Honeysuckle Magazine

black pioneers

Before the “War on Drugs” during Nixon’s reign and Reagan’s campaign of “Just say no’, cannabis was used as a utility for entrepreneurs. Unfortunately with its negative connotations towards racial identity and systemic oppression, black and brown communities have been the most unrepresented pioneers in the cannabis space. Since the era of its inception with Louis Armstrong’s “vipers” and the mix of cannabis with jazz, to the political fight that is still going on today, history makes little to no mention of what black women were doing during these times.

The rise of cannabis, from its influence in New Orleans to its migration up North, entailed speakeasies, music and “jazz cigarettes” in the 1930s. A pre-Harry Anslinger’s tirade of defeating all that is cannabis had the Harlem Renaissance and the beginning of the fight for equal rights. The Great Depression seemed like an opportunity to expand the cannabis industry, (textiles in hemp and its medicinal use) but unfortunately began negative rhetoric linking race, crime, and violence. Not only did black women have to fight for their seat

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