From an early-morning fixture on Detroit television to an advocate for legalized marijuana in Michigan, Anqunette Jamison has made quite a transition.
The former Fox 2 Detroit anchorwoman walked away from her TV job to become a volunteer for MI Legalize, one of the groups that’s been fighting to put the question of legalization before Michigan voters.
She’s got a very personal stake in the fight for legalization: Jamison uses marijuana to help with her multiple sclerosis.
For some time after being diagnosed, Jamison was taking “all the conventional medications” and was “incredibly sick.” Each medication had a nasty side effect which, she explained, would then be treated with another medication.
“Within a year or two I went from a person who completed half-marathons to being on five or six different medications with a retail cost of $100,000 a year, and not feeling better,” she said. “It would be one thing if I felt better, but I didn’t.”
When Jamison tried cannabis at her husband’s suggestion, she said she was “blown away. It alleviated so many of my symptoms.”
As she learned more about the potential medical benefits of cannabis, the way the war on drugs has disproportionately targeted people of color, and the potential tax revenue legal marijuana could provide, Jamison decided she wanted to speak up.
“I felt that I could sit on the sidelines and be like everyone else and have my medical marijuana card and be quiet and not say anything about what I see as injustice and what I see as wrong,” she said, “or I can take a step and just say, this is my experience, and this is my truth. For those who are willing to listen, I’m willing to speak.”
In our conversation above, Jamison talks about why Michigan should legalize marijuana and the work she’s doing with MI Legalize.
*This post contains parts of our interview with Anqunette Jamison not included in the broadcast version found above.