By Meagan Holt
Anyone involved in the cannabis community has been asked this question. This question has turned friends against each other, ripped businesses apart, destroyed reputations, and divided a community. In states like Washington where there once was a booming medical marketplace, with farmers markets, ample patient co-ops and the beginnings of a good start to what could be a trillion dollar industry, are now replaced with a booming tax-revenue stream for the state, recreational stores, some with medical endorsements, few patient co-ops, and an entire population of patients who feel under-serviced and unwelcome in the new business minded landscape. Being the mother of one of these patients I have my opinions on the “legalization” of cannabis in Washington state and to be completely honest there’s tons of work that still needs to be done for the current marketplace to service my terminally ill five-year-old. However, just like every other struggle in Maddie’s short life, I breathe. I remember the words from the Dalla Llama “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful, and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. You always have the choice.” When I chose to give Madeline cannabis, my intentions were grim, and my only hope was to hold her peacefully while she passed away. When I chose to go back into the same hospital and tell the same medical staff that told me there was no hope for my child, that it was time to say goodbye, that they were wrong, I made a choice. I chose to educate them, I chose to integrate cannabis into her healthcare by turning my words into tools. Choosing kindness above all. When I began speaking about her journey I chose the plant. I made a choice to never chose sides, but to inspire unity from within. To humbly see both sides of this perspective. Throughout the years this so-called perspective has really been shifted. Yes, pesticides are terrible, and better business practices such as safety and quality standards seem common place but like every other industry cannabis is in the developing stages. It is a landscape for learning but this learning and shared success is being hindered. If the people who are fighting took all of that energy going into being destructive and tearing others down and instead focused on building, understanding, and learning from one another we could see our market develop into a place where true community lives. Like every other twenty-first century hot topic it is time the cannabis industry quit giving in to all the hype and all stand for the plant. Together.