Paula Young-Libby is the CEO of MycoCann, Inc. an ag-tech startup with sights on revolutionizing how cannabis is grown. Join us here every week as Paula gives us an exclusive peek into the entrepreneurial experience.
Those of you who have read the other posts in this series, or viewed my LinkedIn profile might recall that I attended the UCLA graduate Producer’s Program. My Bachelor’s degree had a screenwriting emphasis. This has led more than one reader to ask me: “How the heck does a writer wind up in law enforcement, and then decide to jump into the Cannabis Industry?” The answer to that question is both convoluted, and classically simple: It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I suppose I should start at the beginning. I was not a normal child. My very first career aspiration came when I was four, after my mother read the classic children’s book Ferdinand the Bull to me. This literary gem inspired me so much that when adults asked me, a freckled little redheaded girl, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would reply: “I want to be a big, black bull.”
You can imagine their expressions.
Later on, when I was six, I decided I wanted to combine my love of dirt, history, and people, and become an archeologist. Then, I saw the The Cowboys and True Grit (the original), and decided to become John Wayne. I was only eight. It didn’t occur to me that not only were there gender issues involved, but John himself might take issue with me appropriating his body and his life. When it finally did dawn on me that becoming John Wayne was impossible, I returned to the archeologist idea. This once again bewildered the adults who asked me about my career goals, mainly because this was a good decade before Raiders of the Lost Ark made archeology sexy.
When I turned eleven, I entered Junior High School, and was exposed to Art, Science, History, Aviation, Politics, Literature, and a whole host of other things that blew my mind wide open. I underwent a crisis. There were so many cool, fascinating things to do and be in the world, how would I ever get to them all in one lifetime? That’s when I decided to become a writer. Fiction writers can be astronauts one day, and zoologists the next, and everything in between. We can be monsters, murderers, sinners and saints. We get to research whatever our passions are, and live them in intimate detail.
The problem with writing fiction, of course, is that unless you are one of the very lucky few, it doesn’t pay the bills. Especially while you are learning the craft. Which is why I became a probation officer.
As a DPO I for Los Angeles County, I worked at a probation camp. My schedule was to work fifty-six consecutive hours, which meant I had four days off a week to write. For an insight into the type of work I did, feel free to watch The Gridiron Gang. I worked at the camp next door to the one portrayed in the film, and knew Sean Porter (played by the Rock) and Paul Higa (played by Leon Rippy) personally. Unfortunately, I was injured performing a restraint and retired out on a Service Connected Disability in 1994.
It was this disability and the intractable pain that resulted from it that led me to cannabis…
Read the conclusion next week here on DCN.
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