I spent ‘A Night Out With Chelsea Handler’ and if there’s one thing she wants - no, needs us to do is to ‘get socially engaged, assholes!’
That's the core message of the event that left me feeling angry and energized. Angry because she spent the evening talking about social injustice, particularly related to the current situation in America. And energized because of the power and passion behind her message of challenging yourself to seek out and understand other perspectives. Her call to get outside of your own space and use your privilege to help people who are marginalized or need help was a kick in the butt. I left feeling the need to be more, to do more.
The event kicked off the World Cannabis Congress 2018, and was hosted in New Brunswick, one of the Maritime provinces in Canada. The venue was the historic Imperial Theatre in Saint John, which was built in 1912.
As I waited in line, the smell of marijuana wafted through the air along with a general hum of excitement. I had been advised to arrive a bit early, as the security was going to be tight with metal detectors used – a first in the history of the century-old theater. Which speaks volumes of the differences between life in Trump's America versus Maritime Canada. But there's no doubt that the extra precautions were necessary since - in Chelsea’s own words - she’s made a career off of screaming at people, so it’s no surprise that she’s raised the ire of many people.
Civilized and the Canadian cannabis producer Tweed co-sponsored the event, which was hosted by Civilized Publisher and CEO Derek Riedle. Here are the top quotes from the conversation ranging from the state of politics in America, to social justice, to how marijuana its healing bodies and minds around the world.
Here are some of the best quotes from the funny but thought-provoking event:
On visiting Canada and Trump’s recent criticism of our Prime Minister:
“Hi Canada, I’m always happy to come here to get out of my own fucking country.”
“We care deeply about our [Canadian] neighbors, despite what our president says.”
“Who fights with Canada?”
On Canada’s own “oopsie-whoopsie election” (Doug Ford):
“I remember his brother. Canadian Hero. Seriously, these dynasties need to stop.”
On Trump, the Me Too Movement and his alleged magnetism:
“#Metoo, ironically, hasn’t reached the President of the United States. Who hasn’t been molested by him?”
“In some ways, #metoo and #timesup are a referendum on Trump being President.”
On leaving your own lane and getting engaged:
“After the election, I started to realize I needed to look outside of my own lane. If you have the means, you have to stick your neck out for others.”
“We don’t need 85 year old white men running our countries. We need diversity. The world is getting browner and gayer, so fucking hop on.”
“I thought white privilege meant Harvard/Yale but it’s not. It’s being able to walk down the street in the middle of the night and knock on a door and someone will help me. Black women can’t do that.”
“People think WWII and Hitler could never happen. The best predictor that it can happen again is that it did happen. I hope it doesn’t happen in the US, but I am acting like it’s going to.”
“I decided to get real and grow up. And that’s when I started smoking weed again.”
“With the medical benefits, and the ability to control the effects of marijuana through microdosing, I am a huge proponent of it. It just ticks all of the boxes: no hangover, no calories unlike alcohol, takes the edge off and can help me sleep.”
“It needs to be de-stigmatized. It’s not a drug, it’s a plant and it’s proven to be healing. It also helps me deal with people I don’t like. Micro-dosing is key.”
Throughout the evening, Chelsea was funny, engaged and passionate. She had a voice and demonstrated that her voice has power – something she argues everyone can have, and particularly wants women to embrace. Her message of inclusivity and getting out of your own head to get out and meet people from all different backgrounds resonated throughout the packed theater. We need more diversity at the table; we need men supporting women; and we need to vote and encourage others to understand and vote in their best interests.
The night ended with a Q and A session. Many people were able to score selfies and signatures. The last gentleman was a bit too stoned to fully form his question but as my cousin said: “It’s the World Cannabis Congress and Chelsea Handler is here. You can’t blame a guy for being ripped to the tits on weed.”
Spoken like a true Maritimer.