The worlds of marijuana, professional wrestling, and politics have had their overlaps at occasions, however hardly ever have all of them converged in a single place for extended intervals. That’s till you meet Mark Adam Haggerty.
“I like to smoke and I like to look at wrestling. They have been all the time two [constants]. They have been two issues that I by no means thought I might have the ability to make a dwelling at doing, which is absolutely attention-grabbing,” he defined.
The California-raised, New Jersey-living, mustachioed, trendy, and suited 32-year-old is the ring announcer and occasional performer for a rising variety of impartial wrestling promotions throughout the nation. Up to now, he’s labored with 60 totally different promotions in 18 states and three totally different international locations.
Earlier than coming into the ring, Haggerty was a part of California’s medical marijuana neighborhood. As a younger grownup within the early 2010s, Haggerty was dwelling with a girlfriend and making ends meet with fresh-out-of-college kind jobs. His girlfriend related Mark with a job at a collective in Lengthy Seashore, the city Haggerty grew up in. The collective was the Natural Market Backyard on Wardlow Avenue. A at some point gig turned common work at OMG, the place he’d finally change into supervisor.
He remembers the array of sufferers he acquired to satisfy. “Those that I all the time speak about particularly are these 60, 70-year-old women who have been dropping their hair from chemo. They arrive in and so they’ve by no means partaken in cannabis or something of their lives. They grew up like considering like, ‘Oh, it’s a drug’ and now their physician, their precise physician, not some man in like a parking zone, their precise physician is saying this might help you.”
Haggerty considers these interactions personally fulfilling and was felt as he detailed his ardour for serving to such sufferers. The stability between their wants for the plant and his leisure desires for it was one thing he higher understood alongside the way in which. This realization got here, partially, throughout quite a few raids the collective skilled between his time working there from 2011 to 2016.
Native authorities raided the collective quite a few occasions. OMG acquired every day citations on its door, totaling $400 every day. “We by no means paid them as a result of we didn’t consider within the legislation,” he stated.
The damage, anger, and fervour in Haggerty’s voice turned extra evident when he detailed the raids. Typically the efforts would end in police arresting Haggerty, the collective’s proprietor, a safety guard and perhaps a buyer or two.
“The 4 or 5 of us are in there and we’re all getting arrested and thrown on the floor. I’ve seen folks have their enamel knocked out simply because these native cops need to throw their authority round. And after they are available, not solely are we getting arrested. We have now to go to trial and we now have to take care of all these issues, however they take all of your product too.”
He added that each raid price the collective $30,000. Whereas the proprietor did reopen a number of occasions, the town finally mandated its closure.
The closing of the collective led to an opportunity to work in rising. The chance paid far more every day and led Haggerty into the sector for 3 years. Nonetheless, there was a staggering distinction between working in a develop and the collective. “The most important problem that I didn’t like with rising is I’m a social butterfly…Once you’re rising, you’re often the one particular person “within the workplace.” You’re there by your self listening to music. It’s very early mornings to very lengthy days, and it’s a course of, and you actually must be in love with to offer it that sort of dedication.” He added, “I used to be in love with it for some time, nevertheless it was simply the sort of factor the place I didn’t know if I wished to do it for the remainder of my life.”
Whereas working in a develop op proved to not be for him within the long-term, Haggerty did come throughout two extra advantages of working: His two cats, Indica and Sativa. The cats got here from a develop op in Woodland Hills, one he didn’t work for, and have caught with Haggerty by quite a few states and even a break-up.
When he and his girlfriend have been dividing their belongings, Haggerty knew he needed to preserve his pets. “When she and I ended up breaking apart, I used to be like, ‘You retain the TV, you retain the condo, I’ll go discover a new one. I’m taking these cats. I’m taking them with me and I’ve had them ever since. They’ve traveled with me from Los Angeles to Lengthy Seashore to New York to New Jersey and hopefully to Orlando once I get signed.”
Along with wrestling and cannabis, Haggerty’s life has usually consisted of politics. “I joke on a regular basis. The politics are my favourite sport. My dad was the mayor of the city I grew up in. It’s one thing that I’ve all the time been very fascinated with to this present day.”
