The legalization of cannabis maybe the hottest topic these days. As the country’s most profitable plant, the majority of the country now approves of it’s sale. With this change, many people who have never used cannabis or haven’t considered using as a health option have become canna-curious.
Just before the approval of recreational sales, I had moved to California. This a was a huge change for me. I had been working as a therapist and marketer supporting those struggling with addiction. So I went from being surrounded by addicts striving to maintain their sobriety to California’s looking for the best cannabis products.
New to California, I was also new to medical marijuana cards, dispensaries, and the businesses ideas that were eventually pitched to me. It was all a little shocking. In the beginning, to say I responded with a “knee-jerk no” would be understating it. After awhile, I realized that while I pride myself of being open-minded and even progressive, I wasn’t giving cannabis a chance.
So I did some research. Then I did some more. There was some much new information that in my years of education and addiction services I had never known about cannabis. So while I wasn’t willing to consider producing a cannabis product or working at a dispensary (plant touching), I thought there was some a social worker like me should be doing to support the new direction the country was moving in regarding cannabis treatment.
Talking to people in California about cannabis was easy. Everyone wanted to talk about it. It was far from taboo. For some it was already very much a way of life. For others, they’d had a friend or relative that found comfort in cannabis care. Everyone seemed to approve of it to some degree.
Leaving the west coast, changed the conversation. Or should I say killed it (with the exception of Vegas and Denver.) “OOOH!!! NO!” was the response when I tried to bring it up in Texas. In New York City, there was interest but a lack of information and no resources. I didn’t even bring it up while visiting Milwaukee- just stuck to beer.
So here are six reasons why I decided to write this blog:
- As I mentioned, my colleagues and friends alike- no matter their personal or professional experience- are lacking all kinds of information about modern day cannabis. A blog seems like a great opportunity to provide some much need education.
- While cannabis may or may not be the “gateway way” drug its been said to be, and there’s not been a patient death to cannabis overdoes in the past few years- Cannabis is addictive.
- I took a look around and I couldn’t find any other social workers would have have created any psycho-education about legalized cannabis. So I thought somebody should!
- As a social worker, we have an obligation- the same as doctors- to do no harm. While other partitioners aren’t even interested in entertaining the topic, I think we have an ethical obligation to learn more about cannabis. Especially now that over 2/3 of the country have legally approved it use.
- There’s a lot of media sources out there. The majority are biased- either pro-legalization or anti-cannabis. Some even seem to lack some validity. I think I there’s room for my voice in this discussion of things to come.
- There is new information everyday. That we’ll all need to figure out together how we feel about cannabis. The science isn’t altogether there just yet but with the understanding there should be room for mistakes. I hope we can work through them and truly understand with the plant.
Ultimately there’s a theory and a goal- it’s healing. Let’s find out how cannabis can help us.
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