I Hate Weed Culture

I hate weed culture. Weed culture is what represents all of us to the rest of the world, except that it's an awful representation. Don't get me wrong. I'm an ally of the legalization movement, and I've long been aware of the absurdity behind cannabis legislation, and all the crooked reasons why we're even stuck with fighting this battle today. But weed/cannabis culture, at least it's most visible aspects, is undermining the legalization movement more than it's helping, and I hate it in it's current state. Here's why.

Weed culture is dishonest.

Fact : Cannabis has many beneficial properties and has been unfairly handled by law enforcement around the world in a tyrannical way, destroying many lives and families by jailing non violent individuals, simply for being in possession of cannabis.

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Fact : For the most part, all"cannabis culture" really cares about is getting high.

Let's not mince words here, cannabis is just as much of a drug as alcohol, as tobacco, as heroin, as methamphetamine (just as much by the definition of the word, definitely not by how harmful it is). For the most part, users who partake are interested in the euphoric, altered state. While it's true that many patients have already benefited in incredible ways thanks to medicinal cannabis, it's always struck me as odd that legitimate medicinal users make up a very small percentage of cannabis users, but for some reason cannabis culture has held up these people as the standard. That's dishonest, and exploitation.

Recreational cannabis is a vice, and it's okay that it's a vice. So is alcohol, tobacco, coffee, chewing gum, masturbation, bottled water, and yoga. Witha couple of obviousexceptions (tobacco is REALLY bad for you. Heroin addicts typically don't maintain function for very long, etc) it's entirely plausible to partake in whatever vices and still live a perfectly healthy lifestyle. Cannabis is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, yes. It's absurd that those two are legally available, but cannabis is not (all the way yet), yes. But the number one reason most of us want cannabis to be legalized is because we're grown, functioning adults that are responsible enough to make our own decisions, and dammit we like to get high once in awhile.

Weed culture is still maturing.

That's my friendly way of saying that cannabis culture is juvenile. The loudest, most boisterous members of the group always end up being the unintended representatives, the problem is that the loudest, most boisterous members very rarely accurately represent the hearts and minds of the majority. That is, they're usually a REALLY piss poor representative that only gives fuel to the opposition.

We see this happening in politics, in sports, in religion, pretty much in any subset of humans you can think of, and yes it's definitely happening in cannabis culture. Have you ever read online content that was critical of cannabis? The knee-jerk reaction of the loudest members of cannabis culture, complete with vitriol fueled inflammatory speech, are ALWAYS the first to the comments section.

Shouting matches don't accomplish anything besides exhausting all parties involved. Rational adults understand that other rational adults may have opposing viewpoints on certain issues. This is an opportunity for dialogue and awareness raising, and trust me it works. Just ask Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Anti-cannabis folks are not our enemies, they're just as much victims of the generations of anti-cannabis propaganda as we are. Our true goal is to end the irrational fear and ignorance surrounding cannabis, making enemies isn't conducive to that goal.

Sure, you're going to run into people who simply have their minds made up. The wise grown up stoner knows that attempting to convince these people otherwise is a waste of time and energy. Move on.

Denying the risks of cannabis undermines the legalization movement, and weed culture does it all the time.

Cannabis is a thing of miracles. Medical studies are finding more and more beneficial uses for the plant. Take for example, the story of Charlotte Figi - who suffered debilitating seizures starting at 2 years old, and lived in absolute misery while bouncing between different chemical and holistic treatments for the next several years. Charlotte's parents, desperate to save their little girl, opted for experimental treatment with medicinal cannabis.

And. It. Worked.

Charlotte's standard of life has increased a thousandfold, and now she's enjoying being a happy little kid, exactly what little kids should be doing.

Stories like Charlotte's fill me with hope, because it's a real liferepresentation of someone's life being dramatically improved by cannabis. Not only has a little girl been spared a life of abject hell, but here we have a shining point in the history of cannabis where the whole world saw how it could be used to heal. My own experiences, though not of the same gravity, we're enough to make me a firm believer in how absurd anti cannabis laws are. My wife suffered from a chronic auto-immune disease that had to be treated with chemo when it was at it's worst. When she started using medicinal cannabis she went into remission almost immediately. I've had great success controlling my own anxiety with medicinal cannabis (full disclosure: I also use it recreationally), and it's helped me really focus on my writing as a result.

All that said, cannabis is like anything else. Depending on how you use it, it can have serious unintended consequences. Charlotte's case is unique in that a strain was developed specifically for her (Charlotte's Web) that contains high CBD levels (the prime medicinal agent in cannabis) while only containing trace amounts of THC (the prime psychoactive agent in cannabis). Subjecting the developing mind of a child to the "high" of cannabis could cause untold damage, as it's been witnessed in pretty much any other mind altering substance. Fetal alcohol syndrome, anyone?

Cannabis has risks, because in real life everything does. Driving while high is irresponsible, but I've seen it defended as a safe practice numerous times. How exactly are we supposed to break the stigma of cannabis when the people who are already irrationally afraid of it are now suddenly terrified that they might be killed by a driving pot smoker? Cannabis abuse is a real thing, and though it doesn't outright kill you like some of the more insidious substances out there, itstill comes with negative consequences. Just ask any burnout. But rather than hiding or making excuses for the potential negative consequences of cannabis use, I think instead we should be focusing on the most important aspect behind this entire issue: personal responsibility, and personal liberty.

Honesty is how you maintain your integrity. The legalization movement needs to be honest about both the benefits and the potential negative consequences of cannabis use. Considering that we're trying to undo the damage of literal lifetimes of propaganda, we're facing an uphill battle. We're going to need all the integrity we can muster.

The bright side is that I don't think weed culture will always be like this. Much like how the "public" view of cannabis has matured exponentially in the last few years, so has cannabis culture in general.

But it's still got a lot of growing up to do.

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Posted in Personal Development Post Date 07/23/2021


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