There are people out there that choose not to consume cannabis, and that’s just fine. But there are also those who use their views on cannabis to target weed smokers with misrepresentation and that is not okay. We get it; not everyone is going to like what we do and understand why we do it. But to be so against a harmless plant, to attempt to limit our freedom of choice and to stamp labels on our foreheads with the intention of separating us from the rest of society is downright ignorant. Not to mention, cruel.
Cannabis enthusiasts are some of the most understanding and friendly people you’ll ever meet, but even we have to draw a line in the sand. Although not every cannabis enthusiast will call you out on your bullshit, here are four things we wish we could say to people that are anti-pot:
1. Do your research
The internet has put infinite information at our fingertips, but for some reason, anti-pot people will not even take a second out of there day to look up scientific evidence on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Honestly, what are they afraid of? That perhaps their views on the plant are unfounded? Of all the things we wish we could say to people that are anti-pot, the number one thing will always be to do your research. Research shows that cannabis shows significant potential in treating epileptic seizures, PTSD, carcinogenesis, addiction, and pain.
2. Stop judging us
Second, on the list of things we wish we could say to people that are anti-pot is stop judging us. Stop associating us with laziness, lack of ambition, bad parenting or lack of religious reverence. Cannabis enthusiasts are as diverse as the strains we smoke. We are not the remnants of a reefer madness cliche. We have established our own social programs, our own churches, and our own political movements. We deserve to be evaluated as individuals. We deserve not to be dismissed. So if you’re anti-pot, if you could withhold your assumptions and labels that would be great.
3. Cannabis enthusiasts aren’t criminals
Third on the list of things we wish we could say to people that are anti-pot is that we are not criminals. Here’s a couple of alarming statistics for you. During 2010, 52% of all drug arrests were for marijuana. Even more disturbing, between 2001 and 2010, of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests, “88% were for simply having marijuana.”
Despite cannabis now being legal in many parts of the world for both recreational and medical purposes, surprisingly, not much has changed. People are still being incarcerated for petty pot charges, and it’s all thanks to people who are anti-pot. I can’t speak for all cannabis consumers, but nine times out of ten, the last thing on a pot smoker’s mind is that they’d love to go rob a bank or murder their neighbor. Still, society views us as criminals and gets a thrill out of locking us up, just for carrying a little herb in our pockets or for sneaking a puff in a public place.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, over 200,000 students have lost their federal student aid eligibility because of a drug conviction. A criminal charge can also significantly reduce the opportunities for landing a decent job. If you’re someone who can sleep peacefully at night knowing that you just prevented someone from ever succeeding to the fullest of their ability because they use cannabis medicinally or recreationally, then you apparently you can’t imagine what it is like to sit in a cell away from your family and loved ones. Either that or you have no soul. Period.
4. Stop comparing marijuana to alcohol, cigarettes, and heroin.
Last, but certainly not least, of the list of things we wish we could say to people that are anti-pot, we would very much appreciate if you would stop comparing weed to far more dangerous substances.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths annually. According to the CDC, cigarettes are responsible for more than 480,000 deaths annually. On the other hand, there is zero documented evidence that cannabis has caused a single death.
The Schedule 1 status of marijuana implies that it has no more therapeutic value than heroin or bath salts. To say that a cannabis consumer is no different than a heroin user is just plain insulting, especially since millions of people, including children, use the medical benefits of cannabis to treat various conditions from nausea to insomnia.
Cannabis should never be mentioned in the same sentence as these substances. What do we wish we could say to people that are anti-pot? Marijuana is a plant that has been falsely portrayed to the detriment of humanity. We need to end the stigma, and we need to start right now.