Since 1828, Merriam-Webster has been giving definition to words. August is amongst us, marking the anniversary of the Emerald Magazine. This month is a fitting time for this special occasion. The word August according to Merriam-Webster has a short definition: having a formal and impressive quality, and a long definition: marked by majestic dignity or grandeur.
August and the Emerald Magazine pair together like fine wine and flowers, providing an impressive quality to the cannabis culture. The magazine is an amazing publication to write for and a great medium to share stories from within the industry. Over the last year of writing for the Emerald, I’ve had incredible opportunities to interview some remarkable individuals.
What a better way to reflect than to revisit some of these sensational individuals I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with this year. As cannabis consumers, we all have unique stories and lives that when given the chance, help to encourage, inspire and motivate others.
Just like the Emerald Magazine helps to share these stories and inspire thousands of people, the people behind each story continue to do the same. Let’s see where some of the cannabis supporters I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing are today and what they’ve been up to on this trip around the sun.
The Saltwater Cowboy
Tim McBride A.K.A. The Saltwater Cowboy is the pot hauler turned author who’s behind the epic book “The Saltwater Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of a Marijuana Empire.” More than that, McBride is a man that undoubtedly helped to provide access to cannabis to thousands of people in the 1980s. When we last spoke with Tim he was just getting back to life and connecting with old friends, even the man who had chased him for years. Tim wanted to tell his story himself so that some swag bag wouldn’t mutilate it years down the road. You can read this tantalizing tale in its entirety in Tim’s book. Rumor has it that the Saltwater Cowboy is working with major networks on a movie, so keep your eyes peeled!
Tammy Wood, the owner of Wood Pipe Smoke Shoppe and Speak Easy in Wisconsin, is another inspirational individual. She is a shining star, a voice of advocacy, and supporter of positive cannabis reform laws who runs a business in a state that still supports cannabis prohibition. Tammy has devoted her energy to the political support of Bernie Sanders and even ran for a seat in office in the state of Wisconsin. She is actively involved in making Wisconsin and the world around her a better place. If you are ever near Reedsburg Wisconsin be sure to stop in and say hi to Tammy Wood. She can help you with some new smoking accessories or by suggesting a great place to eat.
Katree Saunders is a mother and supporter of cannabis who paid a dear cost due to the repercussions of prohibition. She went from front stage supporter who shook hands with Obama to an inmate in the state of Nevada over less than $150 worth of cannabis. Where is Katree today and what has she been doing? Katree has been working hard to get on with her life. She is suffering the effects of marijuana prohibition and the dirty DEA agent that posed as a medical marijuana patient desperately in need of help. Katree recently landed a great job at a dispensary in Las Vegas only to lose it due to her conviction. Both the dispensary and Katree are trying to come up with a solution to get her back on the job. I’ve stayed in touch with Katree, who is a living testament to much needed cannabis reform laws that disproportionately affected minorities.
As an individual who has cannabis charges myself, I can relate to the struggle of trying to obtain a successful job that doesn’t leave you broke after every paycheck. For two ounces and my silence, I became a felon. Like Katree Saunders rather than being quiet and conforming to the system, I stand against the system that supports continued cannabis prohibition. We are all seeds, a single plant, a weed to some. When you get enough of us seeds together in one place we become a forest. A forest that helps the planet to breath and the people to find healing. Cannabis has many remarkable abilities, bringing people together may just be one of the most amazing of them all.
Written by James Priest