Incarceration & Cannabis : A Closer Look

by Kit Ryn Foreman

The United States leads the world in cannabis-related incarceration, with an estimated 40,000 people behind bars. The federal government has stepped back and allowed states to legalize or decriminalize cannabis. Arrest numbers have fallen drastically in legalized states. Numbers have also fallen (if more modestly) in decriminalized states. However, arrests are still occurring in legalized and decriminalized states. These numbers continue to reveal a significant racial disparity, as the ACLU says in their research report:

“Marijuana legalization should be — and indeed is — a racial justice issue. But thus far, racial justice has largely been a peripheral or incidental goal of legalization, resulting in continued racist enforcement of marijuana laws, the exclusion of people of color from participating in, leading, and building wealth from the marijuana industry, and the failure to repair the harms done to communities of color by the drug war.”

In the nine years between 2001 and 2010, there were 8.2 million cannabis-related arrests in the United States; according to the ACLU, 88% of these arrests were for possession of cannabis. Black people were 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white people.

Between 2010 and 2018, there were over six million cannabis-related arrests. These arrests were more likely to involve a Black person. The ACLU states in their research report, that “Black people are still more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in every state, including those that have legalized marijuana.” Nine out of every ten arrests, according to the report, were related to possession of cannabis.

The battle doesn’t end when someone’s sentence has been served to completion. According to Richard Bronson, founder of 70 Million Jobs (a staffing agency serving formerly incarcerated people): 70 million US residents have extreme difficulty finding employment due to previous incarceration and people of color bear the brunt.

Currently, eleven states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis. Fifteen states have reduced legal consequences for cannabis-related activity. The state-by-state solution becomes complicated when viewing cannabis through a medical lens. People who rely heavily on cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms (from PTSD to chronic pain) cannot bring their medicine with them when they fly because it remains federally illegal. They also cannot bring cannabis across state lines without breaking federal law. They must purchase new cannabis products when they arrive (if they travel to a legal state) or go without entirely.

Substance is proud to be a founding member of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) — ORCA’s mission is to “represent and advocate for the unique needs of cannabis businesses and consumers in our region.” In 2020, Substance joined the ORCA Board of Directors in order to have a bigger hand in their strategic focus and legislative priorities and helped create ORCA’s Comittee for Social Equity & Racial Justice, to build political and economic power for communities of color.

Substance is also currently contributing to fundraising efforts to establish scholarships for BIPOC individuals working towards a career in cannabis. These scholarships cover the costs of cannabis worker permits and support ongoing professional development. Additionally, Substance has recently joined an advocacy group called the Cannabis Workers Coalition. The CWC is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that actively lobbies for policy change and is heavily focused on community, advocacy, and education.

Substance is dedicated to using our agency and power to represent under-served, criminalized, and stigmatized populations. We remain dedicated, as ever, to helping to establish cannabis policies that are, in the ACLU’s words, “equitable, smart, [and] reparative.”

Oregon Cannabis 101

Are you new to the state of Oregon? Maybe you’re just passing through or visiting family and you want to stop at a local dispensary. Whatever it is, you probably have some questions regarding recreational cannabis laws. Whatever the reason, you’re in the right place. Here is your 101 guide to recreational cannabis in Oregon.

Legal Age

If you are 21 years of age and older you can consume recreational marijuana in Oregon. The use or possession of marijuana by anyone under the age of 21 is illegal, including home consumption.

When & Where

Adults 21 and older can use recreational marijuana at home or on private property. You may not smoke or use recreational marijuana in a public place. A public space is “a place to which the general public has access and includes, but is not limited to, hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation.” Also, remember it is at a landlord’s discretion to allow or deny the use of marijuana on their property so, be sure to ask before using it on their property.

Possession Limits

The PUBLIC possession limits for recreational users are:

  • 1 oz. usable marijuana (dried leaves & flower)
  • 1 oz. cannabinoid extracts or concentrates
  • 16 oz. cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 72 oz. cannabinoid product in liquid form
  • 4 immature marijuana plants
  • 10 marijuana seeds

Private possession limits are the same as public but, you can have up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana at a residence or on private property.

Oregonians can grow up to four plants per residence. No, that does not mean four adults can have 16 plants. Four plants per residence, regardless of how many people live there.

Where to Purchase Cannabis

You can purchase marijuana items at any OLCC licensed retail location, but we prefer you come visit us here at Substance Market or check out our online menu here.

