Article by Amanda Siebert, The Georgia Straight
Long before she served as an expert witness in the landmark case that saw a federal judge rule that Canadians have a constitutional right to grow their own medical marijuana, it was the unexpected advice of a doctor that led Jamie Shaw to visit a compassion club for the first time.
The lobbyist, writer, and communications expert has spent almost 20 years in the cannabis industry, working to create more streamlined access to marijuana, both locally and nationally. Seated across from the Straight at a West Broadway cafe, Shaw remembers the day she tried to keep a straight face when her doctor said pot might be the solution to what she was experiencing at the time.
“I would get these attacks out of nowhere, and I didn’t know what they were,” she recalls. “He would try me on different pills like Prozac or Ativan, and they would either not work, or I was a zombie staring at the wall, and when you’re me who’s used to doing a million things, that wasn’t cool.”
A ‘million’ might be an exaggeration, but over the years, Shaw has certainly had her fingers in more pies than she can count, and she says she wouldn’t have it any other way. Though she thought it ridiculous at the time, her doctor diagnosed her with anxiety. Now, Shaw credits the condition as one of the reasons she’s able to function at such a high level.
Shaw has previously served as a director, board member, and spokesperson of the B.C. Compassion Club Society (BCCCS) as well as the president of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD), but these days, she deals with government relations for MMJ Canada, where she works with regulators to develop reasonable frameworks for businesses in the cannabis industry.