Painting New Memories with Buds and Brushes

Over the weekend patients in Tucson, Arizona gathered to make history in the state. They converged on the 420 Social Club from as far away as Phoenix to participate in the first cannabis friendly art therapy class, they came to celebrate being normal.

Granted, the couple who drove down from Phoenix did so because they are personal friends of mine, and I invited them to stay at my house so they didn’t have to drive back up that day.

Still, for friendship or not, attending this event was a leap of faith. I wanted to find out why they did it, so I asked “Ben” to recap his experience for me (and you, you lucky reader you).

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Photo: Ricardo Pereyda

I must admit, when I was invited to attend this event I was a little apprehensive, I actually asked if this was even legal. After being assured that it was, I marked my calendar. On Saturday, July 30th, my wife and I drove down to Tucson from our home in Phoenix to attend Buds and Brushes, held at the Tucson 420 Social Club.

I’ll tell you right now my worst experience of the day was trying to find a parking space, but we didn’t search too long. When we made our way in we were greeted by a host from the Social Club who was checking everyone’s medical cards making sure everything was in order and we were in fact allowed to be there. Imagine that? While we were checking in the event was getting ready to get started.

I wasn’t there 1 minute before I was handed a nice welcome gift rolled just the way I like ’em! I looked around the room and you wouldn’t believe the diverse group of people that were there. I’m 55 and there were numerous people there older than myself, yet many were also younger, including one of the youngest Medical Marijuana patients in the state. Everyone was just enjoying one another’s company and having a wonderful time.

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Photo: Ricardo Pereyda

In one area of the Social Club Veterans were holding their weekly meeting, laughing and having a good time. The main section of the Club was set up with 20 easels and canvas, including palettes of paints and brushes. Everyone was mingling and passing around vape pens and pipes discussing their favorite strains.

There was fun and laughter everywhere with absolutely zero aggression in the room and the atmosphere was extremely relaxing, which is something that I usually have trouble with. More often than not I have a difficult time concentrating on most anything in crowded spaces with a lot of activity. My mind races and that generally leads to trouble.

As we went along and the medication kicked in, I was for one of the first times in many years able to keep my mind on a task. I was relaxed and I was having fun with my wife and numerous new friends doing something I haven’t done since I was in 7th Grade.

cheeba-hut-buds-and-brushesCheba Hut donated four big  boxes of Subs (Turkey, Roast Beef, Chicken, and Veggie) we also had chips & soda for everyone. What’s better than people laughing, enjoying one another’s company and passing cannabis around while painting and with Cheba Hut for lunch?

The whole class took about 2 hours and at the end of it, everyone knew one another a little bit better. The diverse interpretations of the instructor’s instructions in everyone’s paintings was phenomenal and interesting.

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Photo: Ricardo Pereyda

I had a great time doing this and now I’ve started looking into holding one of these classes in the Phoenix area, provided we can find a friendly venue. Phoenix has a lot of people I know who could benefit from participating. This event has piqued my interest in purchasing my own supplies and painting different things myself here at home. I highly recommend “Buds and Brushes” or other events like this in your area.

The best part? They donated every dollar they made after supply cost from this event to Patients Out of Time.”  

I don’t care who you are, that’s awesome!

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About the Author
Ricardo Pereyda

Ricardo Pereyda

Calling for federal & state cannabis law and public health reform, Ricardo is an outspoken veteran advocating for access to cannabis within the Veterans Health Administration. He is a senior producer for #illegallyhealed

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