the Board and reportedly asked Moms For Marijuana public relations specialist Cheryl Shuman — who only recently came aboard with the Moms — to register the organization in Nevada. (Apparently registering as a nonprofit had been neglected until this time.) Shuman is reportedly offering financial support to Moms For Marijuana, and to Frank in particular.
“We are losing chapter leaders one after the other,” Candace told us. “ALL of our CPS rallies and press conferences have been cancelled by the organizers except Oregon and Spokane.
“These ladies count on ME to know the answers, but I don’t,” she told Toke Signals. “And do you know why? Because I trusted too completely.”
“All Serra had to do was present the financials and let her board — US — fix her mess,” Junkin said. “But instead she says she doesn’t have time to be online and all the financials are in her boxes in her storage bin.”
Frank reportedly has herself set up on the board with two votes and veto power. “There has been no vote on anything,” Junkin said. “And even if there was, Serra could ax it.”
“I’ve spent years on different boards and researching what works in a nonprofit and what doesn’t,” Junkin told us. “But Serra doesn’t care; she says Moms is going to be different.”
Cheryl Shuman has reportedly offered to incorporate Moms For Marijuana in Nevada (although Executive Director Serra Frank is a resident of Washington state).
“This is about thousands of Moms who count on me to be there for them and to do what’s right,” Candace said. “It seems so simple… get rid of Cheryl, the whole ‘ex’-board wants her out, keep our incorporation where Serra lives, and present a financial report. But Serra says Washington nonprofit law is too strict.”
“I have to resign. I know this,” Candace said. “I just wish I could make Serra see that this is more than just a club she can do with whatever she wants. It’s beyond that.”Junkin posted her resignation notice publicly on Facebook late Monday night (technically early Tuesday morning on the East Coast, where it was after midnight):
To Whom it May Concern, Members of the old Board of Directors of Moms for Marijuana International, all Chapter Leaders, members and supporters:
I regret to inform you that I can no longer, in good conscience, be a part of Moms for Marijuana International. Consider this my formal resignation.
It is with great sorrow that I do this. I am heartbroken, and very sorry. I love Moms for Marijuana International, I love ALL of you, and I never thought I’d want to, much less need to, leave. But due to circumstances beyond my control (though God knows I tried) I am no longer comfortable working with this organization. I hope to continue my friendship with all of you and wish you all well in all of your endeavors. I will NOT give up the fight to end cannabis prohibition; I just can no longer do it with Moms for Marijuana International.
~Candace R. Junkin
Addendum: Serra Frank Responds, Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 12
Toke Signals got a response from Moms For Marijuana Executive Director Serra Frank on Tuesday afternoon.
In her response, Frank indicates she has no comment about the resignation of Candace Junkin, but then goes on to say, “Candace was dismissed with the rest and was welcome to return to the new board until she started lying. This all happened because Diane Marie was upset I let her go because she wasn’t doing her job. Every single one of them knew my government name and most of wehat you wrote in that article is lies based on hearsay.”
“Oh, and it’s really interesting they pulled Cheryl into this,” Frank wrote. “Had nothing to do with her. No one ever asked that she be dismissed. And they voted unanimously to have her join.”
Frank denied that the board has been dissolved at Moms For Marijuana, denied that she had been asked to present a financial report to the board: “No one has ever asked to see them so it was never discussed”; and denied that Cheryl Shuman is now her second in command and a major financial contributor.
However, Frank did confirm that Moms For Marijuana plans to register in the state of Nevada as a nonprofit. “Washington costs more,” she wrote. “No one has to live in Nevada to incorporate so we chose there.”
“Our board ended because Idaho has residency requirements and none of our directors live there,” Frank claimed. “To stay in legal guidelines we have to reincorporate some place else.”
Candace Junkin Responds To Serra Frank’s Tuesday Statement:
“I just don’t even know what to comment,” departed Moms For Marijuana Assistant Executive Director Candace Junkin told Toke Signals Tuesday night. “It’s like I’m dealing with a 15 year old girl who can’t admit the truth, and god knows I have raised my share.
“They’re so good at swinging the world the way they want it to be in their heads,” Candace said. “Geezus Steve, all I wanted was for her to do the right thing.
“And Diane not doing her ‘job’ had nothing to do with it. Thats just not true,” Junkin told us. “There was never any talk of the board being ‘let go’ until everyone started asking questions. All she had to do was answer them. Why cant Serra see that? *sigh*
“I don’t know what else to say,” Junkin said. “I never wanted this war. I know the truth and so does Serra.”
“She knows,” Candace told us. “Somewhere deep inside she knows she’s wrong. And I guess it’s human nature to protect one’s self. I am not even mad at her. I feel bad for her, because one day she’s going to be in big big trouble if she doesn’t smarten up. And my heart is breaking for all those Moms.”
“I just wish she’d open her eyes and SEE, it was ALL of us, not just me, ALL of the Moms board members only cared about Moms,” Candace said. “That was our first loyalty. It didn’t have anything to with wanting to hurt her.”