What would Jesus do?
It’s a spiritual question that has been asked for many centuries.
For Aleshia Wilson, a Baltimore City-raised Christian, it was an inquiry that weighed heavily on her mind as she debated entering the world of medical Cannabis four years ago.
“I had mixed feelings,” said the 27-year-old, who has since helped create a work culture that has won Baltimore Magazine’s Best Dispensary for three consecutive years.
“I wasn’t sure how God felt about it,” she added. “For me, smoking was something I felt borderline shame about for a long time. It was just this feeling that I might be doing something that would disappoint God.”
Known to patients as ‘Lee Lee,’ GreenLabs’ longest-tenured employee has now been a patient care specialist for over three years. Before getting offered the chance to join the industry, Aleshia was a single mother working through a painful divorce. She was also struggling to provide a better life for herself and her daughter as she worked an overnight shift at Royal Farms that didn’t fuel her passions.
“At that time, I lacked confidence and a vision for my future,” the Nashua Academy Foundation graduate said. “I didn’t have this big dream, but I knew the life I wanted to live. So I journaled and dove myself into the Bible every night, clinging closer to God. I believe he equipped me and prepared me for what was to come.”
Aleshia had been a part-time recreational user since the age of 17, but that was the extent of her knowledge regarding the plant. In a trial by fire, she hit the ground running in the summer of 2018 when the dispensary opened.
“It was perfect timing,” she recalled. “I didn’t have the Cannabis knowledge that everyone else on the team seemed to have. I felt so small. I was just this kid from the projects that didn’t know a whole lot about Cannabis. But I had this overwhelming sense that God had sent this challenge to me and that he would sustain me.”
She prayed feverishly, hoping that it was indeed God’s path she was following, and not her own.
“I thought, ‘If God led me here, this may not be bad,’” Aleshia said. “I just felt like it’s a natural plant that grows from the Earth. And God created the Earth, so it can’t be all bad.”
Aleshia’s knowledge has grown with each day behind the counter, and expanded at night with her own personal experiments. As patients happily boasted about the improvement in their quality of life, Aleshia found more peace with what she previously perceived as a conflict between her Christian beliefs and Cannabis usage.
“It shined a whole new light on the subject,” she said. “I began to learn about all the benefits and everything that Cannabis can do. I used to just use it for sleep. Now I can say I use it for appetite, sleep and giggles.”
Aleshia has found a consistent routine, ingesting 10 to 15 milligrams of Dixie’s Awakening tablets at lunch time, providing a “good energy boost” that leaves her “uplifted and focused.” Most evenings, she rolls up a Backwoods blunt and pulls on a relaxing indica strain. If she has aches or pains after a long day of standing, she’ll rub an Avexia 1:1 balm on her body, exclaiming, “It works wonders!”
The industry has been kind to her, Aleshia says. A full-time schedule has helped provide a home for her and her daughter. The divorcee has also rejoined the dating scene, meeting her current companion, Leon, within the industry.
“I had closed myself off to love,” she admits. “But I didn’t think that was what God wanted for me. So I made a deal with myself that the next person who asked me out, I had to say yes to. I met Leon and we just hit it off. We have so much in common, it’s just a magical, beautiful, amazing thing. And we continue to build and grow.”
The two share a love for both Cannabis and Jesus. During the pandemic, Aleshia and Leon reaffirmed their commitment to their faith, receiving a mutual baptism. For Aleshia, it was the second baptism of her life.
“I’ve always been a spiritual person and just naturally draw closer to God,” she said. “I feel like my faith is growing and growing, and his hands are all over it. Things have really been coming together in my life. So I just wanted to rededicate myself and confess to the world my love of God.”
With all the time she spends in prayer and at the dispensary, Aleshia understands her life is a bit different than others. When asked once more ‘WWJD?’ – Aleshia said she believes if Mary Jane and Jesus were to sit down, they may find some commonalities.
“He may not be ready to roll up a joint and smoke with you, but I don’t know if he’d be above using an edible or a topical,” she laughed.
Aleshia hopes her story can encourage those who have felt shame or confliction in regards to their religion and using Cannabis that it is OK to seek out both.
“I believe the Lord provides us with many resources, including the healing remedies of Cannabis,” she said. “But we should always be mindful of our consumption habits and try our best to track and manage them well.”
“For anyone who is struggling,” she added, “my advice is to seek God first always! One of my favorite verses to recall during trying times is Psalm 55:22. ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.’”