Name: Tyler Prock
Occupation: Accountant for Mary’s Medicinals
When and how did you become an advocate for cannabis?
The first time I consumed cannabis was in 2012, at 26 years old from a Volcano Performance Vaporizer, to see if cannabis could help with my scoliosis back pain. It helped ease my pain immediately, and the high I experienced was nice and made me laugh. It was not the scary, mind-altering, “Reefer Madness” nonsense that had not only been taught to me, but everyone I had ever met. I quickly started to research and learn about cannabis and how it tied into the “War on Drugs.”
How has cannabis benefited your life?
Cannabis has saved my life. There was a time that I had gone to the doctor and gotten on pain pills to attempt to curb by lower back pain. However, after only a few short weeks, I knew that these pills, which hardly seemed to put a dent in my pain, would have probably affected me very badly in the future. I knew that it can be a slippery slope from pain pills to heroin to death if you are not careful, so I asked myself, “Before I pull the trigger on something I can’t go back on, have I really given cannabis a solid chance to help?” In 2015, I loaded up a few things in the car, told my wife to quit her job, and we left for the medical cannabis state of colorful Colorado, where although the Denver hustle and struggle is real, we got off a combination of 16 pills a day and only use cannabis and yoga to manage our pain and ailments.
What’s your greatest achievement for the cannabis cause?
Hopefully, it hasn’t even happened yet. I want to write or help inspire a bill that would allow for medical card patients to travel outside of the state it was issued, like all the other people with prescription pills or drivers licenses are allowed to do. There are still so many laws that need to change in the favor of cannabis for the people and for the companies that get the medicine into people’s hands. I do educate others about cannabis as often as I can.
Who do you look up to or admire?
I look up to the parents who have moved across the country for legal cannabis access for their kids and do not even consume it themselves. The researchers and educators who have dedicated their lives to teaching everyone around about this amazing plant. The business owners who have gotten their bank accounts shut down, some over 15 times, who get taxed on the ridiculous Section 280E280e tax code, but just will not give up on their dreams to get this medicine into people’s hands. Especially, our CFO, who once created an accounting company just to help other cannabis companies jump through the absolutely crazy web of taxes and accounting that many businesses struggle with, and is twice as difficult in the cannabis industry; she’s also adopted a kid and saved his life and still works very hard every day to keep our company sailing along strong.
If you could change one thing about the way cannabis is viewed and/or treated right now, what would it be?
If we could de-schedule cannabis, like we do alcohol and tobacco, I believe it would be easier to explain to everyone that cannabis is a medicine. All cannabis businesses could save lots of money on their taxes by not having to implement tax code Section 280E, which does not allow for employee or cost of goods write-offs. It would allow for many research companies to finally do the many studies that could benefit us for generations to come. Moving cannabis away from Schedule I would show people that this is a non-addictive, non-deadly plant that does have medical use. It would probably allow for all the states that have not legalized to lower the punishment for possession down to a minimum and could possibly even allow for the release of the people in locked away in jail.