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The Cannabis Advocate

A Portrait of Maryann Loncar

Category: Book, Memoir


Maryann’s Synopsis

When I started advocating for medical cannabis,  the SB1381 bill was starting out in the Senate, before it died in the House. Only a few advocates were working this bill to legalize the use of cannabis. I was sure I could get our legislators to listen to our point of view, if only I could get in front of just one of them.

Many advocates get burned out, jaded, lost in the abyss never to return. Others keep banging their heads into the granite, expecting it to give way, not knowing when to stop chasing certain legislators who are never going to budge, and not sure where to re-direct their righteous energy. The patients, those we’re fighting for, also often get burned out after seeing bills die year after year.

Selling this bill would turn into a fulltime job, all pro-bono, and I’m not one who can afford to work for free. But to me, advocating for cannabis was more than a job. It was an investment for our sick patients, our fellow citizens, our future.

My story is about more than cannabis. It is about fighting for underdogs—lending one’s voice to the voiceless—which is what advocacy is all about.


Maryann shows and teaches us what it means to be an advocate. She offers 10 pragmatic and insightful tips for people seeking to advocate. Her straightforward text often brought me to tears as I put myself in her shoes. I trust you will have a ‘lightbulb moment’ reading her book.

– Joseph Zanoni, PhD, MILR

Maryann is a thoughtful caring advocate in the medical marijuana movement. She worked tirelessly lobbying the Senators and Representatives of the State of Illinois for a fair and just bill to relieve the suffering of patients that live with severe medical conditions.

– Jim Mullen, Retired CPD Officer

Book Trailer Interview

Maryann on Restarting America

Check out Maryann’s podcast on Restarting America. Throughout the interview, she discusses the impacts of Covid-19 on business and society. Loncar shares how the current health pandemic has affected her work and how she is adapting to new circumstances.

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