How I Re-Discovered Cannabis—In a Conscious Way

Mr. Light Blue, Ms. Yellow, and me, Ms. Red on the right.

Mr. Light Blue, Ms. Yellow, and me, Ms. Red on the right.

I was 13 when I smoked my first bowl with one of my brothers. I’d always considered my first time smoking weed lucky; I had a guide, we were in the safety of our Oakland home, and the weed was kind Northern California bud. Our parents were out to dinner one Friday night when my 15-year-old brother sat down next to me on the sofa while I was watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

“You’re probably going to do this sooner or later, and I’d rather have your first time be here,” he said. Something in his hand glimmered: a pipe with green swirls in clear glass packed with a fresh bowl of green weed with teeny brown hairs in it.

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Will Oakland Lead The Psychedelic Revolution?

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Behind the magic mushroom movement.

The city of Oakland breeds hell-raisers. Visionary writers such as Jack London and Amy Tan have called the Town home, as did radical politician Earl Warren, who paved the way for eliminating segregation in schools. Actress Zendaya is a local legend in the making. Then, of course, there are the Black Panthers and MC Hammer and his pants.

Movements don’t happen in places where people are comfortable with the way things are happening around them. Movements do happen in Oakland, where people aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo.

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Oakland love + universal truths play out in new homegrown film, 'Blindspotting'

Rafael Casal as “Miles,” Daveed Diggs as “Collin” and Jon Chaffin as “Dez” in BLINDSPOTTING. Photo by: Ariel Nava.

Rafael Casal as “Miles,” Daveed Diggs as “Collin” and Jon Chaffin as “Dez” in BLINDSPOTTING. Photo by: Ariel Nava.

Green juice. Modern homes. Hipsters. That's not the Oakland that Blindspotting co-stars and writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal grew up in. Police shootings. Guns. Fights. These are themes more familiar to the longtime friends.

Some things never change. Some things do, for better and for worse. Push, pull. And while locals will appreciate the homage to Oakland that this much-anticipated film delivers, it's the universal theme of change that guarantees anyone can relate.

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