At 37 years old, Justin Michaud of South Philly, might be the most active pot smoker in Philadelphia.
A long distance walker, endurance athlete and musician, Michaud regularly supports regular charity events, holds a full-time office job and runs his own regular podcast, called “Wake The F Up.”
As if that doesn’t keep him busy, he has now launched a campaign intended to show the world that pot smokers aren’t the zoned out, munchie-obsessed layabouts that many people imagine.
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Michaud calls it the #NotALazyStoner campaign.
So far, he’s used the campaign to share workout tips – he’s able to exercise while smoking marijuana – and to take a group on a long hike. He is also getting the campaign involved in performing community service.
“My focus is to show everybody that people who smoke cannabis aren’t lazy,” he said during a recent interview.
Michaud said his interest in sharing the stories of active, productive pot smokers started after he read a news story about local Philadelphia marijuana activist and Marine Corps Veteran, Mike Whiter. At the time, Michaud had been running his Wake The F Up podcast for about three years, and he’d been using the platform to interview interesting people in the city.
Michaud said that Whiter’s story of a man who has said marijuana use saved his life after he was diagnosed with PTSD, spoke to him, because Michaud has been long familiar with marijuana’s medicinal uses.
Michaud’s said his sister used the drug regularly when she was fighting colon cancer.
“I said immediately, ‘we need to get this guy on the podcast’,” remembered Michaud.
The two became fast friends, said Michaud. Whiter even photographed and shared his experience at a neighborhood cleanup that Michaud organized through the #NotALazyStoner campaign – it took place on Feb. 11 at the intersection of Broad and Oregon Streets -- for the blog, Elevated Nation.
Since then, Michaud has jumped headfirst into marijuana activism in the city. He’s supported charity events organized by Philadelphia’s marijuana activism community and has decided to start a community service campaign of his own.
“This is the only way I knew how to give back,” he said.
The campaign, he said, started as a video series of him working out and sharing tips as he exercised while smoking marijuana. But, he quickly decided to include other activities in the series, which led to a group hike and, most recently, last month’s neighborhood cleanup.
Michaud said he’s now hoping to organize a cleanup of the Delaware River through the #NotALazyStoner campaign.
“By doing all this stuff, I was like, ‘here’s a whole another thing we can start’,” he said. “Good people smoke marijuana and it gets me motivated… I’ve met people who aren’t smoking to get high, but they are using it to save their lives… And, I want to help good people.”
To learn more about Michaud’s #NotALazyStoner campaign or to join in on upcoming events, visit his Instagram page here.