Does that mean we can’t or shouldn’t party? Of course not.
At the risk of sounding like the aging stoner journo that I am, or perhaps because I’m here to sound off from my perpetually high horse, I have to remind people that even though it is still early in the legalization era, it’s important to remember that things weren’t always like this. And that there is a whole lot of room for improvement.
Does that mean we can’t or shouldn’t party? Of course not. Have you ever seen the Boston Freedom Rally? That is cannabis action in motion, and for many, it’s also one of the best times of the year (be sure to look for our list of rescheduled cannabis events, which is also included in this issue). All I’m saying is that whether you care to acknowledge it or not, there are people who fought for your right to the pipe. It’s like Seattle rapper Geo says on the outstanding Blue Scholars track “Tommy Chong,” a rare song about cannabis that goes beyond the joys of getting wasted:
So when you puff that, thinking that’s how it is
Blowing more trees than the northwest wind
Knowing that you’re six times as likely as them to do time if your skin tone is darker than his
The last thing that you want on your mind
But demand and supply is in command of your high
At the end of that verse, Geo’s buddy cuts him off, “Ay yo shut the fuck up and pass that shit.” And I really get that feeling, since it sucks to think about oppression and equity when you’re smoking. Still, I don’t mind being a bit of a buzzkill since we have an issue full of less didactic nuggets for you to bite into. Like the Blue Scholars track, around here, we try to keep a balance between activism and consumerism. We cover the dispensaries that are open and serving, as well as those which people are trying to build, finance, and get approved against seemingly insurmountable odds.
So, what does any of this mean for the average person who burns a few joints on the weekend? Why should they care about anything other than price, right? Wrong. Very wrong, actually. Because if you care about anything from how much those joints will cost in the future, to where the money goes after you spend it, to who makes a profit, to what the government does with your cannabis tax dollars and how much of that grass you can grow on your own, then you should at the very least understand that this is an evolving situation, with no guarantees.
I don’t want to be a total downer, since we’ve worked too hard on an issue meant to lift you up. And I’m not trying to guilt trip you on some woke nonsense. It’s just a fact that we ought to be grateful and attentive, even if it’s easy to forget when we are getting high.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.