For this week’s substack, I wanted to share a story that was shared with me in response to last week’s post.
"I read your newsletter yesterday and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of what my father instilled in me at a young age. He would always say “if you're going to do something, do it right or don’t bother doing it at all”. I can honestly say that I have lived my life with that mentality ever since the first time he said that to me.
Many years later and some hard times came up along with some physical pain. I ended up being prescribed painkillers while in the service due to these physical issues. Well, the first month I was out of the service, I went into the VA for an appointment for a refill prescription. They cut me off of my medication without even tapering me. So I went to a regular doctor, or four, but no one would do anything for me.
I had to do something.
I went and tried to find the same medication on the street, too, which, after a while, it was too much money for me to handle on my salary. I started getting cheaper but more potent opiates.
This is where everything starts to spiral out of control.
So, after a terrible 2 years, I came to the point where I could not feed my habit any longer with the money that I was getting from my job at the time. I started to sell personal things, things that I loved, and when I ran out of those items, the terrible idea of taking things that were not mine arose in my head and that was where I drew the line.
I had to call up someone and do something.
So I called my father, who had no idea that his son had become a junkie...... I can honestly say that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. As I tried to tell him over the phone, I cried my eyes out like a child which I had not done in who knows how long...soldiers don’t cry! Right?
Well I’m here to tell you that’s a bunch of BS.
So I ended up throwing my cellphone, my lifeline to drugs, into the canal, and I moved in with my father in another state. I had nowhere else to go, and he welcomed me with open arms, even after what I just admitted to him!
Emotions were at a peak for sure.
Before I showed up on his doorstep I explained to him that it was going to be a rough few weeks at least withdrawing from the drugs, and not to take anything I said with any weight. After 2 weeks, I managed to get ahold of a local man who is a friend of a friend and get some cannabis.
“It never let me down before, could it help me now?“ well, it did and more than I could believe.I slept for 2 hours after that joint. Not much right? Sure was to me that day.
Fast forward to the current days and it has been 6 years, 3 months, and 29 days clean.
I contribute this to first and foremost my father and secondly cannabis. Soon after I got back on my feet I had a conversation with my father about how this plant helped me to get off such a horrible drug. Not only did / does it help me in a physical way but also a mental way.
Soon after that Conversation I started to cultivate my own medicine with a helping hand from my father along the way. This formed a bond between me, my father and this plant that could not be replaced by anything.
He has learned many things from speaking with me while working in the garden, from reading books and listening to podcasts. We work together in every area of the garden.
He recently asked me if he could plant a few seeds of his own / tend to them by himself to see if he could go from seed to harvest, and man am I stoked! I am one week away from finishing a new room where he can do just that!
I can honestly say that I am blessed to have cannabis in my life. I try to respect the plant in every way possible throughout my relationship with it and that means not taking any shortcuts, because cannabis never took a shortcut when it came to helping me beat my demons.I also believe that it brought me and my father even closer, if that is even possible. It helped me to be who I am today, who I am proud to be."
Even as I reread these words while putting this post together, goosebumps inch their way across my whole body. Stories like these are the reason why I continue to do my best to articulate information and spread education on cannabis and the industry being built around it. It’s also why I love engaging with the cannabis and goring communities.
The individual who sent this story in asked to remain anonymous (and even offered to give his pack away to another Veteran grower if he won), but, needless to say, he and his dad are the lucky winners of the Mandarin Cookies Multi Pack giveaway and I hope that they keep me (and us) in the loop as they progress; I’d love to share photos of his father’s first harvest.
Shown: Mandarin Cookies V3 x Original CrescendO (one of 6 genetics in the multipack)
And even if I never hear from them again, this plant gave me the opportunity to reach out and touch someone else’s life, someone that I’ve never met and may never meet, and give them a chance at cultivating their own medicine, and strengthening the relationships in their lives.
I’m going to be approaching the weekly newsletter a bit differently moving forward in 2021; I’d like it to be a bit more approachable, a bit shorter of a read, and hopefully still add the same value to your weekly readings.
Some weeks may lean heavier on life, and how cannabis is helping people work through things and become better individuals. Other weeks, it may lean heavy on the growing advice, with lessons I’ve picked up in my grow or through working with other growers. And some weeks you may get all of the above.
The goal here is to find a way to regularly communicate with you, to share tips and advice and knowledge, and hopefully to add value to your efforts at maintaining (or building) a relationship with this plant.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of the healthy roots on the clones I transplanted yesterday on one of my favorite ladies, the Poon Tang Pie from Bluegrass Hash.
I look forward to continuing the conversation with you next week.
Ben “Cultivating Relationships Through Cannabis” Owens
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