Over the past few weeks, we’ve chatted with quite a few dedicated cannabis advocates who spread the best vibes on Instagram.
These are people who go above and beyond the simple enjoyment of weed, inviting their Instagram friends to join them in talking about and sharing their experiences with cannabis as a healing medicine, promoting creativity and better health.
Most recently, we talked with Jamie, who runs the @blonde__hippie Instagram account, about how she’s working to broadcast the right information about our favorite green plant.
Read all about it below!
What inspires you to be a cannabis advocate?
JAMIE: I’m inspired to advocate because I know there are so many people who don’t have the opportunity to enjoy cannabis the way that I do. I think it’s unfair that the information out there can be misleading, and I want everyone to be educated on the real benefits. Cannabis is a safe, life-changing, powerful, medicinal plant that has had some nasty rumors spread about it and it’s time to reverse them.
I think everybody can benefit from cannabis (and hemp) in a number of ways, not only the proven medicinal properties (being the number one) but also in the economy, job opportunities, sustainability for our planet and even food.
I also care about advocating because of how important decriminalization is to me. I would like to see our country put more effort into the mental health system and less effort into incarceration, or putting people behind bars that are wrongfully put there because of this plant.
Our country is focused on money and cannabis being illegal creates massive revenue, which is covered really well in the 2014 documentary The Culture High (another reason I’m inspired to advocate).
Tell us (if you’re comfortable sharing) the story of the first time you smoked cannabis.
JAMIE: The first time I smoked cannabis was probably either eighth-grade or freshman year and I was totally afraid! We had a corncob pipe and we were at a local beach in the area hiding in a porta potty.
Two friends and I didn’t even really get that high, I kind of panicked and I think I sneezed so I then thought I was allergic (or claimed that so I didn’t have to try it again lol).
After that I didn’t try it again for a while because I didn’t want to be stupid and lose brain cells. At the time, I believed what I had heard, and I didn’t understand how cannabis worked. I was totally into the media scare believing all of the negative side effects which of course in this industry we now know are not true.
After that I barely smoked for most of high school, only here in there sometimes to help sleep at night but I still mostly kept it quiet. Smoking had such a bad reputation that I didn’t really think it was safe at all.
In retrospect, I was probably too young anyways, but with that being said after I graduated high school I started to consume a little more in college a few times a month — but honestly after graduating college is when I really started consuming more cannabis. When I was in school I thought I couldn’t get stoned and worry about homework or studying. But now, it’s kind of funny, because I love getting high and reading!
In your opinion, what’s the best way for someone, whether or not they smoke, to advocate for legalization?
JAMIE: For advocating, I think social media is one of the best outlets! Another great way to help educate the public is word-of-mouth. I’m just slowly easing into advocacy and one thing I’ve started doing is gently correcting people when you hear them say something incorrect about cannabis.
I personally like to read articles on several websites about cannabis (Leafly, LeafScience, Hempxxx) so I can always spark a conversation, or recommend a good read for someone who doesn’t know much about it.
Instead of arguing, I try to talk about some facts I’ve read, like scientific studies published on credible sites that have articles about medicinal benefits, and up to date research that is being done all over the world.
I also love to tell people about movies like The Union: The Business Behind Getting High or The Culture High (both on YouTube and Netflix). It is easy to be defensive and agree to disagree, but I think the scientific educational stand point is better than being a closet stoner. I have chosen to share a fact about hemp or cannabis whenever I post any smoking videos or posts. I feel like this is a way for me to explain why I enjoy and endorse it.
What’s your favorite strain?
What do you think the “weed world” will look like 10 years from now?
JAMIE: I hope the United States will have some more sustainable resources from legalized hemp. I also hope our healthcare system will be changed by cannabis and the miracles of CBD, and move away from harmful pharmaceuticals! With legalization and more education spread across the country, hopefully there will be more benefits and health discoveries from research done on cannabis. I also hope it will be completely decriminalized.
Anything else you’d like to add?
JAMIE: If people would like to see all my factual posts on cannabis, they can look under the hashtag #learnitwhileyouburnit. Also, Todd McCormick inspired me to help advocate after I learned about his story (his IG is @hempxxx). I am currently reading Marijuana Grower’s Handbook by Ed Rosenthal!
If you like what Jamie’s doing, be sure to follow her on Instagram! And don’t forget to leave your thoughts about cannabis advocacy, your favorite strains, or anything else in a comment below.