Country Representatives

 IACM PATIENT COUNCIL

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Mayo 2002 Congres Diputados

CAROLA PEREZ​

SPAIN – DOSEMOCIONES
 

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

JACQUELINE POITRAS

GREECE – MAMAKA
 

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 is the Vice-President of Medicinal Cannabis Europe.

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GERO KOHLHAAS

GERMANY – SCM
 

Since 2021 spokesman of the German cannabinoid patients network SCM.
Gero studied sociology with a Magister Artium degree and worked in the educational and social sector. Being a patient who benefited by using cannabinoids for a long time, as many others he sees the urge of fighting for cannabinoid patients’ rights, against further stigmatization and oppression by law. As a chronic pain patient, he knows that it can be very hard and that not every patient is treated well. Currently for underprivileged people it can be very difficult to get good therapeutic treatment – this is especially true for cannabinoid therapy. Wealth, provenance and language for example shouldn’t be impeding factors in a modern society. In Germany the number of people who derive a therapy with cannabinoids is still insufficient – as
it is worldwide, so there are still many hurdles to jump. 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.

Simon

SIMÓN WINISTÖRFER

SWITZERLAND – MEDCAN
 

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.

abigail

ABIGAIL DAR

ISRAEL – CANNA FLORA
 

Founder & CEO – CannaFora – Cannabis for Autism Treatment and Research Center. An Autism Mother and Advocate, Head of Medical Cannabis Department at AHAVA – The Israeli Organization with people with disabilities. Former board member of “Alut – the Israeli Society for children with Autism”. Leader of public awareness for Medical Cannabis for Autism and kids with neuro-developmental challnges in Israel and Worldwide. Initiator of breakthrough scientific academic research in the field of the use of MC by autistic children.

Marian Hutten PGMCG

MARIAN HUTTEN DE BRUIJN

NETHERLANDS – PGMCG
 

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

FRANCESCA BRIVIO

PERU- CANNABIS DE ESPERANZA
 
Actress, communicator and patient activist for the decriminalization of cannabis and drugs in general. Founder of Cannabis Gotas de Esperanza (now Cannabis de Esperanza) Co-Founder of the medical practice “CannaHope”.
Member of the IACM Patient Council, honorary member of the SBEC (Brazilian society for cannabis studies). Member, internal coordinator and coordinator of risk and harm reduction activities of Soma (“Las drogas como son”).
Member of LANPUD (Latin American and Caribbean Network of people who use drugs). Former head of political advocacy and president of Fecame (Federation of medicinal cannabis)
International speaker.
Member of the team that worked on the regulation of the current law (30681).
She currently has a claim accepted by the judiciary against the Ministry of Health for denying her personal cultivation. Co-author of the bill for personal cultivation and association presented by (Fecame and CDE).
Pavel Kubu foto

DR. PAVEL KUBU

CZECH REPUBLIC- KOPAC
 

Dr. Kubů is an expert in medical informatics and addictology, specializing in digital healthcare. He has formerly held a position at the Intel Corporation and was the Founding CEO of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) in Prague. Dr. Kubů is a graduate of Charles University in Prague, earning his Doctor of Medicine degree in General Medicine with a focus on disease prevention. Since the beginning of the 2. millennium he is actively contributing to cannabis access education, lobby, research and development on national, EU and international level. Currently serves as CIO in Chain Pharmaceuticals GmbH and chairs Patient association for cannabis treatment KOPAC and Czech national forum for eHealth.

Genlizzie Garibay

GENIZZIE GARIBAY

MEXICO – CANNATIVA 
 

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).

MichaelK

MICHAEL KRAWITZ

USA – VMCA
 

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”.

KevinIACMCouncil

KEVIN HERZIG

AUSTRIA – ARGE CANNA
 

Kevin was a founding member of ARGE CANNA, established in 2014 alongside other professionals. They identified a significant gap in patient advocacy for cannabis therapy in Austria. Drawing from his personal challenges with migraines and witnessing family members’ struggles with cancer, Kevin understands the potential benefits of cannabis. His ten-year career in a hospital provided a clear picture of patient needs. Notably, Kevin authored and spearheaded a citizen’s initiative for the legalization of medical cannabis flowers in Austria. Merging his clinical experience with his understanding of cannabis, Kevin consistently advocates for patient rights and the medicinal applications of cannabis.

Pedro Nicoletti Motta

PEDRO NICOLETTI MOTTA

BRAZIL – SOU CANNABIS
 

Pedro is a Brazilian geographer with specialization in bioethics and permaculture. He has worked in the field of cultivation and extraction for over 10 years (in United States, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia), collecting valuable experience of production techniq ues in different climate conditions and with distinct resources availability. He also worked among patients for assisting and orienting conscious usage and decision making under a harm reduction approach. That experience gave place to a series of educational activities dedicated to educate therapeutic users at first, that upscaled to a pedagogical consistent effort not only for users, but also for over 1000 professionals of the cannabis industry through CANNATIVA´s project. He is currently director of production in Sou Cannabis, a Brazilian patient oriented civil association, responsible for the association’s remedy production.

