Photo by Shane Harms
Ryan from the Renton Glass Blowing Studio demonstrates how to blow glass.

Helping kids with Autism -- with cannabis

Editor's Note: For privacy reasons, the names used in this article are not real names. However, they are the names which these people are known within the medical cannabis community.

Undoubtedly, there are a lot of questions raised by the passing of I-502, the marijuana legalization initiative. But for one Ballard native, the new liberties present an opportunity to raise money for Seattle families in need who have autistic children.

At a two-story space rented in SoDo, Nov. 16-18, over three-hundred people bustled through table-lined corridors. Presenters shared tutorials on major topics in the medical cannabis industry such as growing medical cannabis, tincture-making and glass blowing. The “School of Dank” was underway.

The Ballard native in question, who goes by "Jinx Proof" in the medical cannabis industry (and for this article), went to Ingraham High School and stayed in Ballard after graduation. He established the True Blue Tattoo shop with his neighbor from the infamous "Gob Shop." When more space opened up, Proof started selling glass pipes.

“After I started selling glass peices, I just started learning a little here and there. I never took a class, I just kind of fell into it from working with so many blowers at the shop,” Proof said.

Seven years ago, Proof and his wife, "Miss Rose," had a son, who they call "Boom Boom."

“Its was time for a a change, so we closed the shop and moved to Hawaii. Its wasn’t soon after we got there that 'Boom Boom' started showing characteristics of autism. The health care in the big island wasn’t very good so we had to come back to Seattle,” Proof said.

Proof and his family moved back to Seattle, but faced financial problems. “We were close to living out of my car for a while. It wasn’t easy. We hadn’t planned for it. Luckily I found a job with Subcool as a rep not too long after I got back, which helped get me back on my feet,” said Proof.

Proof said the financial hardship he faced after his son was diagnosed with autism inspired him to raise money for families in need.

"We raised fifteen thousand with the first event last year, and we wanted to hit twenty this year, but I think it is closer to fifteen again," Proof said.

Proof and Rose allocated the funds to needy families through one-hundred dollar Fred Meyer gift cards.

“It's just easier that way because every family is different with unique needs, and the gift cards could make all the difference ... it could mean a Thanksgiving dinner,” Miss Rose said.

On top of one-hundred percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser going to needy families, Proof said that they donate thousands of dollars toward essential living products like deodorant, toothpaste, socks, and blankets to youth care organizations.

Proof's employer, "Subcool," owner of TGA Subcool Seeds and developer of one of the first seed distributors in the United States, was a speaker at the event.

"This is an amazing thing they are doing here -- I mean we are raising money for these kids so they can buy food and iPads that enable them to communicate ... it must be so hard to communicate with you kids that way ... I have so much respect for Jinx and Rose. This event is setting an example for the entire industry. We are telling the world that we are here to help people," Subcool said.

Dean Martin, long-time friend of Proof’s and another Ballard native, said he used to race his sports car around Ballard and that the police knew him well from hot-rodding. These days Martin spends his time being involved in the community in a very different way. This year, Martin catered the entire event, providing delicious dishes like lemon chicken and sesame teriyaki.

“I just like to volunteer when I can and do whatever I can to help out, plus I enjoy cooking –- it’s my third event this year,” Martin said.

After another successful event and bringing in over fifteen thousand dollars, Proof plans to continue his fundraising event, and as more states legalize medical cannabis, Proof said there is more opportunity to expand. With plans for expansion, Proof remains humble for all the help he has received.

“We really need to thank our volunteers that can and will do anything, which is so awesome! We could not have done this without them,” Proof said.

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