Cheryl MillerCheryl Miller
 
 

Message from Jim Miller


From: <Jimmiller>
Subject: Message from Jim
Date: Sunday, September 14, 2003 7:15 PM

I guess this is what I would want to say at this point....

Three months ago I was in Oklahoma City, at the memorial to the victims of the bombing of the federal building there in 1998. Cheryl had passed away six days before and I had just come from the graveside service for her at the cemetery in Norman that is now her final resting place. I felt quite lost at that time, and had heard that the memorial was serene place to reflect. 

It was that and more. I felt the sorrow of surviving family members through the photos, letters, and personal effects of their lost loved ones that had been placed on a section of chain link fence put up around the bombing site immediately after the bombing. That section of fence was left intact and incorporated in the memorial. After five years, people still bring mementos and pictures to hang on that fence. I knew right then as I looked at those mementos that I wanted to have a day long memorial in Washington DC for Cheryl and other medical marijuana patients who died before their medicine was legal. I want people to have to confront the pain that I and so many others feel. I want people to have to confront the reality of the war on medical marijuana patients and the effect it is having on their families and friends. Most importantly I want medical marijuana patients to have the opportunity to come to DC. Not only to take part in the memorial, but to show the effect that they as patients can have on the direction of medical marijuana policy in this country by showing up themselves to stroll and roll the halls of congress. 

Thanks to key reform organizations and individuals, my vision three months ago will come to fruition next week. Medical marijuana patients will gather in Washington DC in remembrance of Cheryl and others that ran out of time. Most importantly to me, medical marijuana patients will come to DC and experience what Cheryl and her "commando squad" have been trying to show everybody for years. Patients are the key to changing the nation's medical marijuana policy. Not reform organizations. Not full page adds in major newspapers. Not national conferences of healthy white people. It has been, and will always be, patients who are the ones that will get things moving. All anybody ever had to do was help patients get where they need to be. That was Cheryl's lesson to us all, and it's looking like many of us are finally getting it. 

The fact that this hasn't happened before because patients can't afford to make the trip to DC is the biggest mistake that the medical marijuana reform movement has allowed to happen. Many of the patients coming to Washington next week will be physically putting themselves out to do what needs to be done. Travel for most is not easy. It's a good thing that healthy advocates got together to raise the necessary money, and to make the arrangements that will allow them to follow in Cheryl's footsteps. I am eternally grateful to those who did what they had to in order for this to happen. The results will speak for themselves. I can only hope that those that don't already get it will also learn from this. 

One question still left seems to be, how many calls will be made during the phone slam? Patients are counting on those phone calls happening as they are making their visits to congressional offices. There will be a list posted soon of offices that patients are most likely to visit. The example of solidarity that thousands of phone calls will demonstrate is an opportunity to show that the tide has turned. 

Good luck to us all. We are about to change the focus. That is for sure.

Jim Miller, September 14, 2003

click for LARGER image
Jim and Cheryl (lower left corner) with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Labor Day weekend 2002. This was the last time Rep. Pallone saw Cheryl and he lied to her.


 


Cheryl Miller Memorial Project

memorial@cheryldcmemorial.org

UPDATED  Sunday, 14-Sep-2003 20:22:19 PDT
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