Putting Disabilities First

Last weekend, I spent a day in San Francisco participating in activism at the Dyke March. I appreciated the speeches which spoke about the inclusiveness of the event. Empowered women taking up space. Radical in many ways, like no corporate sponsorship, this march was organized differently and a noticeable aspect was that it was led by people with disabilities. There was something poignant about it that touched my heart, and I didn’t immediately know why.

These women were not afraid; they were celebrating and showing off what others may see as a negative. They were owning up to who they were and there was no shame. I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone praise medicating as an enhancement which blew my mind. Liberal as I am, I’m still fighting against society’s brainwashing.

To participate in the current California non-profit system, you must be a medical patient to be on the premises. So if you’re dealing with staff at your local dispensary they must have a medical reason to be using cannabis. They also should have firsthand experience using marijuana to help their ailments and they understand the difference it can make to quality of life. I realized this deeply changed the entire industry and brought a level of compassion that might have not been there otherwise. We put people with disabilities first too.

All of this is changing in 2018 where you can legally employ anyone 21 or older in your cannabis businesses. I hope the current industry and all the patients don’t just fade away, I also hope everyone with medical reasons to consume cannabis continue to take up space and be integrated as part of the legal market workforce. Doing business right, being inclusive, and having a diverse staff, is critical to keeping our industry special and different. Let’s hold onto the culture of compassion and caring for the most marginalized who are in need of love and support from our communities. Let’s not lose the soul of the current community and keep celebrating what was once kept hidden. Speak up and keep taking up space and be part of the future…

Darcy Thompson
Contributing Writer

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