Name: Jefferson VanBilliard
When did you start using cannabis?
I started using cannabis when I was 24.
Did you try other methods?
Yes. As a teenager, I was prescribed a common, stimulant-based prescription drug that left me feeling despondent and bored. I had trouble connecting with my peers and caring about anything besides getting away from school. I stopped taking it and struggled for years with my diet, sleep schedule and ability to focus and enjoy each moment until I tried cannabis—haven’t looked back since.
What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?
The most important thing we can all do, as a community, is to help remove the stigma that all marijuana users are the stereotypical “burnout” with no education or motivation to succeed in life. Doctors, judges, firefighters, teachers and even the president have admitted to using marijuana, and I still have to convince my family that I won’t become a junkie on the streets after taking a dab.
What do you say to folks that are skeptical?
I work in the cannabis industry and I work as a bartender. As a bartender, I use cannabis to keep a cool head and to regulate my sleep patterns, and usually when someone finds out that I am a part of the medical cannabis industry they’ve had no prior indications that I medicate all day, every day. When I point out the fact that they’ve probably never seen me not medicated, it usually tears down the common misconceptions people have about cannabis use and allows me to further educate people about all of the profound effects this plant could have on our world.