“People make such a big deal out of it, I couldn’t get away from it,” she said of her given name. Growing up, Vandyck (neé Jackson), was teased by classmates, bosses, teachers and many others. However, her mother wanted to give her a name that would “take her around the world,” and she refused to shorten or change it.
“As much as people blamed and judged her mother for the name, Marijuana credits her mom with making her the strong, balanced, entrepreneurial woman she is today,” the Sentinel writes. “She interviewed black students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she received her bachelor’s degree, about the effect of their distinctly black names on their treatment by teachers and on their academic achievement. The young people were eager to talk on this topic.”
When asked about her thoughts on the legalization of the herb marijuana, Mrs. Vandyck says that she is more concerned about individuals who serve time for marijuana-related offenses.
“I would like to see all their sentences overturned,” she continues. “These people were locked up for making money from the sale of marijuana, and now that the government has figured out ways to make the money themselves, it is ‘legal’ and, further, encouraged.”
Her advice? Don’t let anything hold you back.
“That’s my big thing. Don’t use that as an excuse. Use that as a steppingstone to keep on going. Leave those people behind and then you reach back. Each one reach one. Reach back and pull somebody else up.”
— Jim Stingl (@columnboy) June 18, 2019