Be Naked, Be Gold

Naked Gold Chronicles: Letter from the editor-in-chief

The support that I've received from my community has been very inspiring and motivating to continue my passion in writing, research and cultural analysis. Naked Gold Online is a hub for the conscious individuals who want to make an impact on the world simply by changing their lifestyle and mentality. As a global citizen, I'm understanding that impact and social change happens with a small spark which leads to larger fire. Conscious thinking is a destruction to the unhealthy system that has stripped humanity of its purity and intellect. Naked Gold Online wishes to remain a digital/social platform that allows visitors, contributors and creators to feel accepted, welcomed and understood. It is impossible to have all of the answers or to even know the full truth, so it is inevitable to run into information that may not reflect your thoughts or criteria. Don't sweat it, Naked Gold Online doesn't claim to override information in the mainstream media, but NGO will work its hardest to bring information and content that is relevant and timeless to your human experience.

Quick Thought Regarding The Oppressive Culture of Marijuana Use

Many speculations have been made in the recent years about marijuana arrests surrounding people of color, specifically Black and Latino. Evidence shows that in cities like Miami and Los Angeles, Black men are more likely to be arrested and imprisoned for a minor marijuana stop. Whether the marijuana was the cause of the altercation between police enforcement and civilians is always skeptical, but the treatment of marijuana smokers are of harsh conviction in the U.S. nonetheless. Now that Congress is willing to publicly discuss marijuana recreational activities, people are wondering what the future of cannabis culture will look like. Well, I can see now, it is pretty white and even more green than before. California dispensaries are probably the best examples to use in regards of cannabis culture and white privilege. Even though marijuana is considered a high level drug, medical practices were able to open all across Los Angeles county and provide marijuana access to licensed patients. Gentrification not only affects the residential environment, but it affects the community and opportunity spectrum greatly. It does society no justice to allow Hollywood media to exploit marijuana use when large numbers of Black men and women are incarcerated for trifling amounts of weed. Michelle Alexander, writer of New Jim Crow Era: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness, speaks about this phenomena as a flaw in the prison system. She states,

“The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that's why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.”

Though marijuana is considered a schedule one drug, by some standards, many communities all over the world consume this plant for ceremonial reasons and medicinal self-care. A schedule one drug means there is no medical acceptance and has a high potential for abuse. In fact, cocaine, codeine and amphetamines are schedule two drugs, meaning they also have a high potential for abuse, but are medically acceptable within the U.S. (Dea.gov, 2017). 

As we await to see what happens with marijuana as a culture, I’m thinking of taking the high road of taking some time away from my intake to stand with those who deserve freedom. We are not free until we are all free. Looking at the numbers of men and women incarcerated for something I do very frequently is a disgrace to the law of equality and expression. Capitalism continues to thrive and will accumulate money by any means necessary, so necessary that the government is willing to make a schedule one drug free for recreational use and little to none medical research. If marijuana is such a criminalizing drug, why not give the criminals the opportunity to use their knowledge and legally employ themselves into the cannabis industry. How is it that marijuana experts are coming out of the woodworks, free of speculation and ready to make millions on an industry they’ve spent more than twenty years in. This is another form of society leaving behind millions of people who don’t live up to the status quo, America’s favorite sport. You don’t incarcerate millions of people for a drug that is under legal clearance to be regulated as a recreational drug and only allow the free men to enjoy the fruits of criminalized labor. That in itself is a crime. That in itself is not freedom.

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"A lot of people refuse to do things because they don't want to go naked, don't want to go without guarantee. But that's what's got to happen. You go naked until you die" - Nikki Giovanni