You’re Either For or Against Cannabis

That moment when you draw a line in the sand for you and your circle. Stand for something or fall for anything.

 

Finding Your Way to The Other Side of Trauma With Cannabis

As posted in Elevate

I wasn’t sure how to start this piece. How do I have a conversation about what happened on October 1? Should I say where I was? Seems insignificant in comparison to where the victims were. Do I say how I felt? How I feel isn’t as important as how the victims and their families feel.

Honestly, I am unsure if anything I write matters in comparison.

Almost a month ago, Las Vegas was involved in a mass shooting. This city and I will never be the same.

Two days after the shooting I boarded a plane to California to see my son. The timing couldn’t have been any better. I was overwhelmed with emotions and I needed to hug my son. As I sat on the plane I began to write my son a letter. It’s a habit I began the first time I flew away after he was born. It helps relieve my anxiety.

You see, I am Bipolar type 2. As a result of my mental illness, I suffer from mania from time to time. As I get older it gets worst. I am not sure when or why I get anxiety and or panic attacks, they just happen. Here I was on a plane to California two days after the nation’s deadliest mass shooting and the pilot had just announced we were going to be delayed due to Air Force One landing.

I felt myself panicking.

I took deep breaths and started talking myself down. Reminding myself that my anxiety was all in my mind. I was okay. Everything would be okay. My panic was increasing and I knew I had just a very few minutes left before I would be irrational. I jumped up and asked to use the restroom. The flight attended told me I had to be quick because they were sure we were going to be given the okay to take off soon.

I went into the restroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I told myself to calm down. Nothing was helping. Thankfully I carry my RELAX CBD vape pen around my neck at all times. I knew I was risking being thrown off the plane but I had to take the chance. I was overwhelmed and seconds away from a full-fledged panic attack. If you’ve never had a panic attack, for some, the symptoms mimic a heart attack.

I inhaled the vape three times and allowed myself to relax.

The flight attendant knocked on the door and said they had been given the okay to take off and I would need to take my seat. I sprayed my body spray before exiting and went to my seat. My anxiety had subsided before we had taken off. I relaxed and enjoyed my flight.

Many people are suffering from 1 October in a variety of ways. I have received an influx of questions regarding cannabis and its effects on PTSD, anxiety, and stress. Every time someone asks me about treating their ailments I ALWAYS recommend a CBD (cannabidiol) treatment. CBD is cannabis’ secret weapon and has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psycho-activity of THC. The serum comes in many different forms — one less intrusive than the other. CBD has been known to send lifetime illnesses in remission and submission. The cannabinoid has been effective in dissolving blood clots, acts as a healing aid for skin issues and has anti-inflammatory properties.

For me, it takes the place of my anti-depressants and anxiety pills.

I am proud of how the Las Vegas community has come together and loved on each other. If I were able to, I would have offered EVERY SINGLE one of the victims and their families a week’s supply of CBD elixir. I know it would have aided in some relief as they dealt with what they had witnessed. We are #VegasStrong.

When Being the “ONLY” Isn’t a Win

As posted in elevatenv.com/blackabis

The weight of being THE ONLY is something I wake up to every day. The weight holds me accountable to being focused and intentional. It silently puts a responsibility on me to overachieve and to understand legislative issues and policy. To be the eyes and ears of my Blackness being included. To seek out opportunities for others in the future. To create conversation when necessary and write blogs that make people uncomfortable and think. This is the single most important time of my life and I know it.

It’s easy to dismiss someone who is writing about what they think is going on. It’s harder to dismiss someone who knows. I love what I do. I absolutely love taking care of patients and mentoring my staff. Even with all that gratification, I get my feelings hurt every day because of the color of my skin. My team has learned to brush it off but for me whenever it happens, it still stings.

In 2013 my mentor introduced me to the cannabis industry. It wasn’t long after that I became a cannabis patient. As a minister in an African American Holiness Church I struggled with coming out as a patient and industry leader. How could I tell my community that I was going to “sell drugs legally?” I was afraid I would let my pastor, peers and church down. I didn’t want to be labeled as a “ghetto hood rat” because I choose to use cannabis as treatment for my mental health issues. I didn’t want to let my community down by entering an industry known for incarcerating my people.

Every time I would show up to a City Council, County Commissioner or state meeting I would desperately scan the room hoping to catch a glimpse of others like me. Desiring to connect with someone who could empathize with what I was experiencing. While I haven’t found that community I am looking for, I am grateful to the women in my life who have supported and loved me while I cocooned.

I KNOW I am fortunate that I work in a black-owned establishment. It allows me the opportunity to be who I am freely. To practice and develop my #BLACKGIRLMAGIC openly. To challenge the system AND give voice when the platforms are made available. However, I am very much aware that I work in an industry where my African American owners are the ONLY African American-owned and funded dispensary in Nevada. This makes them part of the one percent of the industry’s African American ownership invested in the cannabis space – a space that is forecasted to have revenues in the $20-billion-dollar range by 2020.

I don’t want to work for THE ONLY African American dispensary in Nevada. I want to be part of a network of African American dispensary owners in Nevada. I don’t feel like I am winning as the “only.” I feel like an evangelist constantly looking for tent service where others like me are gathered on one accord. I started Blackabis because I hoped it would attract other African American men and women in the cannabis Industry. It is my beacon of light in a dark sea. Today we are few but I believe sooner than later we will be plenty.