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President MASS CANN/NORML (MC/N) for 14 years and am now treasurer.
Mr. Downing voluntarily dedicated a large portion of his waking hours to MASS CANN/NORML and the moderation of marijuana laws since 1990. He was president of the MASS CANN/NORML (MC/N) for 14 years and am now treasurer. The MC/N phone line has rung in my basement for 22 years.
He was one of two operations managers for the Massachusetts Coalition for Medicinal Cannabis (MC2) and managed a team of volunteer petitioners who, in 1990, gathered over 13,000 signatures in support of a Cambridge City Council home-rule petition supporting medicinal marijuana. MC2 kick started a chain of events that culminated in:
• The December 1991 passage of the “Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act”,
• Our Commonwealth’s very open request to the federal government for either access to, or permission to grow, marijuana, and
• Passage of the “Joe Hutchins Act: A medical necessity defense for the possession of marijuana”, which was signed by Governor Weld in August 1996.
Since 1991 he has been the primary organizer of MC/N’s annual Fall Freedom Rally on Boston Common which has generated donations of over $200,000. The Freedom Rally was the largest annual marijuana related rally until the Seattle Hempfest grew larger in the late 1990s.
Mr Downing maintains the MC/N library and, partly as a result, have detailed knowledge regarding many aspects of the subject. He has been High Times Activist of the Month twice, once as an individual and one as a MC/N board member, and was the very first subscriber to DRCNet.
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