Why Normalizing Cannabis Use is a Key Step Toward Mainstream Acceptance and Finally Ending Stigmas
“If you don’t hide your beer, don’t hide your weed”, a perfect statement summing up the core essence of this Reddit post.
This may shock some people who may not understand the nuances and complexities of the modern day cannabis user. For those who don’t smoke weed – cannabis is a drug that “numbs you” and “makes you slow”.
Whether these people know this for a fact is irrelevant. Within their “psychocosm”, the act of consuming cannabis is doing drugs and as a result, should be hidden from the eyes of children.
After all, the idea of someone shooting up H in front of an infant is “cringe-factor supreme”. I simply wrote that sentence and I feel dirty.
However, we don’t feel the same repulsion towards the idea of someone drinking a beer at a BBQ with snot-nosed little children running about.
A Mother could be sitting with her glass of Rosé with her three year old playing on the floor a few feet away, and the most hardcore drug warrior wouldn’t bat an eye.
What this shows us is that there is a degree of tolerance towards the perceived severity of any given drug and its use around children.
We know that black-tar heroin and babies simply don’t mix, whereas a cold beer at Sunday BBQ is “a-okay!”
But where does weed fall into this spectrum?
This is a good question. For 50-years, we have been led to believe that cannabis is a horrible drug that would ruin your life. In fact, federally speaking – cannabis is esteemed to be as “bad as heroin” in terms of drug severity.
Drug severity is based on the idea that a drug is highly addictive and has little to no medical value to the user. In other words, the very classifications of the Controlled Substance Act.
Cannabis, as many of my readers would know – is a Schedule-I substance.
This is like SUPER-MAX for drugs. If you want to do research on a Schedule I substance, you’d have to run through miles upon miles of red-tape to finally be able to conduct your studies.
However, it’s far simpler to study Heroin and similar narcotics, than it is to study cannabis.
This is because beyond the legal hurdles to study a Schedule-I substance, the DEA and the FDA have been playing a game of “Go Fuck Yourself!” for anyone who tried to procure a license to study weed.
This Catch-22 is well documented.
Nonetheless, the propaganda campaign used to sustain the “evils of marijuana” has seeped into the collective mind of the masses.
While it’s true that cannabis has more support than ever before in the history of use – there are still many subtle unconscious programs firing off whenever we are faced with particular combinations or scenarios involving cannabis.
Children and weed being one of them.
The Spectrum of Children and Weed
When it comes to weed and children, some combinations are permitted while others are abhorred. For example, no one would argue with a mother giving her children cannabis to stop their seizures.
This is in fact the very example that broke into the mainstream. Kids with cancer, kids with seizure disorders, kids with any disorder for that matter – if cannabis can help, there is no one that can argue against it.
If you do find yourself in opposition to medical cannabis for children, you’d be seen as some heartless monster with no empathy towards the afflicted.
However, remove the illness from the child and suddenly cannabis and children do not mix. A healthy kid and a burning joint – this creates conflict.
For some, the mere presence of cannabis and a burning joint is intolerable. It’s child abuse!
However, what if that joint belonged to the child’s dad – wasn’t in reach of the kid who was far away running around with their snot-nosed friends – and was slowly being smoked by the parents at the Sunday BBQ.
What if it was a vape instead?
How does your emotional response change in accordance with the scenic changes within the hypothetical world we are creating?
Some people may still find themselves conflicted. Should cannabis even be in the presence of children?
Should we normalize cannabis use?
Welcome to the “Title” portion of this article. Here, I’ve laid the foundation for the grand conclusion to the idea of “normalization of cannabis use.”
We know that there is a spectrum of permitted drugs and the presence of children. We know that a beer or a glass of wine is a socially accepted drug.
In the realm of tobacco, it’s “okay to smoke” but just not “near the children”. However, you don’t have to hide your habit from kids.
When it comes to weed, we’re only now reopening the case and taking an honest look at things. More people are smoking weed than ever before in history. Many of these people have kids.
Of course, like with any drug – including alcohol – some measures have to be taken when consuming them in front of children.
However, if we don’t feel the inherent need to censor our actions when we’re drinking alcohol – an arguably more dangerous drug than cannabis – then we should also not feel the inherent need to censor our own consumption habits when it comes to smoking weed.
Yes we need to ensure that we’re not smoking in an enclosed environment near kids, simply because unlike alcohol – weed has smoke. Therefore, it’s preferable not to smoke in front of kids – however, it’s best to be honest about our use.
Let kids know that it’s an adult activity
The main reason behind normalizing cannabis consumption is to make kids realize – just like alcohol – it’s something that adults do.
However, because of the medical aspect – it’s also important to make a distinction between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis.
Yet this can only happen when we have an honest and open discussion about cannabis – void of governmental filters framing it as the scourge of the earth.
In other words – it’s time to remove cannabis from the CSA.