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Cannabis at its Core

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Located in Jamaica Plain, the Core Social Justice Cannabis Museum sits hidden in "plain" sight amidst the Seed Recreational Dispensary. While your first instinct may be to browse the endless selection of bud, edibles, and vapes galore, the display of educational artistry stops visitors dead in their tracks. The free museum for ages 21+ opened in 2021, and by using curated exhibits, Core welcomes guests to immerse themselves into the inequity and cultural division that the American drug policy has imposed for over a century. The intimate setting and striking lights emphasizing the wall displays allows both consumers and non-consumers of cannabis to narrow in on the stigmatized history, using it to look forward to a future of change---with cannabis as a community unifier. ​

 

The current exhibit, "American Warden," showcases the mass incarceration cannabis prohibition has caused. While tax authorities and moguls reap the benefits of the multibillion dollar cannabis industry, thousands are still incarcerated for marijuana-related charges. Nine displays line the open concept room, surrounding not just the dispensary sales counter, but also the Seed Your Head Jail Cell in the room's center. As shifting screens give further context alongside exemplary information---like the coinciding Fourth Amendment description with the Plain View wall and what defines sativa vs. indica for the Seed Your Senses terpene wall---the "Heart of the Exhibit" Jail Cell encourages guests to experience the visceral effects of being in prison and hear Niambe McIntosh's personal account of her brother Jawara's death, caused by America's inequitable system. A five-member curating council with a diverse background in social justice assembled the exhibition to contrast the harsh reality of the war on drugs with today's state of legalization, with an added layer of pop culture; members include McIntosh herself, Michelle Dupuis, Kaya Williams, Rahsaan Hall, and Kaia Stern. 

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