"It was here before we were, this strange and wonderful plant. When we arrived, it fed us, it clothed us, it helped us make ships to sail the seas and discover the world. It's special medicine was understood by us over 4000 years ago. It healed our wounds, soothed our pain,. It even helped us mourn our dead and helped us to understand ourselves and our spirituality. We fought wars with it. We fought wars over it. And when we won our freedom, we waved a flag made from it and wrote the documents that created our government on paper made from it. We built a new nation with it.
Then, for all the wrong reasons; greed, hatred, fear; we took it away from the world with lies and deception and punished anyone who tried to benefit from it. We destroyed families, ruined generations. Lost precious lives.
Now, its coming back, and we are rediscovering what we once knew and realizing that there is far more to know. This was a gift for the ages of man, past, present and future.
The truth shall set us free.
Let's not blow it this time."
- Gary Stein, MPH
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Gary Stein, MPH is an author, blogger, advocate and consultant on issues of health and health equity at all levels, public and private.
A native of Detroit, he has been a blogger for the Huffington Post since 2009. You can find his articles here. He has also written for Context Florida, Health News Florida, Florida Politics, Politics of Pot and High Life magazine. He has worked as an advocate and consultant on issues of health and health equity including medicaid expansion, needle exchange programs, gun violence and increased access to healthcare.
He was Executive Director of Health Equity Connections(HECAC), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that worked to promote Health, Wellness and greater access to appropriate, cost-effective Healthcare for vulnerable populations. HECAC also promoted an employment model to hire and train the blind and visually disabled so that they can earn an appropriate living wage by telecommuting.
Mr. Stein worked for decades in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on HIV/STD/TB and for the Florida Department of Health in Tobacco Control Programs and the Department of Health Equity. He also served as the Director of Public Policy for the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), seeking to get Assistive and Adaptive Technology to the physically, visually and audible impaired to improve their education, chance for employment and a higher quality of life.
Gary's wife Monique suffers from Stickler syndrome, a rare disorder that lead to severe glaucoma and caused her to go blind. Two of three of his daughters also have the disorder, so the Stein family had gone into debt in order to afford procedures for their daughters to save their eyesight. All three of his daughters have severe migraine disorder. The Huffington Post community donated over $30,000 to the Stein family in 2009 to help them cope with their overwhelming medical bills.
His family could have all been treated with cannabis a long time ago and saved eyesight, pain and money.
This book is dedicated to them.