Director and CEO: James Bell – an activist for 25 years and founder of Georgia N.O.R.M.L. in 1988. In 2012, James established the Georgia CARE Project after Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize. He serves as Georgia’s lobbyist for marijuana law reform and has testified before legislative committees, speaks at college events and works with the media as a consultant. He has also been instrumental in helping to draft reform legislation in Georgia. A videographer/producer by profession. “Marijuana will be decriminalized in my life time. I want to be a part of that.”
Secretary / Treasurer: Jason Turner – a freelance writer, Constitutionalist and Warrior for Justice. He spent 10 years in the United States Navy as a Logistics Specialist with three deployments under his belt, two of which were “boots on ground” embedded into Army units. Education: while it is important, he feels it is much more important to be self taught on the issues that are important to oneself, which makes the (wo)man you will become. Jason is an advocate for the right of military veterans and others to use medicinal cannabis for PTSD and other conditions. “Politicians should not be determining who benefits from cannabis, it is a human right.”
Social Media Manager: Tracy Manning – an activist, volunteer, and Social Media Manager at Georgia CARE Project. Since becoming publicly active in cannabis reform she has lobbied both state representatives and Congress in Washington DC. Her mission is to end the drug war and focus on harm reduction. Tracy speaks at various events representing our Project and works on public outreach projects.
Athens C.A.R.E. Project Director: Morgan King – a student at the University of Georgia where she is studying social work. She and the Athens CARE Project board members organize events to raise awareness about the drug war and encourage students to get involved in local government by going to the Mayor & Commission Meetings and reminding students to register and vote in Athens. Their mission is to decriminalize marijuana in Athens, GA., which they hope could lead to increased pressure for legalization in the state of Georgia.
Georgia CARE Project Advisory Board
Andy Cohen: The Cohen Law Firm – Andy was a public defender in Dalton, Georgia before entering private practice. He represented hundreds of clients in Superior Court in Whitfield and Murray Counties before moving to Atlanta in May of 2009 and starting the Cohen Law Firm. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, a master’s degree from the University of Washington, and a law degree from Mercer University. Having spent much of his adult life as a professional musician, he also has a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks.
Jill G. Polster: The Cohen Law Firm – Known as a fierce advocate, what distinguishes Jill from other criminal defense attorneys is her passion for fighting for the underdog along with her extensive experience handling criminal cases. She has extensive jury trial experience with a proven track record of success both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. J.D. – Georgia State University College of Law / B.A. Ithaca College, Ithaca , New York
Barbara Harris, RT, CMT – An author, Consciousness researcher and counselor living in Atlanta, Georgia. She spent six years at the University of Connecticut Medical School researching the after effects of people who have had Near-Death Experiences and taught about these after effects for 12 years at Rutgers University’s Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies. She also teaches and writes on the Emotional Needs of Critical Care Patients. Her most recent book is The Secrets of Medicinal Marijuana: A Guide for Patients and Those Who Care for Them (Muse House Press, Atlanta Georgia 2015)
David West – Established in 2003, David West & Associates is Georgia’s leader in marijuana defense. Founding attorney West has focused his practice on marijuana defense for nearly a decade. During that time, Mr. West has successfully defended a wide range of clients charged with marijuana offenses. Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, Georgia J.D. – Honors: Dean’s List Berry College, Rome, Georgia B.A. – 1991 Major: Political Science