Quietly Disruptive

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day

Most of my funniest stories begin with failure, is that true for you too? But I don’t like to let failure keep me down, and can usually find something amusing from every misdirected misfire. And the way I’ve learned to process what I can’t control, and don’t quite understand, is to smoke a little weed and write about it. A few years ago - after I’d finished writing several short novels and my memoir of running a political campaign with an eleven-year old campaign manager - I even decided that cannabis might be helping me be a better storyteller. Which brings me to Pro Cannabis Media.

I know the world needs more good stories about cannabis because quality stories will breathe life into this maligned and misunderstood plant through the connections and communities we are building. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know what I want to do next: Raise the voices of cannabis storytellers that will get into your head and change hearts and minds.

Today my story will be a quick refresher on the power of words. The word marijuana was born from a myth through the perversion of language. It’s a bold example of a story impacting perception creating a word that wreaked uncontrollable havoc. And sometimes what is maligned can be renewed, but only after long and complicated narratives. It’s a massive project to change perception because it’s hard to know what to believe in this ever-expanding media soaked world. So here we are at Pro Cannabis Media to tell the stories in this new era of decriminalized botanicals. Cannabis is now accessible and considered beautiful, almost cinematic, by the industry believers. And we want to give those stories voice.

I think that maybe all great ideas come from an active place of insecurity, because in the volatility of uncertainty we can create something new. What I also know is that desperation can open opportunities. I find myself suddenly, and unexpectedly, with a platform to be a maternal voice of cannabis. Not so much because of my great knowledge, but because I’ve failed at so many things! The trajectory of my professional life from divorce attorney to cannabis advocate was crooked and filled with potholes. I met Jimmy Young a year ago this month, and today I am an executive producer at a cannabis media group and have my own cannabis podcast. Funny, right?

Along this cannabis journey I’ve met an amazing community of women, like me, activists and entrepreneurs who want to build this emerging industry with rules that benefit the many and not just a few. Women are emerging as strong leaders in this industry and I want to use my platforms to highlight the contributions of women led research, business and social associations such as Elevate , C3RN, Tokeativity and so many others.

I’m a quiet, cerebral, middle-aged woman whose funny and a bit quirky. But along with the voices of so many others I now have the power to disrupt eighty-years of misinformation, so maybe I’m not so quiet, anymore. And if I’ve learned anything in the last five decades of life in this crazy, unknowable world, it’s that laughter has the power to both heal wounds and open minds to new ideas. Humor allows us to disrupt the negative narrative of people who refuse to believe, because good storytellers have the power to change how people understand the world. From banking to bong hits, from criminal justice to cannabis horticulture, our network will be out looking for the stories that are transforming this industry.

I’m a mom and my days tend to be cloaked in a veil of invisibility and, for the most part, that’s been okay. It’s been sort of a superpower for me and for so many other women I know. But it’s not okay to hide under our cloak of invisibility anymore because we’re ready to be part of something so big that if feels like we’re sitting on top of a fast-moving train. When thinking about the future and what success will look like to me when I look back at the work on Pro Cannabis Media, I think about how the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden defined success (http://www.coachwooden.com). He said success is, “a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

That’s what we’re all hoping to achieve in this whole new world of weed.