Tokes talks how our thinking of cannabis is backwards, and what she’s doing to turn it around.
Tokes created the YANA Creativity and Wellness Center to provide the D.C. area with access to information on cannabis and offer alternative ways to practice mental and social wellness. We caught up with Tokes to talk plant medicine branding, getting away from work and best D.C. experiences.
District Fray: You’re applying a new ethos around the plant medicine world and its branding. Why is that important to you?
Tokes: How the majority of society views taking pharmaceutical drugs versus plant medicine is still so backwards. We have ample scientific research that validates the benefits of cannabis, but so many people still hide that they consume it. It is proven to stop seizures, reduce anxiety and depression and cure physical pain, yet highly addictive pharmaceutical drugs are more socially acceptable and considered safer to use than a plant.
Cannabis is going through a prohibition, and I want to play a small part in instilling cultural change. Right now, you can go to a bar and legally drink so much that you can kill yourself. But if you smoke too much weed and have the best night of sleep ever, that’s federally illegal? A major reason cannabis is still stigmatized is because the information is banned from distribution on major social media platforms. I left my private equity career to use my professional experience in building tech startups to support a product I am truly aligned with. I wanted to use my skills for something that can support people.
What do you do to get away from work and unwind?
I love to go on hikes with my husky, Miso, and interact with nature. It helps ground me and settle all my constant thoughts. I have ADHD and cannabis, mushrooms and meditation help me combat the side effects and unwind my mind.
What is your favorite D.C. experience for you and your community?
There are so many beautiful parks to have cute picnics with friends. Meridian Hill Park has a beautiful view of the Washington Monument, and there are always people playing music and dancing outside.
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