Cannabis and Colour: Part 1

Published on June 18, 2020 by Curtis Woodcock


We are currently living through one of the most significant civil rights movements in history.

We are at an exploding point that’s been building for centuries, and the demands of this movement have remained unwavering throughout previous movements: fair treatment, opportunity, respect, safety to live and live freely, without prejudice, without persecution, without systemic abuse, as a human being, as a mother, a father, a brother, and a sister. In short, to belong and connect with the collective family of all other human beings.

Straightforward demands have been ignored by the more extensive colonial system that widely benefits from the persecution of the Indigenous and immigrated members of our human family.

As an Indigenous cannabis user, I stand with my brothers and sisters, fighting for equal respect and safety on behalf of not only the current social landscape but also the generations before that fought for the same thing.

Freedom to access natural medicine is also a choice that always faces persecution, prejudice, and exclusion in much of the mainstream medical community. Many cultural traditions are scorned and scoffed at, and the western pharmaceutical ideology is pushed upon everyone, replacing many traditional methods worldwide.

The cannabis industry has been fighting for a right to exist legally, naturally, and freely for many years. Many U.S. states have started to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis use, but federally south of the border one may still face criminal charges.

Canada has fully legalized recreational and medicinal use, but there is much work to be done. 

   • Column: Cannabis and Colour Part 2

   • Column: Cannabis and Colour Part 3

One thing I have noticed since it became governed is the limited information allowed about the medical makeup of the legal market product. In my experience, products on the “grey market” (website dispensaries and other methods of selling product somewhat outside of the allowed legal products) give much more detailed information on not only the molecular makeup of the strain, but also the effects, potency, and which conditions each strain specialized in. The legal products barely share the product’s strength, let alone what condition it best helps treat. There still needs to be more information accessible for the patients choosing medicinal marijuana, prescription or no prescription.

It is essential to look at the cannabis industry and how it responds to the Black Lives Matter and #defundthepolice movements. The cannabis industry, which is no stranger to persecution, prohibition, or prejudice, is now undoubtedly creating a lot of profit for these governments. Yet, Indigenous and black people are still serving lengthy sentences in prison for the same thing.

In the next part we will take a deeper dive into just how large Cannabis companies, such as Canopy Growth Corporation, respond to the BLM and #defundthepolice movements.

Curtis Woodcock is a photographer, writer, and musician living in Kelowna, B.C. Cannabis has become a topic of interest and something that has been beneficial in his life. You can find him here or on Instagram @curtis.woodcock