Part social advocate, and part comedian, Dustin Brandon was born and raised in Boston while living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, more commonly called Brittle Bone Disease. In his 35 years of life he has either fractured or broken 400 bones in his life, with over 35 surgeries under his belt.
As if that wasn’t enough of a blow, his home life growing up was less than stellar — both of his parents dealt with substance abuse issues. At age nine the state took Brandon and placed him in a private boarding school for kids with disabilities. He stayed in that system until he graduated from high school.
After college, Brandon went to Arizona to play professional wheelchair basketball for the Phoenix Suns, but the Copper State proved tough for him due to the scale of the opiate epidemic there. Brandon found himself ensnared in the dangerous spiral of prescription opiate abuse.
One summer day while crossing the street in Medford, Brandon was hit by a truck from behind while using the crosswalk. He credits his ease of recovery to his friends smuggling him a vape cartridge that improved his sleeping and eating. This ordeal was the wakeup call that he needed to get his life together.
Brandon started a career in the cannabis industry in 2017 at The NW Cannabis Club. With his organizing and marketing skills, he established cannabis-centric events that bridged the gap between the consumers and the folks who grew and produced the products that they enjoyed.
“He wants to push your comfort levels until audiences see that he is just like everyone else, and that it’s ok to find humor in struggle — he sure as hell thinks it funny.”
But Brandon’s secret passion is comedy. His ultimate goal is to breakdown stereotypes of disabled folks by getting us to laugh at things we might not think acceptable in today’s hyper-PC landscape. He wants to push the crowd’s comfort level until audiences see that he is just like everyone else, and that it’s ok to find humor in struggle — he sure as hell thinks it’s funny — and feels this will bring a greater understanding of life in a chair.
Brandon, will be a keynote speaker at HEMPFEST 2019 June 15th & 16th. For more info go to oregonhempfest.org.