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Bethany Sherman, a 32-year-old software analyst in Eugene, never pictured herself on the forefront of developing safe marijuana practices. But when her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year, she delved into researching treatment options. “My research turned up that cannabis can be an effective treatment for MS,” Sherman says. The primary components of marijuana with medicinal properties, THC, CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol), have pain-relief, anti-spasmodic/anti-convulsant and neuro-protectant properties. “That’s very powerful to an MS patient,” Sherman says. 

1935 Oregon passes the Uniform State Narcotic Act, criminalizing cannabis

1936 Reefer Madness, cult classic anti-pot propaganda film, premieres

1937 U.S. Congress passes “Marihuana” Tax Act, “effectively criminalizing marijuana” nationwide

1952 The Boggs Act requires mandatory prison sentencing for cannabis possession offenses 

1968 The Grateful Dead play first Eugene show at Erb Memorial Union

Alex Notman

 et al.

With the potential high for another ballot measure this November to legalize recreational cannabis use, EW thought it time to take to the streets to ask the people what they think. What did we learn? In our tiny, unscientific random sampling downtown of Eugeneans actually willing to talk about pot on record, the overwhelming response was in favor of legalization. However, that was pretty much the only thing people agreed on. The devil is in the details and those details still need some major hashing out, but there’s no better time to start hashing than the present.

When a helicopter flies over Cedar Valley, residents tend to assume it’s searching for illegal pot operations in the nearby forest. That’s what Curry County neighbors John Burns and Kathyrn Rickard thought when they heard the blades whirring over their rural homes. They didn’t think the helicopter flying overhead would be raining toxic chemicals upon their homes, their farms and their bodies. 

Rickard was inside studying when she heard the chopper. Shortly after, she walked out on her deck to give her eyes a break from her computer screen, and “instantly, I was not feeling good.” She smelled something heavy and oily, she says. Her chest hurt. She went back inside and tried to continue with her work. She got tired, had a severe headache and felt nauseous with a burning nose and throat. Her husband, Eric, came home and worked outside beneath the deck for a while and then he too came inside and complained of feeling sick. The family’s dogs, which had been outside during the spray, were eating grass and vomiting and wouldn’t eat dinner. 

I decided to walk to the Oregon Coast from my house downtown, out past Fern Ridge, up to Triangle Lake, down through Deadwood and Mapleton, and out to the beach south of Florence — 72 miles. Walking it would be a definitive act, yes! But this tired old body would have to walk 24 miles a day for three days. My wife, Louise, suggested I might want to get my legs in shape, so I started walking a 5-mile loop on the Riverbank Path. In a few weeks I got my time down from 95 minutes to 70, but then I stopped.

Months later, one day in February, I just got up out of my reading chair, where I more or less live, and went back to the park. This time I took a camera, and instead of trying to walk faster I decided to walk longer. In a few weeks I extended my loop from 5 to 7 miles, then 9, 11, and finally 12 and a half at a leisurely 3 mph; the first time I walked all 12 and a half miles it took 4 hours, 10 minutes. Oddly, I’d never walk it that fast again. 

You know him as the government employee with the most swagger (Tom Haverford, Parks and Recreation), the rambunctious, Oligocene-era rabbit pirate Squint (Ice Age: Continental Drift), the guy at James Franco’s party who gets kicked into hell’s sinkhole by Kevin Hart (This is the End) and the tagline-spewing hack comedian Raaaaaaaandy (Funny People). And, of course, just as standup comedian Aziz Ansari.

“Overall in the environmental community, women in the field are increasing, but it’s traditionally dominated by men,” Chandra LeGue says. “There have been lots of great women ecowarriors, and there have always been a few standout women in the field.”

LeGue has been with conservation group Oregon Wild for 10 years, focusing mostly on conservation of public forestlands, “and I do that through participating in the public process,” she says. According to LeGue, this involves working with federal agencies to promote a vision of how federal forests should be managed. Luckily that also involves leading public hikes out into public lands, which means she can leave Oregon Wild’s small Lincoln Street office and get out into the forests she loves. 

Raquel Hecht laughs at the fact that she has not one but two full-time jobs. She’s an immigration attorney, has been practicing law for almost 21 years in Eugene and is a founding partner of Hecht & Norman LLP, a law firm with offices in Eugene, Salem, Medford and Bend. 

But more recently, Hecht has been focusing on the growth of Grupo Latino de Acción Directa (GLAD), a community gathering of Latino members and allies that is dedicated to mentorship and engagement. The group organizes educational forums and opportunities to learn about topics relevant to immigration, education, labor and the law. 

Patricia Cortez started volunteering in 1997 at Amigos, an organization that assists Latino families arriving in the U.S. after experiencing political violence and torture. Since then, not only has Cortez held every position within the organization, she created Juventud Faceta, a leadership program for Latino youth.

Not many people can say their business’ name was used for a nationwide campaign headed by the first lady, but Denise Thomas-Morrow, owner of Let’s Move Fitness and CEO of nonprofit Healthy Moves, knows that feeling all too well. When she first heard that Michelle Obama named her child fitness program “Let’s Move,” she could hardly believe it. 

“Who would have known back in 1988 [when Thomas-Morrow started her business] that the First Lady wanted to use my business name for her national campaign?” Thomas-Morrow says. “You don’t really want to go against the president and his wife, so instead I thought we could try to get involved with their cause.”

Other schools may get more recognition for science, but the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific organization, is UO chemistry professor Geri Richmond. She’s also on the National Science Board, which governs the largest science funding organization in the U.S., the National Science Foundation. 

