At UCSD, I was required to take classes like ‘Drugs and Neuroscience,’ ‘Drugs and the Brain, Mind + Culture,’ ‘Cognitive Ethnography,’ ‘Systems Neuroscience,’ and more (twist my arm!).
My wheels started turning as I immersed myself in the scientific literature and case studies.
It seemed like stigma, before just an abstract word with a bit of stickiness, morphed into this being I could suddenly see. I wanted to introduce myself to Stigma…to get acquainted with her a bit, maybe ask her where she came from and why the hell she liked ruining lives. And then slowly, carefully, I began to understand her. I dove into a pool of question marks concerning Mary Jane and her origin, uses and efficacy. I paired that with the study of the brain and its biases (and was even able to sneak a little German study in there).
A veil of fear and ignorance was lifted. I was HOOKED, ya’ll. But I was also upset.
I thought of all of the kids I shared my home with.
The foster kids of past, present + future who weren’t allowed access to medical cannabis.
Some of the parents of these kids who are sitting in jail with nonviolent cannabis charges, now looking at a family torn in shreds- not to mention the associated costs (emotionally, mentally, financially, energetically, etc).
The caregivers of these kids who would get thrown in jail for using a plant as medicine. A deep knowing began to emerge: I must use my voice in this space.