It’s Been A While
It’s been a while since I have written, and the mailbag has been filling up. I love hearing from people and getting cannabis related questions. I wish I could get to more of them, but I hope you keep sending them and I’ll answer as many as I can in this blog so we can all get the answers. You can now send your questions to me at [email protected]. I will start answering your questions with my next blog which will be coming in the next few days.
We Shouldn’t Be Talking About This
Before I get to the answering, I must get up on my soap box for a moment. As law abiding cannabis patients, we should no longer feel like a second-class citizen. You know what I mean. I still see the stigma around cannabis every day. When I was getting my haircut, my barber asked me what I do for a living. When I told him, I work for a cannabis medical evaluation clinic, his face immediately cringed. He quickly bent down and whispered in my ear, ‘we shouldn’t be talking about this.” Loudly I said “Talking about what? My job? Cannabis?” Needless to say, he did not look amused. Several other people within hearing distance all looked intrigued, but all looked away, as if the topic was forbidden. Usually I would have educated the entire salon with a ten-minute soliloquy on why cannabis is a miracle plant and why it should be legal and why they should come to Urbn Holistic to get certified. For whatever reason, I was tired and running late, I let them all off with the meanest scowl I could muster.
Later That Day
When I had some time later that day I wondered if one of the people listening was someone who could have benefited from cannabis but was too afraid for fear of being shunned to speak up. What if there was a cancer patient, or a parent whose child has seizures, or someone suffering from depression, chronic pain, or PTSD that was there but was too afraid to ask me about cannabis? I wonder why people so openly talk about many health issues but cower in a corner when the topic of cannabis comes up? Obviously, there is still a stigma associated with cannabis and it’s use. It’s far time that ends. I know of hundreds of people who have never tried cannabis that are getting positive results after finally trying it. If these same people found a magic pill that helped chronic pain, cancer, PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, glaucoma, wasting syndrome, HIV, erectile disfunction, ADHD, and many other conditions, they would be telling everyone. There would be commercials on television telling you to ask your doctor about the miracle pill. Why should talking about a natural and safe medicine be any different?
Forced to Choose
There are several factors that keep people quiet about how cannabis helps them. I’m sure there are many legal cannabis patients who fear for their jobs. Even though these people are legal cannabis patients, certified through a state-run program they have no legal protection from an employer firing them for cannabis use. The coworker who is prescribed opiates has job protection. Why doesn’t the cannabis patient who is taking a proven safer alternative to opiates being forced to choose between their job and their health? Don’t tell me the cannabis users are lazy or are bad workers. Cannabis use has no effect on someone’s work ethic. I am proud to say that I work for an employer who encourages cannabis patients to apply. I am also proud to say that we are judged on our work and not on what medicine we may take.
Don’t Care About Cannabis Use
I have the opportunity and unique pleasure to speak with many Human Resource professionals in Maryland. In my experience more of them than not really don’t care about cannabis use but cite corporate policy or insurance as reasons why their organizations continue to test for cannabis. Many are frustrated that they are missing out on fantastic employees and people just because they medicate with a natural medicine. Though they don’t advertise this, many employers have taken cannabis off their screening to try and alleviate the problem.
He Never Inhaled
I also know there is still a public perception that people who use cannabis will and can never amount to anything. Do these people realize that some of the most successful people in the world throughout every industry are cannabis users? I like to spout off names of very successful cannabis users and proponents of the medicine. Carl Sagan, Bill Gates, Michael Phelps, Hugh Hefner, Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Steve Jobs, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben and Jerry (yes the ice cream guys), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Zimmer, Ted Turner, Richard Branson, Gary Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg, Martha Stewart, Rick Steves and myself, just to name a few. Bill Clinton used it though he never inhaled. Bet he regrets not inhaling. My point is that people shouldn’t be judged on the medicine they use, no more than they should be judged on their religion, their physical attributes, or the color of their skin. I try daily to change people’s perceptions of cannabis one person at a time when given the opportunity. I hope you do too.
No longer are we in the shadows. Walk tall and proud my fellow cannabis patients.
Urbn Holistic is a medical cannabis evaluation clinic located in Baltimore. For an appointment or information on getting certified Call or text (410) 314-9548.