Discussing cannabis, death, and social justice with a death doula

Marijuana.com

“What if we all went in $100 on a Marijuana Handlers Card for somebody who can’t afford it?’ That was the question, Raina Casey, a Portland Death Doula, posed to her social media circle in the days following George Floyd’s murder. As the city rallied to support the Black cannabis community, Casey’s question illuminated just how undersized that community was.  It was a straightforward question, but the cascade of responses made it clear that in asking, Casey had presented an uncomplicated solution to this particular instance of industry gatekeeping; preventing anyone who can’t afford to spend $100 from legally entering the Oregon cannabis industry.  Casey, whose business supports the needs of those in life/death transition with cannabis advocacy, is well aware of the role cannabis plays in the criminalization of Blackness. She’s seen the community rally to support Black-owned business without addressing the dilemma of there being so few of them to even support, which gave her pause, “We need to support Black business and remind people that they need to support Black and brown people first.” Raina Casey: Death doula, cannabis consultant, founder of Oregon Handers Fund. Propelled by Oregon’s first round of stay-at-home orders — which designated dispensaries as essential businesses and created a new pool of job opportunities — and following the initial wave of BLM protests, further cemented Casey’s position as a cannabis and minority activist. Soon, after she reached out to familiars with the experience necessary to expand on her central idea, Casey’s concept evolved and became the Oregon Handlers Fund, a nonprofit that covers the costs of receiving an Oregon Marijuana Handlers Card — a requirement necessary for farm, manufacturing, or dispensary work, and a major impediment to the diversification of the cannabis industry. Potential awardees and supporters alike can visit the Oregon Handlers…

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