At this point I think most of us who live the cannabis lifestyle have found ourselves on the receiving end of our fair share of disapproval for our lifestyle choices. I think, being female, in a predominantly male dominating culture, adds an extra layer to this general social disapproval. People struggle to figure out why you would choose to stray from the comforts of social acceptance.
This act of judging others in a disapproving way is not a new human trait.
If you understand this, you will be better equipped to help other people “wrap their heads around it”, if you wish to help them change how they think.
To illustrate this point, please let me introduce you to Giordano Bruno.
In his day, Bruno was a mathematician and an astrologer. He insisted that the earth was, in fact, round and that nobody was going to fall off the edge of it, they simply would just keep following its contour if they sailed beyond how far they could see with their eyes.
In 1600, he was burned at the stake for openly sharing what he thought. The people of his time couldn’t make the paradigm shift; that is, change from one way of thinking to another.
We are in the middle of a cannabis revolution and a massive paradigm shift.
Lots of people just aren’t their yet with their ability to critically think for themselves and get beyond the negative smear campaign that was the agenda of “Reefer Madness”.
So, the key to dissolving negative stigmas is through education.
When I find myself in a social situation where another person is expressing negative disbelief about whether cannabis has value beyond recreation, I make the following statements:
“You know when someone is diagnosed with diabetes they often require insulin because their pancreas isn’t producing it well.” Generally the person will say, “Yes, I understand that.” Then, I say “Well it’s the same thing with cannabis. My body doesn’t produce enough of its own endocannabinoids. I have what’s called an endocannabinoid deficiency. The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids and my body needs them to function without disease. Just like insulin can keep people alive who have advanced diabetes.”
If the person still can’t get it or refuses to accept my gentle nudge towards a different way of thinking, then I respond with:
“I am sure when people first heard the earth was round, they felt the same way. Unfortunately, the early educators were persecuted for sharing what they knew. Then science caught up with the supporting evidence and the creation of books helped to share the correct information.”
This is the same thing.
If that is met with more negativity, I generally remove myself from the situation.
I have done my piece being a gentle “Agent of Change”, for that person.
Perhaps they are a little slow, (insert sarcastic tone here), or they require 20 more Agents of change to deliver a similar message before they will understand.
Over time, with enough Agents of Change doing their part to educate, the cannabis paradigm shift will become complete.
My favourite Canadian Cannabis Agents of Change are: Rick Simpson, Jodie Emery, Marc Emery, Jason Wilcox, Dana Larsen, Bruce Ryan and Fabian Henry. All of these people are pioneers in the cannabis movement and are wonderful educators.
All of them have been heavily persecuted for sharing their knowledge about the cannabis herb.
(This is a picture of Jodie and myself at the Lift Cannabis Expo in Toronto, May 2016. Marc is standing in the background talking to another agent of change.)
Bruce Ryan and I, May, 2016.
Take home message: The earth is round. Cannabis is medicine. Educators are needed.