Talking to your Family about Cannabis this Holiday Season
It’s the Holidays, meaning that many people will be traveling home for the winter. The entire world shuts off right after the scurry of frantic consumerism motivated by a bearded dude in a red suit, they eat and digest while talking about the year past.
For some people, this is a difficult time. For others it’s a conflicting time, where arguments abound and individual perspectives of ‘how shit should be’ is bounced off our familiars. More than often it explodes into bouts of rage and “This is why I don’t like to come over the Holidays!”
One of the topics that might arise this winter season is the legality of cannabis. While 66% of the US is in favor of legal recreational marijuana…there is still 44% of the folks who oppose it. Within your family, there might be a few of those folk.
So what do you do? How do you come out of the grower’s closet and confess that you, smoke weed. Or at the very minimal you are in favor of legalization without bringing on the family version of World War Three?
Understanding the facts
Let’s say that your family is all on board with recreational marijuana. According to statistics, the vast majority of Americans do believe in Medical marijuana (more than 90%). This is common ground to expand your arguments. You first have to get everyone to agree that “If weed helps you, who is to say that you can’t use it…” [Chemo, Pain management, Epilepsy etc.]
This is one of the reasons why medical marijuana has been such a powerful element in the legalization of marijuana as a whole. It’s not just unethical to deny people their right to life and medicine…it’s tyrannical. Nobody wants to be the tyrant…except for tyrants of course.
It’s very difficult to argue against medical relief. They might say things like, “If they were to make a pill…sure, or cough syrup or anything else that resembles medicine…then yes it’s okay.” This means that they are in favor of using cannabis for medicinal purposes.
It’s a great point of partition. It means that while your family members might not be on board with weed widely available for adult use, they do believe that the individual should have the right to decide what works for them or not. Perhaps they want a bit more pharmaceutical approach…that’s okay too.
In those instances, you should simply remind them that within a free market innovation speeds up significantly. If they don’t believe you, then simply compare the development of smartphones versus the education system. One is government run and the other is run by the market.
If they want people to have access to medical cannabis, only through completely doing away with the old system and outsourcing research to the world…will we ever be able to truly reap the full benefits of the cannabis plant.
Perhaps they don’t have trouble with cannabis, but fear the potentials of it within a legal setting. Will children have more access? Will it affect the labor force? What about road side accidents?
All of these are legitimate concerns. They are thinking of the well-being of everyone else without understanding that legalizing cannabis in most cases will actually reduce these risks.
In this case, it’s your job to educate them. Will kids have more access? They would have the same amount of access they currently have to alcohol. Will the labor force be negatively affected with red-eyed stoners? No, since legalization within states like Colorado and Washington, there has not been a reduction in productivity nor an increase in work-related accidents. Will there be more fatal crashes? Once again no, statistics tells us a different story.
Once you have downplayed their concerns with facts, you can then remind them that it is much easier to control these elements under a regulatory scheme as opposed to leaving it in the hands of the black market.
This is key. Would you rather have alcohol in the hands of black market peddlers, or would you prefer the current system? Most people would not want alcohol to go unregulated because within an unregulated market…the risks associated with the product increases.
This is a great way to provide perspective on the two substances.
In the end, whether your familiar agrees with you or not, remember…it doesn’t matter what they believe or not. You are the one that have to live your life. Families (for the most part), love each other. At times they can’t stand each other, but when shit truly hits the fan…they come together.
This holiday season, if the topic arises…don’t speak down to them. Educate in love. Show compassion and understanding. We are individuals with our own universes living within ourselves…sometimes these worlds collide…but if we remember that everybody has a right to their own beliefs…then we’ll be fine.
And if all else fails…just smoke a bowl and remember…this too shall pass.