As your family and friends come together today (Thanksgiving), and future holidays and get togethers it is a good time to discuss cannabis with your family (this has happened to me at many family events). Here are some positive facts to bring up in the conversation if you need some "positive cannabis ammo":
Mention the potential and reported medical benefits of cannabis, such as pain relief, anti-inflammatory properties, and its use in managing certain medical conditions like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain; which thousands of people visit their local dispensary for a natural alternative.
Fact: Epidiolex is an FDA approved drug used to treat seizures caused from a form of epilepsy.
Reduced Opioid Use:
Some studies suggest that in states where medical cannabis is legal, there is a reduction in opioid use and opioid-related deaths. This can be an important point in the context of the opioid epidemic
States who have legalized cannabis have seen reductions opioid related issues ranging from 6%-7%; as seen here in a study done by the NCBI.
Discuss the economic impact of the cannabis industry. In areas where cannabis is legal, it has created jobs, generated tax revenue, and contributed to economic growth.
Make sure to throw in the little tid-bit that "regular" industries like banking & insurance also benefit from this, by being allowed to take on new cannabis accounts only supports their industry - that is for the insurance agent in your family!
Highlight efforts in some places to address social justice issues related to cannabis. Some regions are working towards expunging the criminal records of individuals with non-violent cannabis convictions and reinvesting in communities that were disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. As a State, we get negatively affected financially multiple times by ANYBODY being incarcerated or even pulled over from cannabis.
1st - Money leaves the State to purchase cannabis outside of WI.
2nd - (If the person gets pulled over) We pay the cop for his time to handle the situation, the person may have to go to court for this which we also pay for, and if the person goes to jail - we pay for them to be there.
All of the savings from avoiding this situation could go towards social equity issues throughout the state.
(Queue brain explosion noise)
Emphasize harm reduction strategies associated with cannabis use, especially in comparison to substances like alcohol and tobacco. Cannabis has a lower risk of addiction and overdose compared to some other legal substances.
Share positive personal stories or anecdotes about people who have benefited from cannabis use, either medically or in terms of improved quality of life.
Remember, the key is to approach the conversation with empathy and an open mind, acknowledging that opinions on cannabis may vary within the family. Encourage an open dialogue where everyone feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns.
This is not meant to be political, but it is important to note that it is a very important time in WI; as medical marijuana is yet again, on the ballet. Best route is to reach out to your local constituents and politicians to get your voices heard! Here is a quick resource to Senator Melissa Agard's push - who we have done with with in the past. https://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/16/agard/constituent-services/legalize-opportunity/ Happy Holidays!