Cannabis is just a “thing” – Don’t get too attached
I have been advocating cannabis for the past 21 years and have written thousands of articles on the subject matter. My personal relationship with the plant has evolved significantly over the years. When I first started to smoke weed, I was completely enveloped in the experience.
I wanted to get high as often as I could, everything was weed, I was blown away. It became an intricate part of my daily life and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was a passionate defender of our human right to consume any substance we choose. I still hold this point of view.
However, over the years my zealous nature of cannabis faded. I put my personal bias to the side and decided to objectively re-examine my ideas about the plant.
Overcoming personal bias is no easy feat
If you ‘love’ something or ‘respect’ something, it becomes difficult to look at that “thing” objectively. Whenever someone presents information that is contrary to the narrative that sustains your bias, most people immediately take a defensive position.
Instead of objectively analyzing the data, we resort to dismissive tactics aimed at discrediting the clashing narrative in the hopes of maintaining the status quo. However, this a counterproductive approach if “truth” is the objective of your knowledge seeking.
“Truth”, something that many claim to be their goal, but few truly are willing to pursue. Because “truth” requires us to sacrifice our personal biases and to engage with knowledge in an objective fashion.
This includes cannabis.
For me, it took a while to undo the programming and to re-examine my cherished perception of the cannabis plant.
The Necessary Resistance
These days, whenever I read what I deem “negative headlines” about cannabis, I first try to place myself in an objective space. I am neither in favor, nor against cannabis. I am merely an objective observer that will take the data at face value.
I then will take each data point and verify how “truthful” it is based on several factors.
- Who wrote it and what are their biases
- Peer Reviews
- Interpretation of Data
- Verifiable Sources
Only then I try to form my own opinion, which continues to be subjected to change based on new information.
If I were to engage with these clashing narratives while wearing the “Cannabis is Fuckin’ Awesome!” filters, I would be less likely to analyze each data point objectively. Rather, I’d look for ways to discredit the information and dismantle the argument to prove my own point.
Becoming the thing you hate
I understand that the cannabis culture has suffered a great deal under the policies of prohibition. For more than seven decades we have been fed misinformation about the plant, political campaigns have been built around the concept, and paradigms have been reinforced to sustain the policy.
However, we cannot engage in the same behavior as prohibition, where we selectively pick information to suit our narrative. We should encourage honest research, whether it finds something detrimental or positive.
It’s always best to know about “risks” when consuming anything. To think that cannabis is a magical pony that farts sunshine-butterflies is disingenuous. Peanut butter isn’t bad, but for some folks it can be deadly. Obviously, this applies to a very select group of people.
However, without exploring the potential negative effects of peanut butter on people who are allergic to it, we would have never created the mechanisms to save those people’s lives.
Before you throw a hissy fit
Before people comment on this article saying, “Just some more anti-cannabis crap!” or “They used to support weed, but now sound more like reefer madness”, take a moment and consider what is actually being said in this article.
I have been an advocate for cannabis and all drugs to be legal for more than 20 years. I am all in favor of people having the freedom to consume whatever substance they deem fit, as long as they cause no harm to anyone else.
However, even with this dominating ideology, I encourage scientists to discover the “risks” of cannabis. For me personally, if the risks are minimal compared to the benefit, I will continue to consume it until I’m old and grey.
Within everything we consume, there is an “acceptable level of risk” we are comfortable with. Coffee raises your blood pressure, soft drinks are not particularly healthy or beneficial to our well-being, but we continue to consume them irrespectively.
I have seen it on numerous cannabis websites; advocates bashing publications for publishing articles that contradict their personal biases in relation to cannabis. Most of them don’t even read the entire article. They go ape-shit over a headline. If you’re one of these people, you probably won’t even read this line.
For those who have read the entire article, I hope that it inspired some thought on your own bias in favor of cannabis. The question you should be asking yourself is, “Am I seeking the truth, or merely trying to support my narrative?”