***Warning: Nerd post ahead!***
I am re-reading the Lord of The Rings in an attempt to stave off my fourth read through of the Song of Ice and Fire series.(I mean seriously, how long are we supposed to wait for the last two books?!?!?!) I love the world Tolkien created and the detail with which everything is described. I admit, on occasion I get bored of the descriptions of scenery but then some course of dialogue will remind me why I should pay better attention. One of my favorite things about re-reading a novel is how one notices different things on the second (or third) time around. I always wonder if this is due to age, experience, or a combination of too many variables to name. I’m guessing it’s the last one.
Last time I read LOTR was about 5 years ago. Take a moment and think about how your life was in 2013 versus how it is now. Think of all the experiences- both positive and negative- that changed you. For me, the main change from then to now is that I have learned to live a life that’s more true to myself than true to what society expects. Yes, I’ve been vocal about doing this from the time I was 12 but the truth of it was I still conformed. I conformed in order to feel safe. I conformed because I got positively reinforced to. I conformed because it afforded me the luxury of passing as “normal” and afforded me opportunities I would not have otherwise had if I had expressed my true feelings and opinions. I’ve been lucky to have people in my life that have inspired me to live more authentically. My work in the cannabis field is a direct result of this. It has led me to see the world from a different perspective and I feel like that’s why when Frodo was reminded that ” The wide world is all about you. You can fence yourselves in but you cannot forever fence it out.” I let out an audible huh and put the book down.
The above quoted is EXACTLY why I am doing things like leading a Parenting and Cannabis workshop. People, parents especially, are very concerned with “keeping safe” and avoiding danger or curtailing the life experience so that no “precious” ever has a negative experience in their life. No bad influences, how is that a bad thing right? Wrong. Just because we don’t want things to be a certain way does not mean that reality will change to suit our needs. So go ahead and be angry, and scared, the unknown IS scary, but the more you learn about the less unknown (thus less scary) it becomes. I love doing my part to change the world one person, one baby step at a time, and I truly believe that we can keep cannabis from become the absolute mess that alcohol and nicotine are in this society. We need to refute the myth of cannabis as a gateway drug by “coming out” as professionals, parents, and successful people who also happen to use cannabis. We need to dispel the rumors about cannabis having “no medicinal benefits” with facts and studies on the benefits of cannabis.
For those that did not know, here is the official DEA classification of cannabis:
Schedule I Controlled Substances
Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.
Some examples of substances listed in Schedule I are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), peyote, methaqualone, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“Ecstasy”)
If you’re thinking “really?!? Heroin and cannabis in the same category?” good! We can change things for the better. We have to be committed to evidence based practices and building community for cannabis prohibition to truly be at an end.