My Happy Valentine

Happy Valentines Day! Love and cannabis are in the air and I, well I’m working most of the day. That’s what happens when Valentines Day falls on a Wednesday. However, for those lucky enough to live in a cannabis legal state and possessing a more liberal schedule I hope you find the right strain or product to help get the most out of your romantic encounters.

Time and time again I find myself seeking out the strain Super Sour Diesel because of the euphoric and exploratory feeling it gives me, though OG Kush is a close second. If showing yourself some love is your jam and you favor a nice hot bath to work out the kinks then you may want to treat yourself to a thoroughly relaxing experience by adding Dixie’s Bath Salts to your bubble bath. I know it does the trick for me when I need to pamper myself.

Whether you spend Valentine’s Day with someone romantic, sweet, and sexy or just spend it with treating your fabulous self, remember a little pampering goes a long way. Have a fantastic day!



An Update on How Things Have Been

First, thank you for reading! I was recently recognized as Redefine Cannabis‘ Outstanding Blogger for 2017 through the votes of wonderful people in the Cannabis community. I am so thankful for the designation but really just glad that there are people who have benefitted in one way or another from me sharing my story. Check out the January issue of Vegas Cannabis to see the awards including mine on page 66. Now about September on…

When last we spoke I discussed the positives of working in the cannabis industry.  While I do believe this is one of the best industries to work in, I also pride myself on being honest with you, my audience.  This post is going to be longer than usual so I can touch on all of the developments that have transpired since September, starting with the job I had.

You read that right, had. I love being a part of this industry but there are times when you allow yourself to take on a larger load than you can carry because you can see the benefit of the work you do. However, in my case I started to take on more and more responsibility, believing whole heartedly in the vision, and I forgot to take care of myself. I would get too busy to eat, or eat properly (a bag of potato chips and a handful of chocolate kisses do not a balanced meal make). I was also exceptionally stressed and unable to fully express that to people who could help lighten my load a little. Ultimately, more was needed of me than I could as one person give. I had 5 anxiety attacks before a major industry convention, powered through the week of the convention through the use of high dose CBD capsules (which worked exceptionally well, expect a review of that soon), coffee, excitement about the convention and meeting amazing people, and ending each night with a strong Indica so I could get some deep full body sleep before getting up and doing it all over again. I got through that week from convention setup to shut down and as many events as I could manage in between.

The following week I had the most severe panic attack I have ever had in my life. It was terrifying in a way I had never experienced before. The next day I resigned. Sometimes passion isn’t enough. In my case, I needed to focus on being better about how I take care of myself.

In the months since leaving that position money has been tighter than I would like it to be.  I haven’t been able to afford my medication and so I was not medicating consistently.  That is to say that after having the panic attack what I should have done was take some time, work out a better medication schedule that attended to my needs and moved forward gently until my anxiety felt less like a fire breathing dragon and more like a yapping pup. But I didn’t.

I was so stressed about bills that I jumped into a different job where I could not medicate on site if I needed to, which is arguably most jobs. I allowed stress to build yet again and recently had an anxiety attack that took me to a very dark place that I do not intend to visit ever again. I terrified and hurt my family who struggle with understanding this beast I fight and the terrible things it makes me think. I reached out to friends and told them what had happened and instead of being put off by my problem they listened to everything I had to say and then reminded me of who I really am.

My friends and family became a different mirror for me. The image of me that they presented is of the person I always hope I can be, someone who is thoughtful and caring, passionate, dedicated and smart. Most important they reminded me that I am strong and that strong people need support too. They helped pull together resources and contacts to help me get the CBD that helped clear my head and they have been the sympathetic ear I’ve needed and at the hardest of times they have been the shoulder I have needed to cry on. I am not alone. And if you think about it, it is very rare that any of us truly are alone.

These amazing friends and I are working on a big project to help elevate and magnify the voices of women who use cannabis so that we can see the lives of women discussed in our cannabis culture.  If you are interested in this project you can find more information on our Facebook page, the project is called The Women of Cannabis, and I really believe we can all work together to build a community that embraces women, their voices, and their stories in a bigger way.

I will leave you with a few thoughts as I wrap this up: You are stronger than you realize (though it sometimes takes a lot to figure this out), you are special because you are an original (there’s no one quite like you anywhere else), You are not alone and don’t have to be (you have a tribe of fellow travelers who get you on a level that is hard to explain, if you haven’t met them you will), and finally be kind to yourself (this is often the hardest) because you are worthy of kindness.

Have a great day!IMG_3822



Cannabis as a cause and a profession

For those who have found my posts helpful, thank you.  Bringing value to others makes me feel like the struggles in my personal journey have meaning.

Cannabis is a cause close to my heart because of the way it has helped with my health and well being, as well as the people I encounter who also use it medicinally.  I was asked by a dear friend recently why I have chosen to devote my time, energy, and career to cannabis.  So I will tell you what I told her because hopefully it will help further understanding about some of the people who choose this path.

