KushConII, December 17-19 at the Colorado Convention Center, has made news over its RTD bus ads, which have drawn protests from law-enforcement. But Cheryl Shuman, the event's international director of PR and media, would rather focus on the event itself, which she says takes medical marijuana seriously. That's important to her, since she's got inoperable liver cancer she treats with MMJ.
April's Colorado Cannabis Convention -- the first KushCon in Denver -- was criticized by some MMJ advocates for focusing too much on lifestyle and not enough on the serious medical issues being addressed by marijuana. Shuman's heard some of the same complaints, which she says were caused in part by behind-the-scene drama; the event's original organizers allegedly disappeared with a pile of vendor checks just before the convention was set to get underway, forcing the folks at California's Kush Magazine to go into last minute rescue mode.
This time around, however, Shuman says Kush has had the opportunity to take charge from the start. And while there'll be lots of entertainment, including a skateboard exhibition and concerts by the Flobots, Mix Master Mike and more, KushConII will also feature a distinguished panel of speakers from all over the United States, including former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, current Congressman Jared Polis, representatives from every major marijuana advocacy organization and lots of medical professionals. Look below to see a detailed release and a speakers schedule.
"We've got almost $1.8 million in the show," Shuman says, "and on the political side, we'll have the powerhouses of the industry. That's one of the reasons I wanted to be involved -- to bring everybody to the same place in the same room."
Example: KushConII will be the coming-out party for the NORML Women's Fundraising Alliance, which she sees as a major step forward in changing medical marijuana's reputation among mainstreamers. Moreover, Shuman insists that the event as a whole will be "family-friendly, which is important to me, because I'm a mom."
She's also a true believer in the medical efficacy of marijuana, which she discovered after she suffered a health crisis she continues to battle on a daily basis.
"I worked in TV and film publicity for 25 years," she points out. "I worked with Tom Cruise, Madonna. But then I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was in the hospital for years and had many surgeries. Part of my colon and bladder were removed, and now, the cancer has metastasized to my liver."
In the beginning of her illness, Shuman relied entirely on standard medication. "I was on 27 different pharmaceuticals," she recalls. "I was literally bedridden, on a morphine pump." Medical marijuana gave her back the quality of life she enjoys today, but it also put her at odds with the medical establishment. As she tearfully notes, "I was denied a liver transplant because I am a medical cannabis patient."
With surgery to remove the cancer from her liver not an option, Shuman has turned to Colorado Springs' Dr. Bob Melamede, "who helped me get into a cannabis science program in Colorado and put me on an experimental medicine. I haven't had my next MRI, but I'm hopeful that it can stop the growth of the tumor."
In the meantime, Shuman is pouring her heart and soul into KushConII. "I hope before I die, I'll see cannabis legalized," she says. "I want to leave a legacy. I want to stand for something, and this is my chance. Colorado is the center of the universe for cannabis, and that's why we're here. We're going to make history."
Look below to see a release about KushConII, the aforementioned speakers schedule and a video of Shuman testifying before the Los Angeles City Council about her medical condition:
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION TO REFORM MARIJUANA LAWS: NORML WOMEN'S ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES FIRST NATIONAL FUNDRAISING WEEKEND AT WORLD'S LARGEST EVER CANNABIS LIFESTYLE EVENT -- KUSHCON II DENVER, COLORADO, DECEMBER 16, 17, 18, 19TH
December 13, 2010 -- Beverly Hills, CA. -- Cannabis has captured the attention of the world. From December 17 thru the 19th of 2010, the Colorado Convention Center will be buzzing with thousands of medical marijuana experts and enthusiasts in the largest Cannabis lifestyle convention to ever take place on planet Earth -- Kush Con II.
NORML Women's Alliance fundraising weekend begins with a business to business networking event sponsored by the Medical Marijuana Business Alliance and KUSH Magazine on Thursday, December 16th where the elite of the cannabis industry will gather together to celebrate the movement and organize product and service giveaways expected to raise more than $100,000 for the charity.
The international media capitalized on the "Stiletto Stoners" phenomenon fascinated by women's use of cannabis. Celebrities like Melissa Etheridge and Alanis Morissette are putting a new face on this controversial plant. Riding that wave, the national office of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Law announces the NORML Women's Alliance steering committee for their first annual major fundraising weekend event at KUSHCON II.
