The Cannabiz Review is very proud to share with you a cannabis hero, activist and Big Island resident, Mike Ruggles. Watch the video. Read the story below. Get involved!

This is your chance to help Hawaii’s medical cannabis hero Mike Ruggles and help set precedence for collectives in the state.
While Mike Ruggles is facing 77 years in prison, this is an opportunity to set precedence for medical marijuana collectives in Hawaii. Please help with legal fees-your donation will:

Your donation will:

  1. Help set legal precedence for medical cannabis collectives in Hawaii.
  2. Save an innocent and cherished father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend, and local freedom fighter from 77 years in prison.
  3. Make a statement that medical cannabis patients are not a danger to society and do not deserve to die in prison.

If you suffer from chronic pain or a debilitating condition and have experienced how cannabis betters your quality of life- this fight is for you.

Mike’s Story

Mike Ruggles is a well-known Big Island medical cannabis activist and patient. He is known for his charismatic, funny, down-to-earth, kind and generous nature. He’s mentored 100’s of people on  their rights, and how to legally get started, safely cultivate, process, and consume cannabis in its various forms to best suit their needs.

This last January, Mike noticed the definition of “medical use” in Hawaii’s medical marijuana law has been changed to now allow medical cannabis patients to transfer medicine between each other. Combined with State and Federal laws on controlled substances, he saw a legal opportunity to start a collective for patients to help each other. Mike contacted over 20 government agencies from the Attorney General’s Office to various  related offices to inquire this law change. Not one agency denied the legality.

So, he opened the Alternative Pain Management Pu`uhonua LLC Collective and modeled it after legally successful collectives in California. “Pu’uhonua” translates to “place of refuge.” In just 9 months, hundreds of medical marijuana patients joined, with the majority being over 50 years of age, including hospice patients and veterans. Not only was membership free, but patients had  variety of medical resources. The collective was a success.

Despite the fact that the collective (1) legal, (2) paid taxes, and (3) clearly benefited the community, on September 10th the collective was raided by Hawaii police, (who are publicly opposed to the Hawaii’s medical cannabis program) and Mike was arrested. Not only were terminally ill patients’ medicine seized, Mike is being wrongly charged with running a “dispensary” and is now facing 77 years in prison- a life sentence. Mike is a father of four and grandfather of five. He needs a good attorney.

It’s been 15 years since Hawaii’s medical marijuana program started. It’s time for law enforcement to support the legal right for patients to acquire the medications recommended by their doctor. Though legal, for 15 years patients have been dangerously forced to purchase their medicine from the black market. It’s time for change.

If you agree that:

  • It’s reasonable that medical marijuana patients be able to acquire medicine through a Collective.
  • Mike doesn’t deserve a life sentence.
  • Patients shouldn’t have to wait so that only 2 dispensaries can monopolize and somehow serve our over 5,000 Big Island medical marijuana patients and charge whatever the want.

Please consider making a donation now. If a thousand people donate $10, that’s a critical $10,000 toward the cause.

By donating you aren’t just keeping Mike out of prison, you’re helping to set precedence for the collective model statewide.

All funds will go directly to the Save Ruggles legal fund. Unfortunately, good attorney’s are expensive and it’s going to take one of the best to WIN this.

Other Ways You Can Help

Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:

  • SHARE!!! Share to Facebook, Tweet, and EMAIL the link to your friends. Together, our networks can WIN this!
  • Write a few paragraphs to the editor to West Hawaii TodayThe Tribune Herald, and Star Advertiser on why you support Mike and the Collective.
  • Write to the Honorable Judge Nakamura in support of Mike Ruggles at 777 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, HI 96720.
  • Attend the trial. Trial begins on February 16th, a large crowd shows the jury that people care and are watching.
Thank you for your support, every little bit counts. We will keep you posted.
Sincerely,
Mike and the Save Ruggles Team
Many mahalos to Mike Ruggles and the Save Ruggles Team for contributing this article.