This week we’re discussing Green Pride. No, not Brighton Cannabis club’s premier event, which takes place in Preston Park, every July, attracting thousands of cannabis consumers and enthusiasts.
Instead, I mean the pride we as cannabis consumers should all take in our favourite plant, in ourselves and in our community.
There are many people out there helping people get access to quality cannabis at affordable prices.
There is, however, a growing concern in the UK cannabis scene that it has in recent years been infiltrated by confidence men, career criminals and opportunistic snake oil salesmen who are exploiting successive government’s failure to have a rational, adult and evidence-based debate on cannabis policy in the UK.
As a result, these unscrupulous individuals are able to exploit the status quo and make a vast amount of money while doing so. They’re pushing products which would be a two-thirds the price in a legal marketplace; some of which are even poorly grown and dried incorrectly leading to mould. They’re claiming to be “in it for the patients” while charging up to £100 a gram for RSO made from poorly flushed trim.
These dealers masquerading as healers are leading us down a dark path, They’re selling tainted oils made from trim and mouldy bud with little to no THC in it.
They are the same dealers who are buying ounces for £200 and then going on to sell it at £20+ a gram. Claiming its strain X or strain Y, selling to the uninitiated and novice smokers. These are not savvy businessmen, they’re vultures pecking away at the decaying corpse of prohibition while picking the pockets of patients.
There are cannoisseurs and a market for exclusive strains I understand that, but you have to be aware of what you’re buying. With up to 80% of Cali failing pesticide, mould and residue tests. Why do you think it’s arrived in the UK in such abundance? Most people are just getting caught up in the hype and ripping themselves off.
These opportunistic price gougers are as much to blame as the media for the perpetuation of cannabis prohibition. They do not want cannabis legalised and are actively working against activists and reformers to protect their bottom line. They know their skills aren’t transferable into a legal market and so do not want there to be one.
This invasion of conmen and the get rich quick generation is actively working to promote and perpetuate the prohibitionists narrative that all cannabis consumers are criminals and only out to make money.
The sad truth is that the media controls the public’s perception and the media is owned by a few billionaires that have investments in industries that legalising cannabis would decimate.
It’s these vested interests that steer their opinion on cannabis legality. So it is our duty to represent our own community in a positive light to the public. It is our duty to challenge strangers preconceptions of cannabis and its consumers. With our every action we must challenge the antiquated and prejudicial stereotypes when and where ever they arise.
When you consume cannabis regardless of the reason, Be it socially, recreationally or medicinally and whether you like it or not, You’re an ambassador to the plant, to our culture and for the reform movement as a whole.
Your every action while consuming cannabis in social areas helps to form and shape the general public’s opinion of cannabis, its consumers and the wider culture.
We need to take a (cannabis) leaf from the gay rights movement and stand united as a community against the forces of oppression and discrimination if we’re ever to see the global reintroduction, normalisation and total acceptance of cannabis back into society.
You see it every day online, people shouting each other down, instead of picking each other up. ?No one knows everything and we can all learn something new from one and other. We are one of the most largest and most diverse communities in the world!
The cannabis community is as I mentioned earlier rather analogous to the gay rights movement in more ways than you’d think.
Every year since the end of the 1960’s there have been gay pride events taking place in hundreds of cities and countries around the globe to celebrate gay pride. These events create a safe social space of acceptance, tolerance and inclusion and is often the only time a lot of the community can be themselves as society struggles to catch up in some parts of the world.
Not unlike the annual 420 events which take place around the world every April 20th. These events also create a safe space for people to engage in an activity that has been traditionally frowned upon but is now growing in acceptance.. sound familiar?
Until the law was changed in July 1967 it was illegal for a gay couple to engage in consensual sexual activity in the privacy of their own home in the UK.
A total invasion of private rights, much like the state’s intervention in your consumption of cannabis in your own home. Disgraceful.
The deeply flawed and prejudicial act remained in place, fanning the flames of homophobia for decades until in 2000 the sexual offences act was signed which finally amended the law reducing the age of consent in homosexual relationships making the law equal regardless of sexual orientation.
This shows just how much laws affect public perception and help form the public’s prejudices.
It is also a good indicator of how long society may take to fully re-integrate and accept cannabis and its consumers back in to fold. Full legalisation is the only way to end the discrimination cannabis consumers face every day, full legalisation is the only way every cannabis consumer well be safe from racial and prejudicial profiling at the hands of police and other authoritative institutions. Full legalisation is the only way to finally turn the page on this shameful chapter in human history.
The spark that ignited the powder keg of discrimination, oppression and persecution in the LGBT community and triggered the global pride movement was the Stonewall Riots.
The riots which took place in late June, 1969 at the stonewall inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York was the catalysis for the pride movement, which is now one of the largest community celebrations on Earth and should serve as a poignant reminder that the power of community will always far exceed that of bigoted and hateful ideology.
So much like the LGBT community, we too must continue to speak truth to power now more than ever as it is when you are closest to victory that you apply the most pressure! We as individuals have the power to galvanise, enable and empower the people to stand up for themselves, to be counted and heard, to stand united and in one voice and proclaim “We’re here, we consume cannabis, Get used to it”