Grow Love

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Journey for Justice update.

Journey For Justice Update

Hello Everyone.

I’m writing to you today from the home of my good friend and fellow activist, Ervin Dargan. Ervin has opened his home to me here in Sunny View, North Carolina, for the last two and a half weeks. His generosity (and patience) has extended far beyond a comfortable room and Internet access, as he has shuttled me about, introducing me to many of his friends and a number of well-known, local activists.

Ervin, a veteran of earlier Journeys, is quite skilled in the area of video and still photography. He and I have been sifting through the forty plus hours of video that we shot during the course of J4J7.

During my time here, I have also been working odd jobs to pay my way back to Missouri and offset some of the debt I incurred during the Journey. I’ve carried cut wood, burned brush, dug ditches, repaired gravel roads, repaired computers (yes, I still do that, too), and carried out assorted gardening tasks. Though my back and shoulders have suffered from the physical work and I have made little money, I count it a worthwhile sacrifice if it helps keeps me on the Journey.

Yes, the Journey isn't least not for me. I'm still doing testimonies. I did two just yesterday. I still have a few of places to go here in North Carolina....people who have promised to let me interview them. Then more on my way back to Missouri, hopefully.

If finances improve, I hope to get back on the road in my little gas friendly car and revisit the states we were forced to breeze thru on the bike run. The contacts we made the last go-round have promised many more testimonies waiting with my next visit.

As the testimonies have been increasing in number, other patients, who previously were too fearful to agree to an interview, have contacted me. I am also planning to release a few trusted souls to collect additional testimonies on my behalf in distant states, to broaden our coverage and speed the process. (Any applicants – please apply here J)

I'm hoping to be heading back to Colorado in a couple of weeks. This time, permanently. I am already a legal medical cannabis patient there and hope to some day soon be a caregiver, but getting there all depends on finances, naturally.
A group in Denver who I befriended during J4J7’s three week stay there, has requested that I come back and help them start a multi-denominational, cannabis-friendly church and community center. They’ve offered me a place to stay until I get on my feet and the opportunity to help them shape Denver’s Cannabis future. We already have an organization in the works that we call the “Cannabis Kind Collective” – it’s purpose being to educate and aid the work of medical cannabis caregivers and dispensaries while protecting the patient with the assurance of safe, affordable medicinal grade cannabis.

Progress has been slow with the webpage. Several people who said they'd help with it have either dropped out or had something serious happen to them where they couldn't follow thru. Despite that, it's starting to come together with Ervin’s help. He offered his layout skills to help design a much more appealing home page.

We could still use the help of an experienced webmaster, but we’re holding our own. I have so much I'd like to do with the webpage. Much about the trip still waits to go up. However, this does not diminish the fact that I have just added another 10 testimonies along with a completely new format. Yes, the webpage is changing yet again – even before it was finished. We are transforming the page for the challenges that lie ahead. “Our triumphs today will be the tools we use tomorrow”. It is for that reason that we are broadening our scope; configuring the site to serve all future Journeys.

For me personally, securing many more testimonies is paramount. I hope others will be of like mind. It is my desire to see the testimonies used in any way, shape, or form, by any worthwhile organization that has need of them, to bring about an end to prohibition.

The only way we are ever going to see Cannabis legalized in this country, is if we overwhelmingly prove to America (Washington already knows) that Cannabis is a safe, reliable treatment for many diseases and ailments. What better way than to exhibit a sea of thumbnails - Medical Cannabis Patients from our website? What better yet is to double click on them and hear their story in their words as they describe their lives, successfully medicating themselves with Cannabis, with the hardships and indignities all patients must suffer because of prohibition?

My Journey continues, and it will until I die or Cannabis is legalized, whichever comes first. But it costs money. Though for me to travel around the country in my little Mazda is a lot cheaper than the caravan we had during J4J7, I still need help. The last Journey drained my meager bank account and max’ed out my credit cards. It is for that reason that I placed a “Medical Testimonies” PayPal button at the base of the Testimonies page. With a little help, a little sacrifice, we will all have a worthwhile tool – the testimonies – at our disposal.

I am once again attempting to redirect the domain to the new site. I will be placing a new “this site has moved” page at that location as well as a redirecting meta code.

Literary and monetary contributions for the site are welcomed and encouraged and of course, I still could use a very dedicated, easy to reach, web gal or guy who would be able to help us manage the site. HTML experience a must, other coding skills would be cool…above all, must be able to play with others without fuss. Also understand, at any given time, Kay Lee may step in to oversee and/or give her direction. It is her right and entitlement since she is a founding member of Journey For Justice. We all owe her a great deal and her knowledge is indispensable to our cause.

Please visit the new site and tell me what you think. All constructive criticism is appreciated. I still need to propagate the “Photos” page and refine and update locations like the “Sponsors” page, so check back.

Here's my current contact info, since my cell phone has been virtually useless in and around these North Carolina hills.

Ervin Dargan’s home number: (828) 625-1494.

On the road and back in Missouri, I can be reached thru my cell phone at (314) 422-4524. My new Denver residence will temporarily be at the home of David Buffington, a close friend and fellow Freedom Fighter. The phone number will be forthcoming.

Until our next update….

Mark and the J4J Crew


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