I came to cannabis as a patient and saw first what is did for me, it alleviated my symptoms with out making me feel like a totally different person the way many anti-anxiety medications did before.  Through this treatment I was able to reclaim my skillset that had been devastated by crippling anxiety and grief. In this reclamation I found other dedicated people with big plans and the ability to implement them.  I offered to help in my own way if they ever needed it and then focused on finishing my degree program, uncertain of what my personal journey would hold in store for me. They took my offer of help and built upon it in a way that brought me greater stability and an insider’s view to how the industry that provides my medicine works.  In this industry my skills are valued, my gender is not an issue like it would be in some fields.  I feel valued, valuable, and fulfilled even on my most exhausting days.

I told my friend that even though I feel overwhelmed at times I never feel taken advantage of or taken for granted. Many of the people I meet who work in some aspect of the cannabis industry are tireless workers who get to have the added advantage of working for a cause they believe in.  We are good people working together to provide other good people with access to a plant that provides so much relief and benefit to the people who use it.

At the end of the day I feel tired but incredibly blessed to surround myself with the variety of people who do cannabis advocacy, who provide services to the businesses who make this plant available, and the people who benefit from their efforts.

Reefer Madness Reboot – Jeff Sessions Wants to Go After Legal Medical Marijuana Businesses

In the eyes of the Attorney General I must be a bad person because I use marijuana.  It doesn’t matter that I am highly educated or that in every respect that matters I would be considered a good person.  To him it is simple that marijuana = bad, marijuana user= bad person, there’s nothing quite like having your actions judged but a man who gets his marijuana policy from the Reefer Madness era and his health insurance from the federal government.  He, I have little doubt, doesn’t have to worry about the rising cost of prescriptions or whether his insurance will cover them, but I do.

In the eyes of Jefferey Beauregard Sessions III the men and women who run state legal cannabis businesses are bad people.  I strongly disagree.  These men and women have risked the wrath of the Department of Justice to provide a product that patients like me can trust is free from pesticides, mold and fungus, heavy metals, and the risk of the unknown that comes with dealing within a black market.  States have realized the benefits a legal market for reducing crime and raising tax revenue for their budgets.  Apparently to Jeff Sessions they are bad people too.

As a medical marijuana user I have been able to relieve my migraines, my anxiety that grew in severity in graduate school, and the depression I have been battling for years.  One plant, in various strains has helped me do that.  It isn’t FDA approved and it loses BigPharma a whole lot of money but marijuana has been the the medication that has worked best for me with the least number of side effects. I work a full time job, I pay my taxes, and I vote.

This man who doesn’t know me, doesn’t know the people who work in the industry that makes the medication I use reliable and safe to purchase, and seems to know even less about the laws in the states that govern these medical marijuana programs sees fit to judge us all as criminals and wants our Congress to remove protections for an industry that does so much more good than harm. Who is this man to stand as judge, jury, and executioner over so many people he knows little to nothing about?  His letter to Congress quotes reports from NIDA, which still claims, in a roundabout way, that marijuana is a gateway drug.

My health, and that of so many others who benefit from medical marijuana, is not some political plaything to knock around.  My sincere hope is that there are enough elected officials who understand the dangers of painting so many people with such a broad brush and at least take the time to look beyond tired stoner stereotypes to understand the benefits this industry has had, including reducing opioid use in states where it is legal.

Fighting Misconceptions-Parenting Woes as a Cannabis Patient

Honesty is the best policy, unless you are a medical marijuana user. I have been a medical marijuana patient for less than a year.  Before becoming a patient myself, I may have had reservations about my teens being around someone who was a regular marijuana user, though I sincerely doubt it since I have known plenty of good people who have used cannabis both medically and recreationally and have had no reason to doubt the quality of their character.  What I did not expect, naively I admit, is how easily someone can be misjudged because they use marijuana.

When I chose to pursue medical marijuana as a treatment I had a discussion with my teens about it being a medication, and like any medication I may take I would expect that they did not try to use it.  I have made it a point to limit exposing my teens to my marijuana usage both because I prefer to keep our home from smelling like cannabis, and to prevent my teens from smelling like it.  They know it is a medication that has helped me immensely because they have seen how much it has helped me.  There is a clear understanding that when they are legally old enough, as with alcohol, I will not prevent them from making the decision of whether or not to try it on their own as long as it is legal for recreational consumption.  I am honest with my teens and with anyone who has spent significant time in our home.

