Our 4/20 playlist celebrates cannabis activism and smoker romance

Roll and burn season is upon us once again, and each year we’re excited to bring you new landmarks for cannabis activismelegant stoner merch spear, and cheeky seasonal ailments. Earlier this month, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would decriminalize marihuana at the federal level — a likely inevitability given that 18 states have already legalized and regulated use. Meanwhile, the current and alarming detention of the WNBA star Britney Griner after Russian authorities found cannabis oil vape cartridges in his luggage is a sobering reminder of the stigma and legal gray areas surrounding drug prohibition around the world.

“Cannabis consumers and producers in the United States and Canada are fighting a different fight to make weed fair than their peers in Latin America. They are attacking the same global problem from different flanks,” says a Mexico City-based cannabis journalist. Caitlin Donohueincluding the popular radio show Chronic documents the many intersections between weed, politics, sexuality, art, and queer culture. Donohue points out how the fight for legalization is usually framed within the economic – read, capitalist – impact of the “cannabis industry,” which often ignores age-old medicinal techniques and the historic oppression of communities of color. and low income.

“In places like the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Morelos, campesinos in communities ravaged by the drug war are demanding their right to participate in the legal recreational market forever to come,” she adds. “In Brazil (site of the first global cannabis prohibition in 1830), activists from groups like the Rede Nacional de Feministas Antiproibicionistas fight to raise awareness that despite the violence, Bolsonaro administration has shown against dealers and small-scale users, making weed illegal has always been about controlling black people. Colombia, which legalized marijuana around the rhetoric that it would give options to cannabis growers in conflict-torn areas, has become one of the world’s most prominent examples of the neocolonialism of cannabis, its legal herb being widely cultivated for export by international companies.

While legalizing cannabis and ending prohibition instead of regulation are long-term goals, it is essential to remain vigilant as a wealthy few are still most likely to reap the benefits. “Billion-dollar international corporations are eating away at the market while social equity programs intended to support black and brown cannabis entrepreneurs simply fail,” Donohue warns. “In the United States, we are closer to seeing cannabis banking federally legalized than possession of small amounts of the drug. The ways cannabis is used to systematically oppress blacks and browns are evolving, and not ending, with legalization.

Music remains a powerful vehicle for resistance and advocacy, so to get your 4/20 consciously bumping into each other, we’ve curated a playlist that nods to the plethora of weed experiences that manifest through Latin America. You’ll find impassioned pleas for decriminalization in “Es Mi Derecho” by La Morra de la Vihuela and “No Soy Criminal” by Yoss Bones. “Flores, Labios Dedos” by Niños del Cerro, “Azotea” by Luisa Almaguer and “Cripi” by Macha Kiddo reflect the romantic intimacy that can blossom after lighting a joint. And keeping the vibe and diversity of genres, we also featured pioneers like corridos verdes T3R elementbaile funk superstar LUDMILLA, electronic stirrer Arcaqueen dembow Tokischaand much more.

So switch on, press play and fly responsibly!