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Letters to Mary Jane, by Niella D.

Our Letters to Mary Jane series highlights influential voices in the Black Community, providing them a prompt to express their gratitude for marijuana and how the plant is improving their lives. We hope you enjoy the "Letters to Mary Jane" series, curated by Caliva guest editor Lyneisha Watson.

Dear Mary Jane,

As I'm working on releasing my first non-fungible token (NFT)—a series of albums covering four decades of my life—I'm finding cannabis plays a big part in helping me tell my story.

I often consume cannabis flowers when writing poems and songs because it helps open up my mind and encourages me to say what's in my spirit: from love, pain, anger to awareness of myself and what's going on in the world around me. 

As a recording artist, cannabis helps me with my social anxiety, especially when performing. It relaxes my inhibitions and opens my mind to enjoy the experience; it doesn't cloud or numb me like other psychotropic medicines (antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications) I've taken. 

I've struggled with major depression since I was 11 due to the neglect, trauma, and abuse I experienced as a child. I smoked weed a few times socially as a teen, but it wasn't until after I had a baby that I started consuming the plant on a more regular basis. I was a newly single mom on my own who still had a lot of unhealed trauma and minimal resources to raise myself and a child. Cannabis helped me focus and cope with daily life as a single mom on welfare. The marijuana stigma was still there, especially as a cannamom. For me, smoking a joint was like having a glass of wine at night to unwind, but instead, I puffed trees that opened my third eye. 

Cannabis gave me solace from trauma that used to drain me without side effects like headaches and nausea that I'd get from alcohol. During those rough moments, the cannabis' aroma was pleasant and reminded me of fresh herbs like basil and mint. My fiancé iLLz OG introduced me to the science and the medical benefits of this wondrous plant. I've learned about the Terpenes, how they work in your body, and how different types of cannabis flowers have varying effects.  For example, I was prescribed antidepressants to help release serotonin, which enabled me to cultivate feelings of joy and euphoria. There are terpenes in some sativa plants that give me those same feelings without making me feel numb while helping with my depression. Oh boy, the knowledge my fiancé shares with me continues to open my eyes to see the beauty of this plant. When I study the plant, I appreciate the beautiful purple and orange hues in the plant's trichomes.

I've tried different ways of consuming besides the usual EZ Widers or Philly blunts. I've found the buzz is different with each method. I've consumed cannabis through pipes, spliffs, bongs, edibles, and concentrates. Honestly, I was hesitant to try dabs because they reminded me of crack pipes. I grew up with drugs in my house; I was triggered by seeing paraphernalia, like crack pipes, needles, razor blades, and cut-up straws. I wanted nothing to do with anything even resembling that. I reconciled with this by reminding myself that I was consuming cannabis—a naturally growing plant—in a concentrated form, and I finally tried it. I've found it's not my favorite method, but it is very effective and provides you with the high you desire.

Now I'm a cannabis patient and caregiver.  I only wish I would've known about the plant's capabilities before my sister, who had Muscular Dystrophy, passed away.  I know cannabis would have helped her have a better quality of life. So, I'm sharing what I've learned and now have family members and friends that were once doubters reaching so I can help them get a patient card. 

All I can say is thank you, Mary Jane, for helping me heal my life and giving me the strength to share my story and heal others.

Yours Truly,

Niella D.

Niella D.

About Niella D.

Born Danielle Marie Lewis, Niella D is a South Philly-born BMI Registered, United Masters Hip-Hop Artist. At 40 something, Danielle Marie is a Dept of Health Certified Cannabis Caregiver & Advocate, who championed the Philly Femcee movement. Mastering her craft Danielle Marie is proud of her transition from Artist to Entrepreneur & Executive. Having conquered the challenge of Social Anxiety, Open mics, Rap-a-con, 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards Mixtape, & Spittin in da Whip; Danielle Marie continued on successfully launching STAND4Something Media Group, Ltd. Not deterred by even a global pandemic, STAND4Something Media is an independent Broadcast Media Agency founded on the future; Niella will be releasing her first NFT project “DANIELLE MARIE #irl” Exclusively on Portion.io & TwiceBakedLIVE.shop.

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