I know I’m speaking to a diverse audience. I’m privileged to represent a culture that is inclusive, because I truly feel everyone loves marijuana lol. Let a girl dream.
Although the industry is indeed more open than many, with women dominating businesses and organizations, it’s clear that present separations continue to exist, even within cannabis advocacy. Got a story I’d like to tell ya, wanna hear it? Here it goes!
(To keep it classy, I won’t mention any names or organizations; what’s important is the principal. Or is it principle? It’s principle.)
I went to a meeting for a cannabis legalization group a little while ago. I go to many, so don’t try to guess lol. Very insightful and was held in a community I was very familiar with. Afterwards, I suggested to one of the coordinators that maybe having a few meetings in my neck of the woods may help expand the reach of the group’s mission. Additionally, it will give the members new perspectives of different demographics, which is important when representing people who want to legalize cannabis (AKA everybody!).
Long story short, he shot it down. Something about the location being inconvenient for the job he has to come from, there’s more activity in this area, blah blah blah. Nodding in understanding, with the classic smile, I decided to network with other members of the organization, and made some good connections. Basically, I let that initial exchange roll off my back. And I wasn’t even high! Where’s my applause??
A couple of days later I receive a phone call from ol boy, and you guessed it. He wanted to use one of the spaces I offered. I was still considering offering the information to him, except what pissed a sista off was how he presented his newfound need.
“Well, going over the available space for our next meeting it looks like we don’t have any partners that can provide one for free. Plus it is very important that we have a diverse selection of locations so people of different communities can access our meetings. We have meetings the 3rd (whatever) of every month and I’ll need a confirmation from whatever space agrees as soon as you can get it.”
I’m not big on apologies or asking for them, but I damn sure was waiting for one. Didn’t get it. It’s ALL good though, I let him know I’ll keep in touch because by then I already told the owner of the space it was a no-go. I agreed to keep in touch but eh…ya know. This is bigger than me so I’ll keep him as a contact. What I did get was a clear idea of one of the many barriers of educating certain Chicago communities about cannabis and legalization: Some mofos don’t want to come to my side of town until they absolutely have to. Even for pot lol!
Well LISTEN UP!! ALL of Chicago, as well as Illinois, deserves access to regulated cannabis and the ability to advocate! When I say underrepresented communities, that includes people of color, women, veterans, disabled, homeless, and the elderly. I represent these groups and in order to get their support, they need cannabis education and opportunities just like the north side and suburbs of Chicago. I will not and can not work for opportunists. My efforts are sincere, and even within my business I maintain my position to further expose the cannabis industry and community to those who would otherwise not get the opportunity. NOT because it’s their fault, but because of small but frequent situations like these.
I’m an African American woman who is a cannabis advocate that was born, raised, and is residing on Chicago’s Southside. My work and efforts will reflect and represent that, along with the other communities aforementioned.
Call me biased, just make sure you use the right area code. 773.
Have a weekend that leaves you flying high good people. And if you know of a location in the Chicagoland area willing to donate space for free workshops and meetings regarding cannabis, please let me know! Slide in the DM or whatever lol. Peace and bud!