Showing the importance of scientific exploration and then landing funding for that exploration are big challenges, Richmond says. If 10 to 20 percent of funded experiments prove worthwhile, she says, that’s a huge success, but there’s no way to tell which studies will yield valuable results. “I don’t believe that the federal government should be funding everything out there that somebody has a curiosity about,” she adds, “but I believe that we have the structure in place to be able to evaluate what the best curiosities are to explore.”

One day, a patient with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression walked into a doctor’s clinic in Milwaukee, Wis. Due to the limited time they had for the appointment, the doctor told the patient they could only treat one of the afflictions during that visit. The patient chose to tackle the weight issue, completely ignoring all of the other problems. For Dr. Leigh Saint-Louis, that was the moment she knew she could never practice medicine this way again. 

For five years, the doctor who usually goes simply as “Dr. Leigh” has provided a private practice to about 400 patients, and she’s done it her way. She charges $79 per visit, no matter the length, the reason or the insurance that you have. With no receptionist or nurses, Saint-Louis fosters an intimate relationship with her patients. She gives out her number and her email regularly to better communicate with people she treats. 

Kelsey Juliana and Olivia Chernaik are suing Gov. John Kitzhaber and the state of Oregon under the Public Trust Doctrine, and their climate change case came before the Oregon Court of Appeals in January.

On a dark wintry day in 1942, Hope Pressman crossed Prince Lucien Campbell Memorial Courtyard in the rain toward a lone light shining from the otherwise shadowy UO art museum. The museum, which later became the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, was only open to serious researchers for one hour a week due to a lack of funds. But as a senior studying Chinese history, Pressman needed a book. She made her way to that lone light hanging above the desk of Gertrude Bass Warner, whose library of Asian history and art was housed in the museum. Pressman found the book, quickly scribbled some notes and left. 

Lots of people have opinions on city budget shortfalls, school funding crises, parent education challenges and the problems facing at-risk youth. Laura Illig has been hard at work tackling all these problems.

As chair of the city of Eugene Budget Committee, chair of the Yes for 4J Schools campaign for the successful 2013 bond measure, the fundraising chair of the Democratic Party of Lane County and a board member of Parenting Now and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Lane County, Illig is, to say the least, deeply involved in local civic and political life. And that’s on top of running her business-consulting firm, Corinthian Consulting.

Now is a fascinating time to be a woman. Despite the hurdles — like the persistent $0.23 hourly gender wage gap and a record number of legislative attacks on reproductive rights in 2013 — women are more visible than ever, in no small part because of the information age. Change begins at home: We at EW believe that recognizing the women in our community is a vital part of battling gender discrimination. Here are just some of the local women who have left their mark.

Three women sit in the back of The Redoux Parlour surrounded by piles of livestock feed bags, burlap sacks, scissors and sewing machines. Laura Lee Laroux, Grace McNabb and Irma Vega are deep in a product development session. Brainstorming how these raw materials can be transformed into popular products in the Eugene market, they pitch ideas like growler bags and grocery totes. Laroux creases the flap of a messenger-style pack made from the crinkly plastic of a Haystack Farm & Feed bag and throws the strap over her shoulder. The seams of the prototype, she points out to Vega, need tweaking and the straps should be longer. Otherwise, the trio appears happy with the bag — one of the first products of the Silver Lining Production House.

Much of Eugene is proud of Opportunity Village, the self-governing community of formerly homeless people living in tiny homes. But these people are only one aspect of the tiny house movement, a nationwide trend of people eschewing big abodes for simpler living with a smaller carbon footprint.

Planning is one of the most important elements of gardening. It is also one of the easiest steps to overlook, especially for the beginner. Knowing a few months ahead of time when you’re going to need to plant and harvest your vegetables can save you serious heartache in the long run. Having your seeds, starts and preservation methods prepped and ready will ensure you the longest growing seasons, the most fruitful crops and the longest lasting life from your produce.

Four hours after the factory shut down, the worker who had crawled into the depths of the conveyer belt finally finds the plastic bag that caused all the commotion. Carefully removing the bag, the worker wriggles free. “It’s dangerous work,” says Lane County Waste Reduction Specialist Sarah Grimm. “It’s time consuming and the whole time the whole sort quality is compromised.”

Do you eat almonds? I do — lots of them. But for how long? California almonds are just part of the 70 percent of our food supply that depends on honeybees for pollination. But colony collapse disorder (CCD) has made life tough for bees and for beekeepers, who have struggled in recent years to supply the hives needed to pollinate crops.

Although people consider the downed trees from the recent ice storm to be an unfortunate and unsightly look around Eugene, Anna and Noah Wemple of Cougar Mountain Farm know of a sustainable use for the remnants. With the help of Jude Hobbs, permaculture expert, teacher and co-founder of Cascadia Permaculture Institute, the Wemples will host a Shiitake Mushroom Log Inoculation Workshop 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, March 15, at Cougar Mountain Farm, 33737 Witcher Gateway in Cottage Grove.

Anyone can grow fresh food year-round, even apartment dwellers. It just takes a bit of know-how and planning. Amy Doherty, a master gardener and graduate of the UO Landscape Architecture program, specializes in adaptive urban gardens. “There’s a lot you can do with container gardening on a sunny balcony or in a window,” Doherty says. “The only limit is how much space you have and how much light you can get.”

Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle, Philomen, Captain Phillips, 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Gravity