Juan Matthew: A 420 Story

*There are moments in life when you know you are on the right path. Life doesn’t always feel that way but every so often, our path leads us somewhere or to someone that seems “meant to be”. Events and chance encounters are written in time before they unfold. Last year I was given the opportunity to write articles for THC Magazine. On my second assignment I developed a virtual friendship with one of the most enlightened minds I have encountered in my life thus far. Our connection is one that is written in the stars. This is the article I wrote about my friend Juan Matthew de la Tour.*

The story of a hero is an ancient one. A hero according to late, great Joseph Campbell “is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” In the story of life you are the star and you decide how to express your unique voice.

“Everything starts with a story, a story of creation, a story of any individual who has brought Light/Truth to the planet.There is no justice where there is no truth. Freedom is lost when we are not permitted to think or say or free to question what must be questioned,” Juan Matthew De La Tour.

In modern society people may often feel bereft of creativity and spirituality. We live in a time of science, technology and “plastic”. Modern warriors of today fight different battles than heroes of the past. Today the heroes that people need perhaps, are creative ones.

Juan Matthew De La Tour is a peaceful warrior in this modern age. He is an artist and a light to be seen. Living in central Pennsylvania, in the “mountains of dark,” where medical marijuana has not yet fully taken shape; Juan Matthew is creating eye catching cannabis inspired art. He also falls on the spectrum of autism and has used cannabis as a means for coping with some of his symptoms.

Although medical marijuana has been passed in Pennsylvania the program for adults to obtain marijuana will not go into effect until the beginning of 2018. While there is still broad speculation and little empirical evidence, there is an overwhelming amount of personal stories attesting to the usefulness of cannabis in alleviating certain symptoms of autism. Same is true for many other medical conditions; doctors are just not yet able to comfortably recommend cannabis due to lack of scientific evidence. Hopefully this will change in the coming years as legalization laws will make research more possible.

Juan Matthew primarily relies on smoking to consume cannabis but is open to trying new methods. More will become available to him once dispensaries open in 2018, if he chooses to get in the system. He first used cannabis at the age of 23 and sensed how it might benefit him.

“I realized cannabis had a positive effect on me, when I could slow my mind down and actually think and see life in a more natural way. I could slow down the music in my head and find the radio frequency I desired. Gradually I made my weakness my strength and can now speak better than most humans. Cannabis helps to calm and heal individuals and this is true for me. Having autistic spectrum disorder is just a label. I have overcome so much in my life – you will always struggle but struggle tests and improves us. When you have problems you engage in thinking where imagination is one with memory. Cannabis helps me communicate, make good eye contact, and feel joyful in this realm of illusion.”

Although cannabis helps Juan Matthew in a general sense, it may come as a surprise that he doesn’t prefer smoking while making art. “I started making art early in my childhood. I don’t rely on anything but my human experience for art. The art was there before cannabis. Some ideas obviously have been inspired by THC. But not having cannabis is motivation. Cannabis for an already creative individual may generate new wonderful ideas and solutions and will continue to do so. Something inside me is different than most, my light.”

“Cannabis can influence the one individual and if that individual can change their heart then there is hope with cannabis. I believe art should give us an idea of our relationship with planet earth and each other, where we rejoice in all abilities.”

Juan Matthew’s art has many different elements working together to create a unique, seamlessly woven, colorful mosaic, sometimes including cannabis leaves, hidden messages of love and his signature 420 heart creation. He is eager to share some of his creative techniques.

“For those who want to try something new, creative, scientific, and therapeutic. Joint compound is a material traditionally used to finish walls or patch holes but it is also a blossoming new form of art I have been promoting for years. You can finger paint by smearing the compound on a canvas using your hands and fingers as the tools for original, professional art, let dry and add a paint of your choice.”

“I also use molten glue. I discovered the incredible detail you can achieve when painting dry-molten glue. I experimented on 30 canvases, devising 30 different techniques for application. I have pioneered drawing with a glue gun on numerous surfaces making the glue itself art. I want to inspire others to believe in themselves and devise new ideas and techniques of their own to share and start a New Art Revolution!”

This is the story of an artist with a vision, a purpose and a desire to create change in a positive way. Nothing can limit us or keep us from understanding the meaning behind things. Creative expression is a great way to begin to understand our world. From understanding comes wisdom. Only resistance of truth keeps you from understanding, keeps you from wisdom.

“Wisdom is the knowledge of the divine, human matters, and the cause of them. At any age wisdom is from pain. Wisdom Herself is a divine being. I am a speck of dust and all I know is that I am still learning. Most people simply do not care.” Hopefully in the coming years people will begin to understand the nature of the universe in which we live and the story of the human spirit.

Stories are a journey and we as humans are the hero and heroines of our own tales. There is a story developing in our society, it is a story like Juan Matthew’s, it is about the ongoing discovery of the healing potential of cannabis and the suffering human soul. At this point in history there seems to be an interweaving of psychology, creativity, spirituality and a drug that was once demonized is now reminding us of its greater purpose. Hopefully in the near future, science will support what many have discovered on their own.

In the words of Juan Matthew, an enlightened artist who is giving his life to express something bigger than himself, a hero in his own right, “My life is beautiful when it is difficult and I succeed. My art is the manifestation of my ancestors, strength from pain, beauty from chaos. Within my blood dwells century’s fire and I am unleashing it from my heart. My earth walk will end one day but my fire will never die.”

Some voices are here to inspire us, to remind us of the essence of life, Juan Matthew De La Tour is one of those voices. May his words ring on. “Use your imagination, nothing’s impossible, just imagine.”

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