The cannabis industry continues to be the fastest growing industry in the United States. There are now 29 states along with DC that approve legal medical marijuana. More states are expected to legalize in the coming year. At no point in our history over the last 50 years has cannabis reform looked so bright.
However, there are still serious challenges ahead.
While doors are opening, our work is nowhere done. Forty years of prohibition have led a lot of people to be woefully misinformed about cannabis. Fueled by a prison industrial complex and corporate profit, cannabis has been purposefully demonized in the public’s eyes.
It is now up to each of this to help change this.
Education is our best weapon against prohibition. An informed public is a powerful public. Here’s why cannabis education is so important for our future.
Education Dispels Harmful Stereotypes
Is using cannabis addictive? Does consuming cannabis kill brain cells? Will cannabis lead to harder drugs? No way! In fact, there is zero evidence to back these outrageous claims. In fact, recent research indicates the contrary. Cannabis is not addictive. Cannabis actually promotes brain cell growth. Using cannabis does not lead to harder substances. Why do these harmful myths still exist? Propaganda was hard at work manipulating public perception. Education is key to breaking these perpetuating myths. When someone is educated about a topic they can make an informed decision. If we want to dispel harmful stereotypes, we must be avid educators.
Education Influences Public Perception
In 1969, only 12% of Americans reported they were in favor of medical marijuana. Today, that number has risen to 60%. What led to such a significant increase? Well, there are a number of factors at play. Newer generations show more support for cannabis in comparison to older ones. In fact, but not surprisingly, people between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most supportive of legalizing the use of marijuana. While people 65 and older are the least supportive. This is largely attributed to the cultural context of each generation. For individuals over the age of 65, they were heavily bombarded with “reefer madness” propaganda. Cannabis was depicted as a dangerous and even deadly substance. Flash forward to today, the prohibition mantra is still going on, but people have access to information about cannabis they didn’t have fifty years ago. Education has caused a radical shift in our understanding of this plant. It has opened our eyes once again to the life enhancing qualities of this medicine.
Education Changes Lives
One of the most powerful effects of cannabis education is its ability to change lives. People who were previously against cannabis are now avid supporters. People who never used cannabis are enjoying a better quality of life. People who never considered cannabis a medicine are treating their conditions. This is largely attributed to education. As people became more informed about cannabis, the support for legalization grew. The pressure on policy makers was increased. This opened the door for reform to take place. The spread of legalization has allowed people to safely obtain and use a life changing medicine. Today more patients are able to take advantage of the benefits of cannabis.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that education is a powerful tool for igniting change.
Years of marijuana propaganda supported by prohibitionists did a number on the American psyche. However, we know that perceptions can change. The hard work of passionate cannabis activists and aficionados has helped us realize just how important the cannabis plant is.
At HempStaff, we’re passionate about cannabis education. We believe it’s vital for cannabis professionals to be educated advocates. Which is why we offer in-person medical marijuana training opportunities. In fact, we have trained and certified almost 3,000 medical marijuana employees nationwide.
Our training sessions are state-customized, classroom training that teach state regulations as well as the science of cannabis and its implications to medical ailments. Classes are highly engaging, so be prepared to ask questions and interact!
Interested in learning more? Click here for our Budtender Training Class Schedule.