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Leslie Best isn’t a prototypical cannabis advocate. In fact, she’s nothing short of the antithesis of a stereotypical stoner – a forty-something suburban mother of three children, and the loving wife of a firefighter and one-time winner of HGTV’s “Canada’s Handyman.” As the matriarch of the family, Best represents a completely new class of cannabis consumer, an altogether balanced presence to the areas of family, healthy living and alternative therapy options.

For Best, a lifelong recreational cannabis consumer, it made sense to investigate cannabis as a treatment option when health issues started to hit home. First, her mother became sick and adopted cannabis treatment to help manage symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis. Best received her prescription shortly after her mother and says she was impressed, but not surprised, by her mother’s success with vaporizing. 

At around the same time, Best’s youngest daughter came home one day and, quite literally, couldn’t stop blinking. After some tests, doctors diagnosed the child with PANDAS, short for Pediatric Autoimmune Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. At the same time, Best’s eldest son was misdiagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, which was later determined to be PANDAS. Still, an optimist by nature, Best set to looking closer at cannabis as a potential option for both her children.
 “I’ve been so out and open on social media about my cannabis use and use with the kids. I’m dealing with two very controversial topics – PANDAS and giving cannabis to kids, but we’re really stable people,” she says. “I started being as verbal as I could, slowly moms and other people started reaching out to me. If I can change the perception, I’m going to take the risk and do it.” 

Over the years, Best has treated the better part of her family with CBD oil or medical cannabis. But, make no mistake, she’s no sluggard. Best grinded out her career selling advertisement space for a small-city newspaper before starting Sage Movement. Since, she’s spent most of her time advocating, both online and in her community, for the responsible use of cannabis in society. 

In part because of some of the health trials the family has faced, the Bests work to put healthy living first. Whether that be through yoga, a plant-based diet or CBD and medical cannabis therapy, the Best family has come to serve as an example of what is therapeutically possible with cannabis, when fear of what people may think gets laid to the wayside. 

Something of a case study in sensible cannabis use, and sound parenting, Best finds strength in her family’s success story. More than ever, she is projecting her voice of reason on the cannabis conversation in her community. Particularly, she spends much of her time these days talking medical cannabis with fellow mothers, a demographic she feels deserves to be better educated on the topic.

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