Welcome to Rabbi B Initiatives.
Rabbi Dr. Baruch HaLevi (aka "Rabbi B") is a Social Entrepreneur, Spiritual Guide, Cannabis Pioneer and Motivational Speaker.
The cannabis industry is uniquely positioned to play a significant role in restoring equity to a still inequitable society, particularly for people of color and communities of color, and especially as it relates to the misuse and abuse of this plant. This plant, like nothing else, has the potential to integrate us and our society in important and impactful ways.
Will the cannabis industry become just another Big Industry: Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, with all of its Big problems? Or will it become an industry that moves Beyond Profits to make a profound and sustainable impact upon the world for generations to come?
Here is a recent conversation I had with a fellow clergyman (a conversation I have on a regular basis).
“Rabbi, how can you promote cannabis and simultaneously promote God. It is irresponsible. It is unethical. It is antithetical to everything the Judeo-Christian ethic stands for.”
Before I got involved in the cannabis industry the War on Drugs was just some quaint campaign back in the eighties where you had Nancy Reagan reprimanding us to “Just Say No.” For me, and for so many others, it was best summed up in that PSA with the frying pan, the egg cracked into it, and the line: “this is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”
There are no shortage of causes tied to this plant, and there are certainly no shortage of passionate advocates utilizing cannabis as a platform for change.
Social equity is a tricky beast to name -- it’s all new and a little crazy in an exciting way. Those familiar with the state initiatives know that they’re far from perfect, but most of what you hear about it focuses on the process, not the people.
Although there is hardly uniformity across the emerging cannabis social equity markets, I have come to find at least three common denominators – I call these the Holy Trinity of Social Equity.
I use cannabis and I’m not alone. It’s so much more than just “weed”…
So I'm in south central Los Angeles recruiting cannabis social equity applicants to partner with ONE Cannabis as we prepare to submit applications for social equity licenses. If you don't know what that is, you can learn more on my previous blogs. If you don't know where south central LA is, it's the inner city of LA. It's pretty much ground zero for the War on Drugs and the movie set for most every gangster related movie from "Boyz N The Hood" to "Straight Outa Compton". It's the real deal.
Years back, radio talk show host Dennis Prager was hosting an episode on the struggles of “coming out.” The following caller changed his understanding on what it truly means to come out.
“Dennis,” the caller begins, “I am gay, I am liberal, and I am Jewish. I came out years ago to my parents about my sexuality. They embraced me fully and said they loved me unconditionally. But Dennis, (long pause for dramatic effect) I’m truly terrified to tell them I am a Republican.”