For the past few years, getting me to do anything social is like pulling teeth with tweezers. I’ve settled so deeply into my reclusiveness, that even in my role as a blogger, I hesitate about attending events. This summer has been particularly bad; between life stressors complicating every single day and my resulting mood, getting me to socialize is probably more like pulling teeth with broken tweezers.
That’s why somewhere around 9 pm on August 19, I decided that I was the luckiest blogger on earth. Why? Because my curiosity about treating addiction with medical marijuana led me to get to know folks involved with Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine (MMCM) who graciously invited me to a celebratory cruise on the Songo River Queen II in Naples.
This terrific event honored the medical marijuana community, the volunteers who made the Homegrown Maine 2016 Trade Show such a success, and legislators who have worked on behalf of the medical marijuana program.
I had a blast. It was cool because over the course of doing my series on treating addiction with marijuana, I’ve come to know quite a few people in the community and many were present. I like to call one of them a guru because wherever conversations go with this gentleman, it’s profound: profoundly thought provoking, profoundly serious, profoundly real, profoundly silly.
Talking to him is like taking your brain on a profundity roller coaster ride.
He and his family live in Maine, but he’s not originally from here. So I asked him if he felt like he’d become a Mainer, yet. After pausing for a second, he started laughing and said, “I think I’ve always been one, I just didn’t know it until I got here!” (Shout out to P — thanks for all the laughs! I was laughing all the way home and still laughing the next morning!!)
Catherine Lewis, Kim Printy, and Dawson Julia of MMCM spoke about various current political, policy-related, and legislative campaign-related issues. They reminded members about the importance of supporting candidates who were supporters of the medical marijuana program, like Reps. Deb Sanderson and Ben Chipman, as well as Senator Eric Brakey — all of whom attended the cruise.
As a trade organization, MMCM is proud of and works diligently on its relationships with its legislative and state partners. One of the things they are working on, according to Lewis, is “crafting language so caregivers can be supportive of each other in times of crisis.”
Lewis was referring to a need for caregivers to be able to provide each other with cannabis, should one caregiver be unable to service patients for some reason. It may be that a caregiver needs access to a particular strain and/or concentrate for a given ailment or that a harvest was un-useable due to quality or some other factor. Other issues at hand for MMCM include allowing greater patient access and the sales of seeds and plant clones.
Representatives Deb Sanderson and Ben Chipman, as well as Senator Brakey spoke of their strong support for and belief in a healthy Maine medical marijuana program.
As someone who is desperate to see the two parties find areas of common ground, I was pleased to hear one Democrat and former Independent, Chipman, along with two Republicans, Sanderson and Brakey, speak about their reasoning for supporting medical marijuana and pledging their continued support whether recreational access is legalized or not. Since two different referendum proposals about recreational access merged, the resulting proposal has caused some friction in the medical marijuana community.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a finer interruption to all my stress. The sunset was as stunning as the nearly full moon rising to take its place. The band was incredible, and there were delicious edibles and concentrates to vape (an electronic way of inhaling medical marijuana) for those with certification.
The captain probably could have powered the boat on all the laughter and joy!
Endnote: The photographer who generously allowed me to use his pictures in this post, Roger Leisner, is an old community acquaintance of mine — going back to my Cony b-ball days. We always joke about how no matter how old I get, I’ll always be a Cony basketball player. Anyway, his collection includes a variety of statewide events, as well as beautiful Maine landscape photography. Selections from his collection can be found at Smugmug.com. Click here. If you do, though, please ignore the pic of me in which I do NOT look so good blurry!