The topic of cannabis is something that I deeply care about.
I am a Humboldt County citizen, former caregiver for a dying parent and other terminally ill cancer patients, commercial grower, and private financial advisor serving the cannabis community through a free educational platform.
The current literature on weeds appears to be highly fragmented. As we continue to stumble around the moral foundations of cannabis and continue to isolate ourselves in a strong “for” or “against” mindset, the ability to have a real and meaningful discussion is affected. As in our political rhetoric, exaggeration only goes so far and doesn’t solve problems…a kind of compromise on engagement, really. Diving into the problems more deeply and meaningfully is more difficult and time-consuming. And that’s what Cannabis conversation Around.
It is about transcending the same kind of division that stifles thinking and creativity. It’s about exploring issues related to cannabis and to providing durable policy and community solutions to improve lives, improve society, and create ongoing economic opportunity for ourselves and our children. To be clear, this column isn’t going to be a devious rag that only serves to undermine the benefits of cannabis use. Nor would it be a weak attempt to support or redefine an industry that has a lot of skeletons in the closet. I hope it will be a lively platform to enhance the cannabis conversation here and abroad.
As someone who has experienced a physical addiction to cannabis as a younger man, someone whose wife believes cannabis is from the devil and as someone whose life has been threatened by my involvement in the industry, I understand the negatives associated with cannabis. On the one hand, I’ve seen rampant chaos and ecological devastation happen in the hills of Humboldt County which is disgusting. On the other hand, I’ve seen a cannabis-loving and conscious community that cares about protecting and nurturing the environment while providing consumers with clean, high-quality products. I have also seen how cannabis can help terminally ill people off heavy drugs and die in relative comfort and dignity.
Pretending that cannabis (despite its purity and improvement of life) is something like a bouquet of roses is disingenuous and will not serve the debate well. With a more balanced critique that acknowledges both the pros and cons associated with use and production, we can take more meaningful steps in educating the public, ensuring safe access for all people around the world, and restoring the superiority of the Humboldt brand.
Over the coming weeks and months, this column will discuss many issues including cannabis and the local economy, industrial hemp, cannabis as medicine, cannabis addiction, old farmers, the unregulated market and many others. He hope to Cannabis conversation It will stimulate debate and help normalize cannabis not only as a viable economic driver for our county and state, but also as a tool for personal health and wellness.
At 43 years old, I’ve been using cannabis for nearly three decades now. I am one of about 9 percent of cannabis users who are physically addicted to the substance with regular use, so I only participate occasionally nowadays. I, like many, have seen the dark side of the cannabis industry. My life was endangered by a home burglary, and the murder of a neighbor on a farm I ran one night during a deal that went wrong. I’ve seen firsthand the criminality and the brutal environmental destruction being done by some bad actors in our hills, and my 23-year-old Central American wife thinks I’m taking the family to hell for my involvement in the industry.
Having said that, I have met hundreds of farmers locally who love the environment and care deeply about the plant, their community and their consumer. I see cannabis as a God-given and life-giving when used responsibly, and has made farming, helping farmers financially, creating awareness of cannabis, and ensuring safe access for all people around the world in my career pursuit.
I am a staunch supporter of medical cannabis for seriously ill patients, whether they are adults, children or infants. Although I would prefer children’s medical efforts to focus primarily on the non-psychoactive aspect of a plant such as CBD, I would prefer cannabis to heavy narcotics for minors facing life-threatening or serious health complications. As a father of six, I sympathize with parents who face the terrifyingly painful reality of a sick child or infant. The belief that a child will be denied life-saving and life-improving medicines because of an outdated law, policy-driven restrictions on cannabis research and development, someone-imposed morals, or misinterpreted social externalities is simply not acceptable.
I started using cannabis in my teenage years because it was fun – cannabis made me laugh and feel good and that was enough. The cannabis grown in Humboldt is very potent, although it was annoying to me in my early years. For these reasons, I strongly support legislation restricting recreational cannabis use until age 21, which is the time individuals have completed secondary education and have reached sexual maturity.
Over the years, my use has become more focused around emotional and spiritual connectedness, enhancing sensory experiences such as sex, and wellness issues such as stress relief, damage reduction, and health. After being diagnosed with acute gastritis, dislocating the hips, and suffering persistent posterior iliac tears with regularly sliding SI joints, cannabis also became a sleep aid and a tool of choice for pain control. Because bottles are killing people like me, the conscious choice is clearly cannabis, not alcohol or opioids.
I actively involve my children in conversations about my use and I have made it very clear that children will only indulge under our roof if, God forbid, they are seriously ill or seriously injured. Since we are a family with addiction and we believe that addiction is genetic to some extent, we shared that recreational use of any intoxicant is dangerous for our children. This is not a conversation my parents had with me and I only got a vocabulary for addiction after a deferment program in my early twenties. Specifically because cannabis alters the developing brain and male sexual function, exploration in later years seems healthy and wise. I also believe in not eating in front of children because I think it normalizes use and increases the likelihood of using it too.
I retired from financial counseling in 2014 to care for my dying mother and came to fully appreciate cannabis as a drug as I watched her body get damaged by radiation, chemotherapy, and immune system failure. After her death, I decided that professional cultivation and the improvement of life with cannabis would be my next professional career. I have studied and cultivated rigorously and am now a practicing Clean Accelerator, fighting to establish the Humboldt County family farm’s place in the global cannabis supply chain. If Canada can ship weed internationally and set up production facilities in Latin America, then at the local and state level we can certainly struggle with issues of on-site consumption, cannabis tourism, cannabis for seriously ill children, less discriminatory land use laws, and market formalization Interstate or national market currently in strong and illegal form.
I am also a member of Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA) with a free offer, NorCal Financial & Cannabis Consulting. This educational platform is designed to help farmers improve their agricultural, business and financial skills so that they can remain competitive in the market and continue to drive Humboldt’s economic success.
I am a person, a lifelong learner, and enjoy the amazing range of outdoor activities that our neighborhood has to offer.
All the best,
Jesse Duncan is a lifelong resident of Humboldt County, father of six, retired financial advisor, and full-time commercial cannabis grower. He is also the founder of NorCal Financial and Cannabis Consulting, a no-cost platform that helps small farmers improve their farming, business and financial skills. Excuse me Check out his blog In, his Instagram at jesse_duncann, and connect with him via Linkedin.