U.S. Open Cannabis Scent, and Protests for Native Inclusion

September 1, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes

A cannabis scent interrupts the U.S. Open showdown, and the Native Coalition of Colorado calls for healing rather than profit at Denver’s Psychedelic Science 2023 conference.

Let’s dive into this week’s canna-news.

Cannabis Steals the Show at the U.S. Open

An unexpected guest made an appearance at this year’s Tennis U.S. Open in New York. In the middle of a match between No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari and Rebecca Masarova, the smell of cannabis wafted over the court.

The smell was so strong that Sakkara, in possession of a 4-1 lead in the first set at the time, had no choice but to alert the chair umpire. “The smell, oh my gosh, I think it’s from the park,” Sakkara told the ump.

Sakkara wound up losing the match but was adamant that the cannabis odor was not to blame. While talking to reporters, Sakkara said, “I smelled it, but that was it. Like it wasn’t something I paid attention to. Sometimes you smell food. Sometimes you smell cigarettes. Sometimes you smell weed.” Further, Sakkara added that she had picked up on the smell while practicing on the same court a couple of days before the match.

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While this ended up being nothing more than a funny story to recount, previous incidents with cannabis smell at the U.S. Open have not gone as smoothly. Last year, Open participant Nick Kyrgios complained about the exact same smell. Unlike Sakkara, Kyrgios noted that the smoke likely had an effect on his performance because he is asthmatic.

Do you think the smell of cannabis was enough to end Sakkara’s hot streak? Let us know in the comments!

Protest at Psychedelic Science 2023 Conference Highlights Need for Native Inclusion

Just outside of the Psychedelic Science 2023 conference in Denver, the group Native Coalition of Colorado (NCC) staged a protest. The reason? The group wanted to ensure that the same Native communities who originated psychedelic therapy had a say in the quickly commercializing psychedelic sector.

The group warned of corporate greed making it tough for Native communities to get their hands on plants that have been central to their rituals for generations. Furthermore, the NCC wanted to ensure proper administration of these substances when treating patients. Lastly, the NCC wanted to remind everyone that these plants are not meant to generate profit but to heal.

As more and more states embrace a looser stance on psychedelic therapy, it will be interesting to see how—and if—these efforts will take Native Americans’ perspectives into account.

Do you agree with the NCC’s fight for inclusion? Let us know in the comments!

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