Good Morning Everyone!
Please join me in welcoming our newest contributor on Dabbin Dad, Mark Ward! I first started talking to Mark a few months ago. I’m ecstatic to have Mark on the Dabbin Dad team, he brings a wealth of knowledge of all things cannabis with a journalistic approach. I can’t wait to see what information I learn today. We have a special post this morning for your reading pleasure, “Cannacliques… Can’t We All Just Get a Bong?”
Stay cloudy! -DD
Legal Weed Series – Cannacliques…Can’t We All Just Get A Bong?
Cannabis has long often been used in communal ceremony as a shared sacrament. Starting at around 2000 BCE in India, the indigenous drank Bhang- a cannabis infused spiced milk drink; participated in use of Ganja- the buds and top leaves; as well as partook in Charas- the resin or hashish that is still shared today, all whist while praising the Hindu god Shiva “Lord of Bhang” who is credited in discovering the cannabis plant and bringing it down from the Himalayas. Around 440 BCE ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote accounts of the Scynthians, an ancient tribe of nomads warriors who would throw hemp on red hot stones placed in the center of their tent wherein “At once it would begin to smoke, giving off a vapor unsurpassed by any vapor-bath one could find in Greece.” During the 1800’s writers were found in hash parlors, such as the “Club des Hashischins” for a monthly writers meeting where intellectuals all partook in eating a green hash called dawamesk. By the 1930’s in America, both cannabis and jazz brought together segregated races to “tea pads”, underground jazz clubs and apartments where the patrons were known as “vipers” so termed due to the serpent-like hiss of inhaling a joint. And by the 1960’s tokers were screaming free love and marching for equal civil rights… so why are we still finding exclusion and segregation at cannabis events today?
Large communities have always and often created chapters, sects and groups. In the US we have states and towns to further breakdown the mass of population. In politics and government we have formed parties to group the likeminded. And in social gatherings we have groups and clubs… but then there are cliques. Groups, gatherings and clubs differ from cliques because in general there is open admittance to those who share interest in the mutual topic, whilst cliques are groups who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them. After witnessing some gawking of a small statured young man while he was just trying to chill at a cannabis event, it hit me exactly how cliquey the canna-community can secretly still be… well, everyone knows but no one outwardly expresses it.
This summer I have attended a number of fantastic events, where a great time and wonderful people are not difficult to find, and the occurrence that sparked this story took place at one such event. Like many New England cannabis events where the plant and its flowers and oils are showcased, this event was held in a secret location, undisclosed until mere hours before the event had taken place. As you walk in to the indoor vendor area, all are in good spirits, as the perfume smell of rosin presses, multiple oil tables, edibles stands and endless flower varieties resonate and waft around us. So my associates and I finish our rounds… we sit… and we commence in dabbing.
We are in our glory, heading down terp highway, when just like many other times before, a new set of individuals sit down and unpack their gear and goodies, however… a slight lull and look ensues. At this time, I had almost thought that I or someone in my party had done something uncouth or passé as they stared our way; some whispering, but I had noticed it was directed across the table from us. This individual and his friend were not acting odd in any way, they were not bellowing as they spoke, or possessed any sort of laugh that was loud and offensive to the ears. The young man was merely noticeably small in stature due to dwarfism or some other genetic disposition and this was somehow enough for many at the event to observably change the atmosphere for the moment.
Now no one likes being bullied, to be made to feel inferior or to feel awkward and cast out and I am part of that indefinite majority. So I proceeded to move across the table and break the silence with a tremendously Massachusetts toned “Wow, that’s a wicked sweet rig brada!” in which I meant whole heartedly and I ask if they would like to dab on some oils my crew and I had brought. The young “brada” as I’m known to call my male canna-peers, then invites us over to try the beautifully boss orange King Tut rig crested with an opal in the center that he had brought to the event, and his friends classy and gorgeously functional Toro… and the attending crowd goes amongst business as usual.
This whole experienced shocked me and opened my eyes a bit to instances of exclusion and “cannacliquing” that I have begun to pick up on at other events… and I wasn’t alone. I made known in the canna-community, of my intent to write this piece and others then began to come forward with their experiences. Women in the canna-community messaged me stating that they have felt the marginalization from the male dominated industry. I was told of instances that women have been penalized and lowballed while selling their products and when given their wages, as well as had prices inflated on them, similar to that of car salesman tactics. Activists of minority backgrounds even came forward about the hushed topic of racism and racial exclusion from credited cannabis orgs and non-profits. New businesses spearheaded by the socially unknown get shut down and shut out “Wait until your state becomes legal, and then watch a supernova of big canna-corporate cliques. It is truly disgusting” says CEO of the Good Gum Company and creator of their Ganja Gum Larissa Kama, as she adds “Especially when you’re new in the industry and have a million honest to goodness questions and get snubbed… and in public at that, which I’ve experienced on a personal and professional level.” Erin Palmer, new to activism, medicinal cannabis and glass art adds “Cannabis is nice to me, it’s those that are anyone from growers, extractors, glass artists to hustlers… it’s the people handling it (cannabis) that aren’t in many cases. You ask a question being new to the scene like ‘Who is Chris Klein’ and you are likely able to get bullied, laughed at or made to feel inadequate and unwelcome.”
To make clear, for the most part, the canna-community is a diverse, warm and accepting society. It is within this culture that we find our subgroups that, at times, can be known to disregard individuals interested in joining in the group or festivities. From glass artist’s elitist assemblies and extraction artist’s “close loop” circles, to even race, gender, disability division and novice exclusion still occurs in the canna-community and it has to stop now. Celebrate uniqueness, inspire questions, invite new individuals that want to learn your interest and once and for all I ask you, cannacliques… can’t we all just get a bong?
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