When we moved to Colorado we had every intention of joining the advocacy for Medical Cannabis laws, but life had different plans for us. I planned on working for our business only and those plans changed when we got to Colorado and saw that everything we planned for, fell through. I ended up working for the University of Colorado full-time as an Office Manager. At the time I remained optimistic that the job wouldn’t stand in the way of participating in public, government meetings but that misconception changed quickly. I started to notice that all the public meetings to pass new laws regarding medical cannabis were scheduled for sessions during the day when my husband and I were working. Every single meeting. It became clear that in order for me to be an advocate and have my voice heard I was going to have to take time off of work, which I didn’t have.
So when we moved from Colorado to New Mexico on this new leg of our journey, advocating for medical cannabis rights was nowhere on our agenda. We quickly learned that the medical cannabis laws in New Mexico create a huge space for a new black market, were being selectively followed by police officers and desperately needs to be updated. But still, we didn’t feel that was our fight. After living on over 50 acres for less than a year we eventually found out someone living in our subdivision had filed over 100 false Crimestopper Reports against us with the Cibola County Sheriff’s Department and we received an unwarranted visit to our properties in January 2018. The visit quickly went from “We’re just here to introduce ourselves to the people in the subdivision”, while bringing out 7-10 Sheriff’s vehicles, the Undersheriff, Sheriff’s Detectives, a canine unit and lots of police officers with M16’s, to “We want to walk around your campground to make sure these reports are false”, all without a warrant. Additionally, the Cibola County Undersheriff quickly went from somewhat professional to full out rude, unprofessional and belligerent when I opened my mouth to speak about my objections to the unwarranted search request. Nothing came of this interaction until March 16th when my husband and I were held down at gunpoint, a military tank and officers tore up our land, illegally detained and falsely imprisoned us twice in a week and I spent a total of 7 days in jail with insufficient food and no water. I was molested during my 2nd arrest by a Cibola County Sheriff’s/Village of Milan officer, put in jail, my dogs impounded and my husband (a medical marijuana patient for 8 years) also arrested and harassed for possession and paraphernalia, while I was in jail. All over 100 false Crimestopper reports filed by a white racists woman that told us “I hate that people are moving out to the subdivision! I was here first and I hate all these new people moving in!” the first time she met us, less than 3 months after moving onto our land, and claimed that we were “growing hundreds of marijuana plants, making meth, trafficking marijuana from Colorado, selling meth and marijuana, and starting a cult.”
After this happened, we desperately wanted to retreat back into our shell, not talk to anyone, not visit anyone, and not associate with anyone in this area. Although we had met a handful of loving, honest people from this area, the entire experience salted the relationships we built during our short time here because we didn’t know who was going to have our back during and after all this. We didn’t completely know who felt the same way as this racist clan, we didn’t know who was being honest with us, and we didn’t know who knew these people who are trying to ruin our lives and take our land from us. We had come to New Mexico on a spiritual journey to discover our roots, revive the ecosystem, revive the water, establish a loving, like-minded community and do whatever we can to help in the local community. And no matter how much we shared that vision with these people, we had been singled out, attacked and slandered by white people from southern states with hearts full of hate. For full details about what we’ve been going through, see Racists with Confederate Flags and Badges.
Shortly after all this happened and we were completely comfortable in our shell again, a post on Facebook popped up for an application to the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Task Force. I debated on applying for a few days and finally did it because “What’s to lose?” Right!? So I filled out the application and put it out of my mind, I figured I wasn’t going to be selected anyway. So when I got an email a couple weeks ago indicating I had been selected out of hundreds of applicants I was stunned!! And excited at the same time! Yes we’re going through legal harassment, false charges, racial profiling and defamation of character but this is a HUGE opportunity to use this phase of our journey to make an advocacy impact on the upcoming changes to the Medical Cannabis Program in New Mexico to ensure that others like us, that look like us and move like us, aren’t allowed to be harassed and singled out simply for choosing a natural form of medication or having brown skin.
I’ve spent over 10 years fighting myself internally about my use of medical cannabis. I’ve struggled with the choice to utilize this plant when it came to the religions I’ve been associated with, I’ve struggled with the negative stigma of being a woman who smokes, and at 21 years of age, I knew that it was time for me to do my own research around the use of cannabis. That research set me free. Growing up I used to tell my friends that smoked they were killing brain cells and they were going to grow up to be low-lives, an opinion that was ingrained into me while growing up in a family of peace officers. My choice to medicate with marijuana came only after getting to the point where I was taking an 800mg Ibuprofen every hour and still having such a horrible migraine that I started slamming my own head into walls in the hopes of stopping the pain. I was out of options. I had tried 7-8 medications prescribed to me by Kaiser that didn’t do anything for me. At a time in my life where chronic migraines stopped me from functioning like a “normal” 21-year-old, I remember saying to myself one day, “If smoking this plant is a sin then I’m ok dying with this being my sin of choice. Fuck it.” So I’m beyond excited and honored to be selected for this task force and utilize my experience with medical cannabis laws from 3 completely different states!
My first official meeting is this Friday, June 22, 2018, and we are so excited!! If YOU are in the state of New Mexico or know someone that is and would like to have their voice heard at this upcoming meeting please share this article with them or invite them to express themselves via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure your voices are heard!