Fighting Cannabis Stereotypes is something that some, if not most, of us have to deal with.
I’m happy that I have access to cannabis to help me with my PTSD and the benefits are so much more than I could’ve ever expected when I first started medicating. I love promoting safe use and definitely see cannabis as a safer recreational alternative to alcohol. I use to drink daily and still occasionally have one, once and awhile. If you know me, you will normally see me wearing some sort of cannabis related shirt outside of work. Recently, I brought my girls out for dinner at a busy happy hour place and of course I was wearing a shirt with a large pot leaf in the center.
I couldn’t help but notice a few of the other patrons looking at me with judgement. This didn’t bother me, but it made me think. People have been told for too long that cannabis or marijuana is terrible for you and anyone that wastes their time smoking it isn’t worth your time. Patients know that this is completely based on lies and fear. With the occasional stare from someone, I just looked them in the eyes and smiled. As I was sitting there being judged by someone that knows nothing about me, I couldn’t help to wonder what was going through that person’s mind. I’m a great father and would do anything for my children. I wondered if this person was a parent. During prohibition in the U.S, did people look at others the same way when they were sneaking an illegal drink? Here I am, able to medicate legally, but there are still stigmas out there. I wouldn’t have thought about that night at dinner with my kids, if I didn’t hear someone else make a comment just yesterday.
A person that I work with and respect made a comment that didn’t sit well with me. He was discussing the show WEEDIQUETTE on Viceland. I was shocked to hear this person talk about Krishna Andavolu, “Look at this guy, just another druggie, promoting his drug use.” I don’t get that perception at all from the show. All I see is good journalism and entertainment. See I’m not open about my cannabis use at work, for fear of being “wrongfully” terminated. I don’t normally go running around telling people what’s in my medicine cabinet at home and I don’t know anyone that does either. My response to him was simple, “You need to educate yourself.”
My advice: Don’t let the naive people in this world make you question your decision to use cannabis. We all need to continue spreading the word that cannabis is not a danger, but a medicine!
I will not be generalized or stereotyped.