Heading up the steering committee for the fundraising weekend is former Beverly Hills NORML Executive Director Cheryl Shuman. Shuman is the Director of Public Relations and Media for the KUSH Brand including KUSH Magazine, KUSH Conventions and DailyBuds.com the #1 Social Media Network for the Cannabis Community. "It's my job to remove the negative stigma and stereotypes of a cannabis user. Real women and men behind the Marijuana Reform movement are taking a stand to make a change by boldly coming "out of the closet" to educate the public at KUSHCON II," states Cheryl Shuman.
Cheryl Shuman brings 25 years of experience working with media, celebrities, marketing and health care in Beverly Hills. Shuman found her passion in the cannabis movement since 1996 working as an activist and legal cannabis patient. Since using cannabis therapy, she has survived cancer and injuries from two car crashes.
"The therapeutic value of socialization and the building of family and community should not be underestimated. The right of patients to peaceably assemble -- to socialize and build family and community, and network and organize -- is paramount for their health and recovery. KUSHCON II is the center of the universe for patients and activists," states Shuman.
"We as a modern society can fiscally improve our budget by moving cannabis from the criminal sector into the lawful sector. This is not a left or right issue -- it's really common sense. Regulation and taxation of marijuana could produce billions of dollars in additional tax revenue as well as save on the enormous costs of law enforcement. Bottom line is the prohibition of marijuana has been a fiscal fiasco," says Cheryl Shuman.
Among the over 400 vendor booths spanning over 300,000 square feet will be everything from Extreme skateboarding demonstrations to local DJs and headline artist concert series. KushCon II will have something for every member of the family including gourmet cannabis cooking demonstrations, cultivation experts, to over $100,000 worth of giveaways including a complete $46,000, 28 foot Growbots mobile growing system, blown glass, hydro lights, leather jackets, cannabis lifestyle clothing and more. This will be the place to finish your last minute Christmas (KushMas) shopping, or win some fantastic prizes.
The KushMas party will continue throughout the weekend with a daily concert series touting artists and DJs such as the Flobots, The Dirty Heads, Mickey Avalon, Asher Roth, Mic Master Mike, Aaron Lewis of Staind, War and Santana lead singer Greg Rollie.
This is the second time Kush Magazine and dailybuds.com have brought the cannabis convention to Denver. In April 2010, Kush Con descended on the Denver Convention Center with over thousands of patrons perusing the hundreds of booths.
In addition to entertainment, KushCon II is really about the dissemination of information about the cannabis culture. There will be breakout rooms with speakers from within the medical cannabis industry and the cannabis movement, including growing expert including Ed Rosenthal, Governor Gary Johnson, U.S. Congressman Jared Polis, Matt Cook, head of Colorado Department of Revenue, Attorneys Rob Corry and Warren Edson, and Brian Vicente. Medical information for patients about marijuana and its uses to treat certain modalities will be presented by Dr. Robert (Bob) Melamede. Keynote speakers from NORML include founder Keith Stroup, Sabrina Fendrick, Greta Gaines, Anne Davis, Russ Belville and Cheryl Shuman. There will also be speakers from other activists and non-profit organizations from around the world.
With all of the recent news about cannabis appearing daily through international media outlets, KUSH hopes to continue with efforts towards legalization. "The cannabis movement is not just the "Stiletto Stoners" or the medical marijuana patients or the stereotypical "Deadheads" from the 70s. It includes a broad cross section of Americans who should have the right to responsibly use marijuana without the fear of prosecution. As prohibition of alcohol finally ended, it is our goal to have the same outcome--end the prohibition of marijuana. We invite you to join us in building a better informed, kinder and more compassionate world," states Shuman.
The event will be cannabis free, open to the public, with all ages welcome.
What is KushCon II?
Friday 4:00PM -10:00PM, Saturday 10:00AM-10:00PM, Sunday 10:00AM-6:00PM
A Snapshot of Kush Magazine, USA: Kush Magazine is the leading magazine on medical cannabis use and the cannabis lifestyle in the United States. Kush is filled with relevant articles about the cannabis lifestyle, cultivation, medical cannabis patients' rights, legal issues, political issues, strain reviews, music events, entertainment as well as recipes for medical cannabis infused edibles. Kush publishes a comprehensive list by city of medical marijuana dispensaries, and medical doctors that write recommendations for Cannabis. Patients throughout Colorado and California also get thousands of dollars of savings on their medical marijuana purchases through targeted coupons and advertisements in each issue of Kush magazine.
Circulation: 22 MILLION PAGES PER MONTH
CALIFORNIA San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Sacramento, the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.
COLORADO Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Boulder. Kush is currently working on expanding publication to Montana (January 2011) and Michigan (2011).
