The GOP's Ridiculous Views on Weed Led This Hard-Line Conservative to Switch Parties

Angela Valdes is a small business owner and Bernie Sanders supporter from Portland who has battled lupus since age 18. According to, “Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.”

“We went from a diagnosis of ‘You’re never going to live to be 30, you’re never having children and you need to come to term with this now’ [in 1997] to telling my doctor I’m cured," Valdes told TYT Politics reporter Jordan Chariton.

After nine years of Western medicine, Valdes was in remission. She asked her doctor if she could go off of all the medications and they agreed. She then turned to cannabis, and since then has only stopped during the pregnancies of her two children.

“I’ve come from the depths of despair when it comes to chronic pain, and fought for my life," Valdes told Chariton. "Cannabis is one of the biggest things that have helped me. In 2006 smoked it and had immediate pain relief. I then got a medical marijuana card and started working with a medical grower to grow strains specifically for my symptoms."

But like many people, Valdes was skeptical of cannabis at first. 

"I was terrified to try cannabis," she admitted. "I grew up a conservative republican. I went to a private Christian college. I was told cannabis was illegal, ‘don’t ever try it.’”

One of her biggest regrets now is not educating people suffering from chronic pain sooner. 

"I wish I could have told my dad about it because he died two years ago having a seizure [from epilepsy]. He was too scared to try it because he was a conservative and really believed if it’s illegal federally we should follow the law. And I think that’s the reason he’s not alive today — because he was trying to be such a patriot," said Valdes. "The social stigma has to come down and Bernie Sanders has been speaking out against it and that’s why I’m voting for him for sure. I’ve never been this healthy," Valdes added.


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