THE WHITESWASHING OF WEED CANNABIS POT MARIJUANA ETC
One thing that has been bothering me is the position we have put our sweet sweet Mary in. For a long time everyone has had an image of the typical stoner/user etc looks like
For a long time people have had an image of who I am not knowing I am a daily excessive habitual user.
The position we’ve put this plant in reminds me so much of me, my upbringing, and just everything. Once recreational “cannabis” became a thing in California we all saw the wave of normalization. The destigmatization, the cleansing, the white washing of weed. It’s fucking WACK. Trust me I get it, but get me for a second.
When the wave of yoga pants and self care rolled in, a lot of ignorance did too. Oh and I get it, I get everyone…but let’s not forget the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
For years my use has been like a secret, not intentionally, it’s just that no one gave a shit about how well I was taking care of myself. No one gave a shit about the intentions I set for myself because during these years that shit did not exist. It was all internal, there was no instagram post to motivate me.
Taking time for myself and taking care of myself meant medicating. I medicated to get by, to not lose my shit, to leave my house, to be myself. I did not need yoga pants to accomplish this. You know who else was medicating? Everyone that paved the road for you to enjoy your “cannabis.” Taking the shit so you could enjoy your yoga pants, your matcha, and your “jay.” Am I angry? Of course. I am angry because you only care about yourself. You care about your image and now your image includes a plant. A plant that you’re trying to reinvent by changing its name, its image, like is this the music industry?
I started to realize who and what I was to society at a young age. Spanish was my first language. I was one of three Mexican students in my elementary school, the majority of my school was white. My name held me back, my hair was curly and frizzy, my skin didn’t match the other girls. So, I realized I had to change. I had to assimilate I had to drop that accent, a few letters off my name, and shit, my confidence was out the door. By middle school I pretended I didn’t speak Spanish. For years up until College the first day of school gave me soooooo much anxiety because I knew my teacher would butcher my name and then repeat it over and over again until I mustered up the courage to correct them. I felt like a joke, my first impression relied on that first interaction and it killed me a little every time.
Freelancing in this industry has been a rollercoaster. Sometimes I want to quit because its emotionally exhausting to see and encounter this everyday. To show face, smile, and pretend I am not angry. I have met some great companies, but I have also had my fair share of WANNABE HATERS. What I mean by that is that they hate Weed and everything it comes with, but Cannabis is ok. HAHA It’s all about flat lays and marble tables you know? One thing these people forget is that when you try to destigmatize a plant you’re taking everything that it comes with away from it. You’re taking the history, the evolution, the beauty of nature.
You are chopping her name, changing her image, and the image of the user. You know what’s crazy though. Every user is different, every environment is different, and access is different for everyone. It is unfair to continue the reinvention without inclusion. But inclusion isn’t always pretty and thats the fucking beauty of it…If only marketing understood that.
To be continued……