My Introduction to the Legalized Marijuana Industry

A Typical Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensary in the US

Like most adolescences in the United States, I was taught to believe that marijuana is an unsafe drug. It was said if you tried marijuana, you would be likely to use harsher drugs such as cocaine and heroin. In my college days, I have smoked marijuana a few times and when I did, I felt guilty the next day. In addition, with most jobs, a pre employment drug was required before to being hired, I stayed away from marijuana for many years.

I was a young mother attending a university in Kansas. I gave birth to my daughter freshman year in college. I was fortunate to have my parents help raise her while I finished school. There was so much stress being a single parent and trying to focus on completing my bachelor’s degree. I suffered from postpartum depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I honestly thought I was losing my mind. A friend suggested seeking therapy in order to deal with my stress. After a few sessions, my therapist prescribed an anti-anxiety/depression medication. It worked for 2 weeks and my insomnia got worse. My therapist increased the dosage, however, my symptoms continued to get worse. I decided to do some research on the medication I was taken and discovered the horrific side effects including suicide! I immediately stopped taking the medication and looked to natural ways to deal with my anxiety.

For the next 18 years, I experimented with various holistic methods to deal with anxiety. Anything from essential oils, herbs, vitamins, and yoga. I even took courses in Usui Reiki energy healing to help ease the symptoms. While it was not a cure-all, it somewhat helped alleviate my problems. I learned to accept that anxiety is part of my life and just learned to deal with it as it comes.

Medical marijuana dispensary in Connecticut, USA

In summer of 2015, my daughter was searching for colleges to visit. She wanted to attend college in Colorado. I was concerned at the time because the state of Colorado has legalized marijuana. Despite how I felt about marijuana at the time, I felt my daughter was responsible and mature enough to deal with it. We took a college tour at Colorado State University in beautiful Fort Collins. My daughter was also trying out for their women’s college soccer team. While she was at soccer camp, I spent my time exploring downtown Ft. Collins. I was at a bar having a beer and appetizers and notice the coaster had an advertisement for marijuana dispensary, “10% off any edibles.” It definitely piqued my interest!

My first dispensary visit was at Organic Alternatives in Ft. Collins. I walked into what appears to be a clinic. There was a nice waiting area with leather sofa, a gift shop, and a locked back area where the marijuana products were located. There were people of all ages and lifestyles. I was expecting stoners and hippies, but that was not the case. The receptionist took my license and gave me a number to wait. They called my number and escorted me to the back room. I was amazed at all the products they had to offer. Anything from the actual bud, oils, edibles, and topics. The “budtender” asked me what I was looking for and I told her that I was not sure. She asked me if I had problems sleeping or anxiety and I told her, “Yes!” She showed me the best strains/products for my ailments. I bought an oil to put into a tea, marijuana infused chocolate, and a vape pen!

I tried the oil later on that evening in a tea. Within 30min, I started to feel the effects of the oil. I did not necessarily feel high, just very relaxed. By the way, I NEVER sleep well in hotels, but this particular night, I slept all through the night and woke up fresh and full of energy with feeling groggy or run down. I do not remember the last time I have slept through the entire night!

Tallahassee, Florida Medical Marijuana Dispemsary

Ever since my visit to Colorado, I have research medical uses for marijuana. There are so many uses for this plant including cancer treatment, epilepsy, mental illness, pain management and so much more. There are even studies for industrial use such as for fabric/textiles, biofuel, plastics, and even to help clean up chemical and oil spills!

As a contributor for Globe Afrique, my goal is to educate, provide product reviews, and change the stigma of marijuana. This is not about getting high. It is about using this plant to help cure diseases and save our environment. I hope you find my articles educational and useful.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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