Meet the team
IACM PATIENT COUNCIL
Carola is the director of the Dos Emociones (Two Emotions) project and of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis, two pioneering organizations in Spain fighting for the regulation of medicinal cannabis and for the improvement of the quality of healthcare. Behind these two ambitious projects, which are currently spearheading a renewed movement for the regulation of therapeutic cannabis, is Carola’s personal story. The story of a struggle and of personal achievement which, in the purest style of the “butterfly effect”, triggered these two projects. Carola has been able to transform an unfortunate accident and all the suffering it has caused into two initiatives that are now actively contributing towards improving the lives of many patients.
Jacqueline Poitras is the founder of ‘MAMAKA- Mothers for Cannabis’, an association for medical cannabis patients where she advises and gives support to patients daily. She is the mother of a young woman with Aicardi Syndrome and had been an advocate in the disability movement in Greece for much of her daughter’s life before discovering the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in 2013. She has played a leading role in cannabis policy changes in Greece and has repeatedly met with members of the Ministry of Health and the Greek government in her efforts to promote free access to cannabis for patients all over Greece. She has spoken at many events worldwide including the European Parliament and currently serves as a member of the board of Medicinal Cannabis Europe.
With a degree in Nursing from Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra in 2015, Soraia Tomás worked in the intensive care unit of cardiothoracic surgery and lung transplantation in Lisbon. In 2020 she obtained a graduate degree in GMP’s for Medicinal Cannabis, a course held by the Portuguese Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis in partnership with the Military Laboratory of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon. President of APCANNA – Portuguese Association for Information about Cannabis, a non-profit association, formed in 2020, whose main mission is the dissemination of reliable information about the cannabis plant in all its aspects, being a representative voice of the Portuguese community and its interests. Currently working in an intensive care unit and providing counseling and nursing supervision to medicinal cannabis patients through Kalapa Clinic. In the beginning of 2021 started to attend an advanced post-university specialization in pain control, and was invited to join INDOLOR team – pain medicine unit, where she is developing the first cannabinoid-based treatments consultation in Portugal.
Simón Winistörfer is vice president of the association. MEDCAN pursues the goal of ensuring that patients in Switzerland have legal access to cannabis without a great deal of bureaucracy and can use it medicinally in tested quality and at reasonable prices. We organize patient meetings in various Swiss cities: We provide information about the effects and use of cannabis and give patients the opportunity to exchange ideas with other affected people. We are also involved on a political level. We advocate for cannabis regulation and demand that cannabis for medical use be paid for by health insurance. Simón has a professional apprenticeship as a receptionist and then studied hospitality management in Lucerne. In the military he was trained as a paramedic and nurse. He has been living with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis since 2011. After an initially very aggressive course, he is currently able to control it with immunotherapy. He treats the many side effects of his disease with cannabis. His efforts for legal access for medical use have been unsuccessful so far. Since Simón has only little spasticity, the health insurance does not cover any costs.
MARIAN HUTTEN DE BRUIJN
Marian Hutten is the founder of Patient Group Medical Cannabis Users PGMCG, an association for medical cannabis patients where she advises and gives support to patients daily. She is the mother of two daughters and three grandchildren. Married with Serge de Bruijn who is also the secretary of PGMCG and also supports patients every day. She uses medical cannabis for fibromyalgia, osteoperos, chronical pain, COPD and artrose and has been an advocate in the Netherlands for the use of medical cannabis since 2014. She has played a leading role in cannabis policy changes in the Netherlands and has repeatedly met with members of the Ministry of Health in her efforts to promote free access to cannabis for patients all over the Netherlands and have an exception in traffic. She and Serge have with their organization the permission of the major to grow medical cannabis at home for more than 5 years now. Time that the rest of the Netherlands als may grow their own.
