How One California Cop Became One of the Most Influential Cannabis Advocates

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Nate Bradley is the executive director for the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA). He founded the group in 2012, with a mission to “unite the cannabis industry in California and allow it to speak with one voice at the state and local levels.” Members of the group come from all walks of life, from people running or working in dispensaries to cannabis law firms and legalization activists.

One Time Cop and Anti-Abortion Activist Turns His Eye Towards Cannabis

Bradley however, wasn’t always so supportive of weed. In fact, he used to be a cop. Raised in an uber-conservative household in California, Bradley’s parents were pro-life activists. He grew up blocking abortion clinic doors before moving on in life to become a California police officer.

He’s arrested countless drug offenders in his day, and for a long time, didn’t bat an eye when busting illegal grow ops in the Golden State. He was opposed to marijuana decriminalization until the day he went to take down an illegal grow and the owner of the house opened the door sitting in a wheelchair.

“I remember going to my very first grow site as a police officer along with two narcotics agents,” Bradley says. ““The guy answered the door in a wheelchair. He was missing a leg. He had sixteen plants in his backyard, and he stared at me and the two officers standing at his door and explained that those plants were for him. I specifically remember him saying ‘that shit helped me get off all the pills I have been taking.’ That really made a lightbulb go off in my head, and I started wondering why we made cannabis so hard to access when so many people find it extremely helpful.”

How PTSD Turned Everything Around for One-Time Anti Cannabis Cop

Then, after years on the force, Bradley eventually developed PTSD. It’s not uncommon for cops to develop PTSD. They’re exposed to some extremely traumatic events, day in and day out while on the job. It’s estimated that there are over 150,000 police officers who suffer from symptoms of PTSD…with the number one leading cause of death amongst cops being suicide.

When Bradley developed his own symptoms of PTSD, he was put on a cocktail of prescription medication. He took nine pills a day, then like many others, turned to alcohol to alleviate troubling symptoms that just wouldn’t go away. Bradley became desperate for solutions that would work, eventually turning to medical marijuana. This is when everything changed.

Bradley claims that the minute he tried cannabis, he instantaneously felt relief. It was then he made the decision to devote his life to fighting for freedom and marijuana activism.

A Life Now Dedicated to Cannabis Activism  

He soon became one of the loudest voices for marijuana reform in California. He promoted Proposition 19 to legalize recreational cannabis throughout the state. When this measure surprisingly failed, he made it his mission to keep moving forward. He started Lawmen Protecting Patients, an organization made up of “former and current lawmen who have been personally effected by the use of cannabis in their own lives or in the lives of someone they care about.”

After this, Bradley founded CCIA, taking his activism role one step further. He helped keep momentum going, refusing to give up the fight for freedom. This former cop has made marijuana history, going from busting people for illegal plants to starting a movement that has helped countless patients and helped to legalize cannabis across the state of California.

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