“I am Bill Smith” proclaim hundreds of T-shirts on sale as a fundraiser for the Bill Smith Legal Fund.
Bill Smith is the fictitious name of a high school boy whose struggles to attend school while using medical marijuana have been chronicled by The Colorado Independent.
The shirts, donated by Green Leaf Magazine, sell for $10, with all the proceeds going to the fund. Smith’s dad, Shan Moore, said he is working with an attorney to set the fund up, which he hopes will enable people to claim a tax deduction for their donation.
“This is all new to us. We’re just getting it off the ground,” he said.
The money will be used to try and get Colorado’s laws changed so that a student can keep and use medical marijuana on school grounds just as they can any other prescribed medication.
“We just want sensible laws so that patients who need it can have safe access to their medicine,” Moore said.
The shirts will be for sale at the Colorado Springs 4/20 Music Festival, to be held April 20 at America the Beautiful Park.
Organizers say the festival will include music and speakers and will not be a “smoke-out” as 420 festivals in other cities tend to be.
“Our aim is to raise awareness and educate those not familiar with the benefits of medical marijuana,” said organizer Travis Ransdell in a press release.
A forum has also been organized to educate Colorado Springs area school officials about medical marijuana. It will be held April 14th.
From a letter sent to school officials:
As a result of Amendment 20 to the Colorado Constitution being voted in by the citizens of Colorado in 2000, educators are placed in the very awkward position of remaining compassionate to the needs of patients in schools and protecting the well being of the students you are obligated to safeguard.
Recently, a school district in town has had the difficult task of attempting to regulate the usage of medical cannabis in a high school and this is probably only the first of similar issues coming your way. As you have both staff and students who are directly affected by this newer medication, we would like to invite you and four more representatives from your district to an educator’s forum where you can ask questions of and/or express concerns to Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Professionals.
Presenters at the event will include doctors, attorneys and college professors.
Smith was diagnosed in 2009 with a rare neurological disorder that causes convulsions. The condition caused him to miss school for a year, much of which was spent in the hospital.
Finally, his doctor suggested he try medical marijuana. The family was reluctant but ultimately agreed to use marijuana, which the boy takes in pill or lozenge form.
It works, reducing both the length and severity of the attacks. Once his condition had been brought under control using cannabis, his doctor told him he could go back to school and resume the normal life of a teenager.
It wasn’t long before the family discovered that the school would not allow Smith to keep his medicine in the nurse’s office.
When he feels an attack coming, he walks home to take his medicine, which makes the medicine less effective because he can’t take it immediately. He also had to change high schools so he would be able to walk home.
At one point the school district told the family the boy could not come back to school on the days he takes his medicine, but the district has since reversed that position.
Below is a video of the boy having what his father calls a mild attack.