“Cannabis is light in our world of darkness,” explains Juan Matthew De La Tour, who suffers from Autistic Spectrum Disorder and gets overwhelmed and overstimulated by unnatural light. “I think about a million things at once so it helps me focus. Autism is like having a paragraph on your tongue and not being able to get it out.” 

De La Tour, 35, uses cannabis to quiet his mind. “All the chaos stops. I hear machinery in my head constantly, the ideas are always going but with cannabis I am able to find the frequency I desire. It’s like being able to tune the radio in your head and I can put the music on that I want to. I would be so much angrier without it. I don’t know where I would be without it right now.”

An artist from Bald Eagle, Pennsylvania, De La Tour also finds refuge from his illness in being creative. “My art is definitely about beauty from chaos and victory from misery, that’s what inspires me. Most pieces I make are out of chaos and sadness.”

De La Tour has not only been busy creating approximately 120 paintings during the last six years, but he has also developed the De La TouR technique using joint compound. “I use my hands as tools to create a pattern in drywall,” he explains of his method. “You just glide your hand like a tender dance across the wall with your fingers and draw circles in that. I’m going to change the world with it before I die — that’s my goal.”

De La Tour also “wants the power to help people and crush the forces of darkness and be a light in this world,” he says of his art. “Each year I am making progress. My posters will be all over the world selling and then I can use that as a platform to help people.”