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By Ayad Maher
It is a shame that as a whole, United States culture does not embrace cannabis as a therapeutic alternative to "modern medicine". We always hear the stories of children and adults who use cannabis as an alternative means to combat disorders and ailments, i.e the case of Charlotte Figi or the late Linda Horan of New Hampshire. These extraordinary cases demonstrate that there are inherent health benefits to using cannabis.
But at the same time, it's not so much of a shame as it is simply buying into a Draconian narrative that is plagued by elitist and oppressive ideologies. We, as an idle and "let-someone-else-do-it-for-us" culture, have become more than complacent with letting such anti-cannabis rhetoric dictate our lives. Majority of our parents, aunts, uncles, some cousins, some friends, teachers, peers, and so on constantly imbedded in our psyche that cannabis is "the devil's lettuce". I vividly remember being 9 years old and having police officers come into our classrooms for D.A.R.E (Drug Awareness and Resistance Education) programs, constantly feeding us this anti-cannabis speel hoping that we would never get our hands on some weed at some point in time. Granted, these officers were simply doing there job, which I have nothing but respect for.
At the same time, why is it that there are forces at work that permit people (generally people in authoritative positions) to spread such false information about the miraculous benefits of cannabis? More so, why do these forces wish to see us- those with little to nothing- suffer? Is it because a plant, that almost anyone can grow, has the potential to completely wipe out the monopoly that the FDA, the government, and major pharmaceutical companies have managed to amass over the past century? There are so many questions to ask that it is almost frustrating to even think about cannabis from a sociopolitical perspective.
Related article: Marijuana industry’s future is bright, MJBizCon speakers say.
Despite the negative press that cannabis and its users get, let us not be discouraged by the hearsay. Instead, let's continue to keep rallying and pushing for well mandated pro-cannabis laws. Let's educate each other on both the positive and potentially detrimental aspects of cannabis. Let's look to heal each other, both physically and spiritually. Most importantly, let's come together to promote a world where nature unites us just as it did for our ancestors. Let's keep up the fight and rewrite the narrative about cannabis, if not for ourselves then for our children, their children, and the generations to come.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been revamped and updated as needed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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