IF A PEACOCK FINDS A POT LEAF is a children's book about a Peacock named Peter who one day is feeling sad and so decides to take a walk; along the way, Peter discovers a strange leaf, wondering to himself about what it is. Along this path, Peter the Peacock meets an array of creatures from Benjamin Beaver (who suffers from chronic pain), Ophelia the Owl (who suffers from glaucoma), Cletis the Camel (who suffers with appetite loss), Scarlett the Spider who can't spin intricate webs (due to suffering migraine headaches), Rocco the Rhino (who suffers from cancer and uses marijuana to help with the nausea from chemotherapy treatments), the Four Rasta Pigs (who suffer from insomnia due to the wolf who moved down the street) and Rupert the Rabbit (who suffers from anxiety). To Peter's surprise, he never would have imagined all the creatures he met to be medical marijuana patients and was quite amazed by the number of conditions it helped. In the end, Peter the Peacock obtains his medical marijuana license and tries it; he feels so much better now and begins to fan out a spectrum of colorful feathers, relieved that he has discovered a natural way to be happy.

This amazing book is just one of a series of children's books that are being created by a mother and daughter team out of Washington State. I recently caught up with Morgan and Geneva Carman who currently have been in the process of their second book IF A PEACOCK DISCOVERS HEMP ISLAND which is about hemp and all the wonderful things that it can do to save our world (due out October 31st). But you can't have a second book without the first; though a few thought it not such a good idea to create IF A PEACOCK FINDS A POT LEAF, Morgan and Geneva decided to go for it anyway and do it for the children out there so that they wouldn’t be afraid of cannabis. "We were inspired from all the children out there that require cannabis to survive these days," Geneva replied, "We believe that the whole cannabis plant is basically an amazing thing that should be utilized in this world. I’ve been an advocate for quite a few years myself, but I was quiet as I was raising my child to prevent her from having any problems with Child Protective Services; being a cannabis patient myself, we’ve had to be very careful. What really inspired us to come forth is my daughter was 16 (going on 17) and we had seen a few shows about children that had up to 300 seizures a day and we were literally crying because the only thing that would help these children was cannabis. We were sitting on the couch one night and I had an I-phone with a peacock on it and told Morgan I wanted to get a little pot leaf and she goes, “What if a peacock found a pot leaf?’ I said ‘Oh my god! That’s a children’s book right there!’ We were tired of all the lies, and tired of people trying to scare people out of using cannabis when it’s the only thing that will help them; Morgan wrote the book completely on her own, and I just did the art work. Morgan did everything. At 17 years old, she’s self-published, wrote the format out for the book, did all the editing, proofreading, web-site, the Kindle version of our book, she took this upon herself to just go for it."

Published in April 2013, IF A PEACOCK FINDS A POT LEAF has been well-received gaining wonderful reviews in magazines such as Weed World-UK, Weed Leaf Magazine, Northwest Leaf, and Sativa Magazine. Literally blown away by the reception, Morgan and Geneva started this project as a way to extend out and help the children, offering a free autograph copy to all the sick children that come into their world and ask them for one. "We actually have fans which we didn’t even think about," Geneva responded, "We have people that recognize us and ask for our autograph which is very strange for us because we’re kind of low-key people. We've got all the support of the community that we could ever imagine and then some. Our book has literally been in three court cases, helping people fight their court cases where their child has been taken from CPS because they're a cannabis user. They are using our book to show people that times are changing and that this is a medicinal plant that's more natural than the harmful toxic prescription drugs that are out there. And a lot of parents now are choosing to utilize cannabis over prescription medications and it's working a lot better with less side-effects. The wonderful thing is that we're seeing more children on the news, more parents are coming forth and we're seeing a change in the whole community here and potentially in the world. It's time for this whole issue on medical marijuana and marijuana in general, to change and we need to start teaching our children that."

There is much that we can gain in educating our youth about the medical benefits of marijuana. The most important thing that a book like IF A PEACOCK FINDS A POT LEAF can do is help parents as a tool to teach their children that marijuana is not something bad, it's just another way for people to be able to medicate and live their lives in a more full-fashion. "Knowledge and wisdom is what we can gain and the ability to be able to utilize a natural plant over pharmaceutical drugs. Eventually these people who are on 1 or 2 prescription drugs have to move to 3 or 4 or 5 or 6; by the time they're our age, at 40, they're on 30 or more prescription drugs; it's like their bodies are just damaged and that's not good. I've been using marijuana now for about 20 years, I'm 43 and there is no side-effects that I have seen other than I am looking a lot younger than all my friends out there that use prescription drugs and alcohol. I think that as we get more into the research, we're going to find out that this cannabis plant is literally the snake-oil of the future. It's going to literally save our children from destroying their bodies. Morgan just wrote a letter to Lily Fisher's dad to take to court. This letter written (on behalf of Lily) pretty much says it all. It basically says that she was raised in a cannabis family with a mom that used cannabis, and also took prescription drug in treating her bipolar, anxiety, and OCD. She remembers being a little girl and growing up with a mommy that did prescription drugs and how I couldn't play with her, or take her to parks and stuff. Then she remembers Mommy ditching the prescription drugs and just using cannabis and, I was able to be more of a mommy. I was able to be a parent and be more involved in my child's life."

