Shawn DeNae Eddy Wagenseller
Washington Bud Company
Smokey Point, WA
We were recently in Arizona for a week of golf and sunshine before we hunker down into what is predicted to be an unusually cold and particularly wet Pacific Northwest winter. The day before we left for the Southwest, we had an open house tour for the welcoming committee of The Cannabis Alliance. I was recently elected to their board of directors, so it was a great time to gather as comrades and show off our cannabis farm.
We begin each tour with some history about our cannabis journey, beginning before 1985 when my husband Bill and I met in Wyoming. I was a sales executive for the local television and radio station. Bill was building custom homes around the town’s country club golf course. We were both slinging weed. What I did not know prior to meeting Bill is that the dime bags I was selling were coming from the serious weight he was bringing into town from, interestingly enough, Arizona.
I married my dealer in January 1986. He had a son and we quickly added a second son, Seth, to our family. Bill’s last run to Arizona was a complete rip-off as $15,000 went out the door and the promised product never arrived. We decided it was less risky to grow our own and supply only ourselves and close friends.
Then the Reagan administration launched the national Marijuana Eradication Hotline (later rebranded as Crime Stoppers) in the summer of 1986. Our babysitter smelled the plants and called her mom who called the newly established 1-800 line. The sheriff’s deputies were cleaning out “the largest indoor marijuana grow found in the state” the next day — we had two lights!
It made splashy, front-page, above-the-fold headlines the next day. Our newly elected sheriff was a hero. Our home became a drive-by sensation for curious locals.
When the evidence was thrown out due to a bad search, we packed up and moved to Seattle. It was January 1987. Had we not been white, I have little doubt that we might be behind bars still.
The “Just Say No” campaign was in full swing circa 1995 when our fifth-grader told us the cop at school said we were criminals, and he was instructed to turn us in. We quit smoking weed, shut down our little closet grow and focused on our construction company and raising our boys.
My health began to decline rapidly — with no logical diagnosis — until I smoked a joint at the 2010 Seattle Hempfest. I had apparently been self-medicating all those years ago for undiagnosed Lyme disease. Cannabis makes me feel better when nothing else does.
While in Arizona this last trip, I needed some sleep aid so went to a vertically integrated cannabis retail chain for supplies. How disappointing! They had no comparison to the selection, quality and prices available in Washington state.
So, again, after decades gone by, we prefer our own grown product over what’s offered in Arizona. Come tour sometime and you’ll see why.