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This Medicine is Different
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This Medicine is Different

The shifting landscape of cannabis legalization, including the reclassification of cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3, and the growing number of states permitting medical or recreational use, has highlighted the necessity for a title that reflects this evolving reality. Cannabis, known by a variety of names such as Ganja, Weed, Pot, Haze, CheebaCheeba, and Mary J, is increasingly acknowledged as a medicinal substance. However, the commercialization and commodification of cannabis have also significantly influenced its perception and usage.

The ownership and commerce of cannabis have long been stigmatized in the 20th century. However, when considering the broader historical context, it becomes apparent that this stigma is being addressed. For 36 years, I have engaged with, rejected, ignored, and found healing with this plant. Over the last 7 years, I have focused on healing and learning.

Cannabis can be seen as both a resource and an idea, as it’s difficult to define its meaning singularly. This may seem counterintuitive. For years, there has been suspicion that dispensaries would sell to children. However, the dispensaries have been removed and replaced with gas stations and corner stores. It may seem like I’m a bit jaded, but my feelings stem more from a disappointment in the industry as a whole. Everything has become commercialized, and if it doesn’t gain attention on social media, it’s often overlooked.

When content is shared on social media, it often needs to be edited to fit the platform, which can change the original message. The focus shouldn’t just be on where cannabis is sold, but on the impact and consequences, especially for those most affected. Whether it’s for medical or recreational use, the real issue is that many people are in need of help. Instead of prioritizing sales, the focus should be on educating others. Dispensaries often don’t collaborate independently at social events, and they tend to compete by opening multiple locations, which limits the opportunities for local cannabis brands to be creative and move forward.

I understand and will remember the following text: “Within social media, there are checks and balances, although it’s algorithmically fraught. This is not a takedown piece, nor is it a space to air complaints. This is an analytical observation of the industry as it stands. As it stands, I believe it. I have gone to the dispensaries, talked with budtenders, and ingratiated myself in the culture as it stands. So, from a personal level, I believe we could do so much more.