When I launched this blog in March of 2013 and started looking for contributing bloggers, one of the conversations about content expectations was to not write about the negatives of prohibition. At all. In fact, it was the only “forbidden” content. It’s a tired topic that nobody wants to read about. We’ve been reading about the terrors of anti-pot propaganda for decades. Marijuana is legal in Colorado now, so we can all just shut up about prohibition.
Yet, here I am, writing about how experienced cannabis consumers are now the consumption examples in a post-prohibition era.
I never thought about this turn of events until I had a conversation with reporter Trevor Hughes about what new cannabis users need to know when buying for the first time. Then it dawned on me. For many years long-time users hid in bathrooms with the fan on to smoke-out discretely and sweated bullets if we found ourselves driving next to a cop on our way home from a deal. We were always shamed as people missing a moral compass and told that we were relying on an illegal drug to escape reality. We were considered the throwaways of society who couldn’t possibly function as productive, contributing members. Cannabis-consuming parents feared that Child Protective Services would take their children away if they were caught.
My, how the tables have turned. The lawless are now the teachers.
There are millions of articles on the negative impacts of marijuana prohibition, most of them focusing on the financial repercussions, but I’ve yet to find one that talks about the societal impact on new users after legalization. Those of us who’ve been smoking weed behind closed doors now find ourselves as the Big Brothers and Big Sisters to those trying things out for the first time. We’re the ones they look to for advice and examples of best practices. We’re the ones educating people on different consumption methods, and the nuances of different strains. Our illegal experience puts us lightyears ahead of the curve for the majority of society who’ve never smoked a joint or nibbled on an edible.
It makes me think of ultra-conservative or helicopter parenting and what happens to those kids after they grow up and head off to college. I’m sure we all knew those kids freshman year – the ones who took a sip of alcohol for the first time and ended up taking things to the extreme with their new found freedom. Meanwhile, the “bad” kids who weren’t censored just went about life as normal because they had the coping mechanisms to moderate their party lifestyle (or, they were already over it by that point).
Except now? Those free consuming people are mostly in their 40’s. It’s an interesting time we live in, that’s for sure.
I think this evolution shows how important it is to have open and frank discussions about cannabis consumption with each other. There’s no shame at all in having a conversation about your favorite winemaker, craft beer style or cocktail recipe. It’s evident that we learn from others around us through discussion and opinion. Cannabis shouldn’t fall through the cracks of scandal.
It has become crystal clear that in this new time of legalization, the experienced marijuana users are now valuable community resources for those venturing in cannabis culture for the first time. Embrace it.