First-Ever Pot Exhibition to Open at Oakland Museum

The first-ever museum exhibition to focus on marijuana in California will include political posters and documents, scientific displays and interactive multimedia exhibits.

The public will be able to examine the various aspects of cannabis from science and politics to a "Sacred Ganja" display that will look at the spiritual history of marijuana in ancient cultures, aided by local artist Cybele Lyle’s walk-in installation that seeks to convey how marijuana heightens creativity.

With the intention of sparking the conversation about marijuana, the museum exhibition urges viewers to come and discuss all sentiments towards weed and inspect the evolving attitudes, not only in the recreational sphere, but through political perspectives and scientific data as well.

Altered State Photo: A protester with a sign at San Diego Gay Pride in 2012. Nathan Rupert, Creative Commons.
“We hope this exhibit encourages people to think critically about marijuana, the research available on it and how it is presented in the media," said Dr. Sarah Seiter, associate curator of natural sciences at the Oakland Museum. "Our goal is that this exhibition will help people have informed conversations with their families and friends about what type of marijuana policy is right for California.” 

Another of Lyle’s displays is a “Cannabis Confessional,” for private ganja thoughts and live specimens of cannabis, according to the museum’s website.

As an interactive experience, visitors will be allowed to participate in some of the exhibits—putting an artistic spin on raising awareness of both the positive and negative impacts of pot. 

Altered State Photo: Neon signs in the window of a medical cannabis club on Haight Street in San Francisco. Thomas Hawk, Creative Commons.

“…we aim to inspire Californians to create a more vibrant future for themselves and their communities," museum director Lori Fogarty said. "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.”

“Altered State: Marijuana in California” opens April 16—just in time for 420—and runs through September. Check out some more photos from the exhibition HERE.

(Photos Courtesy of the Oakland Museum of California)

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