Growing up in the UK of the 1970’s did nothing to make me feel cannabis use would one day become acceptable to the public at large. Heck, even simply talking about it would raise eyebrows and give people the impression you were ‘in to it’.
Say the word, and that’s what you are. Social attitudes at that time were so coloured by misinformation, here-say, and downright lies that an objective conversation – based on fact – was impossible.
And in fairness much of that was evidenced in that to most users cannabis was purely an intoxicant. A night out would be a couple of pints and a joint or two. And that was pretty much enough to define the cannabis user as a ‘stoner. See a cannabis user? He’s falling-over-drunk, mate.
Skip forward almost half-a-century and those head-sketched stereotypes start to fade in favour of healthy, professional, creative people, using cannabis ‘recreationally’ (ooh I hate that label) and – increasingly – as a way of enhancing their work-performance.
People are learning about medicinal uses, and the sufferers of chronic illness who benefit. About the real cannabis user.
That’s not to say the ‘stoner’ isn’t still there. Of course, he always will be. Intoxication is part-and-parcel of a full-entourage cannabis hit, and when people want to remove themselves from reality for a while, there’s no better way to go.
So the historically-hysterical image actually generated itself, in the eyes of the general populous, at least.
People are starting to ‘know better’, but that’s no thanks to mass-media or an educational program designed to inform and educate. Knowledge about – and the growing acceptance of – cannabis has spread organically by word of mouth, and it’s only through vocally informing that societies are becoming confident in the realities.
Passing on real, relevant information like that has taken generations.
Imagine what kind of world we’d be living in now if governments and legislatures had opened up those forums decades ago! The advances in medical science that we now predict would probably already have come to fruition had legislature allowed research, and knowledge had been shared freely with the public by way of proper reporting.
At some point maybe we should look at judging those historically responsible for ‘blanket bans’ for crimes against humanity. Hmm, a Sativa while I think about that some …
Can we have those educations now, please?
The ones we couldn’t have in to ’70’s in case someone sent us to gaol for even thinking about it? Or the 80’s when Wall Street operated on cocaine?
Well – no. Not easily. Certainly not in print, on video, in images. It might surprise even the most educated mind to know that in Holland (and most other European States) it’s NOT permitted to promote, advertise, encourage or disperse information about the THC aspects of cannabis. Not even lighting up a spliff or sucking on a vape during a YouTube video, or an Instagram post. If the rules are interpreted in a certain way, I could even be in big trouble for many posts in my blog which may appear to condone the virtues of non-medicinal cannabis …
… See how carefully I’m choosing my words there?
Ironically, ‘Legalising cannabis’ won’t automatically remove those restrictions. Legislation in many European governments is so entrenched that even in ‘permitted’ states in the USA it’s still against the law to advertise or promote your legal product!
Seeing is Learning
But I want the conversations I’ve been talking about to be fueled by accurate, factual information. If I’m reviewing a strain I want to be able to DEMONSTRATE that; how best to use the bud, what temperature to vape with. I want to tell you the THC value, the compound content. That’s the only way you’ll ever get to know anything about it – apart from trying it yourself and analysing your own results.
But I can’t tell you to go do that, of course! And likewise I’m not supposed to do it for you. That would mean I’m promoting cannabis use.
So I’m legally prevented from presenting you with facts and honest information. Unless we meet in the pub, and I tell you with my mouth.
Only by disseminating facts and by showing society that cannabis use doesn’t have to mean you’re stupefied on your couch, or running hysterically around the room. Actual information should be as freely available as the words said against the weed. I always considered ‘Justice’ to be a scale, a balance of right against wrong where ‘right’ must always tip. Surely from that perspective a blogger, writer – or educator – should have the same freedom of exposure as those firmly in the prohibition lobby? Prohibitionists can tell everyone what’s wrong with cannabis – even though they have no factual evidence to support their positions. However, I can’t tell you whats good about it, even though I have facts to support me!
That’s why I ask you to support my blog – and others like it. We try hard to educate and inform, hoping that our truths spread and help to speed up acceptance of cannabis into all societies.
Now, work done. I’m off for a vape-full of Blueberry Haze which – I’d love to be able to tell you – is from a very fine plant …
Till next time