Francesca Brivio, communicator, actress, international speaker, patient activist for the decriminalization of cannabis and change maker. Founder and CEO of Cannabis de Esperanza (formerly Cannabis Gotas de Esperanza) Co-founder of the medical practice “CannaHope”. Honorary member of the SBEC (Brazilian society for cannabis studies). Member of LANPUD (Latin American and Caribbean Network of People Who Use Drugs). Member of the IACM Patient Council. Former political advocate and president of Fecame (Federation of cannabis for medicinal use). Member of the team that worked on the regulation of the current law (30681). He currently has a lawsuit accepted by the judiciary against the Ministry of Health for denying him personal cultivation. Co-author of the draft law for personal and associative cultivation presented by (Fecame and CDE).
PhD in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH). Co-Founder and director of the Civil Association CANNATIVA A.C (Association of multidisciplinary studies of medicinal plants and entheogens. Researcher, activist, feminist, educator, workshop and international lecturer. Writer and producer of multimedia content. Part of the motor group of the Latin American Network of Cannabis Women (RELAMUCA) and the Cannabis Documentary. With more than a decade of conducting research on cannabis communities in Latin America and decolonial feminisms. He has participated as a workshop, lecturer in forums, events and seminars in: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, USA, Uruguay and Mexico. Editor, writer and content producer of the transmedia platform CANNATIVA AC. Collaborator of the cannabis culture magazines: Hemp and Haze. Co-founder of the Latin American Network of Cannabis Women (RELAMUCA) and part of the driving group of the documentary Cannabis, Jury of cannabis cups (Mexico, Colombia).
A disabled United States Air Force Veteran [Sergeant, 1981 -1986]. Michael Krawitz serves as Executive director of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access [VMCA] as well as other board and advisory roles. After California’s historic Proposition 215 Michael observed that cannabis used as a palliative adjunct pain treatment to opiates not only produced better pain relief but also significantly lowered the number of pain pills used. Leading VMCA, Michael successfully negotiated the first ever VA medical cannabis policy in 2010 and has since overseen the WHO ECDD Critical Cannabis Review process in Geneva and then theUnited Nations process on the WHO cannabis recommendations. The vote on 2 December 2020 United Nations – Vienna, Austria successfully removed Cannabis and Cannabis Resin from the Single Convention treaty “most dangerous drug category”.
The non-governmental, non-profit, free association ARGE CANNA was founded in 2014 by chronicly ill and severely incapacitated patients who benefit from cannabis, to improve their legal situation. It is today Austria’s leading cannabis patients’ advocacy, strictly health-, medical- and patient-oriented, offering knowledge, advice and scientific expertship. In 2016 the “AC drop”, a seal of quality approval for cannabinoid products, was launched, based on laboratory analyses certificates processed and overlooked independently by ARGE CANNA. Klaus Hübner is a board member and also the association’s press spokesperson and finance supervisor. Main goals of the association are: Make natural products like cannabis flower, resin and extract legal to get via doctor’s prescription, pharmacy and health insurance covering the cost. Allow patients to grow their own cannabis under their doctors’ supervision. Create a network of distribution for cannabis obligated to ongoing scientific monitoring of product quality, amount of intake and health of patients.
Germany – SCM
Since 2021 spokesman of the german cannabinoid patients network SCM.
I was born in 1979. I studied sociology with a Magister Artium degree and worked in the educational and social sector. Beeing a patient who benefited by using cannabinoids for a long time, as many others I see the urge of fightig for cannabinoid patients rights, against further stigmatization and oppression by law. Beeing a patient not less because of chronic pain, I know that it can be very hard and that not every patient is treated well. Currently for underprivileged people it can be very difficult to belong good therapeutical treatment – this is especially for cannabinoid therapy. Wealth, provenance and language for example should’nt be impeding factors in a modern society, but in germany they still are. In germany, the number of people who derive a therapy with cannabinoids is still insufficient – and
so it is worldwide, so there are still many hurdles to take. Many patients in germany are still underserved and stigmatized – and it is still not clear, if patients will benefit from a possible
legalisation in the future for example regarding homegrowing and self-therapy.