A Snapshot of dailybuds.com 114,000 MEMBERS DAILY Dailybuds.com is the leading social networking site for the cannabis lifestyle in the United States. Often regarded as the Facebook for marijuana users, the website's demographic is 25-35 and receives over 15 million hits every month.
Talent Line-Up: KushCon II Concert Series
Friday Night: Mickey Avalon, famous Hollywood rapper, started his career collaborating with ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex, and gaining most of his following in the Santa Cruz nightclub scene. He then went to form a group called the Dyslexic Speedreaders, which featured Mickey Avalon, Dirt Nasty, Beardo, and Andre Legacy. In 2006, My Space Record recorded his first album, entitle Mickey Avalon. His most recent album which came out this year is titled Electric Gigolo.
Asher Roth grew up in Morrisville as a suburban kid with a love for hip- hop. During his sophomore year of college, Asher sent a demo to Scooter Braun, an Atlanta-based promoter. He was picked up immediately and moved to Atlanta to dive into his new hip-hop career. In June of 2008, Roth debuted his first album, entitled The Greenhouse Effect, which made him the second white rapper on Don Cannon and DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz series. In 2009, he released his first studio album, entitled Asleep in the Bread Aisle, which featured the hit song "I Love College", a song that won him the opening act to the second half of Blink-182's Reunion Tour. His second album currently being promoted is entitled The Spaghetti Tree.
The Flobots originated in 2001 with MC Jamie Laurie, Johnny 5, guitar player David Grallow, cello player T'Errance Favors and bass player Jaymz Haynes to debut their first album, Onomatopoeia. In 2005, Johnny 5 released a second album under the Flobots name with different band mates: MC Brer Rabbit, violist Mackenzie Gault, bassist Jesse Walker, guitarist Andy Guerrero, trumpet player Joe Ferrone, and drummer Kenny Ortiz. They premiered the album Flobots Presents...Platypus. The album took off and at the Red Rocks performance in 2007 where they opened for The Fray, Flobots had their largest performances. In October 2007, Flobots released their debut album Fight with Tools, which introduced the single 'Handlebars', and they sold out at the cd release party at the Gothic Theater in Englewood, Colorado. In March of 2010, they debuted their second official album,Survival Story.
Saturday Night: Most known for his involvement in the Beastie Boys, Mix Master Mike has established himself as one of the pre-eminent DJs in the industry. In 1994, he had won the DMC World Championship DJ competition for the third time in a row. He is most known for his intricate style, using a mix of heavy-hitting bass and scratch routines. Mix Master Mike was attributed to inventing the Tweak Scratch DJ style as well as integrating the wah-wah pedal for guitars onto his turntables. In 1995, he won the Grandwizard Theodore award for lifetime achievement from the International Turntablist Federation. His albums include: Juko (1991), Anti-Theft Device (1998), Spin Psycle (2001), Bangzilla (2004), NaPALM ROCKETS (2010).
Aaron Lewis started in his first band, J-Cat, with Tori Sands, Chris Ballini, and Jon Wysocki, where two of his most famous songs were originally performed: 'Outside' and 'It's Been Awhile'. He then formed the band Staind which included lead guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist Johnny April and drummer Jon Wysocki. As a band, they self released their first album, Tormented, in 1996, and took off from there. They currently have a total of seven albums under their belt and have plans to release their 8th album sometime soon. Aaron Lewis has been nominated for 3 Grammy Awards throughout his career and finished his first solo acoustic album with a hint of country in July of this year.
The Dirty Heads, the band was founded by Jared Watson and vocalist/guitarist Dustin "Duddy" Bushnell in Huntington Beach, California. Later, percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa, and bassist David Foral were added to the band, incorporating a cross between a punk and reggae sound. In 2008, they debuted their first album Any Port in a Storm, and have toured all over the country with such bands as OAR, 311, Kottonmouth Kings, and Matisyahu. Their most famous latest single is titled, "Lay Me Down."
Sunday Night: Gregg Rolie began his career in 1965 with the band, William Penn and His Pals. A year later, he and Carlos Santana formed the band, the Santana Blues Band, which later became known as Santana. His band gained accolades for their performance at the original Woodstock in 1969. He is most known for his lead vocals on the songs "Black Magic Woman" and "Evil Ways". In 1973 after leaving Santana, he and Neal Schon started the band, Journey, where he was the keyboardist for the band for the first 6 years. After Steve Perry joined the band in 1977, Rolie co-sang with Perry on several of Journey's hits. He left the band in 1980 and started The Gregg Rolie Band in 1985, when he came out with his first album, Gregg Rolie, and a second album in 1987, entitled Gringo. In 1991, he formed a new band called The Storm with Steve Smith and Ross Valory from Journey, as well as Josh Ramos and Kevin Chalfant, and their first single "I've Got a Lot to Learn about Love" hit number 3 on the Billboard Album Chart that same year. He reunited The Gregg Rolie band in 2001 with their debut album, Roots, and recently the band put out a live album in 2007 entitled, Rain Dance.