Sue Scandale

SUE SCANDALE

CYPRUS – FRIENDS OF
CANNABIS
 
Sue Scandale is a founding member of the Friends of Cannabis association (Φίλοι της Κάνναβης) in Cyprus.
The organization was founded in 2013 with the goals of:
• Affecting a change in attitudes towards cannabis through public awareness campaigns and media presence;
• Education and training of patients, professionals and caregivers for medical cannabis;
• Legalizing the use of cannabis through court cases and participation in the drafting of legislation;
• Supporting patients’ access to cannabis medicines and providing support for appropriate use.
Sue has been an activist for the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis for 35 years, first in the US, and currently in Cyprus. Her appreciation of the therapeutic value of cannabis came through her own experience of using cannabis to recover from addictions, as well as to overcome anxiety and insomnia.  Sue holds a Masters degree in Chinese Medicine, and practices Natural Medicine, including acupuncture and
herbalism in Nicosia, Cyprus.
She was one of the first few people who in the 1980’s began to rediscover how to make cannabis medicinals according to official pharmacopoeias and science-based herbal formulas, and explore novel ways to use them. Part of her work includes providing support, knowledge,
direction and overseeing the medical use of cannabis by patients with varying forms and degrees of illness or injury.
Paula

PAULA MOTA

PORTUGAL – ASSOCIAÇÃO MÃES PELA CANÁBIS
 

Paula Mota, is mother to Margarida who has Dravet Syndrome. Her condition led Paula to look for other therapies to reduce her seizures and improve her daughter’s quality of life which had been affected not only by the disease but by the pharmaceutical medications she had tried over 5 years, taking 16 antiepileptic drugs a day. After a lot of searching, she found cannabis and in it the best therapeutic solution for Margarida with it leading to improvements in her epilepsy, including the cognitive and psychomotor aspects of her disease, something that Margarida’s doctors cannot (do not want) to understand to this day. This path led Paula to meet and help other parents with conditions like Margarida’s, who after learning about their story, wanted to try cannabis for their children. This made her realize the difficulty in accessing cannabis, the price, where to buy it, resistance from doctors and often condemnation from those family and friends. That’s why in 2022 the Mothers for Cannabis Movement was born to give a voice to these parents and try to help and guide them in accessing cannabis. This movement grew and this year became an Association Mothers For Cannabis with the purpose of helping, informing, demystifying and educating, so that this plant that belongs to everyone and can reach those who need it most.

tom curran

TOM CURRAN

IRELAND – IRISH MEDICINAL CANNABIS COUNCIL
 

Tom saw the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant first hand while caring for his partner Marie who had MS. Since then, Tom has become involved in advocating for better access to cannabis in Ireland and is also European Coordinator for Exit International, an organisation that provides Information and guidance on assisted suicide and end of life matters. 

Christoffer

CHRISTOFFER H. RØRTVEIT

NORWAY –
PASCAN
 
Christoffer H. Rørtveit, a native of Oslo, Norway, is deeply committed to the cause of medical cannabis. Drawing on a background in communications and PR, he has lent his support to organizations like norml Norway and co-founded PASCAN, the patient association for safe cannabis use. Christoffer’s personal experience with medical cannabis in Norway ignited a passion for helping others navigate the complexities of access and treatment. His interests extend to sustainability, human rights, and ensuring equitable medical access. He believes strongly in the right to cultivate one’s own medicine as a cornerstone of medical cannabis access. Alongside this, Christoffer is fascinated by cannabis breeding and genetics, consistently seeking to expand his knowledge.
ISA

ISABELLA PALAZZO

ITALY – TUTELA PAZIENTI CANNABIS MEDICAL
 

Isabella Palazzo, a patient undergoing treatment with cannabinoid medications for almost 10 years, is the Founder and President of Tutela Pazienti Cannabis Medica. She suffers from neuropathic pain resistant to conventional medications, vascular grade ischemic leukoencephalopathy, migraine with aura, polyarthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Peter

PETER LINDQVIST

SWEDEN – SWEDISH ASSOCIATION FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS
 
Peter saw the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant first hand while caring for his father Tommy who suffered a subdural hematoma in 2015 and spent months in a coma. Tommy’s life after that was difficult with half side paralyzation, epilepsy, spasticity, speech and memory impairment and horrendous trigeminal neuralgia. 
 

Peter subsequently started a business working with hemp products as a solution to help his father and others, as at that time there were no lab tested products available one the Swedish market.

After Swedish law changed in 2019 and prohibited sales of hemp extracts ”people called in desperate despair, crying – something needed to be done” and later Peter co-founded the Swedish Association for Medical Cannabis.
 
The association works to overcome political, social and legal barriers and strives to improve access to medical cannabis for patients.
 
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MOHAMMAD ISMAIL WASWAY

UK – PATIENTSCANN UK
 

Mohammad Ismail “Ish” Wasway, founder of PatientsCann UK, stands as a dedicated advocate and director committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable landscape for patients in the UK. As both a patient and advocate, Ish has evolved into a dynamic force championing the cause of medicinal cannabis. His pivotal role extends to active membership in esteemed organisations such as the Cannabis Industry Council and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

At Sanskara, patient empowerment is at the core. Ish and his team tirelessly work towards ensuring patients receive comprehensive support, equipping them with the resources needed for well-informed decisions on their treatment journey. Beyond individual advocacy, PatientsCann UK spearheads impactful campaigns to raise awareness and normalise the use of cannabis as a legitimate form of medicine.

Ish’s multifaceted engagement involves collaborating with industry leaders to uplift the standards of the sector and interfacing with governmental bodies to establish compliance and ethical governance. Through these efforts, he envisions a future where patients have unimpeded access to cannabis-based treatments and where the medicinal potential of cannabis is universally recognised.

As Ish continues to be a trailblazer in the realm of patient advocacy, his work with PatientsCann UK is a testament to his unwavering commitment to positive change in the landscape of medicinal cannabis in the UK.

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DAPHNÉE ELISMA

CANADA – AUBE
 

Daphnée Elisma has been a medical cannabis patient since 2014 to treat chronic migraines and alleviate debilitating symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome following breast cancer. Ms. Elisma is a jurist, and also an activist for the rights of medical cannabis patients; she is particularly interested in studying discrimination based on health status and the excessive hardship of medical cannabis taxation in Canada.