Pothead parodies can be humorous but there is a fine line where ignorance needs to meet education. Since I began working in the medical marijuana industry I have blossomed a new respect for cannabis as medicine. The life changing side effects of medical marijuana have been revolutionary compared to what I was taught in grade […]

 In Opinion

Pothead parodies can be humorous but there is a fine line where ignorance needs to meet education. Since I began working in the medical marijuana industry I have blossomed a new respect for cannabis as medicine. The life changing side effects of medical marijuana have been revolutionary compared to what I was taught in grade school. The cannabis community has changed my life; if anything, it has been my gateway to a better life.

It is invigorating to be able to openly talk about marijuana. However, I am exhausted by the people who want to categorize cannabis users, including patients, as “druggies”. Anything can be abused and understanding the mind of an addict is an art. In grade school, movies are shown to depict marijuana as a gateway drug. I was drinking alcohol in high school as well as filling a lethal Adderall prescription, which was covered by insurance. I understand that it’s an uncharted assumption, but I feel the alcohol and Adderall are what lead me further down a road less traveled.

The assumption that marijuana only melts you to the couch like those drug free commercials is quite comical. If uneducated people could graduate from the Nixon-minded mentality, they would realize the unconditional benefits medical marijuana has to offer. No longer do I wake up most days from a blackout wondering how much money I spent the night prior or trying to piece together times of my life; all from drinking and real drug use. Vulnerability breeds courage and in shining a light on my darker times, I hope to hash out a topic I feel people shouldn’t feel ashamed for discussing. I am no longer addicted to a substance or an inadvertent crutch to get me through the hard times. I didn’t realize before that while I was numbing emotional pain I was also compromising simple luxuries in life.

December of 2014, a close friend passed away and it rattled me. Out of habit, I would usually turn to the bottle and chemically infused party favors to avoid feeling any emotional discomfort. I flew to Texas for the funeral and on my flight back to Las Vegas I struck up a conversation with the man next to me in an effort to deter my mind from it’s saddened state. He told me about his work on the Echelon project as lead architect but furthermore how it was never as rewarding as his volunteer work in South Africa. He inspired me to volunteer abroad and upon returning home, I flew to Thailand where I taught English to children. I now understand what that man meant by the invaluable experience that true compassion teaches. When I returned from Thailand, I decided it was a pivotal time to make progressively healthier choices for myself. Around the same time, I started working with marijuana as medicine, became a patient, and stopped buying off the street. No longer did I see weed as something to add to the buffet of highs I was chasing, but rather I found a true respect for the plant.

Like any other person, I enjoy taking the edge off of life, because sometimes being a human being gets exhausting. But I am struggling to find justification for criminalizing a plant that has brought myself, and so many others back to life. I am grateful for the advancements in medical marijuana because I understand the unequivocal benefits it has to offer. It would be nice if in the new year, people gained a new perspective on what it CAN mean to be a pothead and that it shouldn’t be naturally associated with negligence or criminally fueled intentions.

Rebecka Snell works in the Nevada cannabis industry. With Texas roots and Vegas buds, she is currently pursuing what sets her soul on fire

4 Comments

Start typing and press Enter to search