Embattled marijuana personality Cheryl Shuman disparaged Parents 4 Pot founder and blogger Mickey Martin in a contentious HuffPost Live interview by host Nancy Redd on Nov. 22 (see video below).
In the last week, Shuman and Serra Frank have been accused of using Moms for Marijuana for their own purposes; many board members quit. With Martin behind Shuman-bashing posts at his weedactivist.com blog and Parents 4 Pot, she came out swinging:
"I think the idea and concept is a good one. My issue quite frankly is with the person who's starting it. I would be very careful about being involved to be honest with you… I was very alarmed when I looked into this group and I know the person who started it. It concerns me. My big issue with him is he went to prison when he gave his tainted edible - medical marijuana laced edibles - to underaged school children and that's why he went to prison, because parents complained... Now he's out of prison and my big concern is that group is a total front to lure young girls into these little parties that he has."
Other outrageous Shuman comments in the interview:
• "The cannabis community is it's very divided and very splintered. There are the groups that are more radical like PETA that throw blood on people and they get really nasty and negative… I personally think it's very dangerous some of the tactics that these groups use."
• "I'm a patient. I'm not a girl or a woman that goes out partying every night. I'm not one to bring out a meth torch and do meth and pot together like some of these other groups and the Parents 4 Pot group. That group thinks that all drugs should be legal and are just highlighting pot because it's in the news right now."
• "These militant, radical groups who've been in prison and are really rough people, I'd be very, very leery. I've seen some of the things this group has done already. It's very concerning."
• "In the cannabis community there's the old school, which are a lot of old-time drug dealers that are used to being in gangs with guns."
(Several points: Martin never went to prison; he served a year in a halfway house. PETA is not a marijuana group. Shuman may be referring to dabbing when she mentions the "meth torch.")
In an open letter to Redd, Martin writes: "It is shameful what you have allowed to happen here to myself and the many other good parents who are organizing because groups like Cheryl’s have exploited them for personal fame and fortune for too long… I will be pursuing all legal recourse against Ms. Shuman and your show for damages this causes."
Even Shuman supporter Russ Belville added his own mea culpa: "If you want to blame anyone for Cheryl Shuman in the marijuana movement, blame me, because I was the one who recruited her for NORML… But condone it I cannot. Cheryl was grossly out of line in that interview and made me feel ashamed for her. For her to sink to the Internet troll lowest common denominator was unworthy of our mission and message."
Another former friend of Shuman, blogger Steve Elliot, has sided with Martin, posting his article, "Hostile Takeover: How Cheryl Shuman Destroyed Moms for Marijuana," subtitled: "Welcome to the tawdry story of how Cheryl Shuman got control of Moms for Marijuana International for little more than the price of a movie camera, a laptop and a spa trip."