Dear Mr. DeAngelo,
I cannot tell you how amazingly blessed I was to receive your message on Twitter!
Our road to compassion in Kansas is up against some of the most intractable forms of prejudice, arrogance and ignorance. The media is afraid to cover our events. The faith community is too intimidated to even issue statements of support. Lama Stanford, leader of the Kansas City Rine Buddhist center told me, "I perform gay marriages and that is less controversial in Kansas than cannabis." Keep in mind Kansas tried to pass a law last year allowing gay people to be fired from their jobs and evicted from their homes. All states have their own battleground, but I have to say that Kansas, formerly "The Free State," has some unique challenges. We are not Mississippi during Freedom Summer, but fear of an all-too-powerful ultra-right, have people intimidated, afraid for their jobs in an economy where jobs are not easily replaced.
We lost another patient this week. She was only 11 years old. Her death and suffering were needless and unjust. We have another patient leaving us in the next few days. We are tired of burying our friends. Politicians and candidates tell me we have no hope for our bill, The Cannabis Compassionate Care Act, until 2016-2017. I tell them that is unacceptable, and will only be true if they choose to resign our patients to that fate. For many of our patients, that fate will be death.
I need you to know that personally, you, Andrew and the work of Harborside, are the reason I joined this movement and the reason I founded Bleeding Kansas. I have often dreamed of coming to intern for a few weeks and to study the Harborside model. I have family in Napa Valley, so I am well aware of the positive impact Harborside has had in Oakland. My vision for my own compassion center is based on the compassionate work of Harborside and HopeNet. I have always considered you my role model and mentor in the movement. Also, I am friends with Jason David and I know how Harborside gave Jayden back his life, and gave Jason back his son.
I wish the legacy I leave my children to be one of compassion and social justice. I do not need to tell you how hard it is to work for compassion and justice. We work from eyes open until we cannot keep our eyes open any longer. So far we have managed one rally and now a co-operative march, on a whopping $9 in donations. It is never the money that makes it work, but always the dedication of the people.
We are currently working these angles of outreach; elections, social media, the gay community, colleges, and public events. We are trying to work on festivals, parades, the retirees and a traveling educational media presentation. I have a history in radio and newspaper. I understand that we must be our own media, so I am also working hard to get our YouTube online with candidate, patient, caregiver and activists interviews, as well as cannabis news updates. I would love for you to be my first activist interview.
Aside from Hunter Holliman of ASA, we have not been able to win the attention of the national cannabis movement , nor the cannabis media. The word is that Kansas is at best, impossible. Well, I'm not Peter Graves, nor Tom Cruise, but Bleeding Kansas has accepted the mission. We use two hashtags, #HopeHasNoZipCode and #NotOneMoreFuneral. Again, we are tired of burying our friends, and so the impossible must be made into, not only the possible, but the completed task of seeing our bill passed.
We would be so grateful for any guidance and mentoring. Any nod from you is instant credibility within the national cannabis movement. I am willing to provide any and all information you may request. We are in process of filing our NFP paperwork. Our mom in charge of the NFP process has a daughter with Dravet and is working on her doctorate. It is going a little slow, bless her. Our spirits are willing, but the flesh of our operation is still growing. I am very proud of the inroads made, and the public awareness raised in our 2 months of official operation as Bleeding Kansas. Most of us have been in the movement for a while, some for many years, and we all feel that something special has come together in Bleeding Kansas. Like the ant, we seem to be moving more than what would seem possible given our size. Kansas is our rubber tree plant, I guess.
If I have taken too much of your time, please forgive me. Your message has been a ray of hope in our lately all too dark and grieving sky. I feel the weight of all of my patient's stories on my shoulders as I write you. I can only pray I have represented them as well as they deserve.
Our brochure is attached for further reference.
Many, many thanks and blessings for all your inspiration, and work on behalf of patients everywhere.
I used my personal email, which may not have been very professional, but somehow I hoped to convey my great, personal respect for you and your work.
May HaShem bless you,
Lisa Ash Sublett
"I have to thank Harborside Oakland, the delivery service, and Jesse for being the best thing since sliced bread. I have riden buses all over Denver and northern California with the worst medical condition, level 10 trigeminal neuralgia. You have just made my life almost normal again. Five gold star nuggets for the new HARBORSIDE DELIVERY!
thank you kindly, humble patient"
Shamus Genosky, 09/06/2012
"For all of those who love HHC but have a hard time getting there . . . Delivery is the way to go! I can't tell you how hassle free and easy it is. Why stand in line when you can . . . do what you like. With a 60 minute ETA- you can't beat it! I'm not saying it will always be 60 min or less. But, today, it was. :D"
Nikki Strasser, 08/20/2012
"I am a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. I found Harborside, and they really cater to actual sick people... The best thing is that the place is clean, large, open, efficient and well-run, with extra services, as the California law requires. This is how compassionate care clinics ought to be... My script is from my oncologist, the real deal, because my cancer is real. Thanks, Harborside, for being real, too.
