We must end cannaphobia

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Editor: We attended Banff’s council meeting on Nov. 27 (intro to Bylaw 420) and were relieved to hear some light-hearted humour, though we felt it could’ve gone without certain token stereotypes.

In Canmore, we attended Bow Valley Chamber of Commerce‘s Learn at Lunch: Preparing your Business for the Cannabis Legalization and were optimistic about taking in a fresh breath of progressive air.

To our dismay, cannaphobia’s lingering presence was apparent with every dated colloquialism, also with nearly every query.

We must ask. Could our fellow residents possibly fathom that their fears of a plant, of someone’s lifestyle or of a patients’ medicinal choice are mostly based on misinformed, reefer madness-inspired fairytales?

We don’t judge them for this, but aim to include them in the conversation about cannabis common sense. It’s unfortunate that their cannabis awareness has been built on a foundation of unfounded prohibitionist principles. Can they be blamed for being so convinced of their antiquated points of view?

No, but it is time for social progress. Words are powerful and negative stigmas are perpetuated when stereotypes are used to marginalize groups of people. Society can be better than this in a country where all levels of government, instead of being guided by philanthropic principles, seem to be guided by the prospect of economic prosperity a.k.a. “greed.”

Imagine that for our entire lifetimes those same people have been calling our medicine a weed. Additionally, imprisoning us for our choice to consume cannabis.

Imagine a government that prioritized quality of life instead of taxation. How amazing would that be, instead of preparing for legalization as if we were bracing for an asteroid’s impact?

Let’s all prosper together by embracing legalization with open arms and open minds as a conscious, connected community. We 4C this positive change … Do you?

Marc LeBlanc,

4C – Canadian Cannabis Compassion Community

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