If you are reading this, you can help shape the future of cannabis
This article is hopefully the opening of a reasonable dialogue among advocates for cannabis usage. Research, fact-checking, and open debate are all a part of this newly-minted enterprise and endeavor. No one organization, individual, or body can or should claim all the answers. True entrepreneurial spirit is, no pun intended, rooted in cannabis. A product that can, with minimal effort, be mass-produced and treat/cure various ills without adulteration by even the most modest of botanically-inclined individuals. The time for positivity through practical application of this plant is now. That being said, there is a myriad of obstacles yet to be overcome. A few of them will be touched on here…
Securing Real Estate or Loans
There are people who work in the legal cannabis industry who now have to lie about their job or become blacklisted from qualifying for apartments or other stable lodging. Credit level and income seem to be irrelevant. Some organizations or agencies just want nothing to do with people who sell cannabis. Banks also have a nasty habit of discriminating against people who work for or own legal cannabis shops. Even if these people also have excellent credit ratings, they are quite often rejected for mortgages and bank accounts for no other reason than their occupation.
Even in legal states some people still run into trouble with mandatory drug testing at work. Currently, only Arizona and Delaware have actual legal protection for medicinal cannabis users. Colorado and Washington have no laws on the books protecting employees from what can only be described as selective vice bigotry. Many employers still look down on people who use cannabis in a controlled, safe and legal way while having no problem hiring people who regularly smoke on the job or drink alcohol. This is the sort of discrimination that needs to be properly legislated against. NORML activist, Keith Stroup, put forward the idea that non-discrimination language in legislation is a sure way to lose the initiative. This remains to be seen as mainly recreational states are currently facing issues of employers’ vice bigotry while the medicinal states laid the legal groundwork prior to seeking a recreational use environment.
Law Enforcement Raids
There’s been a number of cases recently of otherwise law-abiding Americans having their money and merchandise raided by the police (usually lead by the Drug Enforcement Agency). In some of these cases the police have taken away the business owners’ money and product at gunpoint. In one case a medical cannabis dispensary was raided for $10,000 worth of equipment and cannabis before the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence. This led to months without any income for the dispensary and a huge crop of ruined product. The only way to stop activity like this would be an end to the “drug war” in America. We, as cannabis advocates, can only dream of that day. In future articles, the concept of the drug war will be covered more in depth. However, precursory steps can be taken to, at the very least, disincentivize law enforcement for violating the rights of individual states. Police departments are currently given hundreds of millions in taxpayer money for bringing in cannabis arrests/product.
Prejudice Still Exists
Some people believe all the lies about cannabis due to upbringing, religious teachings, and/or just professing everything the government says is the truth. These people are usually just not well informed about cannabis and how it functions chemically. They can be won over with factual information and sound reasoning. That being said, when you first tell people that you support cannabis, be prepared for a few people to judge you. It’s not something that should happen, especially not in a society where caffeine, testosterone replacement, and alcohol are so prevalent, but unfortunately it is. It’s up to every one of us, responsible cannabis users, to change hearts and minds by stating the facts and showing just how successful and productive people who have cannabis can be. Again, if you are reading this, you too can help shape the future of cannabis.