A growing movement on social media is encouraging compassionate stoners to give what they can to the homeless, including their cannabis. Joints for Homeless was founded by Damien Menendez and Shane Pettas AKA Boppin through an Instagram account, where people post videos and photos of them giving out joints and bags and dabs to those in need.
Today their IG has more than 43,000 followers, and Boppin estimates that more than 100,000 joints have been given to the homeless in the last three years.
As popular as the movement is, Menendez is quick to point out that the point of Joints for Homeless is not really to give weed to those who may be struggling; the point is to be compassionate.
Menendez suggests that those who want to give create a “blessing bag” with more essential items in addition to some herb. “Take a one-gallon Ziploc, and you stick a personal care product in there,” Menendez told High Times. “Some deodorant, a little personal shaving kit, some wet wipes, some socks … and throw in a couple of joints, a bag lunch. Let someone smoke a joint, eat a lunch, clean themselves up before bed.”
The practice of giving away weed without any kind of license is frowned upon in most of the country, and certainly in Florida where Menendez lives, but the homeless advocate says he doesn’t let it concern him.
“You know, honestly I’m not worried about it,” he said. “Because what are they going to do?”
Even those who aren’t in the position to give material goods can still help. “If you want to help a homeless person, just smile at them,” Menendez said. “I guarantee you will get a smile back. Because when you’re on the street for that long, and people walk past you and pretend that they don’t see you, you really start to lose it as a human being.”
In the end, the message is simple. “You’re a human being, that’s all we care about. You’re a human being and we just want to make sure you can eat a little bit, wash up a little bit, maybe take a hit or two. Have a chance to lay down and maybe figure out a way out of this situation.”
Photo via Flickr user Nico