By: Nicole Scott
Today I keep thinking about why I do what I doâ€¦.
Why start a cannabis institute devoted to teaching the laws that protect us?
Why be active in the cannabis community?
Why try to change the face of marijuana?
Why join all the activist groups and try to invoke change?
I think I do know why.
In the last year, I have met so many people who are touched by cannabis both positively and negatively. The stories roll around in my brain, like Trish, whose mom died of cancer â€“ she says she wants others to know about the miraculous medicine they could use instead of pharmaceuticals; Jason who has a green thumb and now is trying to defend himself in San Diego County Court for growing in excess of the county limits; and people from every conceivable mindset who agree that cannabis in an amazing plant. We share this common idea that marijuana is a great thing for too many reasons to mention here. We are united in our struggle with societyâ€™s limited views of marijuana smokers. I can see the image it congers up now: the dirty old hippie with a Willie Nelson ponytail in a tie-dyed t-shirt, standing around with a joint looking very stoned and confused. I donâ€™t know about you, but Iâ€™m not talking about this guy. I donâ€™t know him, just the â€œimageâ€ of him.
I go to many of the collectives, storefronts, co-ops and doctors offices in San Diego, so I get to see it all. I really want the masses to see cannabis people the way I view them. In my mission to educate others, I try to obtain as much press attention as possible and then show normal nice people who are interested in and active with marijuana â€“ Iâ€™m just getting started.
Some Days are better than others.
I am thankful to be me. With that said, yesterday was a toughie. Being in the marijuana business is challenging for most. The Legal Cannabis Institute phone is forever ringing with questions about wanting clarity on the law, fear, and wanting to get in the industry. All are good questions, but thereâ€™s just so much confusion and so many rumors. My friend Smitty told me that it is legal to smoke at the beach. Well, NO, there is no smoking on the beach. You will be ticketed if sighted. This one is an everyday call. If I get a doctorâ€™s recommendation, then â€œtheyâ€ will know and I will be put on a list of people who are using drugs. Wow, have I been fooled by this whole freedom of the people thing? Seriously people, if there is a â€œlist,â€ youâ€™re probably already on it, which is my guess. Everyone wants to own a marijuana dispensary. I get several calls daily about this idea. You would be surprised by the number of people who think they are going to start a mail order online marijuana pharmacy. After people take the class on starting a cannabusiness, most decide it is too difficult for them. Yep, it probably is.
More County/City crazy making.
This is the reason why I stay active in the marijuana community. I have come to believe there are roughly 20 people in San Diego that show up for any or all of the meetings that are going on right now to decide the fate of patientâ€™s access in our local cities and county. I find it bizarre that more people are not active in this volatile and still unset process. This is an amazing time for marijuana and the local laws for zoning, health and safety and most importantly, access to medicine. If youâ€™re interested in getting more involved, join one of the fine marijuana legalization groups and start getting involved.
The Image of a â€œPotheadâ€ to the outside World.
Sometimes, when Iâ€™m out and about, I will not tell the whole truth about what I do for a living. Mostly because people have so many questions about marijuana and I just want to eat lunch. Everyone deserves a day off, now and again. When I do share this informational gem, the average Joe will say, â€œHey, you donâ€™t even look like a pothead,â€ to which I reply, â€œWell, thank you, I guess.â€ What does a pothead look like? Evidentially, these pothead people are the scourge of society. They are dirty, unkept, from the 70s, dregs of society, and on and on. Wow, so glad Iâ€™m NOT representing them! I try to laugh it off, but canâ€™t. If that is what society believes about cannabis, then we have a lot of work to do. They have clearly not met Cindy; a student of LCIâ€™s whose mother is dealing with pain management without using pharmaceutical drugs. Cindy grows cannabis for her mom to help her live a life worth living without the pain. Neither Cindy or her mother share with anyone what they are doing to avoid the condemnation of using a plant.
The Answer is association with other like-minded Folks.
This is the easiest and fastest way to invoke change. Start or join a movement already in progress. We are in the middle of making history. On the good side, marijuana is more readily available in California than ever before. On the not so good side, many different fractions are jockeying for their own agendas. Look at each groupâ€™s missions and goals, and then decide if that is what you want to happen.
And, always remember to keep going and help others on the way. In my lifetime, I have seen change that was incomprehensible based on those who just donâ€™t give up. Be that change PEOPLE, be that change!