Christine Stenquist is a brain tumor survivor, mother of four, and cannabis advocate. In 1996, she was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma, a rare benign brain tumor. An unsuccessful surgery left 60% of the tumor still intact. Due to complications during the surgery Christine was unable to rejoin the workforce and had to file for disability. Over the course of the next 16 years she would have other diagnoses added to the list. The downturn in health left her housebound and bedridden for the better part of two decades. In 2012, her health declined even further. She turned once again to her doctor for help, this time inquiring about cannabis. Through her own research, she eventually tried cannabis and found that it mitigated her symptoms that had kept her trapped in stagnation for so long.
Knowing there wasn’t safe legal access to medical cannabis in Utah she started advocating in the state for policy change. Observing a need for patient advocacy and cannabis education, she started the nonprofit TRUCE, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education - a group of patients, caregivers, and supporters from all different political and religious affiliations advocating for a common cause.
Her passion for the topic took her to Washington D.C. where she has continued to raise awareness for patient access. For her advocacy work she received Americans for Safe Access, Courage award, in 2015 for her debut efforts. She was given The Liberty Cap from Libertas Institute for her advocacy work in 2016. In 2017, she was given the Civil Rights award by The Utah Libertarian Party for her efforts on cannabis. And this year, 2018, her organization won Affiliates of the Year from Americans for Safe Access for their continued efforts.
Christine continues to focus on educating the community about cannabis and the laws surrounding its illegality. She is a sponsor and part of the coalition behind the Utah medical cannabis ballot initiative efforts. She hopes to empower others to shake off their apathy and get involved politics.