The worlds of marijuana, professional wrestling, and politics have had their overlaps at occasions, however not often have all of them converged in a single place for extended durations. That is till you meet Mark Adam Haggerty.
“I love to smoke and I love to watch wrestling. They were always two [constants]. They were two things that I never thought I would be able to make a living at doing, which is really interesting,” 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 quantity of unbiased wrestling promotions throughout the nation. To date, he’s labored with 60 totally different promotions in 18 states and three totally different nations.
Before getting into the ring, Haggerty was half of California’s medical marijuana group. As a younger grownup in the early 2010s, Haggerty was dwelling with a girlfriend and making ends meet with fresh-out-of-college sort jobs. His girlfriend related Mark with a job at a collective in Long Beach, the city Haggerty grew up in. The collective was the Organic Market Garden on Wardlow Avenue. A in the future gig turned common work at OMG, the place he’d ultimately turn into supervisor.
He remembers the array of sufferers he acquired to satisfy. “The ones that I always talk about specifically are these 60, 70-year-old ladies who were losing their hair from chemo. They come in and they’ve never partaken in cannabis or anything in their lives. They grew up like thinking like, ‘Oh, it’s a drug’ and now their doctor, their actual doctor, not some guy in like a parking lot, their actual doctor is saying this can 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 needs for it was one thing he higher understood alongside the method. This realization got here, partially, throughout quite a few raids the collective skilled between his time working there from 2011 to 2016.
Local authorities raided the collective quite a few occasions. OMG acquired every day citations on its door, totaling $400 every day. “We never paid them because we didn’t believe in the law,” he stated.
The harm, anger, and keenness in Haggerty’s voice turned extra evident when he detailed the raids. Often the efforts would end in police arresting Haggerty, the collective’s proprietor, a safety guard and perhaps a buyer or two.
“The four or five of us are in there and we’re all getting arrested and thrown at the ground. I’ve seen people have their teeth knocked out just because these local cops want to throw their authority around. And when they come in, not only are we getting arrested. We have to go to trial and we have to deal with all those things, but they take all your product too.”
He added that each raid value the collective $30,000. While the proprietor did reopen a number of occasions, the metropolis ultimately mandated its closure.
The closing of the collective led to a probability to work in rising. The alternative paid far more every day and led Haggerty into the subject for 3 years. However, there was a staggering distinction between working in a develop and the collective. “The biggest issue that I didn’t like with growing is I am a social butterfly…When you’re growing, you’re usually the only person “in the office.” 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 should be in love with to provide it that sort of dedication.” He added, “I was in love with it for a while, but it was just the kind of thing where I didn’t know if I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.”
While working in a develop op proved to not be for him in the long-term, Haggerty did come throughout two further 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 means of quite a few states and even a break-up.
When he and his girlfriend have been dividing their belongings, Haggerty knew he needed to maintain his pets. “When she and I ended up breaking up, I was like, ‘You keep the TV, you keep the apartment, I’ll go find 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 Long Beach to New York to New Jersey and hopefully to Orlando when I get signed.”
In addition to wrestling and hashish, Haggerty’s life has typically consisted of politics. “I joke all the time. The politics are my favorite sport. My dad was the mayor of the town I grew up in. It’s something that I’ve always been very fascinated with to this day.”
That curiosity in politics led him to work in the subject earlier than making the bounce into professional wrestling. “I got really into a political action committee, a PAC, that was specifically geared toward reforming medical laws throughout the country…One thing led to another and I ended up as the press secretary to a local politician in Long Beach.”
Today, Haggerty continues to work in each wrestling and politics. In the ring, Haggerty’s booming voice helps wrestlers resonate with the crowd. As a press secretary, Haggery’s phrases assist convey the message of influential lawmakers.
Haggerty started shifting again into wrestling round 2014 because of the WWE Network. There, he caught up on the newest in the ring and happenings he had forgotten about over time. This impressed him to create his personal weblog and podcast, which might ultimately result in work in the business.
At this time, he’d discover all three loves overlapping in his work. “I started doing [wrestling work] in my free time between the politics. I was still doing a little bit of growing on the side, a little politicking for the MMJ industry.” Eventually, a political contract would deliver him to the East Coast, the place unbiased wrestling is rather more prevalent and accessible to followers.
Haggerty was thrilled together with his newfound entry to his lifelong ardour. One day, a little underneath three years in the past, Haggerty acquired his alternative whereas backstage at a present. Thanks to an announcer not making it, and Mark having his personal go well with, he received his first on-camera position. Today, Haggerty continues to construct up his model, working for a quantity of promotions, together with notable names like Chikara, Turnbuckle TV and Battle Club Pro to call a few.
Haggerty has witnessed hashish use in the business as nicely, one thing he additionally does. “It’s very popular whether it be for relaxation or healing,” he defined. He and others on the street have discovered that with fears of cops and unlawful states, pens could also be the greatest choice to get their remedy after a present.
He additionally credit wrestling with with the ability to come out as homosexual in April 2018. After being in the closet for 5 or 6 years, the Irish Catholic-raised Haggerty nonetheless didn’t discover himself in any of wrestling’s hyper-masculine scene, or in the feminine-inspired exoticos made fashionable in Mexico’s lucha libre wrestling scene.
Eventually, he would start to seek out the individuals he was most snug round and capable of relate with. Wrestler and fellow LGBTQ member Killian McMurphy is one Haggerty credit immensely. “I saw Kilian, and he’s The Shamrock Shooter, you know what I mean? He’s this badass like brawler. And I was like, ‘Oh, so you can do anything. You can literally do anything.’ So, he gave me confidence right off the bat to start coming out to people.”
He additionally credit one other wrestler and one of his greatest pals, Dirtbag Dan, for being extra involved about a lighter than Haggerty’s sexuality as a vital level in realizing that being homosexual didn’t matter to most in the business. He recalled the second he got here out to Dirtbag Dan. “We went outside to have a cigarette and he’s like, ‘Hey, you gotta light?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, hey man, do you mind if I tell you something?’…And I told him. His immediate response was, ‘Hey, that’s what’s up. Anyway, do you have a light or should I go back and find one?’”
At June’s Battle Club Pro present in Brooklyn, Haggerty was only one of a number of in the LGBTQ group acting on the invoice. Not one individual had their sexuality talked about as half of their character—a lot much less have their orientation demeaned, as older generations of wrestling typically did. Instead, the solely mentions have been constructive nods present in ring gear.
The solely occasion the place sexuality was on clear show that night was when a “fan,” a grown man with a youngster by his aspect, shouted an offensive homophobic time period at a wrestler previous to the begin of the essential occasion. Haggerty shortly shot again on the microphone, telling the individual to close their mouth.
In previous eras, Haggerty might have been the one to catch flack for breaking character or going off script. Instead, Battle Club Pro’s proprietor, Joakim Morales, halted the occasion till the individual 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 in the indy scene, has no place for hate of any sort – particularly for somebody as good as Mark Adam Haggerty.
Today, Haggerty is happy for a lot of causes. He’s working in politics and rising his model on social media and on the street. However, nothing takes the place of wrestling, even hashish. He stated if he acquired a suggestion tomorrow that pressured him to give up hashish and politics, he would miss the two, however he is aware of the place his true ardour lies above all else.