Although some predict marijuana will go entirely legal in the United States within the next couple of years, there is still a lot about the cannabis plant that most average Americans do not know. Some folks don’t have any idea that marijuana was once legal in the U.S., or what led to it being outlawed in the first place. And let’s not forget the people whose knowledge on the subject stops at all the Just Say No, this is your brain on drugs! swill that was pushed during the 1980s.
This is one of the reasons online cannabis dispensary directory Weedmaps is planning to launch its “Museum of Weed” in Los Angeles next year. It’s an opportunity to give the masses the real story behind the cannabis plant, as well as show them how the movement has progressed over the past several decades.
“The hope is that visitors can understand the history of cannabis and learn a bit more about the exciting future that lies ahead,” Weedmaps CEO Doug Francis said in a statement.
To bring this concept to reality, Weedmaps has teamed up with the VICE’s creative agency Virtue to devise a look and feel of something that more closely resembles a history museum than some sort of novelty. So don’t expect this gallery to be some Hollywood nod to the stoner scene.
Trent Rohner, group creative director at Virtue, told Adweek that “what we want to make is something authentic and informative,” a place where people can get “a better understanding of marijuana and our relationship to it” as opposed to just “taking a cool picture with a five-leaf background.”
Nor will the museum be a front for people to come in and consume cannabis. Instead, it will feature seven exhibits which will display art, historical footage and artifacts. Think the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, only with the cannabis plant, pot politics and culture as the focal point of the presentation.
Although one of the exhibits will deal exclusively with the cannabis plant, many of the displays will be there to educate the public over the social injustices that have come from marijuana prohibition. The museum will also dig into the racist roots of the federal ban and show how these policies have been destructive to civil society.
“We hope shedding light on the tie between cannabis prohibition and racially disparate policies will drive more to join in on advocacy and reform efforts,” Francis said.
But from the sound of it, the museum is not going to be a permanent fixture in Los Angeles. After an initial 60-day run, organizers will need to reassess whether it is viable to keep it open longer. Public interest will surely be a determining factor in extending the display; the hope being that the museum will draw attendance from people all across the board, especially those who may be opposed or still on the fence about marijuana legalization.
“While, of course, we hope current supporters and members of the cannabis community come and check out the museum, we want to reach beyond that crowd to educate and inform those who may not know the storied history of cannabis, or may have a skewed perception of the plant itself, and we hope to do just that,” Francis said.
Weedmaps is not the first company to launch a cannabis-related museum. Earlier this year, the Cannabition Cannabis Museum opened in Las Vegas. One of the highlights of this gallery, which is located on Fremont Street, is a 24-foot bong and plenty of other Instagram-friendly experiences.
TELL US, what would you like to learn about in a cannabis museum?