Interview with: Kalonji Changa
Interview By: Baz Moreno
Photography By: Konsider
After several attempts to speak with the author and activist of Atlanta, Georgia, I was impressed with his forthrightness when we did speak. I could hear people talking, the ringing of phones and his anticipation of his next task. Still, he took minutes from his busy schedule to succinctly discuss his mission and his appreciation for cannabis.
Kalonji Changa effortlessly proved his knowledge of law(lessness), the military industrial complex and the needs of the people. This is my first interview in a series to offer individuals, associated with cannabis in some fashion, that are intelligent and productive.
Baz: The ethnoconscious and/or Afrikan-centered individuals have regularly used more soulful names to identify areas heavily populated by Afrikans in America (so-called African-Americans). Is there a moniker for Atlanta?
Kalonji: The folks in my circle call Atlanta “Rap Brown Georgia” in honor of the legendary freedom fighter/activist, H. ‘Rap’ Brown, who is currently a Political Prisoner. ‘Rap’ Brown, who is now an Imam – known as Jamil Al-Amin was framed and falsely accused of murdering a Fulton County (Georgia) sheriff’s deputy and wounding another in March 2000. He is currently serving life without parole.
Baz: You are known as an activist. What are your intentions?
Kalonji: I am on a mission to bring about peace – for not only the people of the world, but the plants, animals and environment – as a whole. My intention is to fight oppression wherever I find it and to restore a natural, holistic living experience. We live in an emotional, psychological, physical and spiritually damaged society and we are in dire need of cleansing and healing. It is unfortunate that we dwell within a sad state of reality in which we have to go to war just to bring about peace.
Baz: I know that you are organized. I have had the fortune of preparing meals for the less-fortunate with your organization. Certainly, you are often asked the meaning of FTP?
Kalonji: FTP (short for FTP Movement) is an acronym that stands for whatever you need it to – in any given situation. Free the People, Feed the People, Fruition thru Persistence, Formulate the Plan, F*ck the Police and in honor of Konsider Magazine “For the Pot”.
Baz: For the Pot! That’s rhetoric that will escape the up and coming minds, but your humor and honesty are truly appreciated. As you know, Konsider is an advocate of medicinal cannabis. Do you think there is a difference in medicinal and recreational use or is this a legality to allow the privileged to benefit from marijuana sales?
Kalonji: All cannabis is medicinal. Again, we live in a world in which all of its occupants who have been forced into the system of capitalism are psychologically damaged, affected or are currently experiencing a trait of mental illness or physical ailments due to all of the madness we are constantly bombarded with. Capitalism (white supremacy) places a price tag on everything. Be it… water, air, plants, natural resources, raw materials, et cetera. The revenue of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, alone, raked in $700 million dollars …roughly three quarters of a billion dollars in 2014. Same year, a friend’s son was arrested in Atlanta for possession of a half of a joint and had a bond of $2,700. You tell me what you think it is…
Baz: I am clear on your point and too familiar with the wavering laws of Georgia. How would you define the difference between medical grade marijuana and a nickel bag of weed?
Kalonji: Do they still have nickel bags of weed? (After the laughter subsides, Kalonji resumes with his cadence of seriousness.) I would imagine that if you can find a nickel bag of weed, in 2015, the difference in the nickel bag and medicinal marijuana would probably be like the difference in an Atlanta food desert selling “red juice” and you being able to purchase some freshly pressed organic apple juice at an orchard.
Baz: Do you think Georgia will pass a law to legalize marijuana? If not, why?
Kalonji: I don’t think Georgia will legalize marijuana anytime soon because prison is a $450 billion dollar – a year- industry and it is easier to monitor southern captives than it is to regulate marijuana sales.
Baz: You’ve accomplished a lot in your life. You have not been afraid to speak harshly or truthfully about individuals pretending to have the best interest of downtrodden and oppressed individuals. However, you have done it without yelling or threatening anyone. Do you think marijuana has allowed you to camouflage your aggression?
Kalonji: Absolutely! Marijuana is the medication to soothe a Nation. Good weed, good beer, good food, good music and good sex, makes the fight a good fight!
Baz: Do you think the use of marijuana has robbed you of any creativity?
Kalonji: No! But I do think that the shortage of marijuana has robbed me of my creativity. Everyday should be 420! In the words of the musical genius and freedom fighter, Peter Tosh “…legalize it, don’t criticize it. Legalize it and I will advertise it”.
Baz: How is it that the American people have been taught to frown on marijuana and any other drug, and yet, you are economically, spiritually, mentally, academically and socially productive and active? No one can accuse you of sleeping. You actually challenge the social stereotype. How have you been able to do this?
Kalonji: Whatever the wolf says is bad, the sheep repeats it. Whatever the wolf says is good, the sheep says is good. All the while, the wolf is seasoning the sheep so that he can make sheep soup. American people are victims of mind control. Like the great activist, Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael) would say, “Capitalism will confuse you. It doesn’t lie sometime. It lies all of the time”. American people are so confused that they actually think they are thinking. I am able to challenge the social stereotype and will never count sheep because I don’t allow anyone to control my mind. Don’t ever allow anyone to control your mind.