Intersectionality and Representation

I recently went to Gaymerx, a gaming convention focused on LGBT issues. When I mentioned I was going two separate friends of mine had the same reaction “it seems so unnecessary.”  Did they say that in those exact words? No. One person wondered why “we need all these labels. We should all just be people.” The other stated that the Bay Area would be a place where something like that would be of such importance as to merit a conference.” Now, it’s true, maybe they meant no harm by their statements but that’s just it: those statements are harmful. They erase an important part of someone’s identity. Yes, we ARE all people but only certain identities have been represented in mainstream American media.

Studies have shown a higher use of marijuana among LGBT folk than their heterosexual counterparts. Unfortunately, there has not been much research into the factors that contribute to this phenomenon. However, we do know that being marginalized increases negative feelings like depression, helplessness, anxiety and anger.We also know marijuana is often used to cope with these negative feelings. All of these are facts we know and yet no one talks about them. When no one talks about things that are supposedly “acceptable”  because “we are all people” it shows we are not truly accepting of things changing the status quo. This is unacceptable. So, I encourage you, as proud marijuana users, to go ahead and talk about it. Be safe, be respectful but be out there to say “I use marijuana and I will not hide in the shadows.”

The Truth About Anxiety

“Anxiety is like a toddler: it won’t stop talking, always tells you you’re wrong and wakes you up at 3AM.”

I came across this quote somewhere on the internet and it resonated with me. Funny but true, right? Here’s the odd thing though: most people would prefer to deal with a toddler than their own anxiety. Why is that? Short (and one of many)answer: Toddlers are less scary because they are manageable. Whether through incentives,or consequences kids can learn. This is a familiar concept to us. Due to the epidemic of silence surrounding mental health, anxiety has come to be seen as a sign of weakness.
Here is the truth: EVERYONE has some degree of anxiety in their lives.

A little anxiety is normal and can be adaptive. It may motivate us to work a little harder or warn us of impending danger. It’s how our ancestors survived. Problematic anxiety makes problems where there are none,sees threats in safe places and is generally a pain in the ass. Read that last sentence again except this time, replace the word Anxiety with your friends name. Would you let that person control your life? No? Then don’t let anxiety control your life.

When anxiety starts to negatively affect multiple areas of one’s life one must find a way to manage it. Everyone has a different approach when it comes to dealing with anxiety but one thing is universally true: The more tools at your disposal the better you’ll be able to manage the symptoms of anxiety (you know: the racing thoughts,obsessing over past mistakes, worrying about stuff that hasn’t happened, etc.).

Cannabis is just one tool at your disposal. Other tools include: meditation, thought stopping, going for a run, psychotropic medication,therapy, making art, talking to a friend, writing in a journal and so much more. Pick one, practice it, be patient with yourself. One tool not working? Try another. You wouldn’t try to paint a rainbow with only one color would you?

Redefining weed culture

I went to a Cheech and Chong show some years ago and they were funny as hell. One of the jokes went something like “Weed is one of the few drugs I can think of where, when someone passes you some your first instinct is to give it away when you’re done taking your hit.”   This is exactly what I love about weed culture. The term may be off putting to some, and I agree, it does generally does connote a less than desirable image. However, it’s a succinct way for me to describe what I feel is an aura of general positivity,acceptance, and generosity of stoners.

The stoner circle is a stereotypical image for a reason. Think about all the stoner circles on screen: they’re filled with relaxed, happy people,enjoying time together. We relish the chance to hang out with friends in a comfortable,non-judgemental environment. There’s opportunity to socialize but it is not a requirement of the stoner circle. There are no requirements in the stoner circle. This is my weed culture.

As Dave Chappelle noted in Half Baked  “everybody has their own little ritual when it comes to smokin'”. For me, these rituals are a great example of how, in weed culture, we have a sense of community that unites us and are still accepted for our own uniqueness. Yes, there may be playful teasing about differences in rituals but there’s no rejection based on your preferences. This is my weed culture.

I view it as my duty,as a conscientious stoner, to let those outside the weed culture know:Stoners are productive people. Stoners are kind people. Stoners are normal people, not a stereotype.

 

Welcome

Welcome to an open, honest space where you are free to learn about the potential uses of marijuana. Enjoy and feel free to contribute through comments. Have a great day!