Today we’d like to introduce you to Maranda Rights.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
If you were to tell me four years ago that I would be where I am today, there is no way in hell I would ever believe you. The truth is I was a completely different person than I am now, it is amazing the amount of change that death can bring. My mother passed away Feb. 24th, 2015, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, and to be honest, I don’t really remember it much. My mom was a cancer patient in the state of Nevada, and a firm believer in the healing power of Cannabis, so when her choice of treatment was denied due to legality, she was given what the doctors called a “choice.” She was told it was either chemotherapy or get dropped from her insurance for denying treatment and not taking the steps necessary to improve her quality of life. Watching your mother die slowly is one thing, but watching what the chemo did to her was traumatizing. I can still remember her sitting in front of me telling me that the point of treatment was to live, not to die… she had no voice over her own life, what kind of a “choice’ was that?
She told me to take advantage of being in a legal state and to do everything I could to be a voice, a voice for those like her who didn’t have a choice, and for those who didn’t even know that they had one. She was miserable, and at one point I can remember she hadn’t eaten in nine days, and the only thing they could do was push a bag of slop through a tube to feed her. They removed the tube and left her to rest, she looked at me with a look I will never forget and said: “all this and I can’t smoke some pot?” It was from that point forward she called me her 420 Nurse. Watching her not only eat but enjoy the taste and smile, even if only temporary definitely made an impact, and not just on myself. I later found out that two of the nurses resigned and are now using their expertise in the Cannabis Industry. You can never put the cat back in the bag once it’s out, and these two women proved that.
I dove headfirst into the cannabis industry, set out to learn everything I could, and four months later, I landed my own radio show. K-HIGH 1580 AM was a talk radio station in Colorado Springs and the World’s 1st FCC approved Marijuana Radio Station. My show Hash it Out with Maranda Rights made history making me the 1st female host to discuss marijuana awareness on broadcast air. The day my show launched, I broke the internet, there were so many hits that it killed the servers at the radio station… twice… in an hour. My focus was on the proof, no longer opinion, but scientific fact, I began to share the stories of real patients, I look back on it now, and still get chills thinking about of it. At the time, I had no idea how much of an impact it would make, and I was learning along with everyone else, but I knew that It was making a difference. My shows were not perfect, they were emotional and they came from someplace real and pure. I was on a mission, and with no background in broadcasting or communications, it took me three weeks, and I was killing it. I was hosting Hash it out on K-HIGH AM Talk Radio, as your Midday Mama on Tailgate 98.5 FM, Online Radio and a live YouTube feed. There were some bumps, but I quickly learned the boards and figured it out.
I reached out to my old program director Mr. Len Williams and asked him why he gave me the shot in the first place, and this is what he said:
“Remember, it was a house of guys when you walked in. You didn’t ask for a spot on K-HIGH, you took it. Brains, beauty, swagger. You made us all believers when you walked in the door. We needed a first lady- someone that could keep the boys in their place, and you fit that exact image. Time to wipe them tears baby girl, I told you that all your struggles, bad breaks, and setbacks are going to be worth it in the end. While everyone else wanted fame, you wanted to work. That’s what sets you apart. Work is paying off, and you are on your way! Don’t stop… EVER! You have people inspired by you now, show them how it’s done!”
I will always remember my 1st on-air commercial “never send a boy to do a woman’s job” will forever remind me of my earliest radio days. I will forever be grateful to Mr. William’s and for the best teacher, a radio station could have, Dj Michael’s. They believed in me before I believed in me, and at a time I needed it the most.
K-HIGH was short lived but my show was picked up by an internet radio station in Denver with MTV’s DR DB Kush on 1 Blunt Radio. Tailgate 98.5 FM eventually turned into Blazin 98.5 FM an old school Hip Hop and RnB station.
Radio quickly became a therapy for me helping me to not only share my story but of those around me. I was able to blend two things I am passionate about, Cannabis and Music. Radio opened my eyes to so much in the music industry, and while Blazin was a “maverick” radio station, it was still pretty awesome. We were different, we had complete control of my show format, from content to music it was all me ” heatin up your dial, droppin fat dabs of hip hop.” Community support grew as I held a local contest, that within a month gained worldwide submissions. I have such a passion for music, and genuinely appreciate the depth to it, and found that I was a voice for a different league. I connected with those artists that didn’t make music to be the next big thing but the ones that truly need it. My contest was free, and that was the key, it provided an opportunity, and one that was in reach, I was happy to be that doorway. I took it one step further with my show The Sunday Cypher and brought to light some hip hop with a little spirit in the lyrics. The greatest compliment I received was live from a caller in New York who bumped my show over the HOT 97 on Sunday… who knew a little good clean fun would go such a long way, not to mention some of these CHH Cyphers are better than these new age rappers…. if anything I miss that show the most.
