So what do Fab Five Freddy (you may remember him from Yo MTV Raps back in the day), Kosher Cannabis (my upcoming talk in San Francisco) and California Love (Dr. Dre & 2Pac's mega hit) have in common? They all have something to say about the shameful history behind the War on Drugs (which I'll be blogging about soon).
In the meantime, I'm headed to San Francisco and will be speaking on this very topic at the birthplace of all things cannabis and cannabis social equity - Oakland/San Francisco - the center of California Love.
Kosher Cannabis isn't simply about the dietary laws as they relate to this plant - although we'll tackle those as well. Kosher Cannabis is about the morality of this plant, and the immorality of how it has been abused by people in power. This plant has been used to incarcerate and decimate the lives of people of color. This has not been a War on Drugs, but a War on People - Asians, African-Americans, Latinos - people of color.
Personally, I do not care if there is, or isn't, a kosher stamp of approval on this plant (FYI the Orthodox Union (OU) now has cannabis kosher certification). However, what I care deeply about is that we steer this industry towards a platform for restorative justice, social equity and economic empowerment.
Morality has nothing to do with this plant, and everything to do with us. Cannabis, after all, is merely a plant. Plants are neither moral or immoral. They are amoral - neither good nor bad. We are the ones on the hook for morality. And the way we have abused this plant has been immoral. So far it’s looking pretty bad. However, we still have time to turn this around, to get on the right side of history, and stop persecuting the plant, the people who partake and, most of all, people of color and the communities they come from.
Like it or not, cannabis is here to stay. So, let's stop wasting time and resources debating whether or not to legalize it - ain't no stopping this plant. It's gonna grow one way or another (that's why they call it "weed"). Instead, let's devote our resources to creating responsible regulation, drug education, and medical research.
Most of all let's make sure that the legalized cannabis industry doesn't become yet, another destructive, repressive and greedy industry dominated by cold corporations or rich white men. This is an opportunity to flip the script, utilize this plant to truly heal (physically, socially, economically, environmentally). This is what I call Conscious Cannabis. This is what the industry now calls Cannabis Social Equity. This is what my company, One Cannabis, calls SEED (social equity and economic development). And this is what I invite you to be a part of.
Baby you could be a movie star, hey (in Los Angeles)
Get yourself a medical card, yea (in Los Angeles)
Cause that's how California rolls
(the refrain from the song, "California Love")
You don't need to be a movie star or have medical card, or operate within the Cali cannabis scene.
Just open your mind.
Just think a second time.
Just get informed - and begin with this awesome documentary on Netflix, The Grass Is Greener.
Stay tuned for more.
Let's start making cannabis kosher - make Bud not War!