"Most people think someone who wants to end marijuana prohibition sits on the couch eating Cheetos and watching bad TV all day -- someone who isn't necessarily a motivated person," says Georgia Edson. "And that's so untrue."
This message helps power Run on Grass, Edson's new organization, which aims to change the public's perception of marijuana users.
Edson, the wife of attorney and marijuana advocate Warren Edson, neither smokes nor ingests marijuana. Rather, she uses cannabis-based topical products to treat her bursitis. But she's a strong proponent of marijuana reform, and she thinks one key to advancing this mission is dismantling what she calls "the typical stoner image" that's cemented in the minds of most people not involved in reform efforts.
"I think the medical marijuana movement spends a lot of time preaching to the choir," she says. "We definitely know who our fan base is. But there are a whole bunch of people who don't fit that stereotype. I'm a runner, and I have a friend who lives in Crested Butte who's always telling me about world-class rock climbers who use cannabis as a performance enhancer. A little bit helps them focus and concentrate when they climb. And I thought, how can we get the message out to people who might not regularly bump up against someone who's a cannabis user."
With that in mind, Edson and a fellow runner began participating in assorted races, from 5Ks to marathons, as Team Run on Grass. And every time she's donned a T-shirt with the name, she's attracted plenty of attention. "People will stop me in the middle of a run," she says. "Some people think it's a joke -- ha, ha, ha, very funny. But it gave me a great opportunity to educate people about cannabis."
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She hopes to build on this success by getting other people to join Team Run on Grass. This past week, the organization staged a fundraiser to help cover entry fees for races, thereby helping "to further educate people about the truth and benefits of cannabis, and about how silly prohibition is."
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Team members are expected to participate in a series of upcoming events -- the Run the Rocks 5K in Morrison on Saturday, October 16; the Hoofin It Through the Hallows 5K in Centennial on Saturday, October 22, and the Rocky Run Aurora, Saturday October 29 in Aurora.
Learn more at the Run on Grass Facebook page.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Warren Edson, District 8 candidate, says he's 1st politician born of medical marijuana movement."