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Persecution, Discrimination & the Cannabis Culture

June 9, 2020

It seems to me to be very present-tense, discrimination and persecution. Here in Canada we are lucky to live in a more relatively peaceful society than our more trigger-happy American neighbours. But we are still subject to harassment and persecution by the powers-that-be. And we see the ongoing humiliation Blacks and other minorities have to endure in the States, with their joke of a justice system that infects us Northerners.

I'd like to relate this all to the Cannabis Culture, which has faced the same discrimination and persecution. I can only imagine what it's like to be a Black Cannabis Culture Gay man, say, facing multiple levels of hate. As a White male I've enjoyed the privilege of reduced Cannabis discrimination but still had guns in my face, court appearances, and faced a diminished future as a result. Interactions with law enforcement almost always take the wind out of your sails. Legalization was less than two years ago so we quickly forget the paranoia that simply enjoying your medication or libation used to bring.

History is always interesting and gives us a lens into the future to ponder possibilities we may not otherwise have seen. Failing to know your past dooms you to repeat otherwise obvious mistakes. And so a quick history lesson of race and cannabis discrimination would be wise.

The whole idea of "Reefer Madness" started with race, moreso than Cannabis. Negros, vicious marijuna-addicted rapist negros, were alleged to attack and threaten white women, primarily. This was the obvious and completely ridiculous argument put forth by the establishment in the mid 20th Century. Before that, it was lazy Mexicans and their weed bringing a bad influence to your neighbourhood. Not as threatening as the Negros but a menace nonetheless. Both races were used as negative window dressing on a substance most of the public had never heard of - marijuana. Your average mid-western Grapes of Wrath farmer knew much about Hemp, but had never heard of the Devil's Weed. He wouldn't want his daughters infected with Negro madness or Spic laziness.

The law enforcement apparatus was a mere shadow of its current Goliath state but still knew how to manipulate the public using bullshit. Perhaps the lack of a popular prohibited substance following the repeal of alcohol Prohibition, pushed anxious right-wing cops towards another lesser-known but easily racialized substance. Cannabis was well known in the Black community, and very familiar to Mexican/South Americans who used it and Cocoa to ease the toils of outdoor work and did not generally use alcohol. But White Americans had never seen or heard of the stuff and linking it to to supposedly sleazy rapist Black Jazz Musicians, was apparently easy for the establishment of the day. If you take the time to watch "Reefer Madness" or read the hype from back then, this stuff is crazy obvious. If you haven't then it can seem crazy but yes, this is actually what happened, a true racist Cannabis dystopian nightmare.

Keep in mind, entire wars were waged over drugs and a lack of anything else to wage war over. The Opium wars raged for decades and were merely one empire forcing a dominated population into buying it's garbage. The British had nothing else to trade. And so the Orient became a wasteland of Opium dens addicting huge swaths of the population. That was a big operation to say the least and nobody questioned it per say. Much like the slave trade. It seems crazy to think entire populations were subjugated, bought and sold. But it happened on an enormous scale.

And so we fast forward to 2020 and see that a Black man was murdered by the police for buying drugs allegedly with a counterfeit bill (tobacco).

Is it a stretch to link this all together? I don't think so. The same people who discriminate based on race, discriminate based on your chosen drug. Maybe tobacco works for you in some way that it doesn't work for me. Maybe Cannabis is what get you through the day. Maybe you need meth to stay focused and have a Ritalin prescription. Who would I or anyone else be, to judge? The same of course would go for race. Maybe you're Black, White, Brown or in between. But it doesn't really matter we can reach so few conclusions about you based on that data alone.

Why do people discriminate? Why do they not chose to educate themselves and find a broader and deeper understanding of the issues? Surely today's technology should be broadening people's minds rather than tribalizing us. But it seems to be going the opposite direction. There is too much data, not enough comprehension, and very little empathy. Where does this come from? Why can't we walk a mile in the other person's shoes?

These are seemingly deep questions for a weed website, right? No. The reason we do this is for all the aforementioned reasons. To us Cannabis represents all the good in the world. Really, it does. People who don't understand this are just foreign to our way of thinking. How is this so? Well, to some people, a certain God or God(s) represent all the good in the world, in a non-specific but all-encompassing sort-of-a-way. That's what I mean here. Cannabis is everything good, rolled into one. Discriminating against it in any way for any reason is just such bullshit. Cannabis can will and has changed the world for the better. People's lives for the better every day and all the time.

Diversity also represents everything good in the world. Every race encompasses everything good, about humanity, and the world around us. Every person has a unique and entirely amazing potential. We can all work together to make each and every one of us and everything around us - better. We can will and do create the future and the world around us every day. Discriminating against anyone for any reason is just such bullshit. Diversity can will and has changed the world for the better. People's lives for the better every day and all the time.

And so together Cannabis and Diversity are really what CAMMP stands for. What we stand for as individuals. What it means on a organic and personal level. That we have made sacrifices for in the past and look forward to the challenges it will bring in the future. That we are willing to embrace with open arms.

What else do race, discrimination and Cannabis have in common? Well, the draft-dodgers of the 60's & 70's were running from race-based institutional violence, and almost all of them used Cannabis in some way shape or form. Some of them came right here to the Kamloops area and elsewhere in BC, establishing the province as the world's Premiere Cannabis Cultivation locale. They had the balls to run from persecuting a different race for some ridiculous ideological difference. That's the sort of thing true Cannabis Culture people stand for. The law has really nothing to say about this, it is something that comes from the heart, law be damned.

So I think Cannabis has some high ground when it comes to Race. It crosses all the borders and helps all kinds of people. It is universally recognized as a open-armed open-minded substance. We are proud to serve it to you here at CAMMP.

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