Telling Your Immigrant Parents You Work In The “Evil” Plant Industry

As the son of immigrant Korean parents, my relationship with cannabis has been challenging.  My parent’s position on cannabis was rooted in early post war Korea, which took a very draconian position against cannabis.  It was not only illegal in Korea, punishable with jail time, but furthermore, all Koreans were bound to Korean law regardless of where they were in the world.  As immigrants their physical disconnect with their motherland, only reinforced their negative stigma towards cannabis to the point of associating as “evil”.

I grew up under these conditions but developed a personal relationship with the plant during my college years as I struggled with, at the time, an undiagnosed bi-polar condition. 

Mental illness, which was also considered “voodoo”, led me to discretely turn to cannabis. 

It was the only effective option that was helping me manage my condition, until eventually being diagnosed many years later.  (Cannabis is still the best medicine in my opinion)

Fast forward to 2018, I had just exited the fashion industry after almost two decades and was contemplating my next career move.  Serendipitously, cannabis was on the cusp of becoming legal in California. I felt in my heart that this was my purpose in life. I went all in, which has brought me to where I am today, the CEO of Stachs, the flower touching division of Eaze. 

My parents are in their 80’s and I have children of my own now.  I struggled with how I was going to explain my new career to both and settled with honesty.

I explained to my parents how much Cannabis had helped me through my darkest days and now that it was legal, that this was the business I was passionate about.  Though there was a high level of concern with its legality, they eventually came around.  The narrative to my children was framed around Daddy now sells medicine made from a plant, which makes them feel good.

Cannabis has been such a constant in my life, I can’t imagine life without it. 

I don’t use cannabis as often these days recreationally but more so to help unwind and sleep.  However, over the years, the cannabis culture has had such a massive impact on how I approach life in general.  I honestly feel that it has helped me be a far better parent, husband and just an overall better person. 

About a month ago, I got a very disturbing phone call from my parents’ caretaker, that she thought my father was having a stroke. When I asked to speak to him, he kept saying not to worry.  Obviously still very concerned, asked what was really going on... after a long pause… he admitted that he ate too much of his chocolate edibles and was wondering if he was going to die… I laughed harder than ever... and finally responded, “No Dad, you’re not… but you are going to have the best nap you’ve had in a long time...” 

I guess it all worked out.