My teenagers are now dating and when I have met the parents of their significant others I have felt it important to disclose my use of medical marijuana so that my children would not be falsely accused of using it if they mistakenly smelled of cannabis through interaction with me. This has not been a controversial issue.  Then I met the mother of a young woman my son was dating. This was at a birthday party for the mother’s friend’s two-year old child at a public park.  Within the course of our discussion about our children I disclosed my medical marijuana use which is limited.  I made it as clear as possible that I do not smoke in front of my teenagers and have never used marijuana when another person’s child was under my roof, that I would never compromise their safety.  I believed that I had made this point clear, apparently I was wrong.

When I came back to pick him up I was surprised to discover that in the ten minutes it took to get from my home to the park, his girlfriend’s mother had taken several shots of alcohol and was drunk by the time I arrived.  My son, who rarely rushes to leave, quickly made his way to my car.  The girlfriend’s mother giggled, disclosed that she had been drinking, stated she wouldn’t drive if she couldn’t walk a straight line (which she demonstrated she couldn’t), and thanked my son for coming to the party and that it had been nice to meet us both.  We said our goodbyes and left.

I was furious.  How could this mother see nothing wrong with getting drunk in public in front of my son the very first time she had met him.  I was shocked and reluctant to allow my son to ever visit her home if she could behave this way in public.  My son was unsure about continuing his relationship with his girlfriend for other reasons and this incident only added to his concerns.  What surprised us both was a text message from her older brother telling him to stay away from his sister or else because his mother had a problem with my usage of marijuana.

I was stunned.  I had been honest and my son had been a gentleman, nothing in our actions should have suggested that her daughter would be negatively influenced and yet my son was being threatened because of my honesty.  I am disgusted because a woman who thought nothing of public intoxication in front of a teenager she just met in a park felt morally superior enough to judge me as a bad influence because of the medication I take.  My husband has told me not to disclose this to others, that it isn’t any of their business.  I didn’t always agree with that but now I’m not so sure.  As long as so many still see marijuana use as deviant behavior that can corrupt perhaps I should follow my husband’s advice and not disclose that marijuana is used as a medication in my home.  I hate feeling like choosing a medication that helps me gives people the wrong impression.  I have been seen as a selfish mother because I chose to go to college while raising my kids, and I have had people doubt my parenting because my every waking moment wasn’t devoted solely to my husband and children, but I have never had anyone accuse me of being a bad influence because of a healthcare decision before.  Our culture needs to evolve past viewing marijuana use through old stereotypes because it is pretty telling of where we are as a society when a woman who gets sloppy drunk in a public park feels like the sober medical marijuana user is the bad influence.

Is Legal Marijuana in Danger Because of Sessions?

Should legal marijuana advocates fear the DOJ under the helm of Jeff Sessions?  I am certainly not the first person to ask this question and from what I can gather in the way of answers, it’s complicated.  The industry is looking at possibilities that range from at best the DOJ doing as it did under Obama’s administration or at worst a full crackdown regardless of state’s rights.

Today marks yet another defeat for rational people against government overreach and ineptitude with the confirmation of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.  Betsy DeVos is frighteningly ill equipped to be in charge of the Department of education, her hearings showed that, and yet she was still confirmed.  Her confirmation and that of many of the administration’s cabinet picks who are similarly ill prepared show us who our representatives are really representing and here’s a clue: it isn’t us.  However, one confirmation shows us exactly what is valued in this new and uncertain administration, loyalty, and that is Jeff Sessions.

Jeff Sessions was among the first to come out in support of the face of what is now the most turbulent administration in my lifetime.  His confirmation along with the others reveals just how divided our lawmakers are and that is reflective of the country as a whole.  It also shows us how badly damaged our democracy is and here is why marijuana advocates should care.  When senators, regardless of party, come out in favor of policies and cabinet appointments that voters they are supposed to represent are opposed to we have a crisis of representation.  Congressional phone lines have continuously been jammed for weeks from voters desperately trying to get their elected representatives to vote against confirming unqualified people.  In the case of Jeff Sessions that meant trying desperately to avoid confirming someone who is outspokenly against marijuana and has at the very least a shaky past with Civil Rights.

So what does the confirmation of Sessions mean for legal marijuana?  It means the best we can hope for is that no one in the Executive Branch of government decides to go after the states that have legalized it.  I would not count on that.  The President has said he is for medical marijuana but not recreational and the fact is many of the states that have legalized it for both medical and recreational use voted for his opponent in the election.  With any other election and any other sane politician, I would have said that doesn’t matter but in this case I can’t say for sure.  What I can say is this Jeff Sessions does pose a very real threat to the marijuana industry and should be taken seriously.  He believes that only bad people use marijuana, even though that has never been proven.

So what can we do? For starters if your state has medical marijuana remind your elected officials of the number of jobs created, the revenue brought into the state, and the right of states to determine their own policies.  Be willing to take the time to write to your representatives and/or call them.  If you live in Nevada and want to make a big change that will help our state, then there is a big thing you can do.  Senator Dean Heller is running to keep his senate seat in 2018.  He voted to approve Jeff Sessions against the wishes of Nevadans and against his own state’s interests.  We need to support anyone who runs against him that will represent the interests of the state and its people before party allegiance.  Fight for your right to keep a reliable and effective treatment.

