“The officer smelled the weed and asked who had it,” Mauro Melgar recounted. “I had two ounces in baggies I had just picked up.” For that, Melgar was arrested and convicted of a felony at the age of 18.
The lack of people of color and other minorities in psychedelic advocacy and research spaces can often create a sense of loneliness. “When I became involved in the psychedelic community years ago, I didn’t see people that were black like me, that act or think like me,” Soma Phoenix says. “Until I met other people of color and I realized, we’re out here, we’re doing this like everyone else.”
“My mother and grandmother were the only people I had who understood who I was,” Tigga said. “Losing them both so quickly broke me down emotionally and mentally.” She would not be alive today unless an unlikely remedy saved her life, and helped her utilize cannabis in a new way.
On January 26, President Joe Biden signed a series of executive actions focused on racial equity. Among four orders issued, he committed to curtailing the federal government’s relationship with private prisons.
A group of immigrants under federal detention have reportedly been holding a hunger strike beginning on December 28. Facing retaliation, most of the strikers were forced to suspend their protest on January 11, according to advocates.
Continuing marijuana prohibition means maintaining drug enforcement that heavily falls on Black and Brown New Yorkers. For longtime Canarsie, Brooklyn resident Floyd Jarvis, it is personal: He has experienced the impact of marijuana arrests firsthand.
People experiencing homelessness are joining with advocates to sue the city of Denver in federal court for its raids on outdoor encampments. The city responded by claiming the raids are necessary to protect the public from disease.
“I was trying to hold everything back to not break down and cry,” Tyler said of that moment he first heard the news. “Even the woman who handed me the phone, I almost wanted to hug her—she looked like she was gonna cry.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) is expected to sign a suite of bills codifying the marijuana legalization that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November. They have sparked fierce debate within the state legislature and among New Jersey marijuana justice advocates.
For months, media outlets including Filter have reported on a collage of anecdotal and local alerts from around the country that drug overdose deaths have been spiking since the COVID-19 pandemic began. On October 14, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally confirmed this.
Every weekend, Simple Brewing founders J3P0 and Emily brew in the backyard of their Brooklyn townhouse on a half-barrel brewing system. They produce many different ales and lagers, but their most popular is the Irie PA: a THC-infused beer.