An initiative to legalize recreational cannabis use and hemp in California is on the ballot this year. With the conversation about cannabis shifting from prohibition to legalization, the Oakland Museum of CA is opening a hands on exhibit dedicated to examining this controversial plant from multiple perspectives, as well as, opening a dialogue surrounding this controversial, yet amazing plant.
“The roles of museums in today’s world are shifting,” says OMCA Director Lori Fogarty. “At OMCA, we aim to inspire Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities. As part of this, we are dedicated to being a place where people can come learn about complex topics and, more importantly, add their voices and stories to the dialogue. This exhibition is proof of that in action.”
Altered State: Marijuana in California is the first exhibit of its kind, offering a comprehensive look from the perspective of experts, community members and groups. Everyone is invited to chime in as Altered State explores the endless perspectives that surround cannabis and what makes it more than just a plant.
Instead of looking at legalization from the perspective of “good” or “bad,” Altered State examines the science, economics, politics, history, and spirituality surrounding the drug. Sarah Seiter, Associate Curator at OMCA said, “Altered State, is part of OMCA’s push to design more socially relevant exhibits that deal directly with the issues cropping up right outside on the streets of Oakland”.
Oakland Museum of California Press Release.
Through historical, scientific, and social stories, the exhibition will present ten ways that people consider cannabis in California, including: Cannabis Science, Medical Marijuana, Profitable Pot, Sacred Ganja, Criminal Dope, Creative Grass, Evil Weed, Politically Loaded, Youth and Marijuana, and Recreational Reefer. Each topic will be explored using the most current data, expert and community voices, historical and contemporary media and ephemera, interactives and prompts to stimulate conversation, and direct contributions from museum visitors.
Inside the Altered State exhibit, visitors are encouraged to be interactive during their exploration of cannabis, and some exhibits literally put the plant in your hands. The exhibit also aims to be a place where people who have deeply held opinions will be able to enjoy conversation with others. I can imagine there will be a lot of heated discussions within the walls of this exhibit at OMCA before everyone heads to the polls.
If cannabis is something you are passionate about, definitely check out Altered State: Marijuana in California, before the exhibit closes.
The exhibition will be on view in the Oakland Museum of California’s Great Hall April 16 through September 25, 2016.