Trail Blazers is a series of portraits by photographer Maria Levitov spotlighting cannabis consumers from all walks of life.
Who says cannabis consumers aren't productive? One user in southern Ohio has embraced the plant on his way to becoming a chemical engineer, starting his own business and still finding time to jam out. Not every state allows pot smokers to put their names on it, but this busy man is still able to spread his appreciation to others.
"I am a 35-year-old Mexican-American musician, chemical engineer and small-business owner living in southern Ohio. It wasn’t until near the end of my collegiate schooling that I began to recognize the many benefits of the cannabis plant and decided to take a deeper look. This led me to the realization that the positive effects on our species, our animal friends, and our environment are irrefutable."
"While working as an engineer, I was also an active musician with long hair, an outgoing personality and all that goes with it. This allowed some other engineers and professionals in my office to let their guard down, and divulge their past and current use of the good plant. These people include company CEOs, HR managers, plant engineers and everyone in between.
Although I use weed for lots of reasons, I’d like to highlight its medicinal pain-relief qualities. Around three years ago, I massively herniated a disc in my lower back, which resulted in severe daily pain. With the opioid crisis in full effect, I knew that I would not be turning to prescription pills to alleviate pain, so instead I employed the Dead Head strain. It helped — a lot."
"A day before this photo shoot, my wife and I adopted a new dog into our family. This young fella came all the way from Beirut, Lebanon, where he and a handful of other dogs were slated to be euthanized. A very sweet friend was able to raise enough money to shelter all of the dogs in Beirut, and Darwin was able to fly back to the States. We are super-happy to be able to provide him a calm, stable, loving home.
"The stigma around cannabis use needs to be eliminated, and I’m happy to add my face to the collection of this project’s supporters."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.