That curiosity in politics led him to work within the subject earlier than making the soar into professional wrestling. “I acquired actually right into a political motion committee, a PAC, that was particularly geared towards reforming medical legal guidelines all through the nation…One factor led to a different and I ended up because the press secretary to an area politician in Lengthy Seashore.”
Immediately, Haggerty continues to work in each wrestling and politics. Within the ring, Haggerty’s booming voice helps wrestlers resonate with the gang. As a press secretary, Haggery’s phrases assist convey the message of influential lawmakers.
Haggerty started shifting again into wrestling round 2014 due to the WWE Community. There, he caught up on the most recent within the ring and happenings he had forgotten about over time. This impressed him to create his personal weblog and podcast, which might finally result in work within the business.
Presently, he’d discover all three loves overlapping in his work. “I began doing [wrestling work] in my free time between the politics. I used to be nonetheless doing slightly little bit of rising on the facet, slightly politicking for the MMJ business.” Finally, a political contract would carry him to the East Coast, the place impartial wrestling is far more prevalent and accessible to followers.
Haggerty was thrilled together with his newfound entry to his lifelong ardour. Sooner or later, slightly underneath three years in the past, Haggerty acquired his alternative whereas backstage at a present. Due to an announcer not making it, and Mark having his personal swimsuit, he acquired his first on-camera function. Immediately, Haggerty continues to construct up his model, working for various promotions, together with notable names like Chikara, Turnbuckle TV and Battle Club Pro to call a couple of.
Haggerty has witnessed cannabis use within the business as nicely, one thing he additionally does. “It’s highly regarded whether or not it’s for rest or therapeutic,” he defined. He and others on the highway have discovered that with fears of cops and unlawful states, pens could also be the most suitable choice to get their therapy after a present.
He additionally credit wrestling with with the ability to come out as homosexual in April 2018. After being within the closet for 5 – 6 years, the Irish Catholic-raised Haggerty nonetheless didn’t discover himself in any of wrestling’s hyper-masculine scene, or within the feminine-inspired exoticos made in style in Mexico’s lucha libre wrestling scene.
Finally, he would start to search out the folks he was most snug round and in a position to relate with. Wrestler and fellow LGBTQ member Killian McMurphy is one Haggerty credit immensely. “I noticed Kilian, and he’s The Shamrock Shooter, what I imply? He’s this badass like brawler. And I used to be like, ‘Oh, so you are able to do something. You may actually do something.’ So, he gave me confidence proper off the bat to begin popping out to folks.”
He additionally credit one other wrestler and one in every of his finest mates, Dirtbag Dan, for being extra involved a few lighter than Haggerty’s sexuality as a major level in realizing that being homosexual didn’t matter to most within the business. He recalled the second he got here out to Dirtbag Dan. “We went exterior to have a cigarette and he’s like, ‘Hey, you gotta mild?’ And I used to be like, ‘Yeah, hey man, do you thoughts if I inform you one thing?’…And I informed him. His speedy response was, ‘Hey, that’s what’s up. Anyway, do you’ve gotten a lightweight or ought to I am going again and discover one?’”
At June’s Battle Membership Professional present in Brooklyn, Haggerty was simply one in every of a number of within the LGBTQ neighborhood acting on the invoice. Not one particular person had their sexuality talked about as a part of their character—a lot much less have their orientation demeaned, as older generations of wrestling usually did. As a substitute, the one mentions have been constructive nods present in ring gear.
The one occasion the place sexuality was on clear show that night was when a “fan,” a grown man with a toddler by his facet, shouted an offensive homophobic time period at a wrestler previous to the beginning of the principle occasion. Haggerty shortly shot again on the microphone, telling the particular person to close their mouth.
In previous eras, Haggerty could have been the one to catch flack for breaking character or going off script. As a substitute, Battle Membership Professional’s proprietor, Joakim Morales, halted the occasion till the particular person was faraway from the venue. Morales acquired on the mic and informed the viewers in addition to the offender that his group, like a rising quantity within the indy scene, has no place for hate of any form – particularly for somebody as good as Mark Adam Haggerty.
Immediately, Haggerty is happy for a lot of causes. He’s working in politics and rising his model on social media and on the highway. Nonetheless, nothing takes the place of wrestling, even cannabis. He stated if he acquired a proposal tomorrow that compelled him to stop cannabis and politics, he would miss the 2, however he is aware of the place his true ardour lies above all else.