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That High Couple | Social Influencer

Alice and Clark vlog about their cannabis lifestyle on their YouTube channel, That High Couple. Since our interview, they’ve decided to move their cannabis content to WeedTube to avoid their page being deleted entirely.

How did you get your start?

Alice: We’ve been medical cannabis users for many years. We smoked cannabis on our first date. It’s always been a big part of our life. That High Couple wasn’t our first YouTube channel—we had a couple of other attempts that were non-cannabis related.

Clark: Doing cat product reviews was one of my favorite ones. But basically, the way we came about That High Couple was that Alice is a professional photographer, and I came to Los Angeles to be a videographer. We were like, what’s a topic we could always be taking endless photos and videos of? What’s the thing we could do every day and be super happy about it? And when we looked at our lives we were just like, getting high!

Alice: “What do we do every day and enjoy that we’re truly passionate about?” That we could actually be authentic about, and feel like we could educate an audience, and share our lifestyle.

Clark: It’s super fun to be able to do as a couple. I feel like that was the big push for us. Yes, there are a lot of other cannabis influencers, but if I can do this with my best friend by my side the whole time, then that just makes it that much better.

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How do you use your platform to normalize cannabis?

Alice: Our main goal with the channel was that we live this in our authentic lives. We’re daily cannabis users, we include it in our relationship, and it doesn’t hinder us in any way. We didn’t feed into the normal stoner stereotype whatsoever. We are productive, and have jobs, and do normal everyday things. We needed to create something to show people, to normalize it.

Clark: When we started the channel, there were a lot of cannabis personalities who were just that—someone who you only saw enjoying cannabis. For us it’s also, let’s take them on a hike. Let’s take them on a farmer’s market trip, and show that, not only can you enjoy cannabis, you can be a normal person with a multifaceted personality who enjoys a lot of other things besides just getting high.

“We didn’t feed into the normal stoner stereotype whatsoever. We are productive, and have jobs, and do normal everyday things. We needed to create something to show people, to normalize it.”

We understand you were recently shut down by YouTube.

Clark: Our story of censorship with YouTube started on the eve of 4/20. It was April 19, and we got our first channel strike against us. If YouTube gives you three strikes, you’re off the platform. On that night, we got our first strike ever, as well as an immediate channel suspension. With no words other than, “You broke community guidelines.” It was for one of our earliest videos, “How to Roll a Joint.”

Alice: It was one of our most popular ones. It was marked as educational, and it was age-restricted. It was unfortunate, because they gave us a strike followed by immediate termination. We didn’t even have a chance to appeal. So, we went through the appeals process to explain to YouTube that we’d built this community of people we are trying to educate. We’re not trying to break any of their rules. We didn’t hear anything from them, and then, all of a sudden, six days later, our channel came back online. We started getting notifications again, but still hadn’t heard anything from YouTube, so we weren’t sure if the appeal process had actually worked.

Clark: So we’re sitting in this weird limbo. Our entire community that we’ve spent more than two years building is on the verge of being deleted. And it’s really scary that, on YouTube, I’ve seen over a dozen channels with an accumulated more than two million subscribers be completely removed.

Alice: We’re happy to play by their rules. Age-restricting is completely understandable and fine. If we’re not advertiser-friendly, demonetize us, and we can work with other outside companies as a way to still make money. But to completely censor people, when your guidelines are just, “No illegal drug use”? We’re both over 21, living in a recreational state, where nothing we’re doing on camera should be considered illegal in any way. We’re very careful to play by the rules. So it’s very unfortunate.

What does a day in your life look like?

Clark: We’re such weekend warriors.

Alice: Clark and I both have full-time, nine to five jobs that aren’t directly in the cannabis industry, actually.

Clark: What’s really cool is that, by doing That High Couple, I’m better at doing my day job, because Monday through Friday I’m a community manager for a multi-channel network. Basically I’m a dude who gets to tell other people how to do YouTube better, which can be frustrating because I get to tell gamers and beauty vloggers and all these other people in these advertiser-friendly niches how to really be successful and catapult them on this platform, and I’m just like, oh it must be nice.

Do you feel a responsibility as role models?

Alice: I do feel a certain amount of responsibility to fight against the censorship, and to keep producing content, keep educating people and normalizing this, because it’s important. We’ve built so many connections through our YouTube channel, so many elderly people who’ve gotten back into smoking, or people who learned that they can use it medicinally. We did a video on how to corner a bowl, and we got so many responses from so many old people who were like, “This is so wonderful.”

Clark: In the beginning days, you’re just trying to make a video that speaks to that authentic creator inside—you’re like, “I think this is a cool piece of content to share.” But the second that it starts making actual real-life connections, that’s when I feel the sense of responsibility. I was raised in Georgia, in a very conservative community. Smoking cannabis wasn’t what we now have as a bridge to a community, it was an isolator. Any one of my friends who was known to partake in cannabis was deemed a stoner, and it was like they weren’t worth a second thought because they were just going to derail their life. Coming to Los Angeles, one of the things that connected me with so many people, like my fiancée, who’s next to me, was the fact that we were all so open about enjoying cannabis. It was really the first time that I felt a part of a community that accepted me. I can be an ambassador, I can be an active part of this community and show the world that it’s not an isolator. Smoking weed doesn’t make you more alone, it opens up your life to so many more wonderful people.

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