Jessie Gill, the founder of Marijuana Mommy, has made a national name for herself in the cannabis industry as a nurse educating people on the benefits of the plant while based in New Jersey. She has lived for the majority of her life in Colonia, NJ. Initially, Gill was a hospice nurse who worked hard to maintain her own health and an active lifestyle.
However, a severe work spinal injury left her health in a very poor condition which put her in severe pain for a long while. Traditional western medicine gave her little respite from the pain even though she was taking up to 15 pills a day, including opiates that left her barely functioning and desperate. The severity of her suffering shows how bad healthcare is in the United States for many.
When a friend suggested she try cannabis, she was exceedingly hesitant to do so. Being trained as a nurse in western medicine, Gill had not been exposed to teachings on the medical benefits of cannabis. The stereotype of the “lazy stoner” made it worse. Using cannabis as a mother was initially scary. “The stigma is still strong on the East Coast and people’s judgments can have concrete consequences.” In addition, she had a bad experience trying it.
However, with nowhere else to turn, Gill became a medical marijuana (or clinical cannabis) patient. The pain largely subsided and she began to be able to live a normal life. After becoming a medical marijuana patient, Gill got off all the terrible prescriptions that did little to ease her suffering and left her mind feeling cloudy.
When she told her children that she was using cannabis, their reactions varied. Gill said her daughter, who was a teenager at the time, was surprised and apprehensive but was very supportive, especially after seeing how much medicinal cannabis helped her. Her son was only in the third grade, so explaining it to him was very different.
“He didn’t understand what marijuana was and hadn’t been exposed to much prohibition. I had to prepare him for the negative stigma and myths he was going to face in school,” she said. And while there is a perceived stigma, Gill noted happily she did not face any backlash over becoming a patient.
The utter reversal of her life from a time of great despair and illness to hope and health made Gill into an evangelist for cannabis, using her experience to show people the medical benefits of cannabis and how to use it.
And from being ill and despondent, she is now a thriving, vivacious woman.
Notoriety and Respect With Marijuana Mommy
As a proponent for the benefits of cannabis, Gill created the website Marijuana Mommy as a resource to teach patients and consumers and challenge the stigma surrounding cannabis. Given that she had not been educated about its benefits while training to be a nurse, she figured others had similar preconceived notions. While some might call her “Marijuana Mommy,” she does not see it as her identity but rather introduces herself as “the founder of Marijuana Mommy.”
The name Marijuana Mommy was first suggested by a friend of her daughter’s from college when she became involved in the cannabis field. She added that “My love of the name was also inspired by my mom, whose loving guidance encouraged me to become a cannabis patient. That’s what I hope to offer patients via MarijuanaMommy.com, loving guidance for what can seem like a scary topic.”
While the medical community has been slow to embrace the existence of the endocannabinoid system for years, she said some medical professionals she has met have been open to learning about the benefits of cannabis while others have entrenched beliefs from old propaganda that it’s bad.
Gill is a recognizable face in industry circles, having spoken at many cannabis conferences, including the recent Real Cannabis Entrepreneur conference in Newark. Gill has been featured in Cosmo, Yahoo News, Viceland, Good Housekeeping, and Marie Claire, among others.
She said about her notoriety that “it’s crazier than anything I could have dreamed.” Gill added that “it means the most to me when my work or story is featured in the mainstream media. The people who need me the most aren’t reading industry publications or searching google for cannabis info.”
Gill is optimistic regarding the future of cannabis saying that “federal legalization is inevitable. It’s just a matter of time. We need it so badly. It’ll increase access for patients everywhere and open the market to so many new consumers.”