"All in all I can honestly say that on more than one occasion, I thought to myself, 'Okay, how can I afford to move up here from OC in order to be close enough to shop here daily?' That's how good a business they are running. And in case you are wondering, we never even went to the other 2 dispensaries on my list. It just was not necessary. Grade: A+"
"I was able to visit the ultra-clean, brand new facility at Harborside Health Center, 1840 Embarcadero in Oakland, and I was highly impressed. Upon entrance I was greeted with a handshake and after being properly checked by security, I was instructed into their orientation room. It was a painless verification process and although I had OCBC, my compadre had Medicann, and his SF card and was able to get verification painless as well. The staff was courteous and they seemed like they were eager to get to helping me."
"Hands down, best in the west. Cleanest around, down to the b-rooms. Excellent variety, high-grade products. They let my caretaker come and buy for me, which is a big relief. Plus, they have a volunteer center where if you work for an hour a week, you get a free gram of medicine of your choice. Go here or you are a fool. Love the staff, down to security. Do yourself a favor a treat yourself to the best, and Harborside is it!"
Annie D. in Oakland
"I can't begin to tell you how refreshing it was to become a new member of a clean, safe, professional and welcoming establishment. The intake and bud-bar staff was awesome, as were the orientation presenters. It was so wonderful to be treated in a professional manner and deal with well-informed, intelligent and well-trained staff members... Having helped start and manage the first Cannabis Buyers Club (CBC) in San Francisco... with Denis Peron in 1994... I was also able to lead drug addiction and support groups for the homeless and seriously physically/mentally ill. Over the past decade-and-a-half I have witnessed the entire spectrum of 'cannabis buyers clubs, pharmacies, centers, dispensaries' and I must say, Harborside Health Center is one of the very best I have frequented in a long time... I now feel like I can confidently refer my patients to a professional and safe dispensary and health services center."
L. Robert Van Ausdle, Ph.D.abd, M.S., P.C.
"Harborside is the only club I have been to that tests the finished product for THC percentages. The staff is friendly, they don't allow customers to handle clones (which IMO is important), and the selection of clones is great. The clones I have picked up from here have been in really good shape, probably some of the most healthy clones I have purchased so far. I would highly recommend this place!"
International Cannagraphic Magazine Forums
"I decided Harborside is too rad to give it a one-word review. I'll tell you this much – I have an acupuncture appt. there this Friday (free), a chiropractor appt. next week (free), I've taken yoga from Jim (free–and he is by far the coolest guy at the place!) and I've got an herbal consultation coming up in May (free). Seriously? The intentions and legitimate concern for their patients is undeniable."
"Thanks a lot, Harborside, the visit was a great experience. The dispensary is a very chill place, very calm and relaxing. The entire staff was very helpful, even the security guards were cool, and the med selection was great. You guys had a great variety of different buds ranging in great prices. I picked up the eighth of Urkle budlets and a gram of Purple Kush, and let me tell you, both of them were A+. It tasted great and fresh. I will be back! Take care."
"Harborside has the best clone selection in Oakland, hands down, and top-shelf meds. I am always treated with respect there as well, so no major complaints."
International Cannagraphic Magazine Forums
"First of all, let me say HARBORSIDE HEALTH CENTER IS THE PLACE. The treatment you get is 2nd to none. They are all for the community. This is a real 'Help Health Center'. From the time you pull into their parking lot until you walk out the door, you are greeted with care and compassion. If you are not sure what dispensary to go to, then do not go anywhere but HARBORSIDE HEALTH, great selection, clean, nice music, like I said before, this is the place."
"Hi, I've lurked the boards a long time, and I just registered to post how well done this whole place is. This place really is how a co-op should be – classy, not ashamed of what they are doing, very friendly, and a great selection of meds all around. I picked up both the intensive care Trainwreck and Grandaddy, and both are top top quality, well worth the extra price. Some places you go to you get that sort of feeling like you should be ashamed you're picking up pot, and it's not a bad thing, and some circumstances might require it. But you certainly don't feel that way going to Harborside. This place has literally became my favorite overnight, simply for how it is operated."