Driving & Travel

Current DUII laws have not changed. That means no driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), including impairment from the use of marijuana. You also cannot take marijuana across state lines even if it’s legal in the state you are traveling too. That means you cannot travel to Washington with marijuana even though it’s legal. It is a federal offense.

Gifting & Giveaways

Gifting & giveaways between individuals who are 21 years of age and older is allowed but may not have any financial consideration.

Financial consideration includes:

  • Cover charges
  • Admission
  • Donations
  • Tip jars
  • Raffles
  • Fundraiser events
  • purchase required
  • Barter
  • Sales

Well, enjoy, be safe, and remember to follow the Oregon Cannabis 101 guide and laws for use of cannabis in the state of Oregon.

Download the Oregon Cannabis 101 Guide Here or for more information please visit oregon.gov.

Substance Definition

Substance: The Evolution of Cannabis Culture

Sub·stance (noun): the quality of being important, valid, or significant.

 

Our work as a community cannabis operator is incredibly important, and we are dedicated to being a champion of the power of the plant and diverse communities who choose to partake. The evolution of our brand is consistent with our desire to effect positive change in our society — one experience at a time. Doing so requires dedication, hard work, and a continuous change of mindset. Together, we will bring substance to the discussion of cannabis in our society.

 

The decision to change our brand was not taken lightly, as we know many of our customers have developed a deep bond with Bloom Well, our staff, and the care we have provided over the years. That being said, we feel that limiting cannabis to the wellness or botanical realms limits its universal adoption and acceptance. Changing our name doesn’t change the core of who we are, nor change our mission to create a culture free of guilt, shame, and stigma.

 

Our roots are medical and we are steadfast in our resolve to build relationships with our customers based on trust, shared knowledge and mutual respect. We always aspire to create retail environments that are judgement free. We are deeply engaged in exploring the vast benefits of cannabis. We want all adults to feel comfortable yet adventurous in our shared cannabis journey.

 

Ultimately, what’s important is how we treat ourselves, our friends, families, and our community members. We have always and will continue to do our best to treat everyone who walks through our doors with dignity and respect.

 

We are hopeful that our new identity will be appreciated and integrated as an extraordinary lifestyle brand. We love our new icon, and feel it is a powerful symbol of strength in our movement, and the importance of what we all do together.

The New Substance Menu

Browse  here: substancemarket.com/menu

Substance Social Media

Instagram | Facebook

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Cannabis Cultures: Bhang

Cannabis use varies between cultures. Some elements of cannabis consumption certainly seem to be ubiquitous. Smoking cannabis in the ‘marijuana cigarettes’ known colloquially as joints, spliffs, and blunts, for example, seems to pervade almost all geographic boundaries. However, certain practices are unique to a specific culture or location. Today, we will be exploring one such practice: a cannabis concoction known as bhang.

Origins of Bhang

Bhang is a cannabis-infused dairy drink originating from South Asia, and is generally associated with India today. Cannabis has a long history in the region, in part due to its role in certain Hindu religious traditions. Hinduism is a diverse religion originating from the Indian subcontinent. One Hindu religious text identifies cannabis as one of the five most sacred plants, and others mention its medicinal use. In several cities and regions, deities are offered cannabis as part of Hindu religious ceremonies. Cannabis, and bhang in particular, is largely associated with the Hindu god Shiva, who is sometimes called the “Lord of Bhang”.

Other South Asian religious traditions have also used cannabis at times. In addition to its Hindu inhabitants, South Asia is also home to large Muslim and Sikh populations, among others. Muslims in medieval South Asia practiced a medicinal system known as Unani Tibbi that used cannabis medicinally, and Sikh warriors would drink bhang before going into battle. One Sikh order still ritually consumes bhang today.

Contemporary Use of Bhang

Many urban Indians are increasingly turning towards alcohol and tobacco in place of cannabis. Stigma around cannabis use is growing among some upper class Indians, particularly among those that came of age during the prohibition of cannabis use in the 1980s. However, there is one day where cannabis and bhang still enjoy widespread acceptance in India: Holi, the festival of colors.

Holi is a nationwide holiday in India. Participants celebrate by throwing powdered colors on one another. Bhang also plays an important role in the festival, and is consumed by a wide segment of Indian society with little to no stigma. While norms surrounding cannabis and bhang are shifting in India today, this longstanding tradition does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.