The amazing potential of cannabis is once again being recognized, and it is finding use for problems ranging from PTSD, cancer, depression, anxiety, seizures, and pain treatment. Cannabis may not be for everyone, but it should be available for those who need it. Some people may even rightfully claim that cannabis has saved their lives.
Unfortunately, some lives have also been ruined by cannabis, owing to the government’s stance on it. Prohibition has allowed crime to flourish around cannabis, leading to many sketchy situations and questionable medicines. Sadly, the war on drugs has resulted in a self-fulfilling prophecy about the dangers of cannabis, and the fear generated in the populus has led to a shortage of people who know how to safely produce it.
There are many reasons not to talk about cannabis these days:
- If you’re making money hand over fist because you’re one of the few people who knows what you’re doing, why would you purposely sabotage yourself? Just like banks have security guards, programmers have anti-piracy software, or farmers have guns, everyone has a natural desire to protect their source of income.
- Talking about cannabis puts you at risk of prying federal eyes. Even if you’re a war veteran, a harmless old lady, or somebody bound to a wheelchair, the government will get nosy if they suspect you’re talking about cannabis. The amount of power that the government can leverage against you because of cannabis is unconscionable.
All these factors result in a workforce for the cannabis industry that is severely lacking. Operations typically prefer to hire people who lack experience with cannabis, which is not common practice in any other industry. Understanding how to produce quality cannabis on a commercial scale is an entirely different beast from small-scale growing. It takes years of experience and running a business to learn.
As a community on Growers Network, we need to spearhead a culture of learning surrounding the cultivation, breeding and research of cannabis. This is important for the health of the industry and the health of the end consumers too. Education will help right the wrongs committed by the war on drugs. We should speak publicly, not just to others in the cannabis community, but the public at large.
We have to recognize that this fight is greater than just ourselves. We need to join together as friends, brothers, and sisters. We have to dedicate ourselves to a future where access to this medicine is not limited. We should be investing in young growers and helping them out. Even without the fear of arrest, the ability to produce and sell cannabis on a large scale is difficult and evolving by the day. Education surrounding cannabis production is limited regardless of where you live, and if we, as experienced growers, don’t spend time investing in young growers, we will lose several generations-worth of knowledge.
This isn’t to say that all will be roses and sunshine. Legal cannabis could eat into the huge profits of many pharmaceutical companies. They will fight against legalization tooth and nail, just as they have done in the past. Money talks and the government will listen.
Find people who are passionate about cannabis, and not just passionate about the money. Look for the people who care about the medicine. Start your own YouTube channels and advocate. Speak at public events. By combining our voices and speaking up, we can make our dreams a reality.
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About the Author
Justin Strickland is a young, passionate grower and recently finished his education to become a horticulture technician. He is currently working landscaping full-time in Ottawa. Justin also makes custom art, prints, and paintings.