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How to Talk to Your Anti-Cannabis Family Members About Cannabis

August 13, 2020 04:44 pm ET
How to Talk to Your Anti-Cannabis Family Members About Cannabis

Before we get into some suggestions on ways to bring up cannabis with those anti-cannabis family members, let’s remember that some people will never change. With that in mind, the best way to approach an anti-cannabis family member is with caution. Some family members will call the law on you and have you arrested, thinking they are helping save you from a life of drug addiction. Some may hold it as leverage over you if you happen to live in a prohibition state. Not all family members are crazy like this, though, most of us have at least one or know someone that is.

The most important thing to remember is not to expect to sit down and change someone’s mind in one conversation. Cannabis prohibition is older than many of our parents. They have known it their entire life up until recently. They see states legalizing it, but watch the government they have elected still stand firmly against it. You can’t undo over eighty years of negative propaganda overnight, but it can be undone. My dad is, or should I say was, a prime example of an anti-cannabis family member.

A Personal Testament About Anti-Cannabis Family

I started smoking cannabis when I was young. My first time trying it, I was 12. He caught me and a boy skipping school, trying to smoke across the street from our house in the woods. Looking back on that day now, I can see the horrible impression of cannabis that it left him with. He firmly was against cannabis and wouldn’t even allow it in his house. My dad is also the Union President of the factory he works at and has helped enforce company policy regarding cannabis, which is termination.

If he suspected anyone he knew of smoking cannabis, he wouldn’t let them around. I kept smoking because I loved the way it made me feel. I maintained great grades in school, twirled baton, was in Girl Scouts, and had no interest in getting wasted on someone’s parent’s stash of booze or getting some random stranger to buy them for us at the corner store. My dad knew this and hated it. I lived for so many years in fear of the disappointment if he caught me smoking around the house or with cannabis in my room.

Consistency Really Pays Off

I thought my dad would never change his mind. I was wrong. He went from having the point of view of zero tolerance to being alright with it if it were legal. Instead of a person losing their job for failing a random drug test at work, they can now take a class and save their job. He went from totally against my cannabis use and love of the plant to being supportive of it. This didn’t happen overnight, though. It took the course of several years.

I met my husband, James, in 2004. He was a pothead, and my dad hated him at first. My dad hated all my boyfriends (they were all “potheads”). He tried to keep us apart. He wouldn’t allow James over or let me go to see him. Eventually, he realized we were serious. That still didn’t change his stance. What did was watching us work and maintain jobs year after year. He saw the order in our life that he didn’t see in some of his buddies’ lives who drank.

The Conversation Continued to Grow

He witnessed the passion we have to educate others about this widely misunderstood plant. He started to listen to us talk about the wrongdoings and injustices of cannabis prohibition. He listened to the reports issued by The LaGuardia Committee and the Shafer commission reports on cannabis. He heard the stories of sick men, women, and children who found another chance at life through the healing properties of cannabis.

Eventually, he started asking questions about cannabis, and before I knew it, a man that had stood against cannabis all his life finally no longer opposed it.

Now it’s Your Turn to Talk!

When it comes your turn to start the convo, remember to go slow. It is hard for people to listen to someone telling them what they have known as truth for so long is actually is greatly fabricated falsehood.

Cannabis is part of us. A great place to start is talking about the endocannabinoid system and how cannabinoids from cannabis such as THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and others help to regulate that system and aid the body in achieving and maintaining homeostasis. Another great topic is to take a look at the many stories of people being told by doctors that either their’s or their child’s life was at or close to an end.

Alexis Bortell is a perfect example of one of these stories. She was around five years old when she was found to have a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. This was terminal, and her parents needed to start making arrangements. They did just that. They sold their home in Texas and left for Colorado to explore potential cannabinoid therapies as treatments for their daughter after exhausting all other medical options. This turned out to be the best decision they could have made. Alexis is alive and fighting for cannabis patients’ rights today.

Remember to take it slow and keep it real. Give those anti-cannabis family members time to let the information you enlighten them with resonate and sink in. Just remember that you can’t change the minds of everyone, especially if you are talking to someone who’s cup is consistently full. As with anything, the truth is the truth and it is only a matter of time before the truth of cannabis is more widely known than the atrocities of prohibition.

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