Light and Love for the West Coast- Oregon Wild Fires During a Pandemic

by Veronica Castillo

Photo Credit: Apple News 

Oregon is one of my favorite states. It’s the perfect blend, in my opinion, of California flavor mixed with Pacific Northwest hippiness. Portland is described as “weird” and the coolest thing about Portland- they embrace it! There are signs everywhere that read “keep Portland weird”.

So much of my love for Cannabis and Cannabis culture is because of Oregon. Oregon is where I honored Cannabis in April (2020), the first time it was 420 all month long. I did so by living on hemp farms. 

I camped, on site, and lived in nature where Cannabis grows under the beautiful sun (unless grown indoors). Fern Valley Farms (CBD) and The Botanical Joint, sponsored my stay on their farms; Medford, OR and Salem, OR. And so, when much of Oregon is on fire because of raging wildfires, my heart hurts. 

California is known as the mecca, but Oregon has made significant contributions to Cannabis as well. Oregon Live reports:

  • Oregon was the first state in the U.S to decriminalize Cannabis.
  • In 1998 Oregon legalized medical Cannabis.
  • In Oregon, adults 21 and older are allowed to have an ounce of Cannabis on them, in public

As of September 14- Oregon has had 935,377.631 acres burned and there are 34 active fires. The entire state is facing catastrophes as bad as California. In the northern part of the state, there are a lot of indoor cultivation sites in southern Oregon, cities like Medford and Ashland are majority outdoor, sun grown farms/ cultivation sites. And many of them are in trouble because of the wild fires:

  • “A lot of farms are completely destroyed. A lot of our friends have lost everything down there”, says East Fork Cultivars President and co-founder Nathan Howard.
  • The Oregonian reported that roughly 20% of the state’s licensed marijuana companies, or 408 businesses, are located in areas that are being evacuated because of the fires.

Like California, Oregon is in need of our light and love. No matter where we may all be in the world; California needs our collect love. These wildfires are raging.

Let’s make sure the west coast can feel our love.

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