Simply put, none of us in the legal Vermont cannabis community are here today in this digital or political space without the efforts of Mark Tucci, one of Vermont’s pioneering medical cannabis advocates, patients, caregivers, and cultivators.

Photo by Emily Graham-Handley

But this isn’t Mark’s obituary, it’s the exact opposite: an opportunity to appreciate and recognize Mark’s miraculous life¬† and work right now by donating whatever you can to help purchase a ‘Sure Hands’ medical device, which will assist him in moving his nearly-paralyzed body from his wheelchair to his bed, bath, and other areas of the house.

If you’re not familiar with Mark Tucci’s story, Ken Picard did a great job profiling his work in 2009 for Seven Days as one of Vermont’s first medical cannabis advocates and patients.

From a 2009 Seven Days profile of Mark Tucci (Photographs by Caleb Kenna, special thanks to Ken Picard)

Mark is also the author of “The Patients’ Simple Guide to Growing Medical Marijuana”, a 2006 growers manual (banned by eBay) that was written in simple language to empower the sick and largely impoverished Vermonters who comprise the state’s medical marijuana registry to grow their own.

Back then — long before dispensaries and Instagram — you could be terminally-ill and be kicked out of your nursing home by the Burlington Police for using medical cannabis; RIP to the good Shayne. Despite those risks and challenges, through sheer will and dogged determination, Mark organized a grassroots network of compassionate growers, caregivers, and patients who shared life-saving genetics, knowledge, and a sense of community.

Despite battling Multiple Sclerosis for damn near two decades, Mark’s been able to live independently in his southern Vermont cabin, largely thanks to a network of angels, including Tad, Virginia, Nancy, Kalev & Monique, Brendon, Ben, Bruce, Sam, Sonny, Fran, Susan, his Boys, and many many many more people who have walked the walk supporting their friend for two decades as his MS-riddled body has made independent living an increasing challenge.

Tucci keeps his spirits high and stays actively involved with cannabis politics advocating for continued medical cannabis reforms that he helped jumpstart in the early 2000s. However, unfortunately, Tucci’s mostly-paralyzed-by-MS body doesn’t keep up with his ass-kicking spirit and in order to help him continue to live with the same quality of independence, one of his friends, an incredibly generous friend named Tad, has organized a Go Fund Me fundraiser to purchase a ‘Sure Hands’ device, which will help lift and move him from various seats and beds

It’s a tough time to be asking for money, but if you’re a member of the Vermont cannabis community in any capacity — especially a business/trapper earning income from cannabis– or have you have had your life impacted by medical cannabis in Vermont in any way, please consider donating anything you can towards the cause.

Tucci in the backyard, Summer 2019; Photo Credit: Fran Janik, another amazing Vermont medical cannabis pioneer and OG friend to patients!