I had the honor of hearing Drake Sadler, founder of Traditional Medicinal Tea Company, tell Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch how selling mint, lavender and other herbal remedies was illegal. The setting was a fundraiser for his campaign in Sevastopol ten years ago. I was there in my capacity as a commercial cannabis consultant.
It’s interesting that people had to fight to legalize lemon balm and now the fight to legalize marijuana continues. It was insightful to hear this story of how all the herbs people could use themselves were at one time illegal to sell or buy commercially in this country. Can you imagine buying mint tea in stores is illegal? How can natural plants be illegal for adult use or purchase for one’s own adult body?
Cannabis is an old herbal remedy still on the road to legalization and resurgent use in the home garden. The ability to produce what we need locally was taken away from us, and slowly we are reclaiming our independence one tree at a time.
What is interesting about this struggle is that it demonstrates how one action, in this case the legalization of marijuana, can have multiple positive benefits. For example, cannabis plants also help reduce the risk of climate change. Of course there is the contribution of industrial hemp, saving forests from clearcuts using this strong and fast-growing pulp substitute for the plant. But there is much more. People grow their own medicine, from mint to cannabis, powering a supply chain that sinks carbon into the soil, providing essentials from their own backyard. All this in exchange for vitamin D and exercise. Provides sun, water, and healthy soil.
Growing and making your own cannabis medicinal products is an incredible way to take action now. We can make tinctures, teas, balms and other amazing products in the comfort of our own kitchen. It empowers and gives many opportunities for activism. Further, we can freely share the abundance of this medicine with those who need it and those who do not have the land to make it themselves.
When I think about the climate change situation, what comes to the top is all the things that are necessary for survival; Food, water, medicine and shelter. As supply chains slow from increased energy consumption and increasingly scarce resources, we will naturally source as many essential items as possible locally. How do we easily manufacture these items locally, with little to no environmental impact? Can our support systems for basic needs be regenerative, return water to aquifers, build topsoil, attract beneficial pollinators, and provide surpluses for humans? The answer is a resounding yes.
Find answers to these questions for each resource you use. Building local supply chains is now the proactive way we need to be. Food and medicine can already be produced around us. Grow your own and support commercial cannabis growers who focus on wellness; For people and land. The climate will thank you.
Craig Litwin Was a top signature gatherer for Prop. 215 and served as mayor of Sebastopol, where he co-authored one of the nation’s first dispensary ordinances. He is the CEO of 421 Group, a cannabis consultancy headquartered in Sonoma County, California, and a co-founder of Resourcery, an authorized and state-licensed cannabis oil extractor, tincture and salve maker and distributor in Sebastopol.