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

by Veronica Castillo

It’s important for me to thank Herbage Magazine for allowing me the space to share this west coast wild fires series. No matter where we are from, even if we have never visited, even if California isn’t linked to our daily lives- we must remember that through Cannabis, we all connect to California.

California is on fire and my heart is heavy. Our mecca, the place that grew the Cannabis that saved me from chronic migraine, the place that 80% of this country gets their meds from, the hills with rich soil managed and protected by the OG’s, this magical place- is suffering something serious. 

wild fires

I want to help, I want to help raise money, I want to support as much as I can, and I am not sure how to or where to start. I’ve been told that Cannabis- marijuana cultivators and other Cannabis businesses, are unable to fundraise, they get shut down on Go Fund Me, and can have their licenses compromised if caught doing anything close to raising money by way of contributions/gifts. 

I want to research that a bit more, but honestly, this sounds like our government. Legalization in this country isn’t really legalization. In the industry that threatens many, it doesn’t surprise me that the government makes the playing field uneven. 

What I can do at this very moment, is hold the west coast close to my light and my love, and help spread the word that more light and love is needed. Collectively, we have to stand with and behind California because without it, would we really know dank meds?

Here are some ways that California contributed to the Cannabis community. In this country, the first ones always have it the hardest.

The Cannabis progression made in California, helped us all.

  • Cannabis grown for recreational use in California began around the 1850s, during the Gold Rush.
  • California Senate Bill 95 (The Moscone Act) in 1975, which downgraded cannabis possession of an ounce or less from a possible felony to a misdemeanor.
  • Early reform efforts for the legal medical use of Cannabis in California began around the early 1990s in San Francisco
  • In 1996, Proposition 215 – also known as the Compassionate Use Act – was passed via a statewide ballot initiative and allowed California citizens the right to obtain and use cannabis for any illness with a doctor’s recommendation.
  • Richard Lee- founder of the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance, which helped pass Oakland’s Measure Z making private sales, cultivation, and possession of cannabis the lowest law-enforcement priority.

No matter where we may all me in the world; California needs our collect love. These wildfires are raging.

Let’s make sure California can feel our love. 

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