There are abundant examples of celebrities attempting to profit off legal cannabis although the much less well-known sit behind bars, but some of the OGs of cannabis culture are placing their revenue exactly where their mouths are. Eric Rachmany, guitarist and singer for Rebelution, is applying his national solo tour as a way to raise awareness and revenue for these imprisoned for cannabis charges.
Proceeds from Rachmany’s concert at Summit Music Hall on Friday, November 29, will advantage the Final Prisoner Project, a nonprofit that aids cannabis offenders apply for clemency, clear their records and re-enter society — in some cases as members of the pot market. We caught up with Rachmany to find out a lot more about the lead to, his connection to cannabis and some of his personal close calls although touring.
Westword: As a cannabis user, what created expungement and re-entry so significant to you?
Eric Rachmany: I did not know something about the Final Prisoner Project till my manager told me he was a boardmember, and I promptly knew it was one thing I wanted to get involved in. My band, Rebelution, has normally been a large cannabis advocate, and has normally pushed for legalization.
But the major cause I wanted to get involved is mainly because it feels weird for me to make revenue off our personal cannabis line of items realizing there are folks nevertheless locked away, some for life sentences, who have been performing the precise similar issue as us: attempting to make a dollar off cannabis. That does not really feel suitable, realizing all these folks are locked away. This is my second annual acoustic tour, and each years have gone 100 % toward charities — but this year is solely for the Final Prisoner Project. Understanding I am creating revenue off cannabis, like so quite a few other individuals in this market, although other individuals are locked up for it — that just does not sit suitable.
1 terrific way to make a statement is to take this message on the road and show folks what this lead to is. I just want to raise awareness, and I consider anyone who utilizes cannabis would want to be involved in an organization like this. For folks to be locked up for one thing as minor as cannabis, it really is thoughts-blowing. It really is crazy how a sentence for cannabis can be longer than an offense for one thing violent. A lot of these folks are just attempting to make a dollar to survive.
There is one thing about a reside functionality that can seriously sit effectively with a listener. There is only so a great deal I can do via recorded material or speaking about it in an post. But when folks come and see a neighborhood backing a lead to, that is a great deal a lot more profound. I’ve been a portion of a lot of Final Prisoner Project fundraisers, and they poll cannabis-market players. A lot of these large hitters are creating pledges to employ some of the 1st prisoners that Final Prisoner Project has gotten out.
In between seeing so quite a few folks in front of you although on stage and traveling about the nation to carry out, how have you noticed the boldness about cannabis use modify more than the years?
I consider it depends on the area. In California, it felt like it had been legal for a lengthy time. When recreational cannabis became legal out there, I did not seriously notice a modify, and I never consider quite a few other individuals did, other than seeing folks who weren’t involved in cannabis prior to now attempting to get involved. About the nation, even though, it certainly has.
My band has been touring for about twelve years, and we’ve been in a lot of areas exactly where we seriously had to hide smoking weed. Despite the fact that some areas nevertheless make me really feel that way, there are certainly much less. I consider folks who weren’t cannabis customers are now hearing about the positive aspects of it, and they want to be involved — even my personal pals and loved ones. I really feel like a lot of the stuff I was told about cannabis have been lies, and music and art are terrific approaches to educate folks about cannabis.
Have there ever been some close calls on the road with law enforcement?
Oh, yeah. Rebelution has a handful of stories on tour, and fortunately none of us got locked away, but we could have. I know quite a few other bands and artists who’ve been in related scenarios. We really feel privileged about that, so we really feel a duty to do one thing to contribute back, mainly because I cannot consider that ever taking place to a close buddy or loved ones. I know folks who’ve been locked away beneath false pretenses or have been locked away for seven or eight years for cannabis charges.
That sounds like a genuine profession obstacle for budding musicians on the road.
Completely. Practically each and every predicament exactly where we’ve run into prospective difficulty, it was mainly because we have been targeted as musicians. Law enforcement will just see a traveling bus or RV with a trailer, and they will know it really is a band. We’re quick targets. That is an additional cause why we’re pushing for federal legalization: We’d like to be in a position to use it freely in all states.
I consider a lot of folks throw a lot of joints and cannabis at you on stage.
What do you do with all that weed?
We never know what precisely is in these joints [laughs]. We’ll normally let the crew have them if they want, or one thing like that. I am confident a lot of fans could possibly be mad to study that — sorry, everybody — but it really is just so abundant now, which is terrific. It must be normalized, mainly because it really is a helpful plant.
How has applying cannabis influenced your profession?
Anytime I use cannabis, it tends to make me want to create music and carry out. It really tends to make me seriously productive, and that is a single issue that folks utilised to wrongly inform me: that if I smoked pot, I’d be a loser who did nothing at all with his life. But for me, it really is the opposite. Every single time I use cannabis, I want to do one thing inventive or organize one thing [laughs]. I consider it can be extremely useful for a lot of folks.
Has the acceptance of cannabis culture more than the previous decade impacted your music profession?
I would consider so. I consider cannabis and the arts are connected, no matter whether it really is music or some other art type. When cannabis is consumed, I consider a lot of folks want to see art or contribute to it. So, yes, really, I consider it has.
How do you use cannabis to spur your creativity?
I favor flower these days, just mainly because I type of know how a great deal I am applying. There are just so quite a few items out there, but I’d like to get a lot more into edibles. Back in the day, when somebody provided you an edible, you seriously did not know what was in it or how potent it was. Man, do I have some stories of obtaining on stage immediately after consuming an edible and forgetting words. It really is challenging. Some folks can do it, but it really is tough for me.
What do you do in these scenarios? Sounds intense.
All of a sudden, the lights just get brighter and you get super-paranoid. You just have to fight via it.