Iggy Pop, Elvis, Buddy Holly & Me…

I ran across an article from a couple of years ago that I had to share because it’s the only time in my life I’ve been compared to the likes of Iggy Pop, Elvis, Buddy Holly and Cain & Abel…. and referred to as a QUEEN all in one sentence!  Wow!  Thanks Buddy Peter and NewsReview.com for the compliment!

Women of compassion

Aundre Speciale oversees Abatin Wellness Center PHOTO BY WILLIAM LEUNG

It’s surprisingly—and refreshingly—not a man’s world when it comes to Sacramento’s medical-cannabis community

Here’s an excerpt:

If Iggy Pop is the Godfather of Punk, and Elvis and Buddy Holly are the Cain and Abel of rock ’n’ roll, then Aundre Speciale is the Queen of California dispensaries.

Speciale runs three medical-marijuana dispensaries, one in Berkeley and two, Abatin Wellness Center at 2100 29th Street and Capitol Wellness Collective at 2400 14th Street, in Sacramento.

Speciale is a product of California’s foster-children system and spent her teenage years as a SoCal punk-rock anarchist. The Long Beach native learned the ropes of cannabis politics from the legendary marijuana activist Jack Herer. She counted the late comedians Rodney Dangerfield and Sam Kinison as friends. For two decades, Speciale has been on the front line of the cannabis activism and has seen her fair share of sexism.

“I got comments about being a mother, and especially [about being] a single mother, doing what I do,” said Speciale, with a hint of irritation. “Everything from ‘Is it a good example for your children?’ to ‘You are taking a risk at losing your children.’ But I am not ashamed of what I do. I believe that what I do is very legal, extremely moral and the right thing to do.”

Speciale, like Zawkiewicz and Larsson, believe in providing a female-friendly service. She reminisced about how, in the early days of Sacramento medical-cannabis dispensaries, “It was hard … to find a dispensary that fit my needs as a woman and a mother.”

She remembers it being like a bar or nightclub atmosphere. “I wanted to have a place that felt more comfortable, homier, specifically female-friendly for mothers and grandmothers,” she explained.

Speciale’s Abatin Wellness Center sets a high bar for other medical-cannabis dispensaries, as it provides mandatory counseling with every visit. Abatin Wellness Center got a huge publicity boost when talk-show host, medical-marijuana activist and retired lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Montel Williams revealed that he was a consultant for the collective.

And, indeed, Abatin is not your typical dispensary, nor does it look like one. The counselors are not there to scold you on your marijuana use, but are there to help adjust your medicine to the proper dosage that works for you. Or just to talk, if you want. Truly a compassionate place for people suffering from debilitating diseases and conditions.

“Almost half of the relief that patients are looking for is compassion, a friend, someone to talk to,” Speciale explained. “So many patients are ill, disfigured or don’t feel OK, and they sit alone.”

One thing these three women have in common is that they’re strong, passionate and their hearts are truly in the right place. They are kindhearted and serious about their mission. Speciale put it in a nutshell.

“Being a mom,” she began, “I really want to help people and make it a better place. I believe in starting right where you are and helping the person beside you.”

Read the full story here –>  http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/women-of-compassion/content?oid=3344034

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About Aundre Speciale | Speciale Affect

Longtime cannabis activist, dispensary director and public speaker. In her spare time, she's an avid music enthusiast, surfer, vegan and mother of two beautiful children.
This entry was posted in Cannabis, Marijuana, Press and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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