5 famous cannabis advocate couples that everyone should know about

Published Mar 10, 2019 09:30 a.m. ET
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

As we move forward into 2019 the majority of the western world and many regions beyond that have now legalized pot in some manner or another, be it for medical or recreational use. We are quite fortunate to live in this era of marijuana legalization that has released thousands of people from being labeled as criminals for no more than growing or smoking a harmless little plant. Our children will get the privilege of growing up without the taboo and with safe access to an alternative to alcohol. They will even be educated on a substance which is quite the contrast to what many of us experienced from the 60’s to the late 90’s where we were fed anti-pot propaganda in an attempt to scare us from the truth. While this is most certainly something to celebrate, we feel that it is just as important to remember how we were able to get this far in the first place. This is our official nod of recognition for the cannabis couples who spent years of their lives fighting and advocating for our right to enjoy and access pot the way that so many of us do today.

1. Jodie and Mark Emery

The notorious Prince and Princess of pot are one of the most well-known marijuana advocacy couples out there. Marc has been an advocate while also being involved in both the provincial and federal levels of the Canadian government. Marc was sentenced to serve five years in prison for selling pot seeds all over the world in an attempt to provide access and force change. When the couple was together, they owned and operated the Cannabis Culture magazine and were co-owners of Pot-TVand the franchise Cannabis Culturewhich was the very first of its kind. Jodie continued to run the dispensaries while Marc was incarcerated and during that time also ran a marijuana legalization platform when she ran as a nominee for the Green party in British Columbia. From there she filed as part of the Liberal riding but was also unsuccessful. Her activism goes back to the early days of the Cannabis Culture magazine when Marc hired her as the assistant editor in 2005. She has been a highlighted speaker at 420 friendly events all around the world including the Global Marijuana March and Cannabis day in Toronto and Vancouver. Though the couple has officially separated since 2 years ago, after Marc was released they continue to coordinate their efforts to raise awareness and advocate for the legalization of pot all around the globe.

2. Michelle and Michael Aldrich

This marijuana advocacy couple is well established in the medical community and are most often referred to as pioneers of the industry that fought for the first ever cannabis initiative on the California State Ballot called prop 19. She has been the treasurer with California Normal since 1978 and has also been a member on the Board of Advisors for Patients Out of Time which is an organization that assists those who are currently facing the end of life stages of an illness and wish for alternative treatments. Michelle is now a member at the San Francisco Medical Marijuana Task Force and the co-founder of the Aids Prevention Action Network. As if all that positivity wasn’t enough, Michelle actually funded the 1972 cannabis initiative through the assets of her company that manufactured Acapulco Gold papers. Though her husband has passed and wasn’t nearly as visible as his wife, this couples’ years of dedication towards the movement deserves proper recognition.

3. Clint Werner and Donald Abrams

One of the least highlighted cannabis couples are Dr. Donald Abrams and his husband Clint Cerner. Dr. Abrams is currently working as a specialist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicinelocated in San Francisco at Mount Zion where he continues his marijuana advocacy and uses his position and education as a tool to educate. He has well over three decades of experience conducting clinical studies and cancer research and has treated thousands of patients using medical cannabis. He is also one of the leading oncologists in the world and has been a driving force behind the marijuana legalization movement. Though he does not believe that cannabis can cure cancer he is certain that it’s value amongst the medical community and more specifically within cancer treatments holds a value that cannot be compared to any traditional medications. Since the early 1960’s both Clint and Donald have appeared all over the world before various members of government and medical advisory boards. Armed with both research and knowledge they have helped to shift the views of people everywhere on the validity of cannabis or more specifically THC or CBD as a medical treatment.

4. Stephen and Ina May Gaskin

Stephen Gaskin was an American icon for the hippie way of life and is most known for co-founding The Farm in the early 1960’s which is a world-famous spiritual community located in Summertown Tennessee. It was there that he met his wife Ina May Gaskin who joined him on his mission to spread both the awareness and acceptance of cannabis use. Ina Gaskin was also at Stephen’s side as he obtained the status of a Green Party primary candidate where Stephen ran on a platform that focused on universal healthcare, marijuana legalization, and finance reform. Though he did not ultimately end up in that position, the cannabis couple continued to make public appearances and schedule rallies to unite people who felt that marijuana should be decriminalized. Stephen also authored over 80 publications and 54 works including a biography of his life, and a personal account of the couple’s experiences while living on The Farm. Though his wife helped and was there through every step of his journey, her advocacy focused on her passion for midwifery.

5. Scott Durrah and Wanda James

This couple partook in marijuana advocacy for well over two decades together and are known as a successful business powerhouse couple wthin the cannabis industry. What many don’t realize is that they most often worked without the help of an official spotlight as advocates for marijuana legalization. Together they have pushed social boundaries and established the very first African American owned dispensary in Colorado in 2009. Wanda first became involved with the movement when her younger brother was arrested for possessing four ounces of pot at the tender age of 17 and was imprisoned for ten years as punishment. Scott joined his wife in her endeavors and supported the cannabis industry through fundraising and organizing political events to gather supporters together in the act of solidarity. Wanda is most known for her outspoken ways, particularly for when she attacked the Obama administration for refusing to protect the rights of legal medical producers. The pair own and designed the Simply Pure line of edibles themselves and are one of the most successful cannabis couples in the legal industry today.

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