Letter from the editor: cannabis has its challenges but there’s much to be grateful for

cannabis gratitude

As the holiday season takes flight and the new year looms, many of us take time to reflect on what we’re thankful for. As someone with a perpetual attitude of gratitude, the sentiment is certainly top of mind.

I’m a public-facing weed writer and editor that counts her blessings daily. Cannabis has opened more doors for me than I could have ever imagined. It also led me to my fiancé, another incredible gift. The ability to earn a living from my passion, travel the world smoking the best bud out there, and educate the masses about the powers of the plant is profound. 

The last part is what I’m most passionate about. After watching my father deal with severe epilepsy and an eventual stroke that confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his days, I will always wonder if the plant could have saved his life. We’ll never know for sure, but I wake up every morning committed to sharing what cannabis can do so that people can at least know the medicine exists and may be an option.

I’m also incredibly grateful that I can live my truth without fear of retribution.

The majority of Americans live in a state where cannabis is legal in some form. THC products are widely available; in places like Minnesota, they’re sold in the grocery store next to the kombucha and hop water.

With access wider than ever before, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that thousands of people are still sitting in jail due to cannabis-related charges. Arrests continue to this day, and even people who have found their freedom are still paying the price that comes with a criminal record. Witnessing close family members and friends come in and out of the system, I understand too well the long-term effects of incarceration. My own brush with the law also offered considerable perspective.

This year, the cannabis community celebrated when longtime cannabis prisoner Luke Scarmazzo was released. After serving 14 years of a 22-year sentence in a California corrections facility, the former medical marijuana dispensary owner was granted his release. Luke has continued to advocate for the people still suffering the impact of the War on Drugs, something the rest of us taking full advantage of legalization should do as well.

Thinking about people like Luke, I asked my social media followers in cannabis what they were thankful for. Many echoed my sentiments, appreciative of the fact that the plant provides a roof over their heads, healing for those in need, and a warm community built on love. 

Cognizant of the good fortune of being free, we all understand that despite challenges, we’re absolutely living our best lives. It’s something we simply can’t take for granted.

While pondering your personal gratitude, whether tinted green or not, I encourage you to be happy for what you have and hold space for those still seeking their silver lining. With all the darkness in the world, every bit of light counts.


rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of GreenState.com. She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter