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How to Do the Pot Celebrates Pride with a New 3-Part Series on Cannabis and AIDS

How to Do the Pot Celebrates Pride with a New 3-Part Series on Cannabis and AIDS

How to Do the Pot

June 18, 2024

How to Do the Pot Celebrates Pride with a New 3-Part Series on Cannabis and AIDS

How the AIDS Crisis Led to the Birth of Medical Cannabis and Sparked a National Legalization Movement


San Francisco, CA — How to Do the Pot, the award-winning podcast dedicated to helping women feel confident about cannabis, is celebrating Pride Month with a compelling new three-part series beginning on June 18, 2024. The special series will explore how the AIDS crisis in San Francisco during the 1980s catalyzed the birth of medical cannabis and ignited a national movement toward legalization.

Host Ellen Scanlon guides listeners through the pivotal moments and the courageous advocates that shaped medical cannabis in California, the first state to legalize it for compassionate use. This series honors the love and perseverance of San Francisco’s gay community during the AIDS crisis, and highlights the ongoing benefits of medical cannabis for HIV patients today.

Episode 1: From Crisis to Compassion In the first episode, we explore how San Francisco’s AIDS crisis sparked the cannabis legalization movement. Meet Meridy Volz, who ran the city’s largest cannabis operation providing relief to dying patients. Her daughter, Alia Volz, witnessed this firsthand and chronicled the experience in her National Book Critics Circle Award-nominated book, Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana & the Stoning of San Francisco:

“As a child, I felt that I was very privileged to witness true courage. In the days before anyone knew how it was transmitted, some medical professionals were afraid to go into rooms with people with AIDS. Then there were people who were going to love each other and care for each other no matter what.”

Episode 2: Groundbreaking Medical Advocacy In the second episode, Dr. Donald Abrams, a pioneering physician, shares his journey as a gay doctor during the AIDS crisis. Motivated by the loss of his partner, he secured groundbreaking government funding to prove the medical benefits of cannabis, paving the way for California’s historic legalization for compassionate use.

“One of the hardest things for me was when a patient’s parents came from the East coast and they learned for the first time that their son was gay, that their son had AIDS, and their son was dying. That was a very powerful experience as a 33 year old young doctor, to have to transmit that information to parents who were really quite devastated by learning that news.”

Episode 3: Cannabis and HIV Today The final episode examines the modern use of cannabis in managing HIV. Featuring Natalie Wilson, PhD, it explores cannabis’s role in alleviating pain, anxiety, inflammation, and low appetite. The episode also highlights the experiences of women living with HIV, especially women of color, who make up one in four HIV-positive individuals in the US.

“There are people who have to live in a partnership dynamic where they may not have a lot of power in their sexuality, or when they have sex or how they have sex. Women are particularly at risk because of this power dynamic.”

About How to Do the Pot

How to Do the Pot is an award-winning cannabis podcast designed for women, by women. It features joyful stories and practical advice about cannabis use for health, well-being, and enjoyment, addressing needs specific to women such as stress, sleep, and sexual health.

Since its launch in 2019, the podcast has produced over 200 episodes, cultivating a diverse community where women share useful tips, find common ground through personal stories, and develop a nuanced understanding of cannabis. How to Do the Pot is in the top 5% of all podcasts, won two Signal Gold Awards in 2023, and reaches listeners in all 50 states and 42 countries. The show received 4.8/5 Apple Podcasts ratings and has a popular newsletter with more than 10,000 loyal readers.

About Host Ellen Scanlon

Ellen Scanlon, host of How to Do the Pot, helps women feel confident about cannabis. Her journey with cannabis began with her search for pain relief following a serious bike accident and for managing endometriosis symptoms. As one of the few female CEOs in the cannabis industry, Ellen is committed to breaking down barriers and reducing the stigma surrounding cannabis, especially for women.

Contact Information:

Madi Fair:, (310) 936-2787


Madi Fair