The true potential of what Marijuana can be, and also an accurate picture of what it is, is often lost in the vast majority. Let’s look at the big picture: It can be used as a medicine, specifically for its pain alleviating agents including, but not limited to, THC, CBA, CBD and so on, AND it can be refined and processed to produce raw goods that range from plastics to fabrics, even foods! Just about anything within the confines of reason and the allowance of physics may be rendered from the Cannabis plant.
Unfortunately, many – both those in the industry and outside of it – people promote and reflect a negative image of Cannabis as a simple and easily abused means of obtaining a “high”. In fact, it is from here that the opposing politicians gather their ammunition which they then use to dissuade and misinform the general public regarding legalization.
This ignorance has got to stop!
Allow us to compare and contrast. Alcohol has been, in some way or another, intrinsically linked with a various range of societies and cultures spanning vast distances and time, especially here in the United States. During its infancy, all the different styles of alcohol and customs associated with its consumption of the European immigrants were brought to this land. People laughed, drank, and were merry. No big deal. Then the Puritans clamored for prohibition, and all the good that was promised to be done by prohibition was starkly different than the actual backlash, black market activity, and general harm to public safety that WAS done by prohibition. Eventually prohibition was repealed. Shocker, right? Ironically, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed around the time of this repeal; the prohibition of one “evil” traded for the prohibition of another. Nearly 80 years later, after countless billions have been spent incarcerating and misinforming the people, a full repeal is finally coming within our reach.
Long before it was unjustly made a criminal agent by the pens of a few fattened congressmen, Hemp was revered as a wonder-plant of sorts. Its seeds are edible, its fibers can produce a wide variety of fabrics and materials, AND it has a long and storied use by humans as a cure for many conditions and ailments. Recreational use is but one small facet of Cannabis’ many capabilities.
Why, then, has it remained illegal, in spite of the volumes of research – historic and recent – highlighting the many potential uses it could have as a renewable source of raw goods, nutrition and medicine? One word: Image.
The average person, misinformed for years by the media and the governing bodies which control it, perceives an Herbal Enthusiast as one who is lazy, slovenly and useless to society. They fail to fully appreciate the plight of those who are evangelists for the Church of Hemp; those who sing its praises as a renewable source of fuel, food, medicine and more. They are sadly misinformed.
The casual drinker is portrayed in advertisements by Big Alcohol as one who is smiling pristinely and enjoying a beer with friends at a backyard function or a beach. A commercial for alcohol seldom highlights what can REALLY happen if you have a few too many. They seldom highlight the baby that was conceived unknowingly in a shameful night of excessive drinking, or the domestic violence that ensues in a beer soaked living room of misunderstanding, or the man who falls asleep drunkenly at the wheel and kills a young family of three. No. These duties are left to the community advocacy groups, and are carried out in the form of overly-produced, melodramatic enactments, prescribed and televised in between commercials on primetime television to the General Populace.
Yet, how many anti-marijuana commercials could you off-handedly think of that gravely over-exaggerate the lack-of-motivation, laziness and so forth that come along with, and are really only experienced by, a small fraction of Marijuana consumers who over-indulge? It is rather one-sided.
I do believe that Marijuana has the potential to change and save lives. With it, we can cure patients of their cancer, we can replace the paper from trees with the paper from Hemp; we can clothe and shelter those who don’t have a shred to wear or even a shed in which to sleep. Truly, the potential of Cannabis is boundless. All we have to do now is make this potential known.
We can’t push weed in the face of others. , but maybe we can waft some of its potential under their noses. We must portray an image of business, integrity, and meaningfulness in order to reflect an image worth supporting -to gain interest and have a positive impact on the movement itself. So let’s step the game up and come together as an industry to change our image! In order to be successful, one must constantly portray an image of success.