She’s counseled our souls, helped heal our wounds, guided us toward safety and stood up to protect and defend us. Yet Amanda Reiman is considered (by some) the most hated woman in cannabis. And that’s okay, because if you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing anything important. Social justice isn’t a catchphrase of Reiman’s—it’s the air she breathes each day. Cannabis is but one of her tools to breathe justice into our lives.
A quick background on Amanda Reiman. Rumor has it she’s from Themyscira, the mythical island nation Wonder Woman hails from, and has been helping us humans by defending our rights since before you realized you needed rights. Reiman is a trained Ph.D. Philosopher, social worker, counselor, lecturer, mentor, writer and overall leader in this game we call life, not to mention the cannabis world we all roam in. She is currently on the Board of the Open Cannabis Project, the Secretary on the Board of Directors for the International Cannabis Farmers Association and Vice President of Community Relations for Flow Kana. For close to five years she was with the Drug Policy Alliance, managing cannabis law and policy. Reiman was one of the main voices that helped pass Prop 64, educating citizens on the drug war policy reform portion of the proposition, as well as getting folks out of jail and expunging their records. According to a recent report by VICE, there are about one million people in California that now qualify for expungement for cannabis-related offenses. Many opponents of Prop 64 conveniently forgot about those most affected by the drug war: the incarcerated.
Her platform has earned her almost as many enemies as it has fans. “Cannabis is just the catalyst for so many important discussions,” Reiman argues. “Women’s rights. Environmental rights. Minority rights. Cannabis bridges the gap. That’s where I see my role in this movement. Cannabis is the intersection between social welfare, public health, anthropology, mysticism and health care . . . All of these things are important on their own, and cannabis is a tool to talk about them. Cannabis is a tool to talk about the evils of capitalism, it’s a tool to talk about an unregulated cannabis market, it’s a tool to talk about racism, it’s a tool to talk about how we push children towards very serious pharmaceutical drugs . . . More than anything, cannabis is the gateway to social justice conversations that we need to have.”
Now, thanks to cannabis, we’re having more of these much-needed conversations—and that’s where Reiman steps in. It’s this role that makes her the leader of our canna-social Justice League of America. But don’t confuse legalization with the commercialization of cannabis. Prop 64 didn’t create the commercial access system; it gave guidelines to the state of California on what the people wanted it to look like, then the state created it. Prop 64 is helping bring home those who were already punished by the toxic War on Drugs. By the way, you can now grow six plants on your own—without fear—thanks to Prop 64. Of course, the state system is not perfect, but all that means is we need to pay closer attention to Reiman’s playbook and stand up and make sure our local “leaders” are representing what we, as citizens and voters, want. Because if we take action, then “Weed the people!” will be our future!