I recently had a conversation with my friend who was telling me about how her mom finally got the courage to tell her friends and family that she is a medical marijuana patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). This lady is very accomplished, professional, and well known in her area. Due to unfortunate health conditions, she has had to go through a lot of treatment and take a lot of medicine. It took a long time for her to open up to the idea of consuming cannabis for medical purposes because she had been told her whole life that it was bad. It took even longer for her to be willing to share her story.
It’s a good thing she did, because she convinced numerous people in her area to change their minds about marijuana. My friend’s mom volunteers at a retirement center, and after missing some time due to her illness, she came back with more passion than ever. This led the retirement community members to ask her how she was powering through things. She opened up about being a member of the OMMP, and explained to people how everything she was told growing up was misleading at best, or flat out false at the worst.
When people heard her story, and compared it to what they had been told growing up during marijuana prohibition, they realized that what they had been told was a sham, and with it, marijuana policies in America. They had been told their whole lives that marijuana consumers are not accomplished, can’t be professional, and are stoner losers. Once they were able to put a face that they knew with marijuana prohibition, it shattered their previous conceptions. Many, many people (non-marijuana consuming seniors) came up to my friend and her mom after the 2012 Election and exclaimed, ‘I voted for Oregon Measure 80 because of you!’ That’s powerful stuff!
I once heard the legendary Radical Russ talk about a study that found that 3 out of 4 people felt marijuana laws needed to be reformed, yet only 1 in 4 thought their neighbors felt the same. That’s a major disconnect. If everyone simply knew that they were in the majority, not the minority, things would change. What’s your story? If you are a responsible marijuana consumer, please tell your story to your friends and family if they don’t already know, and colleagues too. Be brave. If we all did this, the world would see marijuana consumers for what we really are, and marijuana prohibition would spread even faster than it already is! Spread the word!