Tue, Jul 14, 2020

“Some say the Cannabis community is lost, others say they would be lost without the Cannabis community…” Wise words from an unknown stoner who had managed to cut right to the heart of the issue. Those words rang truer than ever for me now as we entered day 40-something of quarantine lockdown.

As a traveler who thrived on the energy of the community, the separation/stagnation was starting to take more of a toll than I had imagined.

We were a community divided, torn apart by a virus that had already all but ruined the much anticipated 4/20/20, and was now threatening to put an end to the rest of the summer’s events as well. Champs Tradeshow and MJBizcon had announced virtual editions of their summer shows and rumors were swirling around the viability of Seattle Hempfest, my favorite hometown Cannabis event, which had gone on uninterrupted for decades.

Many vendors were up in arms about the $2k Champs was asking for a virtual booth. Word was still out on Bizcon booth prices, but virtual attendance tickets were available on their website at $40 a pop, a sharp decrease from the $500 walk-in price years previous.

As Covid raged on the Cannabis community in particular was feeling the strain, even social media which seemed like a logical respite, was not without its own complications. Instagram and their parent company Facebook were both AFK at the wheel. Appeal processes had been replaced with Covid-19 warnings explaining that we had all been left at the mercy of an algorithm,
a policy which had been historically bad for pot pages, which often fell target to attacks from ideological opposition.

Humans are naturally social creatures and stoners as a collective are naturally rebellious.

Rage Against the Machine blared loudly from the kitchen where Jessica was finishing up the dishes. We were all doing our best to work from home but the cabin fever was starting to evolve into something more insidious. It was hard not to feel like cattle as you stood outside in a faceless line, six feet apart waiting to go buy overpriced commodities. I was starting to wonder just how much of this we could take.

Humans are naturally social creatures and stoners as a collective are naturally rebellious. Cannabis was the common denominator, but what really united our community was the willingness to break unjust laws. A willingness to stand together in open criminal defiance for something we believed in. Sure, you could walk into a store and buy Cannabis in more than a dozen states, but it had not always been so. Legal Cannabis was a concession, an acknowledgement from the powers that be and for the observant, a chink in the political armor.

For now we were happily appeased, reveling in the spoils of our hard fought victory, but time did not seem to be on the side of the establishment. The people had scored their first big victory in a long time.The people were waking up. We had taken back Cannabis. What was next?

story by jonah tacoma @dabstars2.0 for leaf nation | photos by jess larue @jessicalarue_420