From Morgan point of view, there are people that don't use cannabis, that don't know much about cannabis, and don't even think to look into it. When asked about how what she saw in patients that allowed them to break free from the stereo-type of the typical stoner, Morgan replied, "If people would give the medical cannabis community a chance, a lot of people would be shocked and surprised; there is so many people in the community that are business people, lawyers, and doctors, but they have to hide this out of their lives because people do see it as a negative thing and they think that automatically if someone uses cannabis as a patient, that they're going to be lazy, or that they're going to be a bad person, a bad parent. That's the stereotype that's painted for most people in this community and I just don't agree at all."

While on the prescription drugs, Geneva had become completely zombified; she was tired all the time, and couldn't be a parent to her child, having to hire a full-time nanny to take care of Morgan. Geneva, in her own words had become a guinea-pig as they were constantly changing her prescriptions. "While going through all that, I was tired, anxious, stressed out, and was having all these different emotions; it was wrecking havoc in our family life. I couldn't be a mother to my child; I was basically on my own, so if mommy's out of it, that is not good as far as my daughter having a normal upbringing."

Taking it upon themselves, Morgan and Geneva Carman, are not only setting an example for others to follow, but have committed themselves to start re-educating the children of the world about this wonderful cannabis plant. Based on personal experience is the best source one can go on, especially in regard to how medical marijuana has benefitted one's life. "What cannabis has done, has not only changed our lives for the better, but it has brought us closer together. It has literally bonded us and so, we're best friends! I can't honestly say that I know of any of the parents that don't use cannabis and use alcohol and prescription drugs instead, they do not have the relationship that I have with my child. I can totally 100% say that hands down! My daughter doesn't go out, drink, take drugs, she's a homebody. I smoked weed the entire time I was pregnant, throughout her whole childhood, when I was breast feeding, it's the only thing that I did; I just smoked the cannabis and you know what? It didn't harm my unborn child, it in fact made her smarter in my opinion. I don't believe these researchers when they say that this is going to affect their brain in a negative way, it's going to make your children not be able to learn or be good in school. My child was a superstar in school and I have all the paperwork to prove that; you could basically cover an entire wall with the awards that my child's gotten with her academic excellence. She's very well-spoken for her age and extremely intelligent. We're breaking the stereotypes everyday continuously. I've also spoken with other mothers that smoked cannabis the entire time they were pregnant and their children developed at a quicker rate and are more intelligent and well-behaved. This isn't just my personal research that I have seen in my own child, these are other parents and mothers that have not yet come forward, but yet they have spoken with me on this matter because they're scared to come forward. We've got a lot of people that are hiding in the cannabis closet still, because we're still on that "tipping point". We're ready for the people that are going to come at us because we're not just an author and an illustrator, we're cannabis activists. We have the knowledge and skills to inform society of what is actually happening and what we have seen, and everyone needs to wake-up and see this as the new medicine of the future and it should have been the medicine for people this whole time. If we didn't have prohibition, then we wouldn't have the children that are sick right now."

Throughout the course of this interview, I only became more inspired by the courage, strength, and the message captured in IF A PEACOCK FINDS A POT LEAF. Day by day, the acceptance of cannabis as medicine is rapidly increasing throughout this country, and this mother-daughter team is ready, in their own words, "to come forward together and unite and let the rest of the people in the world, know that this is something that needs to occur, must occur, and is going to occur," exclaimed Geneva, "No I'm not surprised. I'm surprised that it hasn't been accepted quicker. (Laughs) It's very critical for all of us, like yourself with Muscular Dystrophy, you're up there with Montel Williams; he's a big voice in the community with MS, and I'm sure that you've found, yourself, that the prescription drugs did not work as well as the cannabis does and this is why you have become an advocate and activist for cannabis as well. The people that are the VOICES are the ones that cannabis has literally made their lives better, saved their lives, or helped them see someone they love have a better life and that's why we're so strong, altogether, A VOICE!" ~

Geneva & Morgan Carman