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A Valuable Post On Cannabis Culture

Jeremy Silva |

I grabbed this post from Mitch Shenassa with his permission and hope that you enjoy it. 

Thought about it a bunch this weekend:

We lifestyle cannabis users are a voluntary community (in that regard, similar to a religion) - a people. 

But our people have been marginalized, disconnected by force from society--and as a result, our people utterly lack dignity. We lack awareness of our role in the culture and of ourselves as the wise keepers of Earth's most miraculous plant. We lack a sense of community, of self-empowerment, of any impetus for growth and progress.

We have been fashioned into a a red-eyed minstrel show, acting like the fools mainstream America has fashioned us into: we are thousands of "Uncle Chongs"--good-natured grinning fools holding our own culture back by perpetuating drug war stereotypes. That the greatest minds in Western culture - the architects of society--the artists who defined our field of sentiment--the most brilliant scientists and inventors - were cannabis users is never extolled; the media doesn't portray our heritage as Carl Sagan, but Scooby Doo. 

We are all culturally complicit - we embrace and foster these silly adolescent images, behave as undignified fools in person and online, and even embrace and perpetuate the language of oppression, calling our herb a "weed". Instead of calling one another "inspired" we call each other "stoner". "Stoner" is their word for us - a derogatory word born in the Drug War propaganda machine - a word implying a lack of ability, a lack of basic value. So I will no longer use that word.

Until you know how tight handcuffs can be and have risked it all not for money, but for love of the plant and the community, I better never hear you use the word "stoner," either - as of today, that word is off limits to you. 

It's a slur on a lifestyle choice - every bit as disgusting and ignorant as any slur you can think of for someone's sexuality or religion. It should be hurtful when someone feels the need to categorize, limit, and pigeonhole you. It should make you feel like less than your entire self: if it doesn't, you need to critically reassess your own identity. If we keep acting like stoners, they're gonna keep calling us stoners - it's up to us to rescue our dignity from its place of sly references and snackfood jokes.

1 comment

Couldn’t agree more! I’d add that those of us who live in states with medical and rec laws have a great responsibility to our community. This privilege we have worked so hard to obtain carries a burden with it, the cannabis community needs to be aware of this and behave in a responsible and law-abiding way if we want to get the respect and acknowledgement we have been fighting to obtain. If you live in a medical or rec state, I’d implore you to educate yourself in the laws of your state and grow or use accordingly, observe your plant counts, your possession limits and represent our community with the seriousness it warrants.
We are in the infancy of a movement that has the potential to change this country and the world. Having medical and recreational laws is not just about Joe-down-the-block getting high, or having “pot-brownies” in your next dinner party. We have an opportunity to affect and potentially end this ridiculous war on drugs, make serious advances in medicine/healthcare, create a new sustainable sector of economy that could create jobs and add substantial tax revenue and income to so many and even put an end to the strong hold that prison industrial complex has over so many of our communities. We have a opportunity to affect the perception of so many aspects of our society. But we must be aware of this if we truly want to make a difference.
This post is 100% right on, we are not just stoners, and we are most certainly not smoking some weed. We are a progressive community that has aspirations of contributing something joyful and rewarding to this world, sharing the beauty of life and the highs that can make it even more beautiful. Respect this amazing plant the way it respects you and carry yourselves with the dignity it deserves.
Thanks for sharing this post J.


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