If 2016 Could Just Take A Break From Being Awful That Would Be Great

From losing David Bowie and Prince to Brexit and the 2016 election with its fallout, not to mention personal turmoil, that has made this a leading contender for worst year of the 2010s, if anyone can find the jerk who keeps saying “how can it get any worse” I’ll give you a cookie before we kick the crap out of this guy.  Now we have lost George Michael and Carrie Fisher is in the hospital following a heart attack.  I desperately hope she recovers because she is a total badass.  I also can’t wait for this shit storm of a year to be over.

But then again I can because each day we get closer to the coronation, I mean Inauguration of Donald Trump and that means too many bad things for too many good people.

So here is my hope: I hope that Carrie Fisher fully recovers, that those who fight for equality can protect their gains and prevent losses, and that we can find some way to learn from the divisions in our country and the world to find a way to really hear each other and work toward solutions that benefit the many, not just the few.  Finally I hope that having Jeff Sessions as Attorney General does not turn back the clock on the wave of decriminalization of marijuana use that is sweeping through the states, it would be a shame to have ignorance overrule the will of the people.

So Much To Do So Little Time – or Why December Has Been a Slow Month On My Blog.

I have been feeling a bit guilty about not writing.  So much has been going on and deadlines have had me at my wits end and yet through it all I have wanted to share my experiences but haven’t had the time for myself to write. Perhaps in the new year that will change but I make no promises because resolutions are always made to be broken and this isn’t about making promises to myself I can’t keep.  What I can tell you is that very soon there will be more content, maybe even a flood of it because I have the time write now to not be stretched so thin.  I didn’t disappear and I won’t.

I took some time to be with my family where everyone else had to play the role of outsider looking into the tiny window I offered because my family needed a vacation where I could be fully there.  Medical Marijuana has been a tremendous help in this because whenever I have felt overwhelmed or worn thin I could take a step away from it and focus on what really matters to me instead of the stress and fears that obscure the path.  If this doesn’t make much sense I apologize for that but this is how it feels.

I have finished what seemed like a longer than usual semester, it certainly took a lot more out of me than I am used to.  I finally got to take time away from the hustle and bustle to be with my family who have had to be more patient than usual this year.  Nothing brings me more peace than time away in the mountains with the family, especially when there is snow involved.  I have had the chance to spend the holidays with family and friends who remind me to be thankful for the blessings I have and the time we have together.

I have some stories to share soon which include another dispensary review (these guys are great), a cautionary tale, and some strain reviews.  I hope that they will be worth the wait to those who read them.  Happy Holidays!

Green Friday at Black Jack Collective


While everyone else was dashing to the mall for Black Friday I chose to participate in my first Green Friday.  On Black Friday I chose to check out Black Jack Collective, a Las Vegas dispensary, after seeing a flyer for their sale on Facebook.

The exterior of this dispensary is beautifully painted and inviting.  As a new patient at this dispensary I was required to fill out paperwork just like anywhere else.  Once that was done I was brought into the area where I could choose the products I wanted.

This dispensary does a lot with their smaller space.  The bud tenders are knowledgable and patient with each patient who comes in.  Because they were having a sale, and I was a new patient, I was able to get more medical marijuana for my money and let’s face it who couldn’t stand to save a little money this time of year.  I was able to get quick knowledgable service because I had checked out their website before going in and shopping.  I recommend doing this before you go to a dispensary to save yourself time but also to budget ahead since dispensaries can only take cash.

Pictured above is not only what I purchased, but also extra items that were part of the Green Friday promotion.  I purchased an 1/8th of Thin Mint Cookies at regular price and received 1/8th of Super Jack for $5.  One preroll pictured above was a $3 add on and the other was a penny because I was a new patient.  The total for my haul was less than $70 for enough medical marijuana to last me for a while.  Honestly I have enough to be concerned about how to keep it fresh for as long as I will have it.

So I am impressed with Black Jack Collective.  I would have to try a few different strains they offer to find out what works best for me because there is not much overlap between the dispensaries I have been to, which means that I could find a strain that works for me at one dispensary and not be able to find it at another.  The experience was good but the drive there is a bit long so I am only likely to go whenever there is a sale.  I would have liked more testing data on the labels or included with the products, I didn’t think I needed to ask for it because I haven’t had to before.  I have learned never to take anything for granted, if you want the testing data ask for it, I know it isn’t important for all medical marijuana patients to make their decisions about strains but I prefer to have it to understand what works best for me to relieve my symptoms.

Overall, I had a good experience, it isn’t my absolute favorite dispensary but I will definitely go back.