Freedom Fighter of the Month
July 2009 – Mayor Joe Blundell
Cliff Village, Missouri
By Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator
Our Freedom Fighter of the Month, Joe Blundell of Cliff Village, Missouri, was run over by a train nine years ago. “It ground me up pretty good and I got, as a result of that, several screws, three inch titanium screws, drilled into my spinal column.” But then his story starts to sound very familiar to medical marijuana users.
“It hurts like crazy. And the only things the doctors would give me after this accident was morphine, codeine, and Demerol. All opium-based narcotics.”
A friend recommended cannabis and Blundell found it eased the pain (“I felt so good I cried”). He was able to eliminate the narcotics, just like so many medical cannabis users.
This familiar story becomes more interesting, because Joe Blundell is also the Mayor of Cliff Village and raised headlines for legalizing medical marijuana in this tiny hamlet of just thirty-three people. The controversy over Blundell’s handling of the vote added fuel to the fire and brought more attention to the medical marijuana issue. (You can read Joe’s account at joeblundell.blogspot.com.)
Mayor Blundell understands that the 4-3 vote legalizing medical use in Cliff Village is purely symbolic, as the town is still governed by Missouri state law. Blundell is lobbying to change that with Missouri’s HB 2514, which would bring protection for medical users like him.
However, medical marijuana is not Blundell’s only passion. He is a sustainability engineer and his battle to test contaminated wells and guarantee clean drinking water for his town is what led to his election as mayor. His Sustainable Living Systems (geo-gro.com) are self-heating, self-cooling homes that he developed when he had to solve the problem of heating a community greenhouse.
With a creative and dedicated activist like Joe Blundell behind it, we believe medical marijuana will fast become reality in Missouri.