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Letter from Dave Bishop, National Director

My young friend walked up and looked down on me and said I'm not afraid of you, and with slight disdain and calm demure, I said it's a good thing son, cuz the job you're about to undertake is going to take a fearless attitude. This was of course all mock machismo and kidding around and some more like that.

Well now, it seems that those words are coming back to haunt me. Perhaps they should be my mantra, as I now am following Jay Cavanaugh's footsteps. My name is Dave Bishop, and I am the new National Director for the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis. I was asked to succeed Dr. Jay Cavanaugh after his death in May of this year. (For such a little guy, he sure has big feet). His calm demur and demeanor while speaking was a reflection of how he felt we needed to approach this prohibition. We should be able to talk with whomever it was necessary to talk to. There shouldn't be any reason to fear. Take heart, take courage, but don't be an idiot. Know what you are talking about and then talk in a calm and cool manner that allows for debate, which then allows for the logical person to see the truth and the obvious mistakes that their "way" was predicated upon.

He often wrote eloquently about our fight today and how it did indeed parallel with the fight for civil liberties in the fifties and sixties, and how even though the citizenry is right, and goes through all the motions, the government's stand is "We know what is best for you" or "We don't care what 'We the people' want". He spoke of having the courage to speak the truth, but of having the intelligence of knowing when and where to speak that truth as well. He said that if the young people of yesteryear had not told the rest of the country how wrong we were to be at war, or how easy it was to be ecologically sound or to love thy neighbor, we would still be at war with Viet Nam and our waterways would be polluted and dead as well as our forests, amongst other atrocities..

Jay wrote about sick and suffering people and how their fight for life challenged us all to fight for OUR rights before we too are at the `fight for your' life state of life. Never give up, was the Laura Cardin catch phrase at that time. Right after WW2, Winston Churchill used those same words in one of the shortest speeches in history, saying, "Don't ever give up, don't ever, ever give up" and then he left the podium. It was such a powerful, yet simple message. It has inspired millions. Jay spoke of the inspiration that Laura Cardin gave him. The humbleness she forced upon you by the way she handled her dying with such dignity and courage. The last time I spoke to her she told me the same thing she told Jay. Don't stop caring, and never give up. Jay was this type of inspiration to me.

Jay and Laura are gone now, but the ideals that they instilled in so many of us, and the will to live our lives with dignity, without giving up another god given right will keep the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis striving ever forward to help educate and certainly to help initiate positive change within our society, until there is no longer a need to. The Supreme Court, though ruling against Raich and Monson, did appear to turn a compassionate eye towards some of Americas suffering. But we must remain vigilant.

We must now put together the rest of this giant puzzle that is but partially assembled. Jay got a lot of the pieces together. Now we've got to find the rest of the pieces and start to put together this picture of truth. We need representation in every state, and then in every county. Fifty percent of medical cannabis patients do NOT vote. This must change if we are ever to succeed in changing the law..

To echo the words of Jay and Laura and of course good ole Winston Churchill... Don‘t ever give up, don't ever, EVER, give up.

Dave Bishop
National Director
June 2005


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