When Nicole Buffong was diagnosed with HIV in 2017, she faced a choice: choose an existence tied to a lifeline of pharmaceuticals, or seek natural ways to heal. Her decision -- an alkaline lifestyle plus cannabis usage -- would not only save her life, but shape the course of her life’s work: illuminating the plight of individuals fighting chronic illness, especially those affected by the HIV epidemic sweeping urban communities of color in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
In November, 2017, Nicole became the Georgia chapter president for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, a national advocacy and lobbying group dedicated to educating the public about how to navigate the global cannabis industry, and ensuring marginalized groups have a seat at the table when new laws and legislation are written. Soon after, she also began broadcasting her message to the world digitally via the Cannabis Connection World podcast. There, monthly, Nicole interviews gubernatorial candidates, authors, Senators, scientists, physicians, and everyday patients who use cannabis to control chronic conditions. You should definitely check it out, and listen in. It’s moving, well-researched, and a huge reason AFC supports Nicole in her work. She’s also heavily involved in efforts like GAvotes4bud.com “Let’s Talk”initiative, a program designed to encourage Gen-Z voters to consider their stance on cannabis and cast their ballots toward legalization.
Which leads us to the second reason you should know Nicole: throughout 2018 Advocates For Cannabis has sponsored Nicole’s appearances, speaking engagements and gatherings (which happen several times a month around Atlanta - check her calendar here), at the same time filming to co-create an educational documentary that highlights the importance of Safe Access, Decriminalization & Ancillary Jobs education in Georgia, and how to make Cannabis a top issue in the upcoming election.
The film is tentatively called “Medicine Woman”, and according to Nicole, “It’s an honest depiction of what thousands of patients in Georgia are faced with by living in a prohibition state.” Our crews have followed Nicole around as she’s brought her knowledge, educational message and awareness for the past 6 months, interviewing patients, filming community events and Nicole’s encounters with officials, and building a narrative that will culminate in the November election of a new Georgia governor. “It’s important that I highlight the HIV community in this project,” she adds. “Atlanta is now one of the top cities in the country for new HIV cases.”
Stick with us and we’ll continue to keep you apprised of Nicole’s newest work, speaking engagements, and updates on the documentary, which should be finished in early 2019. She’s definitely one of our heroes -- an influencer who shares our dedication to fact-based product development and using the science of hemp to convince and convert.“Facts will be the weapons that put an end to the prohibition of Cannabis,” Nicole often says. We couldn’t agree more.