A meditation and interview with cannabis activist and entrepreneur Reggie Dove
With marijuana and cannabis products being legalized in more and more states for medical and recreational use we decided to interview a local Ohio entrepreneur about the emerging market.Â It is easy to be filled with optimism and hope for the future of legal weed and cannabis products, but it is important to remember and examine how the decades long War on Drugs still affects people even as weed enters into the mainstream.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â We interviewed longtime Weed Be Better Off activist and owner of The Dove Shack in Akron, OH, Reggie Dove, about his history with cannabis, activism, and being a business owner in the emerging cannabis market.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It is a long known fact that drug laws have unfairly targeted minorities, and being a black man Reggie is no stranger to this unfortunate fact. Reggie has long been a proponent of the medicinal and recreational uses of marijuana, and has done his time in federal prison for his activism. These days Reggie is an active member in the Weed Be Better Off brand and movement, https://weedbebetteroff.com, and owner of the Good Vibe and Lifestyle Shop, The Dove Shack in Akron, OH.Â We asked Reggie what itâs like being a business owner trying to navigate the current cannabis climate.
âanyone with a federal conviction cannot own a dispensary, which in my opinion is quite ludicrousâ
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âThe reason I wanted to become an owner and a piece of the culture is because I know what good it doesâ¦,â says Reggie, but âIn my situation, I’m a minority and weâre targeted the most by law enforcement for the use of cannabis not only for the use, [but also] for trafficking…I obviously don’t have the funds nor the connections to be a dispensary… anyone with a federal conviction cannot own a dispensary, which in my opinion is quite ludicrousâ¦â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And this got us thinking. With all of the attention being paid to the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational uses, where do previous offenders to laws that no longer exist fall?Â Should we as a society reevaluate the collateral laws in place preventing non-violent drug offenders from fully participating in society?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âSo I did the next best thing that I could do, legally, which is open up an outlet for people to showcase their talent, or, even give people the instruments to smoke their cannabis,â Reggie says.Â He believes in the power of cannabis, and in the power of the cannabis community. Thatâs why he opened his space. He says, âThe dove shack is just a place of happiness, art, and love.
âWeed be better off without 250,000 non-violent drug arrests from cannabis, weed be better off if our vets could have access to real medicine, real natural medicineâ¦âÂ
Reggie also uses his store to advocate the activist brand Weed Be Better Off, of which he says, âI represent a company named Weed Be Better Off because of what speaks for, it speaks volumes to me. Weed be better off without 250,000 non-violent drug arrests from cannabis, weed be better off if our vets could have access to real medicine, real natural medicine, instead of pills that big pharma wants to you know, shove down people’s throats.â
With more and more research coming out supporting the validity of what Reggie and other cannabis supporters are saying, itâs hard to explain why some states and even the federal government have been dragging their feet to pass legislation legalizing at least some form of the âsuper plantâ. And at the same time considering how the decades long war on drugs has affected communities and how to address the convictions of those convicted of the increasingly archaic laws.
This interview started us thinking about something that we don’t think has been addressed enough. How much potential and genius has been wasted, lost, thrown away, never realized because of the war on drugs. How many non-violent offenders have been incarcerated and their minds and ideas unfairly taken from them, never to be realized. How many entrepreneurs, inventors, thinkers, philosophers, and discoverers never had the opportunity to realize their potential because of the war on drugs. We are reminded of a quote by paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science historian Stephen Jay Gould,
âI am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einsteinâs brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.â
Be kind babies.
Reggie Dove is the owner of The Dove Shack at 401 Darrow Rd, Akron, OH 44305
Written by OhioCannabis.com contributor Sassy Lunchbox, [email protected]