An interview with Sonoma County’s Mitcho Thompson
Medicinal cannabis can help people with physical, mental, and emotional difficulties. It is an amazing plant with industrial, medical, and recreational qualities. This plant has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. Many herbalists in diverse cultures promote its use.
One such leading canna-centric herbalist lives right here in Sonoma County. His name is Mitcho Thompson. He is a dear friend, colleague, activist, businessman, and saint (of the Sisterhood).
I had the privilege of interviewing Mitcho to help tell his tale of freeing cannabis from the momentary chains of illegality. He has also been a dependable advocate for the LGBTQI community. His tale begins in the streets of San Francisco continuing through to the country-side of Sonoma County. Here is that interview:
Q: What work did you do in San Francisco to help homeless LGBTQI youth?
I created and ran a drop in program that was based in the Recreation department in SF. Young people could participate in activities, eat, and have a safe space to hang out. Through this work I helped start multiple shelters in particular for LGBTQI youth. It is where I began my activism to help people.
Q: How did you get involved with cannabis advocacy?
There were a number of things. I started going to herb school and learned about numerous herbal remedies. I suffer from Addison’s disease which causes significant hormonal and thyroid issues. Cannabis provides immeasurable relief from my symptoms so I wanted to help others find relief. In my Rec programs, I watched people kick heroin using methadone only to get stuck on another drug, so I made cannabis tinctures to help break these addictions.
Plus, Dennis Peron was a good friend of mine, so I would go to his rallies and events to legalize medical cannabis in 1996.
Q: Pride and Cannabis are often interlinked. Why is this?
The gay and lesbian community were at the forefront of the movement for cannabis legalization, and still are. In the 80’s, President Reagan called AIDS a “gay disease” while ramping up the Just say No campaign. The first dispensaries, like Denis’, were established in SF to provide medical cannabis to those with AIDS, which were dispraportionately affecting gay people.
Q: What is your favorite experience working with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?
The first experience and every one after. The Sisters were instrumental in helping my youth programs in SF. They helped fund me and spoke in public as advocates. I am Sainted by two orders of the Sisters. So I am a double Saint or Sainted squared (but not square).
Q: What is your favorite thing about medicinal cannabis?
My favorite thing is to go to Senior Centers and show them how to use cannabis medicinally and talk to them about the normalcy of it. There is a lot of misinformation, and it is great to show people the real plant and dispel the myths.
Q: How else have you helped educate the cannabis novice?
I helped with the Emerald Cup. I ran the 215 medical area in the years leading up to legalization. There were always educational components showcasing the importance of this plant. This set us apart from others at that time who were mostly focused on just getting high.
Q: For your new line of Phytomagic canna-centric tinctures, which one is your favorite and why?
I love the Serenity Now Daytime because it contains skullcap. Cannabis and skullcap are two of my favorite plants. Skullcap is a nervine, which helps slow one down without impairment. This helps to lift my spirits. Truly though I love them all!