Holiday tidings: what gift has cannabis given you?
At a time of year when presents are passed and gratitude is offered, I began to reflect on all of the things cannabis has given the world. Many in our community view this venerable plant as a gift—myself included.
I’ve been lucky to create a career where I live my truth every day, educating people and sharing stories. I’m fortunate to get to do what I love and feel as though I’m making a difference. When a person tells me they learned something from one of my articles, it’s an incredible feeling.
Knowing that my father could have potentially had his life saved by cannabis, I’m driven every day to let the world know what the plant could possibly do for them and their families. The people I’ve met who are thriving because of the plant keeps me going. The countless individuals who without this medicine may not be here today—you are truly my inspiration.
Cannabis has also provided incredible friendships that will surely last a lifetime. I also fell in love, thanks to working in weed.
Pondering on all this dynamic plant has gifted the world, I asked my friends and colleagues on social media what cannabis has given them. From stories of hope and healing to a sense of purpose in this chaotic world, this is what they had to say*.
Plant medicine at the forefront
As anticipated, one of the most common themes in the replies I got centered around cannabis as medicine. Many commenters spoke of their own medical marijuana journeys, and their family members’ as well. These are the stories that should stand out above all else, especially as we continue to advocate for legal reform.
Here are a few of those sentiments shared when asked: what gift(s) has cannabis given you?
“Cannabis has given me my life back. A life without pharmaceutical drugs. My peace and happy place.” – ZsaZsa Simone
“I cannot express how important this plant has been in my mental health journey. I have had more breakthroughs and self realization from this plant than I’ve had from 25 years of pharmaceutical medication. I have been able to organize my thoughts, process trauma and be kinder to myself. I honestly didn’t know I could know myself this well.” – Lindsey Markuson
“My son’s ability to speak and walk! Everything else is just gravy for me.” – Piper Lindeen
“I’ve been using cannabis since I was 15 years old. It was literally the only thing that ever made me feel better and I never really knew why (early on). I was diagnosed as an adult with autism and ADHD… which I’d apparently had my entire life. The neurologist asked me what I’d been doing my entire life to help me ‘mask’ so well, and I told him, ‘cannabis.’ This answered so many questions.” – Abi Wright
“Peace in my mind and body.” – Warren Bobrow
A place to belong
There’s no doubt that the cannabis community is incredibly special. While we may have our disagreements and contention, at the end of the day we’re all on the same team—doing our best to support the plant and each other in our own unique ways.
I was fortunate enough to meet the love of my life through the cannabis industry. I was excited to learn through some of the responses I got that I wasn’t alone in this wonderful luck.
“(Cannabis) gave me three beautiful daughters and an incredible wife as I met her at a dab lounge in 2017 lol so glad I made those CBD chocolate infused doughnuts for my booth and it somehow caught her attention (she only wanted the doughnuts but she gave me a chance and I wouldn’t know my kids without that interaction). My Kids = My World.” – Tim Grasso
“Cannabis has given me the opportunity to connect with some of the most beautiful souls on the planet, carve out a successful career path and exit, as well as provide me much more effective and safer relief from chronic pain and anxiety than pharmaceuticals ever could.”- Josh Crossney
“Cannabis has given me so much over the years, but my favorite part is the people it has connected me with. Our cannabis community is SO inspiring, hardworking, intelligent and amazing, I am constantly grateful for all the badasses I get to work and play with thanks to this plant.” – Megan Prusynski
A sense of purpose and incredible opportunity
For many, the plant provides inspiration. The cannabis industry is rife with challenges, but we refuse to give up because we know there’s a bigger mission at play. If we can help others and simultaneously make ends meet, that’s a blessing in and of itself.
Many answers to my query called upon the plant’s capacity to provide:
“It’s brought me the ability to advocate on behalf of a mission I’m deeply passionate about!” – Anthony Alegrete
“It’s resulted in countless rich experiences and I know every day that I am fighting for something that helps millions of people worldwide.” – Justin Johnson
“Balance and inspiration, and a beautifully diverse community of like minds. It has given me the gift of waking up everyday with a strong purpose and passion, truly loving what I do, knowing that it overflows into uplifting human rights and freedom, compassion and well-being.” – Brian Applegarth
“Cannabis has put food on my table and clothes on my back for 20+ years, plus plenty to smoke and imbibe, great friends, a loving partner and a sense of mission and purpose. When you give to cannabis, she gives back!” – Elise McDonough
“Cannabis has transformed me into a more compassionate and patient person, fueling my passion for meaningful work and community service. Through its influence, I’ve connected with incredible people globally and opened doors to opportunities I could only have dreamt of in other lifetimes.” – Nick Bradley
“It gives me perspective, comfort, and reminds me to not take myself too seriously sometimes.” – Ali Jamalian
“Patience and presence. With cannabis I was able to take a step back and stop identifying so heavily with my (endless stream of) thoughts.” – Jessica Reilly-Chevalier
“A home, healing, health, family, a career, sanity… Oh and basically everything I’ve ever asked the universe for and every dream I’ve ever had has been realized through cannabis.” – Casey Renteria
Faith in the future
One word that kept popping up in my gifts from cannabis thread was “hope.” In fact, for some, that was their only answer. It’s a lot to unpack, when you think about it—the plant may provide hope for healing, hope for a more sustainable future, or hope for peace and freedom. Regardless of intention, the fact that a plant can offer some type of optimism in a world that can be so dark is, indeed, a gift.
Above all else, cannabis lets us tap into something amazing. Whether it’s our colorful community, improved wellness, food for our families, or knowing ourselves better, the plant offers endless possibilities. One of my favorite responses came from my old friend Ryan Harner, who is simply grateful for the journey.
“Don’t know what it would have looked like without it. But thankful every day for the path it’s put me down.”
It’s something I think a lot of us can relate to. The cannabis road can be rocky, but high or low, we’re lucky to be on it. And that, itself, is a gift.
*Some comments have been edited for clarity.