Archive for the ‘Causes’ Category

Instagram Ignores States’ Rights

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Western Cultured Canceled

Last Monday I logged into Instagram like any other, but what I found left my stomach in knots. Instagram deleted Western Cultured‘s account without any explanation. Moreover, the app glitched up making it impossible to file an appeal.

After serious tears and a coffee run, I pulled it together to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I’m writing this blog because I’ve yet to hear from Instagram and believe they should respect states’ rights to #LetUsGrow.

Western Cultured is a branding company for a legally recognized i502 recreational cannabis producer in Washington State. Our page featured legally grown cannabis plants, adults 21+ and included a disclaimer. All content on our page is owned by Western Cultured (and produced by moi). We did not use our page to sell cannabis, promote underage smoking or irresponsible cannabis use.

Instagram has picked favorites and chosen to delete some pages, while keeping others. (Side note: we love all cannabis pages and don’t want any others removed!) The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board even recommended we create the Western Cultured brand to avoid conflicts like this.

Alas, Instagram ignores states rights, and they’ve written it into their terms. “Buying or selling illegal drugs (even if it’s legal in your region), as well as promoting recreational drug use, is not allowed.”

Facebook-owned Instagram is a progressive, open-minded company, which is why I’m baffled at their decision to censor pages that promote cannabis. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states plus DC have legalized it for recreational use. Recreational cannabis is a multi-billion dollar industry and Washington State alone generated over $100 million in tax revenue since i502’s inception.

The time and effort of the last six months, to not only gain followers but build relationships, has been stolen from me. Poof. Vanished into cyberspace. Instagram isn’t just about photos and likes, it’s about sharing moments and building brands. With time, recreational cannabis brands will parallel those like Budweiser, Coca-Cola or Marlboro. We are on the ground floor of a budding industry, which is why platforms like Instagram are so vital to establishing our brand.

It’s uncertain why our page was targeted. We didn’t have nearly the followers of other accounts (although a 1:13 ratio is dang good!) and an organic High Times repost resulted in major page growth. Coincidentally, the night before our page deletion, I privately IG messaged a friend about my job and suggested he check out our page. Is Instagram using algorithms to monitor chats? I don’t know. Some speculate industry competition reported our page, which I hope isn’t true (hello, bad karma). If it is, we’re doing something right, and we’ll be back with a vengeance.

For now, it feels like a bad breakup. Every day I check our page, hopeful it’s been reactivated. My heart needs time to heal (AKA I’m waiting on that BBB complaint) and with time I might create a new account, but nothing will compare to @westerncultured. I’m always one to light up the moment, but for now, the flame of my creativity has been put out.

I’m looking at you Mark Zuckerberg.

p.s. If anyone has a contact at Facebook or Instagram, please message me ASAP.

♥ BB

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MADE to Volunteer

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and as a volunteer of the Downtown Women’s Center, I’m excited to share my story.

Four years ago I attended the grand opening of MADE by DWC and it changed my life.

MADE by DWC is a social enterprise committed to ending the cycle of homelessness for the women of Los Angeles’ Skid Row Community.

MADE offers Set to Work and Set to Create training programs. Ladies hand-make items like soaps, candles and travel pouches to be sold in our cafe and boutique. One hundred percent of proceeds benefit the Downtown Women’s Center.

MADE enriched my life in ways I never thought possible. There really are no words to describe it. I’ve realized homelessness isn’t always a choice and we need to empower one another. Hearing these ladies’ stories and seeing their growth inspires me. Volunteer work brought about a deeper appreciation for life. Moreover, MADE taught me to do what you love, and use it to make a difference. We can all make a difference in this world, so if you’re thinking about volunteering don’t think, just do. Whether it’s homelessness, the environment, children or animals, get involved. I guarantee it will change your life. Thank you MADE for changing mine.

♥ BB

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ISFLC 2015 Coverage

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

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Very excited about the footage I shot at the 8th Annual International Students for Liberty Conference!

Click here to see the rest of my photos and video for A Generation Empowered. The event roster included Dr. Ron Paul, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Edward Snowden!

♥ BB

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Fiscal Friday – Ready for Retirement

Friday, February 6th, 2015

This Fiscal Friday we’re power walking Palm Springs to get Millennials ready for retirement. While it might be decades away, it’s never too soon to start planning those golden years!

♥ BB

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Fiscal Friday – Social Security vs. Ponzi Scheme

Friday, January 16th, 2015

What’s better than Fiscal Friday? Fiscal Friday and football!

Today I’m comparing the matchup between Social Security and a Ponzi Scheme.

A few video highlights:
– When Social Security started, there were 9 workers for every 1 recipient. Today is almost 2 to 1.
– By 1960 Congress started raiding the Social Security trust fund, to the tune of $2.6 trillion.
– Money paid into Social Security today is being paid out today.
– The Social Security Trust Fund runs out by 2033, and in order for the government to keep the program going, benefits will be cut 25%.

And here’s the kicker…
-In 1960, the Supreme Court ruled in Flemming v. Nestor “entitlement to Social Security Benefits are not a contractual right.” That means your benefits can be cut OR eliminated at any time.

If you think that’s pretty dang unacceptable, head over to A Generation Empowered and click “I Agree.” This is our generation, and we have the power to change it!

♥ BB

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