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30 Jan 2008 l Jay Greathouse l Haleakala Times, HI

Maui resident Brian Murphy is a disabled veteran who has long been an advocate for patient’s rights regarding the use of medical marijuana for pain control.  In an effort to help legitimate patients acquire their medicine, Murphy began a not-for-profit cooperative organization called Patients Without Time ( PWT ).  PWT operated successfully for several years with the knowledge of Maui County law enforcement before recently closing its doors.

While PWT was in operation, many patients were able to reduce or eliminate their dependence upon dangerous prescription pharmaceutical drugs.  Some of these drugs, such as OxyContin, have multiple negative side effects, among them the potential to become highly addictive.  PWT was able to reduce patient’s usage of OxyContin alone on Maui by over 10,000 doses simply by making medical marijuana available to eligible patients for pain relief.  

Unfortunately, many medical marijuana patients who previously received their medication free of charge from PWT are now without a safe, reliable source.  Without access to PWT, many former members have been forced to again resort to dangerous prescription drugs for pain management.  Maui has seen at least one patient end up in the hospital for accidental overdose of prescription pharmaceutical pain medication since PWT closed its doors.

Murphy shut down PWT after two occurrences.  The appearance of a profit-based, California-style dispensary in Kihei, which sold marijuana and operated under very different guidelines than PWT was the first one, and it eliminated some of the urgent necessity with which PWT had operated.  It’s unclear, however, whether this organization is currently operating.

The second incident was Brian’s home being broken into.  He was at home at the time, and was physically assaulted; he bears scars on his forehead today from the attack by perpetrators who were clearly interested in his medical marijuana.
As a result, Murphy closed down PWT and has shifted his focus to the electoral process in an effort to help keep medical marijuana patients out of harm’s way, working on both the state and county levels to make medical marijuana safely available to legitimate patients again.

Brian Murphy is now Director of Maui County Citizens For Democracy In Action ( MCCFDIA ), which intends to correct oversights in our current medical marijuana law.  To achieve this goal, MCCFDIA embraces one of our most basic rights, the right to petition the government.

Murphy understands Willie Nelson’s “A Peaceful Solution” project as a question.  He proposes that the answer is to take back America by voting back America.
Voting on local issues can be remarkably effective on here on Maui; residents often see national elections decided before the state gets a chance to count their votes, and too often Hawaiian voters have become discouraged by this.  Voter turn out in Hawaii has become the lowest in the United States.

Those who do vote locally often have a disproportionate voice in determining local election outcomes.  MCCFDIA wishes to help more Maui citizens influence the laws they live under, and so voter registration has evolved as the number one goal of MCCFDIA.

To meet their goal of recording 12,000 voter signatures, MCCFDIA will hire people and pay them for every signature they obtain; call the MCCFDIA office at 579-8320 to learn more.  Classes are available so anyone can become a Deputy Voter Registrar.

Before the last election, MCCFDIA worked within severely restrictive incorrect county guidelines and still registered over 4,000 new Maui voters while gathering over 6,000 signatures for their initiative.  Now, the county’s error in interpretation of the initiative process has been corrected, and expectations are high that MCCFDIA will meet its goals.  MCCFDIA would like to demonstrate how we could achieve a peaceful solution through the electoral process by voting back America.

Part of this peaceful solution would be to insure that Maui’s medical marijuana patients have safe and secure access to their medicine.  The current medical marijuana law thrusts many needy patients into the marijuana black market; patients with a legal license to use marijuana have been victimized by both criminal elements and Maui law enforcement officers deputized as Federal agents.  This Catch-22 now in place would be resolved by the MCCFDIA initiatives.

MCCFDIA has produced videos that have been shown on Akaku community access television and are available online.  These videos explain the initiative process and provide guidance to medical marijuana patients regarding their medicine.

The MCCFDIA video explaining the initiative process was produced in cooperation with Maui County government.  Now we can be assured that everyone will be playing by the same correct set of rules.  Other MCCFDIA videos detail the cultivation and preparation of medical grade marijuana.  These videos have become quite popular on the Internet video-sharing site YouTube, and bring visitors to the MCCFDIA website.

One of the videos was edited to the song “A Peaceful Solution” by Willie Nelson, and has been featured on the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute website.  In this video MCCFDIA makes it very clear that their peaceful solution is to vote back America.

The horrible tragedy of accidental overdose of prescription pharmaceutical pain medication can be prevented with the safer and in some cases more effective medical marijuana.  The way the law now stands, medical marijuana patients not only face uncertain supply and quality by dealing with the black market but also open themselves up as targets to criminals.

You can help prevent criminal interference with medical marijuana as well as earn some money.  Get involved with MCCFDIA to register voters and gain signatures on their initiatives.  Not only do you win, but also many needy patients win and so does your community, as criminal incentives are reduced.

Brian Murphy and his small staff at MCCFDIA are now gearing up for their second voter registration drive and signature gathering action.  With the questionable legal issues out of the way, MCCFDIA now has an open field to pursue their goals.  Murphy and his staff put themselves at risk for medical marijuana patients.  Medical marijuana patient advocacy exposes them to both criminal elements and ill-conceived police activity.  You do not have to take these risks.  You can help eliminate these risks for all medical marijuana patients.  You can help medical marijuana patients by signing MCCFDIA initiatives and asking others to sign them.  You can participate in the electoral process by becoming a registered voter and registering others to vote.

“There was a peace resolution and a peaceful revolution and the peaceful solution saved America.” – Willie Nelson, from his song “A Peaceful Solution”