Did I choose cannabis, or did cannabis choose me? This “Chicken or the Egg”-esque dilemma seems to be constantly revolving in my brain lately. After 2 years as CEO of a Cannabis Digital Marketing Agency, (one that now contains other organizations under its umbrella, such as Creativ Collective and Cannabis Doing Good) I can decidedly say that I’ve learned many invaluable lessons, both in business and in life. I would say one of the most crucial things I’ve learned is the importance of emphasizing the creation of a comfortable, fun, and positively progressive organizational culture. Therefore, “A Happy Team is a Successful One!”, is one my main philosophies.
Much has changed in the world over the past two years, and not just exclusively within the cannabis field. Not only are states and countries becoming more lenient regarding marijuana law, cannabis culture is now becoming so mainstream that you can find CBD at your local grocery store. Despite all this change I’ve realized that, first and foremost, I am in the cannabis industry because I believe in it. I’m sure everyone has their own individual reasons for associating with marijuana, and so this blog is dedicated to sharing my story in hopes of “sparking” others to share theirs.
“I DID Inhale”: My First Time Smoking Pot
The first time I ingested weed was under the sheets of my bed when I was 13 years old. I was with two friends with whom I played soccer and skateboarded. Before we smoked some homegrown bud out of a homemade clay pipe, we came to the genius conclusion that if we smoked under my covers, it wouldn’t smell and thus my parents would never know.
A few minutes after my first inhale, a distinct feeling of euphoria took over. I recall it being a previously unattainable feeling I seemed to be searching for forever and yet now almost remembered in a weird way. We laughed for hours, ate a ton of food, smoked again, and then made animal sounds until we fell asleep.
I woke up in the morning to my mom asking me, “Why does your entire room smell like pot smoke?”, along with an extremely disappointed look. I immediately told her it was these new incense I bought and that she had nothing to worry about. Of course she knew I was lying, however she didn’t make a big deal about it. Although my parents frowned upon me consuming any substances growing up, they are now huge cannabis advocates and believe in my long-term goals.
The Opiate Epidemic
Shortly after my first time smoking cannabis, friends started to be introduced to other (stronger) drugs during hangouts, parties, and even at school. Though my peers drank alcohol and did other harder substances, they still negatively referred to me as a stoner. Despite being an “A” student and 3-sport Varsity athlete in high school, I was still judged for my love of cannabis. Cannabis was unfortunately lumped in with all of the other hard drugs everyone was into. I could never understand that, and I still can’t.
By the end of high school and early on in college, opiates became a very prevalent drug amongst my classmates, old/new friends, their parents, etc. I saw healthy, smart, and motivated humans turn into lying, stealing, lazy zombies within just a few weeks of taking drugs like Oxycontin. It was almost as if this drug made people around me fall apart, when in contrast I was still smoking cannabis and getting good grades, all while doing everything I loved.
By the time I graduated college I had 10 friends in rehab, 2 roommates begging me for money, and even more friends from home destroying their lives because of the pills they got from their doctor, stole from their parents, or bought off of a friend. It became quite clear that this opiate problem was turning into an epidemic. In the past 5 years I’ve had over 20 friends or family members pass away due to the awful opiate scourge taking over our country. 1 is too many.
Committing to Making A Difference
It wasn’t long after I graduated college in 2012 that there was substantial emerging evidence of cannabis helping people get off opiates. In addition to the realization that cannabis has helped with my ADD, my music, extreme sports, and creative thought process in general, I knew the possibilities were endless. After receiving my MBA and diving into the professional world, it became very clear that I needed to dedicate my life to making a positive difference. I knew my first step in doing so was through the healing powers of cannabis.
Now that I have created a platform to educate the masses on the possibilities of cannabis and other sectors, I have wholeheartedly dedicated myself to getting everyone on board.
If you are looking to share your story, make a difference in your community, or learn more about how you can get involved, please comment below or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.