Unhidden: Four Minutes Of Claire

Kathryn Blume 25 Feb 2019

In this little nugget of Unhidden, recorded at the second annual Cannabis In The Capitol advocacy day at the Vermont Statehouse, small business owner – and cannabis enthusiast – Claire McAfee talks about her experiences with medical cannabis – including treating a friend who was a cancer patient, and giving her son, who is autistic, cannabis to ease his more severe social and emotional challenges.

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Audio Transcription:

Kathryn: This is a podcast, you can drop as many bombs of any kind as you want to…

You have arrived at Unhidden. Produced by Heady Vermont, we’re about bringing cannabis – in all its forms – out of the dark ages of prohibition, and into the light of a world which can definitely use some help from this awesome plant.

I’m your host, Kathryn Blume.

Recently, Heady Vermont hosted our second annual Cannabis In The Capitol event, where growers, patients, caregivers, makers, and mavens could gather for advocacy training, have a chance to meet in person with their legislators to talk about their experience with cannabis, and share their thoughts and ideas about the various forms of cannabis legislation currently on the table.

We’ll be putting together a longer segment from Cannabis In The Capitol, but one of the folks in attendance was a small business owner named Claire McAfee who, like most of the people there that day, has such a powerful personal story, that we wanted to share it with you now.

So here, for your enjoyment and edification, is Four Minutes Of Claire…

So, tell me your name and what you do?

Claire: My name is Claire McAfee and I own a wig shop in central Vermont that works with women and children with cancer.

Kathryn: How’d you get into that?

Claire: I lost one of my dearest friends to cancer early on. I helped her one day when she was having a hard time because I used to have wigs for fun, I never owned a business. Before she died, she said it made me feel like a human again, the wig you put on me was perfect, I felt beautiful, so you really should do this for a living. It took me a while to do it but I did it and then later in life I lost my best friend to cancer.

So, that’s when I started looking more into cannabis and what we could do for alternatives because at the end of all of the chemos, this beautiful woman turned into this bloated, bald, toothless, black circle-eyed woman that I didn’t recognize, and the chemo had completely – all her teeth had fallen out, her hair, was very sad for me. I used to make the oil for her and send it to her but then someone got busted in the state about doing it, so I stopped doing it. But she was feeling great while she was doing the oil. It was tough but I lost her a couple years ago and, so now I’m just going strong with this.

Kathryn: Do you think the oil would have saved her life if you’d been able to keep making it?

Claire: I think that if we’d have caught this when she was first diagnosed absolutely, I have no doubt of it. I’ve seen amazing things, and seen amazing stories of people that have overcome cancer through self-care with this plant, so there’s nothing better. I am so against Big Pharma. Down with that fucking shit.

Kathryn: So, along with owning this store, are you a registered caregiver?

Claire: No, I have a son that’s autistic and every day before he went to school, he didn’t only take CBD oil, he would take a couple of bong rips and with his anxiety, it helped combat that going into school. He was just focused and it was able to help him every day, and that was huge for me. It was a little controversial at the time but I wouldn’t think twice about recommending it to anyone.

Kathryn: And we’re seeing autism being one of the recommended conditions.

Claire: Absolutely. Yeah, you see that CBD especially. If you’re taking CBD every day with a little THC in it, I’m reading that they’re actually knitting receptors together. My son was much more social, more focused and not goofy social. It was almost a paradox of effect for him and he became just more outward and definitely the focus was there.

Kathryn: So, we’re here on advocacy day at the Statehouse, is there a particular aspect of legalization or a particular bill that you’re really focused on today?

Claire: I’m just really excited about this being readily available and not having to go in the black market to get this. For people who really need it, it should be available to everyone, that’s why I’m here. I’m really excited about getting this tax law passed so that we can get going on this.

Kathryn: And have you spoken to your representative yet?

Claire: I have sent emails

Kathryn: What kind of response do you get?

Claire: Thank you for sending an email, we’ll take this under advisement. The usual cookie cutter letter.

Kathryn: So, if you had a message for the general public, not just for the legislature, for people who are just not all that familiar with cannabis in any of its forms, what would you want people to know?

Claire: I hate to plug any specific business but I have a really dear friend who owns a business called AroMed, she has two locations on State Street and at the Berlin Mall here in Montpelier and in Berlin. There isn’t anything she doesn’t know about CBD, she’s the CBD goddess. She talks about CO2 extractions and stuff that is way over my head. I know that every day I take CBD and it’s a life, it’s a game changer for me.

So, I really feel that people need to look into it especially medically. Rick Simpson oil will – 60 grams in 90 days would kill that cancer and I really believe that wholeheartedly. So, look into Rick Simpson Oil and take CBD every day. Don’t be afraid to toke up a little, it’s really good for…it unclenches it from the waist down, you know what I mean?

But, I have to say how impressed I was with that room full of people upstairs. The farmers, the financiers, the advocates, it was unbelievable, I’m so excited to be here. So, thank you for asking me to speak.

Kathryn: And that my friends, is it for this episode of Unhidden. I’m your host Kathryn Blume. Thanks to the whole team at heady Vermont, Monica Donovan, Eli Harrington, Seth Butler, and Luna The Wonder Dog. Thanks also to Clare McAfee. You can visit her at Wig Goddess, her store in Berlin, Vermont and at wiggoddess.com. Thanks also to West End Blend for our infinitely memorable theme song.

You can find Heady Vermont on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and at HeadyVermont.com. Look for the Unhidden podcast at SoundCloud, iTunes, and wherever fine podcasts are sold.

See you next time.

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