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Compassion and cannabis: ‘CannaPastor’ Victor Calderon advocates for medical marijuana

Victor Calderon is a three-time cancer survivor. (Courtesy Victor Calderon)
Victor Calderon is a three-time cancer survivor. (Courtesy Victor Calderon)
By Kate A. Miner EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

Victor Calderon is an author, a teacher, and a pastor, but most importantly, Victor is a three-time cancer survivor. He lives a life of peace and guidance and is an advocate for cannabis.

In the fall of 2009 Calderon was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia, a rare, slow-growing blood cancer. By the time he was accurately diagnosed, he was extremely sick. He was almost blind from blood clots in his retinas due to high fevers, and his organs were severely damaged from all the drugs doctors had been prescribing, such as vicodin, percocet, oxycodone, and codeine.

It took two bone-marrow biopsies in one day for the actual diagnosis. The first biopsy required a needle 8 inches long, but when it did not produce a viable sample, a 12-inch needle was used, providing his doctor with the sample needed for the final diagnosis.

That same evening blood transfusions and chemotherapy began, continuing for six more days, followed by another year of chemo, treatment, and suffering.

This went on until January 2010, when his phlebotomist introduced him to medical marijuana. After months of research, and a lot of prayer, he began seeing a naturopath doctor. With their guidance, he began using medical cannabis.

Calderon started to recover, but in 2015 he was once again diagnosed with leukemia. He received chemotherapy again, an even stronger batch that was required 24 hours a day for an entire week. This time, however, he blended it with what is known as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) during his treatment and hardly suffered from nausea and side effects. He was also able to recover strength much faster, and shortly after turned to Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) with the guidance of his naturopath.

His last episode with leukemia occurred in fall 2018. He decided against chemotherapy, working exclusively with his naturopath instead, and became immersed in learning how to use cannabis as medicine for a wide range of serious health conditions.

“I continued to depend on God as my source of faith, and medical cannabis has been my choice of medicine,” explained Calderon. “Now I am on a mission to inform and educate those who are going through their own personal battle with health and are open-minded to alternative forms of medicine.”

At the time of his diagnosis, Calderon was the associate pastor of an evangelical church and the senior pastor of a Spanish-speaking church, Santuario de Alabanza in in Bellevue, Wash.

He is no longer a pastor of a formal congregation and is instead building his own following as a “Canna Pastor,” with a website at He has written a book, “#Ánimo,” which can be found on Amazon, and is a member of the Cannabis Alliance, a general association of cannabis different groups and interests based in Washington.

He also teaches and translates courses (English to Spanish) for Trey Reckling, director for the Academy of Cannabis Science at Seattle Central College, a program designed to train and prepare cannabis industry professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Calderon is now also a certified homegrower who wants to help others eliminate opiate and prescription drug use with medical marijuana as an alternative to pain medication.

“I am eternally grateful. If it wasn’t for cannabis, I wouldn’t be here,” he shared. “I love helping people any way I can, and I love being a medical marijuana consultant. As a pastor and Christian, it took a lot of courage to talk about my journey with cannabis, but I want others to know if you considering using medical marijuana as an alternative you shouldn’t feel hesitant about the topic. Reach out to me. I too was skeptical at first, but then I reached out to the right people and got educated. It saved my life.”

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