A Hero’s Journey: Charlotte’s Web

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Dedicated to the loving memory of Charlotte Figi, her family, and the thousands of people her story has helped.

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

Walking into the opulent and stuffy ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills was bittersweet. It was November 2019 at High Times Female 50 event.

As I entered into the room full of doubt and anxiety about being there, I vividly recall seeing Charlotte’s beautiful childlike face on one life-sized issue of High Times Magazine, prominently displayed at the entryway. I felt fully warmed by it.

A Mother’s Love

On stage, Charlotte’s mother, Paige presented her family’s story of pain, suffering and hope with a raw unbridled lifeforce that is pure maternal love. The divine feminine. Or whatever you want to call it. 

I was invited to attend this event because I had founded the High Times Women’s Council initiative in early 2018. My mission at that time was to honor the female plant by honoring women in the cannabis space. A year and a half later, High Times was honoring the first-ever child on the cover of the 45-year-old magazine. Sweet Charlotte Figi. 

The Birth of Venus

After all, my exit as VP of Programming for the brand came after a creative dispute over what was supposed to be the first High Times Women of Weed cover and the culmination of my work thus far at the company. That is before the said cover was deemed too “racy” for the pages of the 45-year-old brand of sin. A reinterpretation of  Sandro Botticelli‘s Birth of Venus.

And here I was. Staring at the beautiful angelic face of a child. On the cover of a brand I know and love so dearly. It was the opposite of “‘racy”, and it felt so right. I couldn’t think of a more deserving female to adorn such a coveted seat. Little Charlotte, after all, was truly leading the way.

cannabis, weed, marijuana

The plant world lost a friend this week. Charlotte Figi, born October 18, 2006, has passed (possibly) due to complications from COVID-19. Known for inspiring the most famous strain of medicinal cannabis in the word Charlotte’s Web, Figi’s story has led to her being described as “the girl who is changing medical marijuana laws across America.” And she did. Charlotte’s story changed the world.

Charlotte Figi was born with a challenging road to walk, however. She suffered from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet’s Syndrome. 

Soon after birth, Charlotte started having seizures. By age 3, Figi was enduring 300 seizures a week, despite having tried more than half a dozen medications. 

Charlotte was not expected to live past her 8th birthday. But she did and with an almost 90% reduction in seizure activity. All thanks to the tenaciousness of her mother Paige and the groundbreaking Charlotte’s Web CBD hemp oil infusion designed by cannabis pioneers, the Stanley Brothers. 

Because of a potent partnership between human and plant, Charlotte lived a better life. And her story paved the way for countless patients who are alive today because of cannabis, and cannabis alone. 

The Power of Cannabis

It’s worth noting that the healing properties of the cannabis plant often get lost in this new bubble of “psychedelic mania”. For the most part, we lost sight of its medicinal wonder as we rushed towards the green bubble of legalization and opportunity. Cannabis remains federally illegal, although it is designated an essential service by many US states during these heartbreaking times of COVID-19 and quarantine.  A friend with weed is a friend indeed.

RIP to our friend Charlotte Figi.

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