By Claire Kaufmann | April 10, 2015
If anyone reads this blog, (and I know there are like ten of you,) and you wonder where I have been for the past few months, this is it. Since January I’ve been hard at work putting together a ground-breaking event, “The Le’Or Cannabis Seder for a New Drug Peace.” The seder, funded by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, was an attempt to use the story of the Exodus to celebrate our own liberation from the oppression of the War on Drugs. True to the story, the event was as much about a celebration of abundance and our new found freedoms, as it was an opportunity for reflection on the millions of lives still hurt every day by the War on Drugs.
The gathering was ground-breaking in the world of cannabis event planning, as well. The Cannabis Seder was one of the nation’s first more formal cannabis events. All product was sourced from local, Oregon cannabis companies. The event featured Oregon’s Finest, Laughing Lotus Farms, The Bald Brothers Cannabis Company, Luminous Botanicals and Leif Medicinals. Food was done by Devil’s Food Catering. (There was not cannabis in any of the prepared foods, for legal reasons. There was only product available to card holders on the tables.). Here is the story re-posted from my non-profit’s site (www.illuminating.us). (Many more to come.)
Ma Nishtana Ha Seder Ha Zeh?
A lot, actually.
It was a night to remember. Several who attended called it “the best Seder ever.”
Last Sunday night, we hosted our inaugural event, the first Le’Or Cannabis Seder for a New Drug Peace. The event brought together 40 (Jewish and non-Jewish) activists, artists, policy thinkers, rabbis and industry insiders to experience, discuss and explore a new kind of Exodus.
– David Bronner, of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps (our lead sponsor);
– Karen Jones of The Columbus Foundation (a key sponsor);
– Dr. Jane Marcus, renowned medical-marijuana advocate and Huffington Post contributor;
– Ngaio Bealum, celebrated activist-comedian;
– Anthony Johnson, leader of Oregon’s successful Measure 91 legalization campaign;
– J.D. Kleinke, musician and health-care expert;
– Marsha Rosenbaum and Amanda Reiman, both of the Drug Policy Alliance;
– Adam Eidinger, DC and national hemp and cannabis advocate;
– Diane Goldstein, retired cop and nationally cited representative of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition;
– Rebecca Spence, journalist and author;
–Doug Fine, hemp activist, author and journalist; and many more.
Freed from the oppression of prohibition, we gathered to celebrate our new-found freedoms (with the obligatory disclaimers.)
As we do every Passover, we remembered our own story of redemption from slavery. And we renewed our moral commitment to ending the War on Drugs, which has destroyed millions of Americans’ lives.
We realized that when you have to talk about something dark and shameful, like the War on Drugs, it is sometimes easier to approach it with a sense of lightness and a sense of humor. This fosters inclusivity and community.
The Seder was hosted at Portland’s wonderful reclaimed timber -furniture showroom, Tropical Salvage.
Le’Or is in the planning stages of efforts in Ohio this Fall and plans to engage nationally in 2016. To get involved, host a get-together, or support our work financially, click here.
To see images from the Seder, click here.