Rocket Launched! Becoming Who We Are

WHOA. What happened in 2016?! How did an entire year go back without writing a blog post (here or on the travel blog), or even many entries in my journal—including songs, prayers, random thoughts, and poems.

I suppose a lot has happened in the last 12+ months....
Actually, my entire life changed.

I had another breaking bad moment, but this time was more like a rocket ship lifted me off into full throttle. I discovered a part of me that was on fire and hungry to empower others to see[k] truth and change.

Two days before entering 2016, I attended my first DC NORML (National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws) meeting (I previously attended several meetings in Virginia).
I'm not sure if it was the contagious energy of the executive director or the energy from the company that led me to attend, but something inside was triggered.

It made sense.

Taking on a double minor in undergrad at American University, I studied psychology and justice, law and society on top of my journalism major. I chose to take courses like Drugs and Human Behavior; Drugs, Consciousness, & Fulfillment; and Law, Psychology and Justice...among others with a similar theme.

My goal? To understand (and also #nonprofitstartupfuturegoals).

Until college, I was a proud and supportive DARE advocate. That was until I realized it is all propaganda, especially when it comes to the Cannabis Sativa plant, and that all the honor students "smoke pot." Surely the smart kids couldn't/shouldn't be excluded from the list of "good people," as the new attorney general may propose. πŸ˜’

At this point, we realize DARE does not keep people from their curiosities, and instead creates ignorance by covering truths. As the New Jim Crow notes, we are wasting money and resources to put nonviolent people who should not only be spending time being productive in the world, but they could be spending time building and investing (please think beyond money) in society...and with their families.

War on Drugs? ...nah.

But the drug war goes further than stealing lives and years from people (read John 10:10)—particularly against people who look like me.

Looking at the grande scheme of the Universe, the drug war is really an attack on the family. This is my biggest heartbreak.
Taking fathers, mothers, and caregivers away from the future generation; to be sent behind bars, made to feel like a criminal (I love you, you're probably not).

If you've seen any of the shows making money from sharing behind the scenes of the demoralizing prison system, then you know it's not somewhere you want to end up when you're just trying to peacefully live your life without causing harm to anyone.........including yourself...

Once this truth was unveiled to me through both my classroom and real life encounters, I knew that I couldn't keep this realized truth for and to myself. Believing this as part of my purpose/existence, I barely felt any fear in knowing that I am a first-generation American with Christian parents who are not supportive of supporting anything that the law says 'no' to.

But the revelation came to me. The law: written and inspired by man's personal desired outcome, has once also said that blacks and whites cannot eat in the same place or marry; women could not hold certain roles or vote; and blacks are only worth 3/5 of a person..... I'm sorry, but no. I hope your convictions on the laws of man have been altered because this flux and subjectiveness is our human reality.

The Mission

So how could I ignore the number of [black] people behind [privately owned] bars who never hurt anyone, including themselves? Or the millions of sick patients who can benefit from the healing of a plant with zero negative side effects (depending on the strain and your evening plans)?

"For the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed," says Isaiah 61:1 (NLT). No, I'm not Jesus or the Messiah, but being created in His image, I was also created for this purpose -- and so were you.

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Of course I strongly believe this statement goes beyond the need for physical healing, though that's part of it.

The mission is simple: Truth, Liberty and Justice for all. I think we were forced to say that every day in school and "I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix," as stated by Texas Representative David Simpson (R).

But this post is not really about my personal convictions and beliefs. It is about what I have been doing and the divine opportunities presented because of them.

The Rocket Launch

After the last DC NORML meeting of 2015 and numerous conversations with a friend and figure in the cannabis industry, my mind became restless. Knowing what I learned in school and about the people deeply entrenched with the underground in other places, I was surprised that this awakening didn't come sooner! Even my cell phone number clearly confirms this direction, though I missed it all along!

I had to do something. I had to get involved.

In February 2016, my rocket ship officially launched. I was READY to make moves and shake things up. I met Adam Eidinger of DCMJ on the NPR Kojo Knamdi Show, reached out to the legendary activist Dana Beal for advice and support, spoke to teachers at DCPS to explain the new cannabis laws and how they can address it with their students, and topped it off at the Capitol CannaShow -- which opened windows and doors to amazing relationships.

This was all in one month. I was praying hard before all of this about purpose and direction (this all shortly followed after reading Purpose Drive Life), and knew the seamless flow and series of events/encounters over the next 6 months had to be a divine appointment (before that NORML meeting, I had just gotten baptized in my adult life and was packing boxes to move to California, which are still packed LOL). I've met some inspiring, well-known, and influential people in the $6.7 billion industry (Forbes). I've been inspired and engaged with all types of people through various events, political movements, conferences, and private partnerships. 😻

Fast forward a year later, and now I work as an editor for the BEST online publication for current and aspiring cannabis executives and leaders in the industry, Cannabis Business Executive. The rocket ship's door flung wide open, literally combining my knowledge of journalism with my distinct courses in psych/law to finally make that $200K education bill worth it. Even better? My heart is for helping others develop themselves personally and professionally (first they must be free), and this publication does just that for a niche industry!

I've been silent for the last year because I've been building. Not for myself, but for a Kingdom that I've been created for and hope others will join. The enlightenment of my connection to support the cannabis industry didn't stop there. My eyes opened to dreams that I forgot were in my heart as a child...but I let the world's distractions of paying bills and "having fun" disrupt that path. So much has happened. Amazing encounters. Wonderful people, and new lifelong friends. Moments of self-awakening.

I just wish God told me sooner that this is where I should be!

Nevertheless, here I am and NOW is the time.
I refuse to be so silent with writing... but I have been busy building and cannot make promises about the next time I'll say 'hi'. "The wise woman builds her house..." (Prov. 14:1 NLT).

Look up and look ahead. Never underestimate the power of a seed (mustard or hemp ;).

We'll be waiting for when your eyes open.



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