As cannabis becomes more mainstream, it stands to reason that people might lose sight of what the fight for legalization is about in the first place. For decades, people have been jailed, lost jobs, missed housing opportunities and been stigmatized because of prohibition – but many people don’t even know why cannabis was made illegal in the first place.
To educate people on how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve learned about the cannabis plant – where it comes from, how and why it affects us like it does, its medicinal uses, etc. – Weedmaps is bringing a 30,000 square-foot pop-up “Museum of Weed” to Hollywood, California.
“We’re at this point now where there is some cannabis normalization,” Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals told CNN Business, “where they’re already starting to forget that there have been people who have been in jail (because of prohibition).”
The museum is expected to be open from August 3rd through September 29th, and it will take visitors on a walk-through history beginning with the earliest uses for cannabis and hemp through today’s legalization efforts. It will cover the age of Reefer Madness through the hippie counterculture revolution of the 60s and the extreme prohibition that came during the Nixon administration – and much more.
“Our goal with the Weedmaps Museum of Weed is to demystify cannabis and its role in society, and to draw attention to the impact prohibition of cannabis has had on various social groups in the U.S. and beyond,” Beals told Yahoo Finance.
Along with the historical walk-through of cannabis history, the museum will also feature what they are calling “The Plant Lab”, which is an interactive exhibit that explores the science behind cannabis. It will educate visitors on everything from cannabinoids and terpenes to the latest technology and medical research.
“Despite increasing efforts to decriminalize cannabis, and overwhelming evidence about its benefits, stigma around weed continues to run deep,” added Beals. “Through the Weedmaps Museum of Weed, we hope to provide visitors with a robust understanding of the highs and lows of cannabis history, and to create a stronger understanding of the importance of this plant and its potential.”
While cannabis legalization is becoming something that more and more states are moving toward – even when the federal government won’t make the move – it is high time that additional effort is put toward educating people. Understanding cannabis means more than simply knowing what the plant is and what it does – it’s understanding how its medicinal uses were discovered, buried by prohibition and rediscovered, how criminalization harmed so many individuals, and all we’ve already learned since legalization has allowed access to further research.