The Cannabis Corner, located at 420 Evergreen Drive, (cool address right?) is nestled in the city of North Bonneville in the historic Columbia Gorge. The population in 2010 was 956 or 420 households…just a funny side note but I digress….
Everyone in the area is counting their blessings after the Eagle Creek Fire lit up the Oregon border this summer. Across a large river that seemed so small, everyone watched as one of our cherished places went up in flames. Thanks to amazing fire fighters and rain from mother nature, the gorge begins her healing process. The aftermath is much deeper than the physical geographic damage as during the fire many shops were closed and missed out on revenue they depend on to make it through the winter. This didn’t stop The Cannabis Corner from donating portions of their profit in the month of October to help Save the Gorge and give a much needed update to the local fire house.
They are good people with the intention of giving back to their community when they can. Everything in the store is reasonably priced, including their HUGE selection of paraphernalia.
As soon as you walk through the door you are greeted by a “vibe”. A good record will be playing, and the knowledgeable staff will let you do your thing without any pressure. As a cannasseur, this is one of the shops I frequent. I have made a lot of friends here with interesting stories like the mayor of North Bonneville, Don Stevens. I wanted to ask him a little about his story.
Q. Why do they call you the “Marijuana Mayor”?
A. When we were holding public meetings regarding the creation of a Public Development Authority (PDA) to operate a cannabis retail store, one of the commenters finished up her speech by pointing her finger at me & saying, “So do you want to be known as the Marijuana Mayor?” (she thought it was the worst thing in the world).
I said, “”Heck yes! That’s a great name. I like the alliteration of the M’s & it really rolls off the tongue. Thanks.”
Needless to say, she was not happy about it, but I was. I got a license plate for my car that says MJ MAYOR & printed up new business cards with Marijuana Mayor on them. I’ve been fighting for legalization & acceptance on a national level ever since. It has also been very helpful in promoting The Cannabis Corner & bringing more attention to what we’re doing in North Bonneville.
Q. Why are you a cannabis activist?
A. I started smoking cannabis in the early 1970’a. When Oregon decriminalized cannabis in 1973 it made the penalty for getting caught with cannabis pretty much a slap on the wrist while getting caught with alcohol resulted in a hefty fine, a criminal charge on your record & a call to your parents. Many of us switched almost entirely to pot instead of alcohol for that reason. I doubt that’s what the Oregon legislature had in mind, but that was the effect it had on me.
I believe cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol, tobacco, many prescription drugs, caffeine and refined sugar, all of which have caused great physical harm to people for decades.
My “Reefer Madness Is Not A Documentary” t-shirts are a great conversation starter & help me get people thinking differently about cannabis by making the most of those conversations to demonstrate that cannabis users can be just as productive and beneficial to society as anyone.
Q. How does cannabis play a role in your daily life?
A. I’ve used cannabis socially for over 40 years & have found it to be very beneficial to my physical & mental health. I moved back to the Pacific Northwest in 1992 to live in an area that offers me the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors via mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, trail running & just getting out into the woods as often as possible. Cannabis is a wonderful addition to all of these pursuits & helps put my mind at ease while I enjoy all the beauty our region has to offer. I lived in Hood River for about 10 years & moved to North Bonneville in 2005, many years before I-502 made it to the ballot, but my timing worked out & I have been able to put my experience & knowledge to use in an industry that I believe has the potential to greatly improve our country not just financially but also in helping us all understand that we’re all in this together. While we don’t have to agree on everything, we can learn to accept the actions of others as long as they don’t negatively impact anyone else.
The best thing about my time in the cannabis world has been meeting great people like Heavenly Buds and other growers, processors, retailers & advocates. The Dead said it best, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” And there’s still a long way to go.
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