War, an American Funk band, began in 1969, featuring Eric Burdon, Howard E Scott, Harold Brown, Charles Miller, Morris "BB" Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Lee Oskar, and Papa Dee Allen. "Spill the Wine", from their debut album Eric Burdon Declares "War", became their first hit single and launched the band's career. They recorded 19 studio albums from 1970-1994, including the album Why Can't We Be Friends? in 1975, which included two of their most famous songs to hit number 1 on the Billboard Album Chart: "Why Can't We Be Friends?", "Low Rider." They still, to this day, perform their famous hits all over the world.
Founded in 1970, NORML supports the right of adults to use marijuana responsibly, whether for medical or personal purposes. All penalties, both civil and criminal, should be eliminated for responsible use. Further, to eliminate the crime, corruption and violence associated with any "black market," a legally regulated market should be established where consumers could buy marijuana in a safe and secure environment. NORML also supports the legalization of hemp (non-psychoactive marijuana) for industrial use.
About NORML Women's Alliance: The NORML Women's Alliance is a nonpartisan coalition of prominent, educated, successful, geographical diverse and high-profile professional women who believe that marijuana prohibition is a self-destructive and hypocritical policy that undermines the American family, sends a mixed and false message to our young people, and destroys the cherished principles of personal liberty and local self-government.
Marijuana prohibition makes the difficult job of parenting even more difficult by the state and federal governments not actually controlling marijuana use, cultivation or distribution -- notably by American youth.
These diverse women will bring a contemporary approach to the public policy debate, and will proudly represent the interests of modern, mainstream women who believe that the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition far outweigh any repercussions from marijuana consumption itself.
The NORML Women present a core group of national spokeswomen ready to interact with the public and the media on the important issue of marijuana legalization.
About Cheryl Shuman:
Cheryl Shuman was the founder of Beverly Hills NORML, charter member of the NORML Women's Alliance and serves on the steering committee for Public Relations and Marketing on an International platform. Shuman is the Director of Public Relations, Media and Marketing for the KUSH Brand which includes KUSH Magazine, KUSH Conventions and DailyBuds.com. Cheryl Shuman has been interviewed for hundreds of television programs, newspapers and magazines, including but not limited to: Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Today Show NBC, HBO Entertainment News, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and more.
Through her personal relationships and connections with Hollywood elite, Cheryl Shuman has been named as one of the most influential women in the cannabis reform movement by international media. Her position with the KUSH brand creates the first and only company of their kind and at the forefront of entertainment marketing, celebrity endorsements, product placement integration, sponsorships, production and technology.
About Michael Lerner:
It's hard to have a discussion about medical marijuana in America without mentioning Michael Lerner. Nationally regarded as the leading expert on medical Cannabis use, Lerner has appeared on every major news network, including CNN, NBC, CBS and Fox giving insight this timely, and often contentious, issue.
The Founder and Editor in Chief of Kush Magazines and dailybuds.com, Michael Lerner, who is also known as the "Medicine Man", has over 17 years of experience in publishing and has led Kush to be the #1 Cannabis lifestyle magazine in the United States and dailybuds.com, the premiere social networking site for Cannabis users, to over 15 million page views per month.
The Denver Kush Con Medical Marijuana Convention in December will be the second time Lerner will bring the event to the Mile High City. This year, Kush Con II will feature hundreds of booths with vendors running the gamut of the medical marijuana industry. This year's holiday convention also boasts a "KushMas Party" on Saturday, December 18th, that will feature numerous musical guests for a family friendly affair to celebrate the healing power that medical marijuana has brought to so many suffering from a wide range of illnesses.
About Bob Selan:
Bob Selan is co-founder and CEO of DBDotCom, LLC, the parent company of Kush Magazine, Daily Buds (www.dailybuds.com), the largest online social network for medical marijuana and the cannabis lifestyle, and KushCon, the producer of national mega cannabis conventions.
Selan runs day-to-day operations at DbDotCom, LLC , and oversees the business and legal affairs of the company. He brings with him over 30 years of business and legal experience that includes online publishing, advertising, printing, entertainment, sports, electronics, law firms, and real estate development.
He received his BS in Journalism from the University of Southern California, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and his JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Colorado Cannabis Convention fight will land in court."