As a teenager, Monica Donovan saw firsthand the effects of the War on Drugs and how the justice system treats people differently based on the color of their skin.
When she was caught shoplifting at age 15, she was forced to take a drug test. While the juvenile detention center where she spent a small amount of time was filled with people of color, she was offered the leniency of a rehab program.
“I definitely saw a very stark contrast,” she says. “It was really apparent to me that this was a system that favored some people more than others.”
Decades later, it’s a sharp memory that remains central in her advocacy of cannabis and social justice. In 2015, Donovan launched Heady Vermont, an online news and culture site that also hosts two signature events, the Headies Cup and Vermont Cannabis Week, which this year will coincide with the first days of adult-use sales in Vermont. Vermont Cannabis Week begins October 1, with Heady Vermont providing online programming and education to help local cannabis consumers understand the lay of the land when it comes to recreational cannabis sales in the Green Mountain State.
“We really love to give people a place, whether it’s online or in person, that they can connect with businesses and get information about what’s going on,” she says.