Spotlight Series: Sharon Letts
Sharon Letts has been writing about cannabis since 2012 and has interviewed celebrities like Melissa Etheridge, Tommy Chong, Rick Simpson and Willie Nelson. She also writes profiles on patients who use medical cannabis, shedding light on how this plant has saved and transformed so many lives. For three years Letts travelled throughout the United States and around the world for DOPE Magazine, covering cannabis as a medicine. Her work can be found in publications around the world including Weed World UK, The Emerald Magazine, Hydrolife, Seattle Weekly and PROHBTD to name just a few.
Why do you Do what you do?
I'm from mainstream media and was a writer/producer in Los Angeles, when I was brought up to Humboldt County to produce a news show 10 years ago. While working in media in Humboldt, five years ago, I presented with breast cancer. Because of my location, I was lucky enough to be given cannabis oil, putting the cancer into remission, while doing away with many prescription meds and supplements - with no surgery or chemo. This changed my life and focus on my work drastically, and I've been writing internationally on cannabis as medicine; covering six states and three countries on the subject, advocating for the plant. Today, it's my only medicine and I have not caught a cold, flu or had a headache since my cancer experience.
Can you talk about some of the challenges you've faced working with cannabis?
Since I'm from mainstream media, it's been tough working within the confines of cannabis publications - both financially and professionally. The patient profiles I do are considered "anecdotal" stories, and mainstream publications can't run them until the U.S. Government takes cannabis off Schedule 1.
What is the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
It's been a calling to share the healing stories of cannabis. Even though the cannabis space has been challenging, the rewards when someone is helped keeps me going
What is the thing that keeps you up at night?
Nothing, as I take cannabis oil before bed ;)
How has your job affected your personal relationships?
When my breast cancer went into remission, even my boyfriend at the time (who is a stoner from the 70s) didn't believe in the plant as medicine. My sister, who went through the same type of cancer two years prior (surgery/chemo/follow-up radiation) did not believe it was the plant. Even though I'm a features writer from newspapers, and documentary filmmaker from mainstream media, in the cannabis space I'm now perceived as a fringe writer - a zealot to be questioned, and not taken seriously. If I didn't know the truth about the plant, I would have never chosen this path. It chose me.
What time does your day typically start and what does a normal day look like to you?
I get up with the sun and work nearly every day. Aside from articles to write and deadlines to meet, I also respond to correspondence from all over the world, from people asking about cannabis as medicine.
In what way(s) is your job most rewarding?
Sharing the truth of plant-based medicine and dispelling the myths of plant propaganda. Helping people feel better and be well.
If you could go back in time to when you were first starting out, what advice would you give yourself?
I began my own company as a flower gardener in Southern California at 24; was asked to produce and host a gardening show for local TV in my 30s; began producing and writing for television; was sent up to Humboldt County in Northern California to produce a news show; and the rest is history - or her story. My career led me on a path straight to cannabis. My future may well be back in television, producing intelligent shows on the subject. At this point, I would not have changed a thing.