There are abundant examples of celebrities attempting to profit off legal cannabis even though the much less popular sit behind bars, but some of the OGs of cannabis culture are placing their income exactly where their mouths are. Eric Rachmany, guitarist and singer for Rebelution, is working with his national solo tour as a way to raise awareness and income 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 — occasionally as members of the pot sector. We caught up with Rachmany to discover a lot more about the trigger, his connection to cannabis and some of his personal close calls even though touring.
Westword: As a cannabis user, what created expungement and re-entry so critical 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 constantly been a massive cannabis advocate, and has constantly pushed for legalization.
But the principal explanation I wanted to get involved is mainly because it feels weird for me to make income off our personal cannabis line of items figuring out there are men and women nonetheless locked away, some for life sentences, who have been undertaking the precise very same factor as us: attempting to make a dollar off cannabis. That does not really feel proper, figuring out all these men and women 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. Being aware of I am generating income off cannabis, like so a lot of other folks in this sector, even though other folks are locked up for it — that just does not sit proper.
A single wonderful way to make a statement is to take this message on the road and show men and women what this trigger is. I just want to raise awareness, and I believe anyone who makes use of cannabis would want to be involved in an organization like this. For men and women to be locked up for one thing as minor as cannabis, it 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 men and women are just attempting to make a dollar to survive.
There is one thing about a reside functionality that can truly sit nicely with a listener. There is only so a lot I can do via recorded material or speaking about it in an write-up. But when men and women come and see a neighborhood backing a trigger, that is a lot a lot more profound. I’ve been a component of a lot of Final Prisoner Project fundraisers, and they poll cannabis-sector players. A lot of these massive hitters are generating pledges to employ some of the very first prisoners that Final Prisoner Project has gotten out.
Among seeing so a lot of men and women in front of you even though on stage and traveling about the nation to carry out, how have you noticed the boldness about cannabis use transform more than the years?
I believe it depends on the area. In California, it felt like it had been legal for a extended time. When recreational cannabis became legal out there, I did not truly notice a transform, and I do not believe a lot of other folks did, other than seeing men and women who weren’t involved in cannabis just before now attempting to get involved. About the nation, although, it absolutely has.
My band has been touring for about twelve years, and we’ve been in a lot of areas exactly where we truly had to hide smoking weed. Though some areas nonetheless make me really feel that way, there are absolutely much less. I believe men and women who weren’t cannabis customers are now hearing about the added benefits of it, and they want to be involved — even my personal mates and family members. I really feel like a lot of the stuff I was told about cannabis have been lies, and music and art are wonderful techniques to educate men and women about cannabis.
Have there ever been some close calls on the road with law enforcement?
Oh, yeah. Rebelution has a couple of stories on tour, and fortunately none of us got locked away, but we could have. I know a lot of other bands and artists who’ve been in comparable circumstances. We really feel privileged about that, so we really feel a duty to do one thing to contribute back, mainly because I can not visualize that ever taking place to a close pal or family members. I know men and women who’ve been locked away below 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. Pretty much just about every scenario 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 is a band. We’re straightforward targets. That is yet another explanation why we’re pushing for federal legalization: We’d like to be in a position to use it freely in all states.
I visualize a lot of men and women throw a lot of joints and cannabis at you on stage.
What do you do with all that weed?
We do not know what precisely is in these joints [laughs]. We’ll ordinarily let the crew have them if they want, or one thing like that. I am positive a lot of fans may possibly be mad to study that — sorry, everybody — but it is just so abundant now, which is wonderful. It really should be normalized, mainly because it is a helpful plant.
How has working with 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 truly productive, and that is a single factor that men and women 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 is the opposite. Just about every time I use cannabis, I want to do one thing inventive or organize one thing [laughs]. I believe it can be extremely helpful for a lot of men and women.
Has the acceptance of cannabis culture more than the previous decade impacted your music profession?
I would visualize so. I believe cannabis and the arts are associated, regardless of whether it is music or some other art type. When cannabis is consumed, I believe a lot of men and women want to see art or contribute to it. So, yes, really, I believe it has.
How do you use cannabis to spur your creativity?
I choose flower these days, just mainly because I sort of know how a lot I am working with. There are just so a lot of items out there, but I’d like to get a lot more into edibles. Back in the day, when an individual provided you an edible, you truly did not know what was in it or how potent it was. Man, do I have some stories of having on stage just after consuming an edible and forgetting words. It really is challenging. Some men and women can do it, but it is really hard for me.
What do you do in these circumstances? Sounds intense.
All of a sudden, the lights just get brighter and you get super-paranoid. You just have to fight via it.