From Loud Mouth Brown Girl, To Weed Whench
My Personal Story of coming to Cannabis, and eventually, the Industry
This story may touch on some subjects that may be difficult for some folks to read, please approach with caution. I’ve tried to be as respectful as possible, but everyone’s triggers are different. Please make sure you practice self care while reading.
My personal journey with Cannabis literally happened on my balcony in an apartment in North Surrey, as I realized that there was a very real chance, I might have been driven completely insane.
I knew there was a flood of memories coming my way, a wild firestorm in the middle of the ocean kind of flood, and I wasn’t entirely sure how to handle it, or who to talk to, but I knew that I needed to get what was in my head, out.
It took a long time. But Cannabis helped, it helped me to hear the voice of every single person from my past telling me to quiet down, make myself small, stay out of the way, be quiet, and settle down. I heard the voice of every single person who heard the word “no,” and said, “She said yes.”
I heard a story about a girl once called She Said Yes, Cassie was asked if she believed in Jesus, right before she was murdered, by high school students that were angry at the world. Angry enough to take the lives of innocent. Columbine happened when I was in Highschool, no one prepared us for school shootings back then, because no one knew we needed to be.
Because of this story, I realized that a lot of adults have no idea what challenges children are facing, because in our rapidly changing society, the battles and monsters that we face evolve, and change form and procedure.
This story was what made me realize that people actually cared what happened to children and that maybe even though Cassie and I were different, maybe people would care about me too.
But there was a long way to go between reading that story, and who I am today.
I had and continue to have, thousands of stories hidden away in my heart now, and while telling stories is still the most important thing in my life to me, I now realize that I am ready to tell my story.
More than twenty-five years of trauma memories were stuck in my head, and I had no one to talk to, who could understand, commiserate, or help me dissect what I needed to remove so that I could find my healthy self again.
Cannabis helped me paint, and draw, dance and sing. I traveled through time and space by remembering all the stories I would tell myself as a child when I was being abused so that I would forget the abuse and remember the majick.
My name is Devon J Hall, and at 38 years old I became Surrey British Columbia’s, first-ever Mixed-Race, Black and White, Creole, Certified Cannabis Coach, which is literally the best title in the entire world to me.
There is an entire world outside the one we have been conditioned to believe is true. “Reality,” I have learned is subjective, and in that subjectiveness at the end of the day, as long as you are functioning in a way that makes you a happier, healthier person, then aren’t you living your best life?
Cannabis for years for me was something to be afraid of. Largely because I saw what the illicit market can do to people first hand, but the legal, and medical markets are completely different. This was a lesson it took me more than five years to learn, after spending 18 years working with people who live with severe and traumatic dramatic drug addiction.
I used to work with people who lived on 132A Street in Surrey, British Columbia. It used to be called “The Street of Lost Hopes,” and on occasion was called “the most dangerous street in British Columbia’s lower mainland.” There were police officers who even in pairs, would not walk down this street at night alone.
I have never once, been attacked on that street because I worked side by side with people who lived a life filled with addiction, who took their pain and sorrow, and used it to educate me on how I could do things differently.
I didn’t go to school to learn what addiction can do to a human’s body, mind, and spirit. I saw it first hand.
Because of the human beings who shared their stories with me, who allowed me into their world, who showed me how naive I was, I was able to alter my course, which led me away from jails and death. But not institutions.
On more than one occasion throughout my life, due to PTSD, anxiety, depression, and even suicide attempts after severe childhood abuse, I have been hospitalized for my own safety.
Drug addiction is a monster that too many people around the world lose their lives to, every hour, every day. It destroys lives, it ruins relationships, and it turns you into something that you wouldn’t be otherwise, by bringing out your absolute worst features, desires, hopes, and wants.
For me, and a lot of the people that I worked with, drug addiction was either a warning or a reality. For me it was a warning, for too many people I worked with, it was a living breathing monster reality that too many of them couldn’t and cannot escape, no matter how hard they try.
I’ve seen that first-hand thousand of times. I even once went to an NA meeting just to see people succeed, because I was so tired of finding that someone I had come to care about, lost their battle to addiction.
I shared parts of my story, but even in those rooms, I found that in my case, there were few who could be as open as I needed to be. I was quite literally, on my own.
I saw many, many people, stand up and say they were getting better, only to get sideswiped by trauma, and thrown off course. I went to the funeral of a man whose name I share. Nothing will give you a reality check like having hundreds of amazing people say “Goodbye Devon,” when you’re standing right there…but he is not.
Some will tell you that “addiction” is a choice, that’s a lie. Addiction is a side effect of wanting to have a good time, of wanting to stop feeling like shit all the time. Of wanting the pain to stop. It’s a consequence of thinking one is not enough and realizing too late that one thousand is too many.
Throughout my life from teenagers to adults, I saw people die because they thought they could handle it. I saw the destruction of addiction first hand when I lost a child at twenty-three.
More than twenty years of abuse conditioned me to believe that I do not deserve to be happy and whole. Cannabis filled holes that I didn’t know existed, by reminding me of who and what I was born to be, and what I might be if I only took the time to remember that “conditioning,” is not the same as “purpose.”
From the Soldiers of CFB Calgary to the men and women across North America who deal with severe trauma from addiction, and from the issues that caused addiction, to begin with, I have learned how to separate what was, from what is.
In my life I have faced racism, sexism, and sexual abuse, sometimes the trifecta all at once, and I am here because five years ago I decided to honor the promise I made when I was a child.
“When shit gets rough, and you can’t see the sky for the forest, pick up a joint, and put the bottle aside. You don’t have to choose between the two, but you have to use the right one, at the right time. If it’s not for medicine, and it’s not for fun, then you absolutely know you’re done.”
I am done with drinking so that I do not feel, and by the Goddess of Mary Jayne, I do not have addiction issues, but what I do have is a deeply rich and profound understanding of the universe that I exist in.
Through Cannabis I get to take all the things that I love like science, art, design, literature, writing, and education and bridge them together which is helping me to stitch back together with the pieces of me that were ripped apart by conditioning due to abuse and trauma.
I no longer share the details of what I went through because I’ve learned that it can be quite triggering for those who hear it, but I have also made peace with those memories so that I can move forward.
Now I am both The Loud Mouth Brown Girl: The Weed Whench, and I am starting my own business, after being told by too many white people that I’d never make it.
I’m not a Cannabis Queen, and I never will be, I am a woman who has been used and abused her whole life, and has decided to title herself The Weed Whench, and my official public title shall be The Loud Mouth Brown Girl.
Whatever happens now, at least I tried,