When I was younger, I was told one puff of the Devil's Lettuce could get me hooked for life. In school-sanctioned programs and at home, cannabis was just as bad (if not worse) than meth or LSD. Horror stories about failing to be a productive member of society and videos of frying eggs served in place of statistics and actual reasoning.
Once I joined the extemporaneous speaking portion of my school's forensics team, I had to become up to date with both sides of the cannabis debate. I needed to know actual statistics and read up on how cannabis impacted the human body and the environment in order to understand both sides of the aisle. This led me down a rabbit hole that ultimately changed my life.
Cannabis legalization has opened the way for research to prove anti-cannabis propaganda is no longer working. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans believe medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized, with 31% saying they support medical only. This leaves less than 10% either opposed to legal cannabis or with no opinion.
Instead of listening to incorrect assumptions, Americans have turned to what the data is telling them. From discovering the potential benefits of individual cannabinoids to making strides in neurological medicine, cannabis is opening doors for new advancement.
However, some individuals are still drinking the kool-aid so to speak. In March 2021, Business Insider reported on a statement made by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts', quoting him as saying, "If you legalize marijuana, you're gonna kill your kids. That's what the data shows from around the country."
Of course, he did not provide the data to back up his claim. This sort of scare tactic is reminiscent of the egg frying in a pan while the narrator says, "This is your brain on drugs."
While education for responsible cannabis usage is something every industry worker should prioritize, dispelling negative and blatantly false information should also be a priority as well. With restrictions on cannabis marketing outlets, the best way to share cannabis research by clicking that share button or word of mouth. Despite their marketing advantages, anti-cannabis propaganda is on its deathbed.