Hello! My name is Erica and I’m a cannabis consumer:
When I tell folks that; I laugh at folks reaction because many people still believe that if you are cannabis consumer. You are a loser, lazy, a bum. These are all stereotypes that I have learned to surpass as a responsible cannabis consumer. I have learned that just like any other pill or alcoholic beverage you have to learn how to be responsible and sustainable. Here is my story:
I have been organizing in some kind of form since the age of 12. From organizing my fellow classmates to create my own weather team in 6th grade. To organizing students on campus to help get out the vote in our local and statewide communities. To also being a part of the Women's March here in Portland which I helped organized and hosted over 100,000 womxn and femmes identifying folks. I firmly believe that anything possible once you put your mind to it.
Now that being said; not everything was easy for me during my adolescence and teenage years. I faced enormous emotional trauma during the age 7-22. That caused me to be diagnosed with Severe Depression at the very young age of 16, age 22 I was diagnosed with Severe Fibromyalgia, and by age 25 I had failed my way out of college and into a mental breakdown where I was diagnosed with my final diagnoses PTSD from past/generational trauma.
I started using cannabis regularly shortly after I was diagnosed with the fibro. My muscle spasms are for the most part under control during the effects of cannabis, my mood continues to be stable and even europhic at sometimes. Because of cannabis right now I am taking just 3 prescriptions. Even though I smoke everyday it keeps my motivation going and keeps me focused on what I need to do throughout the day without feeling pain. Cannabis has done so much for my life. It has not only brought me my appetite back full force but it has helped me find a whole new supportive system through the community to help me prevail against my mental demons that I face on the daily.
Even though i started using cannabis at the age of 22; I didn’t officially come out as cannabis consumer until Last January. Why you might ask!? Because of the stigma around black women who do decide to consume and just the fear of backlash from folks. I remember making my first Instagram post about cannabis on my now cannabis Instagram account and just thinking to myself what am I am doing. I soon began going to cannabis events and volunteering at some that I like.
I sense then began looking at open opportunities to join the cannabis industry. From Tokeativity to Ladies of Paradise. I begin volunteering at cannabis events to get my name in the industry and really make sure that this industry doesn’t become another white male dominated field once again. Knowing my history about the failed war on drugs, I am fighting to make sure that we as a community are woke, inclusive and community-orientated as possible.