End420Shame: DOPE Speaks Out

“People in this industry are not evil and corrupt, they are fighting for a peace movement that goes well beyond the plant—inclusion and togetherness in main stream media, not chaos and war.” —Michelle Glassman, Colorado State Director

Why do we love cannabis? The stories speak for themselves. You don’t have to search far or wide to find a cannabis patient that can tell an amazing testimony of a life changed by the plant. For the last year, we’ve been sharing these stories through our #End420Shame campaign.

Since September 2015, we’ve talked to dozens of individuals who’ve found a new lease on life thanks to cannabis. Our conversation with Ray Mirzabegian, a desperate father who watched his young daughter endure thousands of seizures before cannabis saved her and our chat with Jake Scallan, a disabled Air Force vet who suffered from severe PTSD until cannabis gave him his life back. Both testimonies offer up evidence of the power of the plant. We’ve been astounded by the stories of real people using cannabis to live and lead better lives.

Now, it’s our turn!

At DOPE, we’re not just writers, photographers, editors, advertisers or business people. We’re cannabis lovers who are working on the front lines to shed light on this powerful industry, one story and one person at a time. We’ve seen it all, and it’s time to share our thoughts.

We’ve been campaigning against discrimination since the beginning. Everyday people still face criminal charges and negative attention because they choose to use cannabis, and DOPE employees aren’t exempt.

“I was strip searched during an attempt to travel to Canada in 2012,” shared Meghan Ridley, DOPE’s Lead Writer. “I repeatedly assured the Border Patrol agents that I had no cannabis on my person, but that I was a MMJ patient and worked for DOPE Magazine. They proceeded to go through all of my belongings, including my electronics. Following their search, they informed me that they had ‘reason enough to believe that I was trafficking drugs’ and that my entrance into their country would require a strip search. Their strip search went so far as to require removal of my tampon. Ultimately, they found no drugs. However, I was still denied entrance into Canada, due to my statement that, ‘I may consume cannabis while in their country.’”

As for Silvia Alcala, our LA Office Manager, she’s witnessed discrimination, up close and personal. “Being born and raised in San Fernando Valley, I’ve seen people thrown in jail as criminals, who are now working first-hand with cannabis. At one time, I was told I needed to go to rehab for using cannabis, when the same people were being medicated by drugs which I believe were more dangerous.”

There’s no doubt that we still need to #End420Shame and the first step is education. Take a look at what DOPE employees have to say about cannabis and legalization.

What’s the most important thing you want someone to know about cannabis?

“It’s just a plant.” —Ashleigh Castro, Lead Photographer, Content Coordinator and Office Manager (IMAGE Flower pipe)

“People in this industry are not evil and corrupt, they are fighting for a peace movement that goes well beyond the plant—inclusion and togetherness in main stream media, not chaos and war.” —Michelle Glassman, Colorado State Director

“Cannabis’ value to the world as an eco-friendly resource and raw material is endless. One example: plastics and the waste they produce on land and in our oceans.” —Zachary Holland, Editor

How have you seen cannabis help someone? 

“When I was younger a family friend used cannabis to help her cancer recovery.” — Glace Bondeson, Digital Director

“I have a ton of stories: friends who’ve used cannabis after pregnancy to help with postpartum and even elderly family members who have been on prescription drugs that can now say they finally have a sense of relief.” — Michelle Glassman

“When my mother passed away, the doctor placed my father on prescription anti-depressants, which caused high blood pressure and required additional medication. To help, my sisters and I began to give him chamomile tea with CBD honey at night. Soon after, he went from sleeping all day to going back to work. Three months later, his blood pressure went down and he stopped using anti-depressants. My father—a child of agave crop farmers killed by the Mexican government from whom he fled to America for a better life—went from fearing cannabis as a child to watching Weediquette with me and proudly proclaiming that I work for DOPE Magazine.” —Silvia Alcala 


What is the most ridiculous reason for cannabis’ classification as illegal?

“The failure to properly educate the public on cannabis has allowed decade old stigmas, based on irrational fears, to persist.” —Andrea Larson, Editor

“Big business and money have always dictated modern society’s acceptance of things. It’s sad that political agendas can make something as harmless as cannabis and hemp illegal for no reason. Textile and agriculture industries were the reason hemp was made illegal originally. Big-pharma, along with other large corporations that will feel a financial hit from cannabis becoming legal, are currently the main opponents of legalization.” —James Zachodni, Partner and Chief Branding Officer 

Why do you think cannabis should be legalized?

“Legalizing cannabis on the national level will allow us to finally study all of the properties and effects of this plant. These studies will give proof to the long-known healing properties of this sacred herb: seizures, cancer, anxiety, glaucoma, lung capacity, Alzheimer’s, pain relief, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of appetite, depression, Crohn’s disease, Arthritis, Lupus, metabolism, Parkinson’s, PTSD. The list goes on and on and on. From clothing to medicine, building materials to food, this plant covers so many industries that I can’t begin to extoll the incredible values and features of this miracle plant.” —Michael W. Fox, Oregon State Director

“Cannabis, like many other natural herbs has healing effects and benefits when consumed (smoked, vaped, applied topically or ingested). Most think that ‘anything cannabis’ is psychotropic (causing a ‘high’). That’s simply NOT true. Cannabis has many components and isolates (CBD for example) that are beneficial to humans and cause no psychotropic effects. It’s time we looked to science for answers and served those patients that require medicine, breaking stoner stereotypes. Cannabis, when used responsibly, has great healing and mind-opening effects. Take care of the plant and it will take care of you.” —David Paleschuck, VP of Licensing & Brand Partnerships

If you have an #End420Shame story to share, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat (DOPE_Magazine) or send an email to [email protected]m.

Dope Staff

The diligent, hard-working professionals at DOPE bring you the latest news, reviews and stories from the world of cannabis. Defending Our Plant Everywhere.

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