In June of 2014, Jessica Blount was working as a dispatcher in Las Vegas. She got into a car accident one day and seriously injured her back. Cannabis came to the rescue in a couple of ways. 

Her brother, Robert Blount, had started a cannabis-industry business – Blunt House Media – and he gave her a job that accommodated her ongoing back issues from the accident.

“Going to work and sitting at a desk was not an option for me, so my brother offered me some work to do where I could just be at home and be comfortable,” Blount told Civilized.

Her involvement in the company progressed from there. She’s now a co-owner, as well as a Vice President and Client Resources Director for a company that helps promote brands in the cannabis industry through its network of social media accounts that have 10-million followers.

So cannabis set her off on a new career path, but it also helped improve her health. She had been a recreational consumer for 20 years, and she soon learned it also treated her back pain and other health-related problems.

“I actually have several medical issues,” she says, “and it helps me with every single one of them. It’s quite amazing.”

Despite her health issues, Blount is a good-humoured person who loves working with her brother through the ups and downs of running a business together. “We can yell and scream at each other, then two seconds later say, ‘I love you,’ ” she says. “We’ve always worked well together. We’re very close.”

And she also remembers a funny story from their childhood that plays on a popular slang term for a way to smoke marijuana.

“When we were in class...they did roll call. They’d say Jessica Blunt, instead of Blount, and of course the whole class would start laughing. We always used to correct them, but I don’t care anymore.”

And no wonder she’s not worried about it now, with the natural brand associations from this happy coincidence.

The blunt, of course, is strongly identified with stereotypical cannabis culture, but Blount says their network of social accounts is quite diverse.

“We don’t have just pages about fun stoner stuff,” says Blount, who says the company's network is the largest of its kind across social media. “We have pages related to drug possession laws and marching against prohibition.”

Blunt House Media is a for-profit business but Blount and her brother are activists at heart, and believe what they’re doing will overturn the prohibition on cannabis that is harmful to people who need it.

She lives in a state (Missouri) where medical and recreational cannabis are illegal, and she knows a lot of people in the same situation. She feels especially bad for veterans, who need cannabis to properly treat their PTSD, but it’s only legally accessible in 17 states (New Jersey governor Chris Christie just officially approved of its use in that state last week).

“I’ve known several people [struggle with the effects of PTSD] on a daily basis, and I’ve seen how it hurts them and how disturbing it is for them,” she says. “And the fact that cannabis is illegal and they can’t use it…it kills me. It really does."

“[Medical marijuana is also] for all the children who have seizures – daily, hourly. And they can’t get hold of it because it’s illegal. But there are obvious results from people using it. It’s ridiculous.”

Despite the challenges the industry faces in the ongoing battle against prohibition, Blount remains passionate and committed to her work because of the connection she has with other people doing similar work – be they clients of Blunt House Media, legalization activists or ordinary people who need access to marijuana for health reasons.

“I like the people,” she says. “They’re all welcoming and outgoing people, and we’re all working toward the same goal.”