The Education of Cannabis Nation

June 9, 2013 in Crackdown, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, Inspire, Medical Cannabis, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom

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Knowledge is king. The biggest barrier standing in the way of weed freedom is that people are simply misinformed.

I am not just talking about folks outside of the cannabis bubble either. There are plenty within this “movement” that are severely misinformed and ignorant. In fact, it is the folks from within’s ignorance that makes this struggle much harder than it need be.

We have a duty to change the dialogue and to correct the decades of misinformation surrounding cannabis. We must have a more open and honest conversation about where we are as a society, how the hell we got here, and what we are going to do to make things better moving forward. But in order to effectively do that there is a lot of humble pie to be served on both sides of the table.

It will be necessary for us to admit some of our short comings as a community, and take corrective actions to make things better. That is hard work; but far from impossible. But it is also hard to take an authoritative educational position when your own house is not in order. People do not listen to those they believe are full of shit.

So where is the cannabis movement and industry full of shit? In a lot of areas unfortunately. We operate in a false reality that is nurtured by our need and desire for acceptance. We are willing to connect loose dots and make some wild claims in an effort to get people to buy into our cause. The community often will take loosely evidenced “facts” and broadcast them as truth, only to have bullshit called on them. This creates mistrust with the public, whose support we are working to gain.

Not a day goes by where we do not have to combat some idiot who claims “medical cannabis is a hoax” (I am looking at you, Gloomberg), or that the system is “a sham” (Looking at you Allen St. Pierre). But we also have not done a great job of proving these types of claims wrong, and thus we see more and more overburdensome regulations because we have failed to take care of our own housekeeping.

The weed industry has taken its course, and by all measures it is lacking in medical bona fides. Not that there is not real healing and medical applications happening; but that they are being overshadowed by a potent cannabis culture that will not be denied. We can continue to say that our dozen or so blunts a day are our medicine, and we have that right. But should we be surprised when people tell us that we might be full of shit?

So is it our education or their education that is lacking? Have we failed to educate our own on the cultural norms of what is considered medical in our society? Or have we failed to educate society that everything they consider to be medical is wrong because we have redefined medical to mean enjoyable and awesome?

The truth is that we have failed in both respects. We have made the medical cannabis system immanently more difficult for patients and providers by not putting a better foot forward, and at least trying to pretend that what we are up to is all medical. Every new state that comes on board makes the rules and barriers to entry more challenging to avoid the mistakes and abuses that are very public regarding medical cannabis. What we see is a lot of, “if you want medical we will give you medical.”

But instead of defending the fact that even the most abused system still provides a great deal of service with very little harm, and admitting that we must encourage adult use legalization to ensure patients are receiving quality care by removing the abuses in the system and allowing more healthcare professionals and researchers to embrace the developing industry, we generally deny there is an issue and demand that the world change their definition of what medical is to meet our needs.

Here is a little newsflash…..That is not gonna happen.

There is a hell of a lot of training that needs to be done both inside and outside of this movement. People must begin to open their minds to understanding and quit trying to fit the square peg in the round hole. We are better than this.

We can win this argument. We will win this argument. But at what cost if we do not educate and strategize more effectively?

From industry training for those who produce and provide cannabis, to public information and education, we must begin to develop a more sound infrastructure for developing and distributing positive and honest information about cannabis. Once people can understand the situation and what cannabis is and does, they generally are open to it being a part of our everyday landscape.

We have a lot to overcome. The prohibitionists and drug warriors have been extremely effective in spreading their lies and bullshit for the past few decades; so we have our work cut out for us.

But I can tell you for certain that if Joe Public thinks you are bullshitting them they will turn on you, and your credibility will cease to exist. This leaves the door open for those who oppose cannabis to continue to mislead.

When we come from a place of truth and honesty in our efforts to educate, we win

The truth is out there. Cannabis is an effective medicine. It is also an awesome and enjoyable experience. Marijuana can also provide spiritual awakening and raise a person’s awareness of themselves and the universe. Weed can enhance a situation or enable a person to have a better social experience. It is a lot of things. It is not one or the other, but all of them.

We have got to provide the education to cannabis nation so that we can realize our objectives of making weed legal for grown-ass people to use and produce as they please when they please.

Until every person understands the importance of cannabis freedom we will have work to do…So get at it already.

Educate yourself and then educate others. It is how the war is won….