Keith Henson of Pierce County Norml claims he “represents the medical marijuana patients of Washington state”… if so, Keith, where were you at the ONE PUBLIC FEEDBACK MEETING regarding the Liquor Control Board’s recommendations for medical marijuana?
You’d think Keith would want to stand with the patients he claims to “represent”… we could have, you know, “THANKED” him. 🙂
After all, the WSLCB’s recommendations for medical marijuana — CRUCIAL to the future of seriously ill medicinal cannabis patients in the state — were up for discussion, and this was the ONLY chance, statewide, for public feedback.
Among the LCB’s recommendations for medical marijuana — which the Legislature will be acting upon in January — are prohibiting all home growing by patients, eliminating all patient collective gardens, eliminating the process which adds new medical conditions to the eligibility list, and eliminating arrest protection for patients who refuse to sign up for a registry.
But then again, Keith was one of the biggest supporters of I-502, the “legalization” initiative passed by Washington state voters last year. In the debate last fall, Henson had spoken out early and often in favor of 502, the measure whose effects are now descending upon medical marijuana patients, who had been promised their law would remain unaffected by recreational legalization.
And ol’ Keith, instead of actually showing up and presenting the NORML recommendations he seems so proud of, just stands on the sidelines criticizing those who DID show up and speak out. Or maybe he just didn’t want to face the patients whose safe access to cannabis was being endangered by the legislation he’d supported.
He says this speech I gave at the meeting was “lame”… Judge for yourselves.
Compared to HIS speech, maybe it’s — oh, wait. Keith Henson, “representative of Washington’s medical marijuana patients,” didn’t bother to even show up.
It’s interesting how Keith believes the fact that the patients are on my side, and support what I said at the meeting, somehow invalidates my message. How NORML of him!
He mentions that the LCB didn’t applaud my speech. We’ll never know if they would have applauded his, of course, since he couldn’t be bothered to show up and give one.
In a laughably lame attempt to explain his absence, the thin-skinned, timorous Henson, evidently easily alarmed, posted on Pierce County Norml’s Facebook page that “Steve Sarich had … made insinuations that I would not be welcome.” It’s comical, but also, sad, that a grown man like Henson would assign so much power to Sarich — 62 years old, and not that threatening a fellow — enough, evidently, to make him too scared to go to a public meeting where everyone is allowed to attend.
Evidently, the deep lameness of that excuse somehow penetrated even Henson’s dim consciousness, as he added a second excuse. “In addition, the next morning I had a meeting,” he posted. Wow, Keith. Lots of us had things to do the next morning. But we realized that this WAS the ONLY public feedback meeting regarding the recommendations, a chance not to be repeated.
The drama-prone Henson, proud owner of Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, worked himself into quite a lather when I first revealed, in a Facebook post, that he’d missed the meeting. In Henson’s mind, that post became “A Facebook page … set up and aimed at humiliating me.” (Mind you, it only said that he missed the meeting.)
“Facebook removed the page within an hour as it was deemed harassment,” Henson posted. (Again, it was a single post on my own Facebook timeline, not “a Facebook page,” but poor Keith is very excitable. And the reason “Facebook deemed it harassment” was because they had a hysterical drama queen — oh, excuse me, Keith Henson — telling them so and then played it safe.)
“I call it cyber-bullying as well,” Henson sobbed. (Gee, the poor guy must have had a rough time in school.)
The one NORML official who did give a speech — Bailey Hirschberg, co-director of Thurston County (WA) NORML — was shouted down by angry patients when he tried to convince them to support NORML’s agenda for the medical marijuana community in Washington, written by No-Show Henson (like the Liquor Control Board, they really should have checked with patients first before deciding the rules we needed to follow).
Particularly unpopular with the crowd was NORML’s endorsement of a registry under which medical marijuana patients — unlike those who receive any other medication — would be forced to give their names and home addresses to the state, on a list that will be available to law enforcement. Since there’s no other medication list we can compare it to — after all, there’s not a “Vicodin Patient Registry” or a “Xanax List” — we can only compare it to the sex offender registry.
Maybe the fact that NORML’s representative, Hirschberg, was booed down by patients at the LCB meeting left Keith butt-hurt. After all, he says he wrote the recommendations that Hirschberg tried to sell us. Their guy getting roundly booed must have been especially galling for Henson and NORML, especially in light of the enthusiastic cheers that greeted myself, Sarich, and most of the other patients and advocates who spoke.
Hey Keith, don’t you think maybe you’ve done enough “for us” already? How about you get out of the way while we try to fix your mess?
“Effective advocates seek to build bridges and coalitions,” Henson pontificated on Facebook on Sunday. “Building bridges” in the community, eh? That must have been what he was doing by thanking me for not including him in that community. Nice work, Keith!