Stigma of medical marijuana use still a big problem for some

If you spend any time on Facebook and/or have the slightest interest in cannabis related news, you will be aware that the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP) is FINALLY up and running after an almost 2 year delay. Medical marijuana or cannabis, as we advocates like to call it, went on sale on November 9, for the first time in Illinois history. Those of us involved in making this happen are celebrating like it was Mardi Gras; new dispensaries are popping up all over the place with festive ribbon cutting ceremonies to mark history in the making.

Dispensary 33

Dispensary 33

Patients are now free to discuss which strain, which method of ingesting and which paraphenalia work the best. I attended the dispensary open house at Dispensary 33, which expects to open at the beginning of December. Not only will they be selling product but also paraphenalia such as bongs, pipes, vaporizers, vape pens and dab rigs. My cannafamily has gone from the virtual to the real as I am meeting fellow advocates, IRL, at these open houses. We had such a great time meeting up and finally feeling comfortable about openly discussing cannabis. We are all able to "come out of the cannabis closet" at last.

Cannabis paraphenalia at Dispensary 33

Cannabis paraphenalia at Dispensary 33

The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the US. Like it or not, it is happening with or without y'all. Not only that, but there is no gender discrimination, no glass ceiling. Women have the same opportunities to succeed in this industry as men do. Here's a link to an article. And for fuck's sake, media people...puhleeeze stop referring to cannabis as "weed" and "pot!" This is nothing like your "Mother's marijuana" and trust me...I know. I was around in the 1970s. Present predictions estimate that the cannabis industry is expected to grow four-fold between 2015 and 2019, to $10.9 billion -- a size that is roughly double the U.S vodka market. So, if for no other reason than economic, you might want to jump on the bandwagon.

Johanna Garsenstein and Michelle Farina; my cannapals

Johanna Garsenstein and Michelle Farina; my cannapals

But there is still so much work to do in terms of education. People I know are still referring to medical cannabis patients as "pot heads" and "stoners" who are supposedly using this as an excuse to get high. They seem to think that the Illinois roads will be filled with "stoned drivers," causing accidents. This cannot be further from the truth. Many of the strains now being developed for medical use do not contain high levels of THC which causes the "high." The average medical cannabis user in Illinois is a 51 year old female with severe fibromyalgia. I now know one such woman who had never used cannabis in her entire life and she hasn't felt better nor slept better in decades! She is doing activities again that she never dreamed possible. She was very apprehensive about the entire idea...let me tell you...but many advocates rallied around her, cheering her on. She swore that if cannabis helped, she would become a huge advocate. And so it came to pass!

I want to leave you, dear readers, with a post by a fellow activist and friend, Jordan Prince, who helped me write my post about Shona Banda, by feeding me information that only someone involved in the case would know. He lives in Kansas and supports Shona in any and every way he can, and he attended her preliminary hearing. He is a member of the THSI, The Human Solution International. Please check out this not-for-profit organization that supports those arrested unfairly for cannabis use and spreads educational information about the plant. When young people, these days, are perceived as being apathetic about getting involved in social and political issues, it is so refreshing to meet someone like Jordan Prince...says the 61 year old hippie who was around in the 1970s and 80s when we all protested EVERYTHING.

The Human Solution International

The Human Solution International

"Civil disobedience. we don't do it for money, we don't do it for recognition, we do it to change the unjust laws that are destroying so many families.... my main question is, when will people wake up, stand up, and start fighting for OUR rights? It will take a militia of dedicated individuals to stand up, and speak out, not only against corruption, but also for your rights as a human being, to use any and all of nature's gifts in order to heal. (Yes I'm talking specifically about cannabis) Please do not be scared to stand up and speak out. In all honesty, there was a point when I was afraid to speak out and voice my opinions on prohibition, and the uses of cannabis as a medication, but I realized that I wasn't doing any good sitting down, hoping for things to change. Not only that but I was contributing to the deaths and suffering of the victims from the war on drugs.... I kept hearing of children dying at young ages, for medical reasons that can be cured with the world's oldest and safest medication... and the worst part was, I realized by sitting and doing nothing, I was contributing to their pain, their suffering and even their deaths. When is it that others will realize this as well? It's time EVERYONE wakes up, realizes that they are contributing to the suffering and deaths of patients across the nation and world. If you are not standing up and fighting for what you believe is right, you are enabling the government to continue grasping you with a tight fist while constantly telling you that you are free... I keep hearing so many people say that they are for legalization, yet they don't support the victims of prohibition on a plant. I keep hearing I support it but it's illegal so it shouldn't be done, not even to save a life.... please realize if this is you, you are contributing to thousands and thousands of people's suffering. Civil disobedience. It's what our founding fathers would want. They escaped tyranny once, it's time we stand up and fight it again, this is OUR country, the 98%'s country.... so why are we sitting back and allowing the 2% control OUR lives? Civil disobedience, is how we will reclaim our country... Please feel free to inbox me if you wish to be a part of the SOLUTION. It's time EVERY cannabis user comes out, stands up, and fights for men, women, and children that cannot fight themselves. It's time we end the pain and suffering and inexcusable side effects of big pharma...... Let us stop enabling the government and the rich from profiting off of the sick and weak. LET'S BE PART OF THE SOLUTION."

I would love to hear your thoughts on anything you have read in this post! Thanks!

I've written a series of posts about medical marijuana. If you want to read more you can click on the "Medical Marijuana" tag at the top of my page.

If you enjoy my rantings and ravings and don't want to miss a single new post, please sign up for a subscription. It's really easy. Here's how...
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Be sure to LIKE my Facebook Fan Page and follow me on Twitter

Leave a comment