Degé Rosillier Coutee
Degé Rosillier Coutee is President of the Board of Directors of Patient Advocacy Network, an LA-based non-profit organization providing education and advocacy to legally qualified medical cannabis patients. She directs the organization's education and advocacy programs and has an extensive background in the non-profit sector as a social worker, teacher and activist. She grew up in East Chicago and attended Purdue University completing degrees in English literature, professional writing, creative writing and theater with additional emphasis in sociology and education.
She escaped the ivory tower and began a career in education with at-risk youth and emergency services case management for the homeless. Degé has provided services for disabled/abused children, transitioning prisoners, victims of domestic violence, mental health patients, mentally retarded adults, recovering addicts, AIDS/HIV patients, indigent elders, veterans, international refugees and other vulnerable populations. She has taught pre-school, elementary and high school students, directed after-school and summer programs, mentored the Purdue Women's Basketball team, facilitated weekly seminars for welfare recipients and conducted civil rights workshops on college campuses.
Degé is a long-time environmental activist and social advocate having worked with: Medical Marijuana Task Force of Los Angeles as patient advocate; Homelessness Prevention Network of Tippecanoe Co. and Indiana Chapter of NORML as Education Director; Greenpeace, Hoosier Environmental Council, Vallejo Community Plan Renewal, Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance as phone canvasser/door canvasser/signature gatherer; Alliance of Berkeley Patients as Campaign Manager for local voter initiative; and Sierra Club – Wildcat Chapter as an editor; as well as theater and radio.
An auto accident injury to Degé’s neck and back in 1992, lead her to try cannabis while withdrawing from hard pharmaceuticals. Cannabis is a regular part of treating the pain, spasticity, migraines and other symptoms associated with her ongoing spinal nerve compression syndrome. “Cannabis is gentle and effective. I’m productive, not debilitated. No one should go to jail for that,” she states.
When Degé relocated to the Bay Area, she quickly found herself providing educational and social service programs to patients through California's medical cannabis collectives. She connected with other patient advocates around the State to learn there is an enormous need for educating patients, their communities, our elected officials and authorities on the efficacy of medical cannabis and this wasteful drug prohibition. Degé helped found PAN in 2006, where she has provided numerous consultations to professionals in the medical cannabis field and hundreds of workshops around California for medical cannabis patients and providers.
Degé enjoys writing, organic gardening, cooking, outdoors, sewing, jazz and caring for her cats.