There is a ton of advertising about how Cannabis rots your brain, and how it will destroy your life. But here’s where I input my fancy trigger warning because I am going to break some rules and I am absolutely going to do so in an effort to educate some of you people out there.
Legal Note: You must be of legal age, or have a medical dispensation to use cannabis in your area. The information here is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional and is only intended for educational purposes from one patient to others.
End of Disclaimer
The legal age for Cannabis use across the globe is generally between the ages of 18-21, depending on where you live, but in my town, it’s 19.
I didn’t start smoking cannabis regularly or even at all until I hit my thirties, and by thirties, I mean my mid-thirties. I was about 35 when I started, before then I can count on 1 hand the number of times I’d used cannabis, and almost always the result was terrifyingly terrible.
Cannabis hasn’t been studied enough in a lab in a science experiment for anyone to say exactly what it does for mental health. For some people, it helps, and for others, cannabis can make mental health exponentially worse, which is why before we even get started, you need to discuss having a conversation with your doctor before you use cannabis. As well as your support system.
Two months ago I spoke with a man who works in addictions here in Surrey BC, and I asked him his thoughts on my entering the cannabis industry. This is a man who basically watched me grow up working with people who suffer from and live with drug addiction so I was curious to hear his thoughts.
He laughed ironically because he’s already looking into studies about psilocybin, to help treat mental health issues, which stem from or contribute to, drug addiction and use.
He surprised me, psilocybin and cannabis are two “drugs” that we used to consider dangerous to consume and that’s largely because of bad marketing practices as well as outright lies from the pharma companies who want to make money by medicating the world with things that we don’t need.
Since I started using cannabis I wrote a book, you may have heard of it, it’s called Uncomfortable. I smoked weed every single second of writing that book and when you read it that’s obvious, but here’s something that’s less obvious. “I wrote a book, have you?” Yeah exactly.
It’s not an easy thing to do to reach into your heart and pull out the crap that made you who you are so that you can push others to see how much your voice matters, so they start to believe that THEIR voices matter.
The world is absolutely filled with people who will hear the words “she smokes weed,” and think the worse of me, it’s also filled with people who prefer that I call weed cannabis because and I shit you not, “it sounds better,” how white of you.
The cannabis industry is a difficult one to navigate if you aren’t prepared to have doors slammed in your face by people who are more concerned with the money they can make rather than the fight it’s going to take to get cannabis into the hands of the people who need it, but here’s the point, Cannabis gave me a purpose.
When I started this website, all I wanted to do was out my rapists, and hopefully smoke a few joints before they came to murder me, a very real possibility by the fucking way. That didn’t happen.
The longer that it took for my abusers to see what I’d done, the more that I realized maybe I still had time to live on this earth, and so now you have the Loud Mouth Brown Girl before you.
My anxiety? My depression? My stress? Mostly all solved with cannabis and the use of Rexulti which helps calm my nerves when I go to bed at night because I still have severe PTSD, and a possible stalker.
Last night someone posted a photo of me, and it’s the first photo of me with teeth, my whole life growing up I hid my teeth when I smiled, and then later in life abuse, trauma, PTSD stopped me from taking care of myself and my teeth and so I lost a bunch of em, some of em were broken by some of my abusers.
Personally, I look cooler in the first one, all brooding and secretive, but the point is I don’t have photos of me with teeth, cannabis has helped me to be confident even still.
This is one of the best gifts ever been given to me, because it’s cool to know what I’d look like with a twin sister. These gifts, these things that people do for me, the friendships I’ve forged, the family that I am fighting for, the life that I want us all to have access to, are only obtainable because I finally decided that instead of getting drunk and ignoring it all, I’d get lifted and actually try to deal with it.
I will say that using cannabis to help with my mental health was one of the more difficult decisions, but only until I looked at all the lives I’d seen ruined by crack, meth, heroin, and booze. Once I looked at all my friends who had gone down the whiskey river, I realized that I wanted to build something that they could come home to, where they’d be safe when they were ready to stop doing the things that were destroying their lives.
I KNEW I wasn’t going to get there, by drinking myself into a stupor, as much as I wanted to, and BELIEVE me, I wanted to, but what I NEEDED more than anything, was to sit down and get super fucking honest about what happened to me.
Combining my passions:
- The desire for theraphy and my continual need to bitch about the fact that I’m not getting it.
Is what got me here today and not necessarily in that order. The friendships that I have now are built on honesty I didn’t have the capability of having in my 20s. So much of my life in those days was based on lies that I’d built around me because I was GENUINELY alone in the dark with what happened to me.
I hadn’t told anyone until I posted about it here on the site, and I certainly hadn’t planned to tell anyone, all I knew though was that I needed to get the shit out and if I didn’t I was going to die.
Smoking cannabis was an honest choice, and it’s one I made while fighting against my doctors, my mom, and everyone who thought they knew me. I was smoking cannabis and there was nothing anyone could do about it, and four years later, and I am starting to see an actual real Devon, mixing in with the person who “woke up” when I lit my first solo joint.
The world that I am building around LMBG, even down to asking for donations is honestly an effort to see if the community at large even wants me to consider to keep going. I am terrible at asking for help, but I am running a fundraiser so that I can say “see? Here I am, asking for help,” waiting to see who and when if anyone, will respond.
I am also getting help in other areas too though. Friends of mine are working on making sure that the people who hurt as kids never do it again, and other people are FINALLY doing their jobs and starting to hear me. I realize that every time I leave the house and I see someone nod at me.
In the beginning stages of this website I wrote:
“When you see someone in Camo, make sure you nod, because they are using fashion to tell you that they survived, that their lives, loves, and voices matter and they want you to know that even though they aren’t enlisted in an official army, they fought battles you know nothing about.”
When I see people in Camouflage I can’t help but smile, because it reminds me that I too have a whole collection that I wear when I can’t find the English words, to describe how I am feeling.
Cannabis has helped me develop an entirely new language wrapped around the idea of creating boundaries for myself so that I CAN stay lifted so that I CAN defend myself and so that I can use MY VOICE when other people are telling me to be quiet.
The whole Stay Lifted Sis brand, and motto, is built on the idea that Sisters need to lift each other up, but it’s also about lifting up our BROTHERS when they need support too, and that’s the part that people who don’t use cannabis don’t understand.
The medication that is cannabis helps not because it gets us high, but because of the way that the terpenes mix with our endocannabinoid system, which is DESIGNED to soak up cannabis terpenes, and help us heal.
That endocannabinoid system runs throughout our entire body and interlocks with the cells, veins, muscles, tendons, and all the parts of the human body. Cannabis and humans are SUPPOSED to be together, but you didn’t know that did you? Because when you see me getting high at Canada Place YOU think I’m just a lazy bum.
The truth is that I’ve been working 50-60 hour weeks to get my house in order so that I can be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and sometimes when I take a break I wanna just sit and be high, and be stoned, and let the medicine do it’s job while I people-watch on the pier, or while I chill on the beach.
For everyone cannabis does a different job, has a different use, and brings a different experience to someone’s life, but before you judge someone for using weed, pot, or Mary Jane, ask yourself if maybe they are using it because they need to heal so that they can be the productive “normal” person you THINK you want in your life.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall