Name: Matt Bell
Occupation: VP of Communication at Nerve Cannabis Consulting
When and how did you become an advocate for cannabis?
I’ve been doing PR for cannabis since I can remember, but when my mom used Rick Simpson Oil to treat and beat her lung cancer in 2013, I really began paying attention. Navigating the information out there made me feel like I was living the Twilight Zone.
How has cannabis benefited your life?
Well, it saved mom’s life, for one! But really, I have my best ideas after a few puffs and a walk. It’s helped me to laugh more. It’s helped me to sleep more. And on Sunday after a weekend in the mountains, it helps soothe the aches and pains. And now, it brings me a paycheck and a job I can love.
What’s your greatest achievement for the cannabis cause?
I think each time I talk to someone skeptical about cannabis and am able to help change their minds is an achievement. The more people we have on our side, the more likely we are to end prohibition.
Who do you look up to or admire?
Denis Peron, the rabble-rouser and co-author of Prop 215, the first to legalize medical marijuana. Whenever the cannabis industry starts to feel difficult, I think of Peron, who openly operated dispensaries in San Francisco, before it was legal and when going to jail was a real possibility.
If you could change one thing about the way cannabis is viewed and/or treated right now, what would it be?
I’m ready for people to stop assuming that everyone that smokes regularly isn’t a motivated person. Cannabis has been one of the most motivating forces in my entire life.