Throughout my advocacy work, I’ve found that many stigmas and myths need to be debunked. Cannabis smokers, for example, are lethargic stoners who do not contribute to society. This is untrue, and prohibitionists use it to support their position that cannabis should not be legalised. It’s not just a British myth; it’s a worldwide one.
Darryl Howard, a former athlete and certified life coach, author, and most importantly, a loving and caring father to his children, is someone I’d want to introduce to you. His legacy spans 20 years, and I was astounded by his motivation, dedication, and skill when I first met him. He has been honoured with a prestigious NAACP award for his dedicated service to his community. He is a medical cannabis patient, and it has helped him to continue adding value and giving back to his community. He also has a clothing company and donates his designs to children in order to help them prepare for the upcoming school year, which can be stressful for families.
Darryl, a respectful and compassionate member of his community, says he abstained from cannabis because he “never wanted to disappoint my mother.” However, he continues, “Now that I realise the benefits, I wish I had known about it before the games because sometimes I was anxious and would throw up.” It can be challenging to compete at a professional level in sports. Regardless, he overcame these obstacles to become a fantastic leader and coach.
When I asked Darryl if he supported medicinal cannabis use, he said, “I’m born on 420 so hell yeah. I was introduced to cannabis in the 80’s and in the 90’s due to people around me and tv. My friends would consume around me, but I knew it was for adults. I started consuming in college even though it was always available.”
Darryl is a legal Cannabis patient. “I use cannabis as a medicine. I have a doctor and medical card. I have a pin in my knee, and it helps with pain.” He acknowledges a remarkable author, Doctor of pharmacy, educator, and Queen of Plant Medicine who helped in his cannabis education, “Doctor Ohanba’s book helped me understand the endocannabinoid system and terpenes.”
He believes that cannabis is a medication, and that teaching your children about it will help to dispel the stigma associated with its usage. “It’s a natural option,” and he remembers being prescribed pharmaceutical medications for which he had severe adverse effects, but he didn’t have this with cannabis, which is encouraging. However, we must remember that cannabis treatment is an excellent example of personalised care, and it is critical, as Darryl correctly points out, to have pharmacists, doctors, and nurses available to assist patients.
As a child, he was encouraged to talk to counsellors and teachers instead of taking prescription medications, and he saw how much he benefited from mentoring and guidance, so he was inspired to use his lived experience to help build community through sport and now through cultivation, and to support the community with things like goal setting, discipline, and mentoring.
Darryl’s passion for gardening is inspirational. “Growing plants and vegetables is something that’s indigenous to all of us and we have been doing it for centuries. Once I started delving into who I was, I started to see what I could do.” He likes the freedom and independence it allows him, but he also likes the variety it provides. “Allows me to have a variety. We grow what we need to fuel us.”
When he highlighted the advantages of growing veggies for himself and his family, it was refreshing. “I love how my kids can grab a snack from the garden and jump back on the trampoline. Me and Tash are always outside together.” The advantages to his daily quality of life are remarkable. His account of the psychological and social effects of cannabis cultivation is life-changing. He’s now added cannabis farming to his repertoire, and he’s passionate about promoting the “beautiful cannabis plant. We recycle the leaves in the garden and now I can teach people to show them what they can do to look after their families.”
When I asked Darryl about growing cannabis at home, he was really enthusiastic. Because it is illegal in the United Kingdom, I wanted to describe what it can be like in a legal state. It’s a “great situation,” he says. He talked about his love of gardening and how the inclusion of cannabis hasn’t hindered him, but that his cannabis plants and veggies have a symbiotic relationship: “The cannabis plant provides medicine and food.”
He goes on to discuss the issue of retailers and product labelling, which is a widespread issue in the cannabis lifestyle and legal market. It’s critical for patients and clinicians to be aware of what they’re consuming. He also notes that using the medical programme and dispensaries can be costly, but that growing at home eliminates this problem.