Giving back to the community with the Colored Cannabis Collective
On Saturday the Colored Cannabis Collective brought the community together to participate in a Capitol Hill trash cleanup. People of color and their allies met on Cherry Street to pick up trash, give back, connect with old friends, meet new ones and of course, share a joint or few.
We spent the first portion of the cleanup tackling a trash-filled field. Uncle Ike’s donated buckets and gloves. Within the first 30 minutes, we’d already filled an entire trash bin, not to mention countless buckets.
At one point, a bystander asked an attendee if this was mandatory community service. They seemed surprised when he learned our participation was voluntary. It reminded me how many preconceived notions still exist towards people of color. It’s why organizations like Colored Cannabis Collective are so vital to helping de-stigmatize not only this plant, but communities.
After the cleanup I sat down with @AhnyaSmokes15 and @DominiqueDabs, two of Colored Cannabis Collective’s founders. We discussed goals, next steps and how anyone regardless of race can get involved in this movement.
Thanks for speaking with me and coordinating this event! What is Colored Cannabis Collective?
A: “Colored Cannabis Collective is an organization for cannabis lovers and enthusiasts, both in and out of the industry, looking to give back to their community. It’s for people who want to promote diversity and really give it the full colored picture, it’s why we chose that word. Also, it’s for people who want to change the stigma around cannabis, to make it as acceptable as alcohol.”
What are some of your goals?
D: “To be visually represented in cannabis media. We definitely want to push for more people of color in social media campaigns, print, billboards, everywhere. My biggest thing, there are still so many black and brown people in jail for cannabis. If we can start changing the stigma — the stigma really lies in the people who are persecuted. If we start there, just show black and brown people enjoying cannabis legally, I think that is a very good first small step, but also a big psychological impact going forward. We want to make sure people do things, not just talk about them. I’ve been in the industry five years and never done something outside of the industry to give back. I want to do more than just give discounts on products. Even today, the small businesses we went in, they said they want to get involved too, they see that impact.”
How can people get involved?
A: “They can come to any of our events. They can come to our clean-ups, you can donate when we have canned food drives, clothing drives, back to school drives, etc. If you’re a vendor or shop, you can help sponsor our events, provide spaces for them to be held. You can also just support! Tell your friends about us, help get the word out. Be about your word.”
D: “Eventually we will launch more social media channels and a pledge. The pledge encourages everyone to pick up cannabis packaging they find lying around. It’s your way of saying you are part of this movement. We’ve had a really positive response so far, and we want to keep the momentum moving. We’ve had people in other cities and states reach out. There’s a demand for this and we’d like to get this chaptered out.”
Any final thoughts?
A: Stay tuned for upcoming holiday events and donations!
D: Stay tuned for all the good things coming and don’t forget to follow us on social media at @coloredcannabiscollective!