As a newcomer to the world of cannabis and activism, I missed my opportunity to really get to know Michelle Rainey. However I was fortunate enough to correspond with her via social media and on a medical cannabis internet forum. Even with this limited contact, I could tell what a lovely woman she was.
As I have discussed before, I suffer from chronic migraine headaches. I have far greater frequency of attacks than most migraine sufferers, and this can get me down at times. As any person who suffers a chronic illness knows, sometimes the pain can be too much. Michelle was there for me on two occasions when I felt like giving up, with kindness, compassion, and understanding. She would always encourage friends and cannabis users to do one thing: write! Write your member of parliament, your local newspaper, far away newspapers. Write, write, write.
I have collected a series of short remembrances from Michelle’s friends, as they can say this better than I can.
“Michelle Rainey worked tirelessly as a cannabis activist, and was an instrumental figure in the glory years of Canadian cannabis activism funded by Emery Seeds, as well as later playing an important part in the production of Treating Yourself magazine with Marco Renda. She will be greatly missed, but her efforts and accomplishments long remembered.”
“I wear one of the many Medicinal shirts she gave me whenever I go out. Gets people talking.
I never met her in person, but we spoke on the phone many times.
I really am at a loss for words.”
“Many years ago, in early 2003, I contacted Marc Emery for financial help in getting my mother and I to a World renowned Medical Cannabis Conference in Cornwall Ontario, Canada involving many brilliant Doctors and Scientists from all over the Globe. I had been using cannabis as medicine for MS and Tic Douloureux since 1994 and I – Needed answers.
Michelle was Marc’s assistant at the time and I had been speaking with her off and on for a while about wanting to attend this Conference…
Soon after, an envelope with Lipstick marks all over it arrived in my mailbox with ten one hundred dollar bills inside. Needless to say, because of Marc’s generosity and Michelle’s love and compassion for people, my mother and I made it to the Conference that year.
I knew then that both Marc and Michelle, were friends for Life.
Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.
Rest in Peace my dear friend. Your work will continue through us…
Love and a HUGE squish to Jeff, her mother and the family.”
Federal Medical Marijuana Exemptee in Canada
The Medical Marijuana Mission
“We met in 2008 at the First Annual Alberta Cannabis Cup, having made each other’s acquaintance in a few forums. Michelle gave me one clear instruction – write.
I awoke early this morning and thought for a moment about wearing my Medicinal t-shirt. Strange.
May Michelle’s spirit live on in the countless hearts and souls she touched. And I will go put on the shirt and contemplate this.”
“I never met Michelle in person ( when she was in Calgary I was too ill to travel) we just corresponded by email. She sent me many med pkg that I distributed, as well as wore the MEDICINAL t shirts proudly.
Recently as 5 weeks ago I received an email from Michelle offering to help me by donating the $400 fee for the Doctor in Kelowna that signs HC papers, since I was having no luck here in Alberta. I couldn’t get my Doctor here to even give me a diagnosis without going through all the tests. I balked, as I hate Doctors. Today I went and had a colonoscopy done, knowing that I had to do this if not for myself for my children. If it hadn’t been for Michelle, I would have never gone…
I am so very, very upset for her loss. Not for the help, just for her kind words of encouragement. Her tough “come on girl you can do this!!”
I know she was the kindest person alive, and now will be our angel since she has passed. There is no words to say how I feel right now… I love Michelle and there will be a void in my life with this loss.”
-Tamara Lee Cartwright-Poulits
“Michelle was an inspiration to many worldwide. I was blessed to have her and Jef join the Treating Yourself family. Michelle was always so kind to everyone around her. I know that Canada has lost it’s Best female activist and I am happy that she is no longer suffering. We sure have lost a fantastic friend. Smoke a big fatty with Jack Michy and don’t forget to give him a HUGE BOOBY HUG.
Take Care and Peace.”
The Alternative Medicine Journal
“I’ve only really spoken to her online. One of the saddest parts about this is that I was supposed to do an interview with her for my youtube channel. Then she ended up diagnosed with cancer. I felt awkward about asking her to do it after that, though knowing her fighting spirit I bet she would have still done it. I should have gone for it. But I wanted to respect what was obviously a terrible struggle.
Michelle made me cry a few times. Both at the pain of her situation, and a bitter sweet joy at the fact she could be so tough in such a bad situation. If a woman like her can have that kind of courage it begs the question how many men could even match her spirit. Not many. And I’m probably not one of them.”
The Cannabis Culture’s thoughts and prayers are with Michelle’s friends and family. Thursday, October 28th at Cannabis Culture HQ in Vancouver there will be a memorial for Michelle. The tribute will begin at 7pm. RIP Michy.