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Editor’s Note: Welcome to one particular of our newest bi-weekly columns, High People: the cannabis-infused version of Humans of New York, in which we take an intimate appear at people’s relationships with our most beloved plant. The connection amongst humans and cannabis is primal, dynamic, and profound. But it is anything that is increasingly overlooked in the new age of weed. So in an work to combat the superficiality of cannabis in the social media-age, Higher Times is proud to present to you a collection of perform that highlights one particular of life’s most stunning gifts: connection.

What was the 1st point you did when you purchased your 1st pack of Backwoods? I went on YouTube to attempt and recognize the mysterious art of rolling the fantastic blunt. I promptly clicked on the 1st video I saw, and on the other side of my laptop screen sat Dope as Yola. Although he had under no circumstances rolled a Backwoods and he does not exclusively use blunts, Dope as Yola promised to nevertheless be a useful resource for novice blunt rollers like myself.

Thomas Araujo, improved identified as Dope as Yola to cannabis enthusiasts across the net, has been developing weed content material for YouTube for six years. Araujo sits on the other side of our screens reminding be comfy with marijuana’s playful nature.

“I [used to think] ‘Oh my God, you smoke weed? You are a drug addict,’” Araujo told Higher Occasions. “Because at college that is all they taught us.”

Although he had fallen below the spell of America’s DARE plan, Araujo nevertheless wanted to know what it felt like to get higher. So in 2003 at the age of 13-years-old, Araujo smoked his 1st bowl out of a Mountain Dew can when binge-watching MAD Television with his older sister.

“I was just curious, but it was absolutely one particular of the finest nights of my life,” stated Araujo.

His curiosity sooner or later led him to discover communities of weed enthusiasts on social media and post his 1st YouTube video in 2013. Final year on New Year’s Eve, rather of smoking a giant joint on YouTube to celebrate ultimately reaching 50,000 subscribers, Araujo decided to give out absolutely free weed to strangers in Los Angeles.

“On my Snapchat for years I’d [give away free weed] but not so openly,” stated Araujo. “Usually, I’ll get on my Snapchat and say ‘Hey, right here I am. Here’s some weed […] I’m in your town.”  Since I’m often traveling all through California, in some cases I’ll quit in tiny towns of two,000 individuals. And typically there is one particular individual that follows me and they’ll get the weed.”

His pals at 3C Farms, Dab Ave, and Marijuana N Munchies have been content to provide about a quarter-pound worth of goods for the specific day. In the YouTube video, which now has 257,000 views, you can see Araujo handing out weed to the content people of LA.

“Anything weed associated on the net, I’m fairly substantially going to be in the image someplace. I’m often [creating content for YouTube and Instagram]. This side of the sector is enjoyable mainly because I do not have to deal with the negative components of it,” stated Araujo.

By “bad parts” he signifies getting unexpectedly raided by the feds, going to court, or facing prison time. It is a bag of mixed feelings for Araujo mainly because he’s watched household and pals attempt and make an sincere living in the sector only to be marginalized by federal laws.

The content material that Araujo creates as Dope as Yola is what you would anticipate from a WeedTuber: endless bong rips, critiques on the most recent accessories, and hilarious story instances. He understands that his spot in the cannabis sector is a exclusive one particular. He is the owner of the cannabis apparel enterprise, Push Trees, but he is not straight involved in the production of flower or flower-derived goods.

“I have pals who personal organizations that only go to legal states mainly because they do not want to be preyed upon,” stated Araujo.

The reality is that America is in a space of suspended chaos, waiting for government officials to say yes to federal legalization. In one particular component of the nation, even though the threat of federal persecution nevertheless looms, there are nevertheless individuals generating a living in the sector. But a wonderful majority of Americans are continually getting told no mainly because of outdated beliefs.

His longtime girlfriend, Rosie Ruiz aka Stoner Dottie on IG, says that his journey is inspiring.

“The appear on his face when he feels he’s on to anything wonderful really motivates me and tends to make me smile. It is like I have my pretty personal celebrity 24/7,” stated Ruiz. “What sets him apart is actually just him getting [himself]. Upon meeting him you can just really feel how genuine he is [about creating] wonderful content material. He’s right here to generate anything astounding.”

“This is what I want to do with my absolutely free time. I want to smoke a joint,” stated Araujo. “[Some people] want to drink. [Some people] want to do hobbies. I’m going to smoke a joint and then perform on my stuff. That is what I want to do. My hobby is [getting high], and if I want to do it I will.”

Araujo says that weed has under no circumstances let him down. In truth, his partnership with cannabis has opened quite a few doors for him, and he is committed to generating cannabis enthusiasts across the net really feel great about their choice to roll up.