From providing inspiration, to igniting social movements – cannabis and music have positively changed how many of us see the world. Having a ritual that sets us apart and helps us to see things in a different way is necessary for our development. So, how do these rituals, and an altered consciousness contribute to the art of who we are?
The Roots of Cannabis: Making its Way Westward
Firstly, cannabis and its cousin hemp were used for centuries in Asia before finally making their way to the Americas. You can trace the early roots of cannabis in the United States to the city of New Orleans where it spawned one of the original illicit markets of marijuana.
The history of cannabis in America has long been tied to the history of music in the country. The biggest early advocates of cannabis were jazz musicians一some of the terms jazz musicians used, such as reefer and roach, would become some of the most popular cannabis terms that are still used today.
The First Bandleader of Cannabis Culture
Along with being known as one of the fathers of modern jazz, Louis Armstrong (appropriately nicknamed “Pops”) became one of the earliest cannabis advocates, known for smoking religiously and even being arrested for smoking a joint outside the famous Cotton Club in Culver City, California in 1930. Ever since then, his stances and opinions on marijuana have rang true to this day.
The Canna-Rebels Behind the Music
Furthermore, around the same time as jazz was taking off in the United States, Rastafarianism, a counter-cultural religious movement, was created in Jamaica. Rasta faith started in the 1930’s and heavily used Ganja as a form of a spiritual sacrament or as an entheogen. This contributed to making Rastafarian musicians outcasts until the mainstream emergence of reggae in the 60’s.
Trailblazing Cannabis Advocacy into the Coming Generations
Next, as these musicians spearheaded the cannabis movement in Jamaica, their music would also strongly influence rebellion and culture in many other parts of the world. With songs like Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It”, and Bob Marley’s “Kaya” becoming so popular, we’ll likely never forget their rebellious spirits and the cannabis-based inspiration behind the music.
Music inspires rebellion, and alongside the reggae movement in Jamaica, the beat and hippie culture made strides for marijuana to be legal and move towards a more accepted view. Heading into the “hippie years” of the 1960’s in the U.S. – with the strong advocacy of popular musicians and poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Willie Nelson, marijuana legalization would take a bigger jump forward.
Hip-Hop IS the Antidote against the War on Drugs
Finally, the next group who would take the helm of the fight for marijuana legalization would be the hip-hop and rap generation, stemming from the late 80’s to current day. With so many big, recognizable names such as Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre, and Method Man & Redman supporting and basing their music around marijuana, the social progression and love for cannabis only grew stronger.
The Modern Evolution of Cannabis
Music, cannabis and cultural movements go hand in hand. From Louis to Snoop, all the way to the newer artists such as SZA, Ari Lennox, and Rihanna, we see marijuana’s influence in their music as a kind of “time-capsule” that shows us that we can’t forget where its roots come from. It is safe to say that the music and all the famous albums that came from these artists couldn’t have been made without the unique influence of cannabis.
In conclusion, these culture-changing pieces of art, hip-hop, jazz, and psychedelic music aided in normalizing cannabis and removing its stigma. Subsequently, we continue to see this influence in modern music, with lots of big cannabis enthusiasts either headlining music festivals or organizing them.
Mass Cannabis & Music Festivals
Located in Clinton, MA we aim to support and bring attention to the surrounding cities and notable cannabis events in our area. Every year MA hosts numerous cannabis-inspired fests, such as: Levitate Music and Art Festival, Cultivators Cup (recently headlined by Cypress Hill and Redman) and Terptown Throwdown, for cannabis enthusiasts and music lovers alike.
*Attention: Canna-curious Sterling, Boylston, & Leominster Residents – Come Experience the Best Weed in Massachusetts!
Sterling, Boylston, & Leominster Cannabis Lovers: If you’re driving through on your way to a festival and don’t have access to a dispensary in your town, we invite you to stop by and say ‘high’ to our knowledgeable Society budtenders.
Keep following our blog page for more content related to our brand, our products, and cannabis news & culture.
Have specific questions about our dispensary? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org