• Heather Fowler

High Everybody!

Writer and theologian Frederick Buechner says, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.” Mary Jane’s People exists because of a meeting point just like that, an idea born out of a weekend of love and light, surrounded by joyous people in a decriminalized cannabis state. Joining my love for a medicinal plant with my love of helping and serving others is that meeting point, which also meant I could finally step out of the cannabis closet. At the beginning of 2021 my New Year’s resolution was to find my calling and purpose. I was graciously answered with this mission!


Mary Jane’s People serves the entire cannabis community and industry to build a connected, content, free, and healthy work community in a legalized industry.


As a human resources and talent leader with over 20 years of experience in a variety of industries - big and small, I’ve seen what is missing and what is needed to create an engaged and healthy workforce. Before the pandemic, the old way of working wasn’t cutting it and that’s become even more evident now. Low wages, no benefits, no balance of work or life - it never needed to be like this. There isn't a job shortage or a labor shortage, people are choosing to work differently because they are tired of the way it’s been and they are rejecting businesses insisting on doing things the same way. We weren’t made for this way of working given the burnout and wellness issues that have been here for decades.


I believe that all of us here in the cannabis community and industry will lead the change. And we should lead the change. That is something I can speak about in absolutes.


Because of what we are fighting for (legalization of a medicinal plant) and why we are fighting for it (to free our brothers and sisters and for physical and mental wellness), we are set up to lead every other industry into the future. And that starts with the work, which starts with you and your people. And that’s why we believe making people the primary focus is how we change the way we work.


Making people the highest priority increases your bottom line, and has a positive impact on your community, peers and industry partners. This is how we change work.


Make people the highest priority. How do we do that? The first step is to ask your folks what they want and what they need to stay content at your company. Start there and move forward. Yeah, it’s as easy as asking people what they want and taking action from there. If your business is small you can do this by bringing in lunch one day and start the conversation with the group. If you don’t think you’ll get full transparency, an anonymous short survey can be conducted. We can help with that.


Secondly, part of making people the highest priority means Mary Jane’s People is community focused and advocates the full abolishment of illegal cannabis PLUS, the release of anyone currently being held for a cannabis charge and full expungement of all records period. That second part actually must happen first. Everyone needs to be freed from jail and records cleared so EVERYONE can have access. We must remember that a criminal record for a cannabis related charge prohibits access. Decriminalization is progress for sure. And we love progress. We also advocate doing something right when you have the chance to get it right. And we have that chance now.


Mary Jane’s People and our partners work within the community to serve and educate everyone so that we can see legalization in our lifetime (Gen Xer here). This is a key component to overturning the racist prohibition of a medicinal plant. This community service must be a central part of every business within the industry. It’s in all of our best interest to end a white supremacist structural component of our American culture. I know those are very uncomfortable words but we cannot tiptoe around this anymore. Over 50% of the country supports full legalization and there are approximately 40,000 prisoners with around 1/2 due to possession of small amounts of cannabis, some of those even serving life sentences because of 3 strikes and you’re out policy. Many were imprisoned as a direct result of the drug war and policies that our current leaders recognize NOW how harmful these laws are.


If we say we are practitioners of anti-racism, we have to continue to educate on why cannabis is illegal and not talk about it amongst ourselves. I’ve been in enough conversations to know we aren’t being LOUD enough about it.


When we talk about social equity, we have to talk about why social equity is needed to begin with ESPECIALLY in this industry. The people the laws are crafted for are still victims of these laws and are still impacted and so that is why everyone needs to be released, records expunged, and access given. As people are released and records expunged, Mary Jane’s People will partner with our wonderful leaders in this business to offer immediate access, to all who are interested, a seat at the table to learn and develop into a new leader in the industry. This is how we get equity. This is how we get inclusion.


This is how we change work. This is how we change society. This is making people the highest priority. Mary Jane’s People will partner with you on all people aspects to get it done in a better way.


I’m so excited to be on this journey and committed to all of you to help change the way we work.


All of all my love!


Be Well,


Heather

11.1.2021



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