"I realized cannabis is far safer and effective than my prescription seizure medications," said PAN board member and founder of Axis of Love San Francisco Shona Gochenaur in 2000. "Cannabis allowed me to go from being an unemployed, non-functioning, disabled American to being an active and functioning disabled American capable of organizing my community."
Shona's political activism began in her teens in Wisconsin, where she organized rallies in Milwaukee on the issues of police brutality, women's rights and economic equality. For the past 15 years, Shona has been a resident of San Francisco, where she remains active in women's rights and health issues. She founded the Women's Health Circle for low-income and vulnerable women. She trained women to protect themselves from rape and other violence and facilitated groups on missing and exploited children.
Shona became well-known for her organizing around the arrest, at San Francisco international airport, of federal defendant and medical cannabis patient Steve Kubby (later Libertarian presidential candidate) when he came to San Francisco seeking sanctuary from unjust drug laws. http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Steve_Kubby,%20co-author_of_California_Proposition_215,_grows_dangerously_ill_in_US_custody
Shona's advocacy and work with Steve's publicity led to, in addition to international press coverage, a San Francisco Board of Supervisors resolution supporting Kubby after he was arrested at San Francisco International Airport upon his return from Canada, where he had fled.
Shona's advocacy with SF Board of Supervisors has resulted in over ten resolutions and ordinances protecting patients, the city's sanctuary status, and both patient providers and landlords. Shona is community adviser on medical cannabis issues to California State Senator Carole Midgen who introduced SB529, the sales tax amnesty for medical cannabis dispensaries bill. Shona formed the Medical Cannabis Working Group with SF Police Chief Chief Heather Fong --- the first such group in the nation. She has been chair of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club Cannabis Caucus for three years. She helped write guidelines for San Francisco's Lowest Law Enforcement Priority (for marijuana offenses) Committee – currently home to many active members of the SF cannabis patient community. Shona continues to advise and advocate with many local, state and federal officials to end cannabis prohibition so patients can be most protected from legal jeopardy,
Shona Gochenaur is the founder and executive director of Axis of Love San Francisco, an advocacy and support organization serving indigent patients in the SF medical cannabis community. Axis of Love provides food and medicine to low income patients as well as support groups for women, veterans, harm reduction and more. Axis of Love also executes emergency response during police raids on patients and providers, organizes rallies and press and keeps San Francisco's medical cannabis patients community invigorated and active.
For Shona – “Compassion plus action equals life.”