The English brought cannabis oil to the Jamestown Colony, field doctors used it to ease pain during the Civil War, and Mexicans crossed the U.S. Border with it at the turn of the 20th-century. But, things went bad when Prohibitionists arrived on the scene.
In their anxiety to ban alcohol, they created a culture that targeted all things considered ”Vice.” A combination of racism, elitism, and malformed Puritanism sought to isolate the minorities, musicians, and minds that favored the benefits of cannabis as fun or medicine.
Masquerading as a revenue act, The Federal Marihuana [sic] Tax Act was passed in 1937. And declared unconstitutional in 1969. But, the damage was done as it leads to a bias in the formation of the FDA’s Schedule I Drugs, including cannabis along with heroin and cocaine, So, what can do to unwind this intolerance?
4 ways to fight the marijuana stigma:
- Know what you are dealing with. “Marijuana” is a broad classification that includes psychoactive impacts and medical therapies. But, you’ll find you can’t hold your own in a discussion about the efficacy of cannabis without learning as much as you can.
The information is no longer one-sided with a little research work you can locate the scientific research, the statistics, and the botany of cannabis. You will learn, for example, how it is being processed into pharmaceuticals with high-impact on certain medical conditions, from severe epilepsy to the side-effects of chemotherapy. Soon, you’ll find it easy to find medical marijuana near you.
- Use marijuana responsibly. You don’t want to add to the bad rep of the “reefer madness” with irresponsible behavior. You must understand you may experience some unexpected results as you start to use with trial and error. So, you don’t want those effects to work themselves out while you are driving or working.
If you connect your use with your learning, you should have a better grasp on what works for you, your body type, gender, and metabolism. Your usage is something you can discuss with the budtender at your medical or recreational use dispensary.
- Keep talking about it. You n learn from others, too. Your friends who use may be your first source of information. They can be great coaches and supporters as you come on board. But, it’s an opportunity to end the stigma by being open and inquisitive.
You can help break the stigma barrier by discussing your interests and use openly, especially in states where use is legal. But, those with medical concerns should feel free to question and learn without prejudice
- Go live. Social media offer connections users did not have in the past. When information and product were left to dealers meeting behind a neighborhood dumpster, customers have so many more advantages today. You can chat and compare notes with friends, of course,
As a CBC News report noted, “Stigma of the lazy pot-smoker hurts medical marijuana users.” But, social media allow you to explore a universe of opinions, experiences, and recommendations on cannabis strains, products, and by-products. You’ll how-to videos, product reviews, and advice on where and how to shop.
Reduce the stigma reduces the harm
Research published in Harm Reduction Journal found “the stigma associated with cannabis use negatively impacted participants’ social, professional and family ties as well as their relationships with healthcare providers.” These reactions form “a barrier to receiving the health care many participants needed.” With these four steps, you can help reduce the stigma attached to cannabis use.