From the radio, I began working with Red Leather Booking as a Booking and Artist Relations Agent. It was shortly after that I met Mr. La the man behind TRUE Magazine. TRUE is your #1 Source for Hip Hop and Fashion, an LA-based magazine. Between the magazine and 1 Blunt, it lays a great foundation for what’s next. Hash it Out will be launching on 1 Blunt TV and will be on multiple streaming outlets like Roku, I have some independent tours I am working on with an amazing Cannabis Chef along with a couple of other projects I will be announcing this summer.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
A smooth road? What does that even mean?
These past four years have been the hardest of my life. I have lost my mother, I have a failed marriage, lost friends, been disowned by family, and treated as an outsider in every sense of the word, but when life decides to test you, there is no box for a broken heart. I think that while my accomplishments are great, I struggle to feel proud of anything I have done, simply because it has cost so much, but at the end of the day its like this, I never asked for any of this, I didn’t know that all this was going to come from making what at the time, was a no-brainer decision, I had no intentions of hurting anyone, stepping on anyone, and most certainly, do not think I am better than anyone, but I do feel that I am more courageous than most.
I have endured the pain, the drama, the slander, the loneliness, and as hard as it still is, you know what… I am still here. I have done some of the most amazing things, met the most amazing people, and above all, I have found what most, never will.
It takes a strong person to not only stand up for themselves but to stand up for others as well, and while I have always been one to advocate for the underdog, it’s much harder to do it for yourself. I have never thought of myself as strong, In fact, strong would have been the last word I would have picked to describe myself. All I did was stand up for what I believed, and mean it.
An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power, or money, or fame, but in fact, driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness- so much so that they are compelled by some moral engine to act to make it better.
My advice is to always trust the timing of your life and to remember that times are and will forever be changing. What works today, might not tomorrow, so instead of doubting your ideas and living in the what if’s, take your chance, and go for it. I think that every one of us is destined to do something great, and we have million dollar ideas FOR A REASON, what separates us is having the courage to stand for something do something about it.
It is only a mans world until a woman works as hard as him…
Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
If you were to ask five different people what I do, I bet you would get five different answers. I seem to have my hands in a little bit of everything. I still do radio with 1 Blunt Radio and will be launching my show on the new streaming network Blunt TV, my show will be more of a talk show format but will be available through multiple streaming outlets like Roku. I am excited as this is my specialty, I have over two dozen major interviews under my belt ranging from music artists, politicians, NFL players, celebrities, MMJ patients, to your everyday local business. I have been told that I have a unique interview style, I have a way of bringing out your vulnerable side, and I feel that’s what sets me apart, I genuinely love to connect with people.
I have enough memories to last a lifetime, I was a guest for the 1st Cannabis pre-party for The Grammy’s, this year will be my 3rd time attending the BET Awards as well. I have an award for being an influential Hispanic woman in the media but nothing compares to the feeling of knowing u make a difference. There are so many people in this industry that STILL are at war, we have not won yet, not even close. People are still dying, children are still being taken from their parents and people are still going to prison, so while we celebrate our “legal” rights, it is important to remember how it started. I think that it is incredible the number of people who profit off of an industry that they have never done anything for.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
When it comes to putting myself out there, I was never the one to raise my hand first or jump in front of a crowded room so I actually get incredible anxiety. Networking events are great because what one person doesn’t know, another does. They say that your network is your net worth, and depending on what you do, this could be the key to success. When choosing a mentor, I think that it is important to remember your goal, find someone that has the ability to teach you as well as keep your best interest at heart. For me, I chose a woman that embodied what empowerment is, someone who I felt could not only teach me but could bring out the best in me. I chose someone that inspired me, and wasn’t afraid to tell me “Girl, get your life right.” I think that the key to success is that you have to jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions, don’t think twice before you do it, jump 1st and then, think as much as you want.
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