Does Marijuana use have a stigma in your mind? You may have preconceived notions in your head about a marijuana user. The War on Drugs has left a pretty large stigma surrounding cannabis. The term “Marijuana User” may conjure up less than positive images in your mind. So how do you move past the stigma?
Prohibition Created Stigma
A few years after the alcohol prohibition ended, a new target appeared. Marijuana prohibition began with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. (It should be noted that the American Medical Association argued against the 1937 tax act in court.) This was only a year after the release of the film, Reefer Madness.
Marijuana prohibition had more to do with the hemp industry than medicinal or recreational use. Hemp was in our paper and in our clothes. Between the logging industry and the new synthetic textiles like polyester, hemp stood little chance.
By the 1960’s, marijuana was synonymous with the counter culture movement. People thought of hippies, bikers, and rock & roll music. In 1967 LIFE magazine portrayed marijuana users as detriments to society. The TV show Dragnet depicted marijuana users as mentally unstable and unfit.
The “Just Say No” era War on Drugs filled America’s prisons. They were bursting at the seams with marijuana offenders. So it’s easy to see how many people associate a stigma with marijuana use.
Marijuana has Medicinal Value
For centuries, cannabis has been used as medicine. The earliest written documentation of medical cannabis occurred in China. The Chinese Pharmacopeia, the Rh-Ya, referenced it around 1500 BC. There’s an interesting timeline on the ProCon website.
In America, the 1851 U.S. Pharmacopeia listed marijuana and its medicinal uses. Pharmacists often made their own tinctures with the plant. Companies like Squib, Parke-Davis, and Lilly manufactured cannabis based medicine.
In the 1960’s, the United States government funded medical studies on it in Israel. In 2003, the U.S. government obtained U.S. Patent No. 6,630,507 for medicinal marijuana. All while listing marijuana a schedule 1 drug (meaning no medical benefits).
Rethink Your Marijuana Stigma
What is your image of a marijuana user?
The media has colored your thinking in association with marijuana.
Maybe you should consider this as an image of marijuana users. (The United States Olympic team is the only one that does not allow use of medical marijuana.)
Attend a medical marijuana seminar in your area and see what the audience looks like. You will see the typical medical marijuana user here in Florida.
Have you recently changed your mind about what a marijuana user looks like? What changed it? We want to know, so drop us a comment down below.