Cyd Maurer, who made national headlines after being unjustly fired for using marijuana on her own personal time, will be speaking at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference (OMMBC) in Portland, September 12-13. Specifically, Ms. Maurer will be on a media panel providing insight into how the TV news media works, very valuable information for both cannabis advocates and marijuana businesses. Television, and the local news, are still instrumental media outlets for the burgeoning cannabis industry as so much of what local marijuana businesses do is very news-worthy as opening up a dispensary or hosting a benefit for veterans that utilize medical cannabis marks a shift in culture and could very well be the first time such an event has happened in the locale.
Fortunately, for the cannabis community, Cyd has taken a rather unfortunate personal ordeal and has turned it into a positive for the marijuana movement. While ending criminal arrests and prosecutions are the first step towards equality, there are several more steps to go, including the ability of cannabis consumers to use cannabis on their own personal time, just as alcohol drinkers are allowed, particularly in jobs that aren’t hazardous. Stereotypes demeaning people that happen to utilize cannabis are still rampant in our society and having an over-achieving spokesperson like Cyd really helps us overcome harmful caricatures that have permeated through our culture.
As Noelle Crombie noted recently at Oregonlive.com, Ms. Maurer, who will also be speaking at the Seattle Hempfest this weekend, has received an outpouring of support for coming out of the cannabis closet and that she has been blogging here at Marijuana Politics:
Cyd Maurer said she’s been flooded with positive messages from readers since disclosing she’d been fired from her TV journalism job after testing positive for marijuana use.
“Hundreds of people have reached out to me,” said Maurer, 25. “So many people have reached out and thanked me, it’s been mind-blowing.”
“The important thing to focus on is that this dialogue is happening and that is what I wanted,” she said.
While the future is bright for the cannabis community and industry, we must always remain vigilant. Setbacks can occur for any political movement or business, for that matter. How we react with the media is so very important, whether we are trying to convey why a marijuana measure is good public policy or why cannabis consumers should support your particular business. Cyd Maurer is in a great position to help advocates and businesses to portray ourselves to the TV media and audience effectively, making her appearance at the OMMBC pertinent and timely. Additionally, Cyd wants to help move our law forward so employees don’t have to suffer the same fate that she did; she is the mix of industry knowledge and activism that is so crucial to our cause.