Jackson County activist Steven Sharpe has been selected to fill a vacancy created by the departure of longtime MiNORML Board Member and participant Lou Vierling. Mr. Vierling has made valuable contributions to Michigan’s efforts to reform cannabis laws and had proven his skills long before the 2008 Medical Marihuana Act was voted on.
Mr. Vierling was a trainer for signature gathering volunteers during Michigan’s various petition drives for cannabis reform. His voice brought a reasonable influence during turbulent times and he was a longtime photographic chronicler of the early days of Michigan’s organized resistance to prohibition of marijuana. His departure is for personal reasons and does not reflect any conflict within the organization.
Mr. Sharpe has a successful history in cannabis law reform as well. He led this year’s petition drive to gather signatures to place a legalization issue before Jackson’s voters in November of 2013 and was a strong proponent of the Repeal Today movement to legalize cannabis in Michigan. He has spoken to local governments and the Michigan legislature about marijuana law reform. Sharpe helped to organize and promote the recent Grass Lake Town Hall meeting, which featured Reps. Irwin and Shirkey along with Chicago’s Jim Gierach.
Gierach, a speaker from the national organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, is a former drug warrior and current Illinois-based speaker for LEAP. The trio addresses the crowd and media on the subject of Irwin’s House Bill to decriminalize the possession and use of cannabis by adults 21 or over in Michigan. This effort comes just months after voters in Washington and Colorado fully legalized marijuana use in their states.
In addition to Sharpe, the MiNORML Board includes Dr. and Annette Crocker from Michigan’s west side; John and Kim Davis; Trena Moss; Christeen Landino; Joe White, noted speaker and Detroit activist; and Matthew Abel, attorney from Cannabis Counsel and the Executive Director of the state organization. Abel is also a lifetime member of the national NORML legal committee.
“There are exciting things on the horizon here in Michigan, as we continue to chip away at repealing marijuana prohibition,” Abel said.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles