‘Dear Culture’ podcast celebrates 4/20

“I can tell you for me, I couldn't survive 2020 without my edibles supply," says co-host Shana Pinnock

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This week marked the celebration of 4/20, and we’d be remiss not to recognize the sticky-icky-est holiday on the Dear Culture podcast. Co-hosts Gerren Keith Gaynor and Shana Pinnock take a moment to discuss the cultural and historical roots of the anti-marijuana movement and its ties to anti-Black policies, along with shedding light on their first experiences smoking weed.

Tune in this week as we ask the fun question: “Dear Culture, did y’all celebrate 4/20?”

Millions of people across the country have used marijuana and are continuing to partake in the drug, whether medical or recreational. In a 2009 op-ed penned by Dear Culture executive producer Blue Telusma, she argues that one of the main architects of the Nixon administration, former Attorney General John Mitchell, was partially responsible for the War on Drugs. Former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman previously admitted that the War on Drugs was always meant to be anti-Black and anti-war.

Read More: ‘Dear Culture’ discusses parents physically disciplining their children—is it okay?

Though weed is slowly getting decriminalized throughout the nation, many people are still incarcerated for the same drug white Americans are now profiting from. Not only did the Dear Culture podcast delve into the inequities of marijuana consumption, the hosts also celebrate the cultural win of being Black and consuming marijuana on 4/20. 

“I think we’re definitely headed in the right direction,” says Gaynor.

“I can tell you for me, I couldn’t survive 2020 without my edibles supply,” adds Pinnock

Both Gaynor and Pinnock’s first time consuming weed as young adults was to no effect. From not inhaling properly to finding out edibles were the wave, the hosts say that weed definitely was not a gateway drug for either of them. The criminalization of marijuana was “hilarious” to Pinnock because she witnessed the ridiculousness of the American drug use spectrum.

Aware of white men who take harder drugs, such as heroin and psychedelics, Pinnock learned that weed is considerably low harm in comparison.

Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse at Vireo Health’s medical marijuana cultivation facility in Johnstown, New York. New York state lawmakers passed a bill to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Read More: It takes a Black village: ‘Dear Culture’ unpacks Black parenthood

Gaynor shared that he would smoke marijuana randomly with his male cousins. As much as he was the “good church boy,” smoking weed was a kind ritual to tap into Black male masculinity with his kin in a safe way.

“[Weed] was a representation of being dirty,” says Gaynor regarding his experience with church mentality.

The hosts continue to share their belief that the negative stereotype of weed in the Black community is completely unfounded, due to the positive health effects of weed outweighing the potential harm. Dear Culture encourages its listeners to think about their belief systems and ask themselves genuinely why folks use marijuana.

Tune in to Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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