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Grow Up: Prejudice and Bias – part 2


Forget your expectations

When a person experiences something for the first time, their expectations of that event determine their perception. The first time I tried marijuana, I didn’t “feel” anything and even claimed that it wasn’t affecting me at all. Nevertheless, I spent the next hour investigating where the smell of smoke was coming from, “why does everything from my fingers to my shirt, even my glass of water smell like smoke?” As my husband later explained, the smell of smoke was coming from the inside of my nose and from his perception, I was clearly high as pie. The second time didn’t go much better. Once again, I didn’t “feel” it. This time, my husband and I spent the next two hours with a bent coat hanger trying to fish out something that may or may not have fallen under the dishwasher, laughing uncontrollably as we found crusty pieces of bread and olive pits. I was expecting a “high” that was nothing like what I was experiencing. I didn’t even notice the effects on me. I was too busy waiting for effects that would never come. How can we overcome this? Let go of your expectations!!! If you haven’t tried something, do your research. Talk to people that have tried it, BUT NEVER take their opinions as your own. Think freely and let life happen to you before you judge it!

Fear – Society’s Judgement of Patients

The fear of being labeled as a dumb stoner, delinquent, or even legally defined as a criminal can lead to paranoia and anxiousness. Many patients feel an extreme pressure to hide from family, friends, employers, or our police and government. In many cases, they are medicating alone, sometimes in a rush, sometimes looking over their shoulder, in a less than ideal place. Some of the medicinal effects of marijuana are abstract and intertwined with our environment. In some cases, it might not be the chemicals that help you battle your anxiety, but the social environment you designed around the ritual of smoking with friends. Things like colors, smells, and sounds can make us feel at peace or can create tension. What is better for getting your smoke on, a serene mountain scene with sounds of wildlife, or standing in the median of a large highway during rush hour? It doesn’t really matter which one you prefer or even if you don’t like either one, my point remains. Have you ever gotten really stoned and then your non-supportive mom calls, or you have to speak to police. For most of us, we tend to come out of that situation feeling completely sober. Ever been mad and high at the same time? I bet not. Either your anger didn’t allow you to feel the high, or the high dominated the anger. Each person has his or her ideal environment for enjoying the more abstract medicinal benefits. In my case, with exercise, intelligent music, friends, outside on a starry night. These things help unleash the full potential of the medicine for me. For some patients, this simply isn’t possible and we must work to change society’s prejudice by spreading cannabis knowledge and respect. Be vocal about your experiences, let people know the benefits you’ve seen. Little by little, the prejudice and bias will fade away.

For more articles by our designer Irene Llorente, click here.

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