Kindred
Photographer/Cinematographer

Brian

My relationship with cannabis, like many in my generation, started at an extremely young age, but not quite how you would think. Growing up, I was involved with a myriad of sports including basketball, baseball, wrestling and motocross and I was also on track to earn my Eagle Scout accolades. Being involved in so many extra curricular activities on top of my education and family life, there wasn’t ever really an interest in experimenting with cannabis or even alcohol as it was generally frowned upon, especially in the motocross scene. Sure, I had friends that I knew were into smoking pot and drinking, but I wasn’t on that page yet. Like many others, I believed that smoking pot made people lazy and less intelligent and less driven. Until one day after my father picked me up from my eighth class to take me home.

We stopped at the local pharmacy by our place so he could pick something up, but I opted to stay in the car while he went in. He always carried a briefcase with him everywhere he went as well as what people might call a “nurse” or “manpurse”. I knew he always kept a box of Altoids and some Carmex in the murse. I decided I wanted a mint and proceeded to open his bag while he was inside. What I found in that green and white tin wasn’t mints, it was a small metal pipe. And what I found in his Carmex wasn’t lip balm, it was ground up pot. My values and beliefs as I knew them at the time were shattered. How could my father, someone I looked up to so much and who had achieved so much success in his life be a pothead? I had to ask him why he would make this a part of his life. His answer to me was surprisingly simple. He told me, “Son, marijuana isn’t what most people make it out to be and I like to enjoy myself after a long day of hard work. Some day you will understand, but if you have more questions, I’m here to answer them for you.”

I wish that other people knew the immense healing powers that cannabis has. Not only physical healing, but mental as well.

Of course, I didn’t really ask him any more questions, because at that time in a young person’s life, spending time with your friends tends to mean more to you than your family time. So, naturally I started spending more time around my friends who I knew smoked pot, including my older brother. I also began to think that if my father smoked, then it can’t be all that bad. Long story short, I started using cannabis at the young age of twelve and I have continued to use cannabis almost every day of my life since I was eighteen years old. I am now thirty years old and cannabis continues to be a part of my daily routine.

Cannabis has and continues to improve my life in many ways. It’s introduced me to new friends and communities. It’s revealed my true inner creative and allowed me to explore other ways of thinking and viewing life. But mostly, it has inspired me to be the best person I can be because I am determined to show others that smoking cannabis can and will improve your quality of life, if used responsibly. It inspired me to drop out of the corporate rat race and start my own photography and film business. Something that I aspired to achieve when I was in high school, but was told it wasn’t a viable career path by many people. Using cannabis allowed me to think for myself and determine what was right for me in my journey when I was being told otherwise.

I wish that other people knew the immense healing powers that cannabis has. Not only physical healing, but mental as well. Cannabis has and continues to help me in fighting depression and low self-esteem. It is also a continuing source of inspiration and introspection in my life, something I continually need to keep my grounded.