While looking at past entries may indicate I've been absent, rest assured I have been hard at work, living in the present, making connections in person, helping our communities to grow stronger from the inside up. In the while since I have last posted, I have become deeply steeped in the cannabis industry, learning about its applications from a medical standpoint.
In the fall of 2012 I began working at Grassroots Wellness Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition to promoting holistic health practices such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy, the wellness center provided a convenient and safe way for medical marijuana patients to obtain their medicine. The AZ Medical Marijuana Act had in fact been in effect since 2010, however with all of the licensing and approvals needed for any dispensary to open, it wouldn't be until December 2012 that the first state-licensed dispensary would open in AZ. In the meantime, patients who had gone through the application process to become an approved Medical Marijuana Patient through the AZ Department of Health Services were left with nowhere legal to obtain their approved medicine. So, Grassroots Wellness Center in Flagstaff became a vital resource for these patients who sought cannabis as a medicine but could not grow it on their own and did not want to support illegal dealers or drug cartels.
A veil had been lifted from my eyes and my heart was torn wide open. I had used cannabis in the past for my own reasons, but working at Grassroots really showed me how powerful it could be as a medicine. I met patients of all demographics: the sweet old grandma, the Vietnam veteran, the kid who looks like he just wants to get high, but truly is using cannabis to cope with a health issue and does not want to get addicted to opiates. I learned which strains worked for what conditions, remembering specific results from patients' anecdotes and transformational stories. I helped patients who had struggled with insomnia for decades, and I am not exaggerating. It blew my mind to hear so many similar stories, especially in relation to how ineffective all other treatments had been. Cannabis really is the best option for many people, mainly because people do not want to ignore the pain or medical issues they have, they want to treat the root cause so they may enjoy their life more.
Working with medical cannabis showed me that most people would prefer to solve their problems rather than simply ignore them. Working in Arizona was especially interesting because I met a lot of conservative minds that were opened to the idea that there may be real solutions which are not easily obtainable simply because of the current laws and media propaganda. But once someone realizes which medicines work best to treat their issues, and not just numb their sensation, they begin to wake up to what is real and what is important in their own life. I helped so many people to find the right kind of cannabis to treat their condition, from inhable, to topical, to edible. I even taught cannabis cooking classes to patients and helped hold open community circles for patients with specific conditions looking to connect with others for solutions and support.
As the dispensaries opened in northern Arizona, I was able to secure a position at High Mountain Health in Flagstaff and continue to educate and assist medical cannabis patients. My time there hardly felt like work because I am passionate about helping others, and cannabis is one of the greatest ways for people to learn to help (and heal) themselves. I saw that this incredible plant was driving an individual and community transformation. And I get to be a driving force in this change!
And so in recent months, I picked up my life and all that I had known and learned from my time in Flagstaff (where I had also graduated with my Bachelor's) and moved to Portland, Oregon. I felt this change was necessary not only for my career and personal growth, but also that I may expand my reach to the greater population in order to continue to educate and in effect, enlighten people to the healing capabilities within the many applications of cannabis. I appreciate the more progressive laws in Oregon and feel that my efforts may go further here.
Cannabis has had a profoundly positive efffect in my life, helping me to cope with and overcome many personal obstacles. I observe this same reaction in many of the medical patients I have helped, and I seek to help as many people as I can to discover their own healing capabilities with cannabis. I refer to this incredible plant as cannabis and not marijuana because cannabis is the true scientific name.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
So, finding myself in a backyard in the Sonoran desert one unbearably hot summer afternoon, I decided to make a short photo adventure to capture the textures of nature in this area.
Interesting, provocative, perhaps even avant-garde? Probably not.
But if you're from the Southwest United States, have ever been here, or would like to know what kind of flora you're going to run into, here's a good reminder.
|pods like summer bells|
|rusted wagon wheels bring us back|
|these are the citizens with which you must bicker|
|aloe vera shades|
|prickly pear parties|
|cactus rainbows shine the most|
|ask the fairy, she knows it all|
Hope you enjoyed the photos and captions, feel free to leave comments! :)
Friday, June 8, 2012
It's summer here in Flagstaff, Arizona which is personally the best season as the weather's perfect, all of the students are gone, and there's tons of activities to do outside! Here's a few photos and a video from my summer so far...
|May 28th, Memorial Day Kegball, a Flagstaff classic.|
|First time I seen this shirt and I LOVE it <3|
|Me and the Mark, loving it.|
|Kicking ass and taking property at Monopoly.|
|3rd Annual Flagstaff Hullabaloo-- Celebrating all things Flagstaff...|
|Including hula hoops, fairy wings, stilted people...|
|Huge puppets you can get inside of and dress up...|
|A "Shrine to The Devine"...|
|And of course, silly costumes!!! :)|
|This is where I work this summer, the Pepsi Amphitheatre|
|A recent work event, the band Fun.|
|And my kitty cat Minimus Regina in a spectacular pose.|
This is a video from the Flagstaff Hullabaloo I took on my phone (that's right, that man in red is trying to hula hoop with a beer in hand). It really exemplifies Flagstaff summers and I hope you enjoy it!!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Thank you all for being so patient. I've been waiting a long time to show you all the things I've seen in Strasbourg. I'm sorry there are not explanations for everything; that would take hours. If you are curious about one of the photos, please feel free to post a comment and I will gladly respond! :)