Hempfest’s arrival in Seattle this week got me thinking about cannabis and pleasure. The annual “protestival” got its start as a free speech festival 28 years ago, and it remains, technically, an event grounded in the First Amendment. But it’s also a celebration of joy, fun, and the pleasure that cannabis can bring to our lives.
"We struggle with the politics of pleasure. We can argue for justice, thrift, medical necessity—but never pure enjoyment."
We struggle with the politics of pleasure here at Leafly. Our editors and writers strive to expand the world’s cannabis vocabulary in positive new directions. We wrestle with the real consequences of stigmatic terms like “user,” “dealer,” “black market,” and other vestiges of the drug war. We reach for new phrases to describe the varieties of human experience when discussing specific products and cannabis strains.
But when the discussion turns to politics, we pivot to justice, science, and economics. Somehow it’s okay to talk about cannabis offering patients medical relief, but god forbid we should legalize it because it offers a healthy person pleasure: No. You go too far.