BEVERLY HILLS — About 50 or so cannabis-friendly hipsters gathered Thursday at 4:20 p.m. at the residential Beverly Hills showroom of jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche, who was hosting a private event celebrating the imminent kickoff of the Spark the Conversation bus tour through the state of California. The eclectic crowd was mostly young and engaged; a chic concoction of celebrity, industry, and media peeps who showed up in enthusiastic support for the plant, Spark the Conversation, and its founder, Bianca E. Green. It was an intimate gathering of beautiful people who care, that by no coincidence attracted star power on the order of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Vanessa Hudgens.
The brainchild of Green (who was profiled in the October issue of mg), Spark the Conversation is a “nonprofit media platform which consults, connects and creates with advocates, celebrities and brands committed to social reform.” Spark’s bus tour commences October 22 in Eureka, California. From then until election day, it will travel south through the state and then back north, stopping on designated dates at various venues, including colleges and dispensaries, engaging and educating people about cannabis.
According to an announcement by Spark the Conversation issued Thursday, “The tour will kick off the #HighMyNameIs video and social media campaign encouraging participants to speak-up about their feelings on topics related to personal freedom, the drug war, civil liberties, non-violent imprisonment and social injustice. Anyone can participate by uploading a 15 to 60 second video, photo, or written message introducing themselves to their followers as a person who believes in personal freedom and posting it across social media using the hashtag #HighMyNameIs. Posts tagged #HighMyNameIs will be aggregated on the Spark The Conversation Facebook Page.”
Aiche, who since 2009 has stunningly incorporated the cannabis leaf in her Sweet Leaf Collection, and said she is thinking about increasing her output of cannabis-themed designs in the near future, introduced Green to the gathering so she could say a few words before heading north today to begin the tour.
Referring to the impressive turnout of people who had come to the event “in support of the plant,” Green added, “It’s a really big deal. I appreciate everybody who came out, and especially appreciate Jacquie for making such a beautiful line of clothing that continues to spark the conversation with people… in airports, in restaurants, on social media.
“The thing that I really want to talk to you guys about is being socially active, today and every single day,” she continued. “If you believe and are a proponent for the plant, talk about it. Don’t be afraid to be about it. As consumers, we have a responsibility to our personal freedoms. I work with advocates that advocate for all of to be here today consuming a plant that has never killed anyone in the two thousand years that we’ve been aware of it. But those people are overworked and underpaid, so it is a duty and a responsibility that I have taken on to figure out a way to engage consumers to be more proactive about donating, participating, and being active about being the change.”
She then asked everyone to go “on their social media outlets and introduce themselves as a proponent for ending the drug war and being about personal freedom. It is not illegal to come out and say that. It is not illegal to have a conversation about cannabis. We deserve it. I’m a patient advocate, and was a cancer survivor 12 years ago—diagnosed three blocks away. To able to come full-circle and be here today, with Jacquie, it’s really powerful.”
Green concluded, “This group of people is very comfortable about consuming and speaking with people about cannabis, but we want to make it comfortable for everybody. So please, I encourage you to spark the conversation with your friends and family—and post this shit on the internet! Introduce yourself, and say, ‘High. My name is Bianca. I’m a patient advocate, I’m a proponent for drug policy reform, and I believe that ending the drug war will happen, and cannabis is a catalyst for consciousness.’ So thanks guys for coming. I love you…and smoke good weed!”
Spark the Conversation tour sponsors are Humboldt’s Finest, C3 Farms, Coast to Coast, Ganjapreneur, Emerald Family Farms, Cannibal City, Frontera Group, Salar Group, Evoxe Laboratories, Jetty Extracts, with media partnerships with Dope Magazine, Civilized and MassRoots. Tour support includes the University of California Hastings College of the Law, Harvest, Spare, UCLA, Bud & Roses, CCIA, BPG, Drug Policy Alliance, and SSDP.
For more information, visit sparktheconversation.org.
Photos by Laura Layera