I grew up in a fairly conservative family in a small town in the bible belt. So when I left to work in Colorado's cannabis industry, it was a hot topic. Of course, my family had more than a few questions. Why cannabis? What did I see in it? Could I really make a living in this industry?
I had been an extemporaneous speaker in high school during the time cannabis legalization was a budding industry in Colorado. Since cannabis was a hot topic, I had done my fair amount of research on available information at the time. I truly believed cannabis could help people. So to answer my family's questions, I used that information to help show my family that I just wasn't just a legal drug dealer.
In a previous article, I talked about what economic reasons drove me to work within the cannabis industry. However, this wasn't just a career decision based on a paycheck, I wanted to help people.
So how do you talk to someone that is anti-marijuana about working in the cannabis industry?
The key is patience. Instead of flooding my family's inboxes with articles and scientific studies like an annoying spam bot, I sat down and talked with them. I had my data ready to back myself up so that I could answer their questions. By creating an open dialog where both parties could talk about their opinions, it allowed for a productive conversation.
Of course, expecting someone to agree with your opinions 100% is not possible. Take my grandmother for instance. By talking with her and sharing the information I had found regarding cannabis research, it allowed her to see why I chose this career path. While she still may not agree with recreational marijuana, she did change her opinion regarding its medical uses.
Marijuana legalization is becoming more widespread, however, shoving beliefs down the throats of those who do not agree is no way to win any favor. By creating open and honest dialog based on scientific facts, we can have productive conversations. The only way for the cannabis industry to grow and thrive is through education. But education is useless without the patience to share it with those around us.