4/20 is a day which has grown from a counterculture movement into a day meant to not just celebrate cannabis, but perhaps more importantly spread awareness. A lot of this awareness is aimed at bringing cannabis to the mainstream while also breaking the propaganda that has left a long standing stigma against this historically sought-after plant. Still, our aim must be to fight for the people who still suffer from the wake of this stigma as much as the plant itself.
This 4/20, we will attempt to do our part here at Calm Better Days, by addressing some of the elephants in the room that remain both on the tip of the public’s tongue and in the back of people’s minds.
Evolving From Racist-Driven Stigma to a Medicinal Paradigm
For one, the aforementioned propaganda has always meant to break cannabis down into nothing more than a recreational and gateway drug used by “lazy people” (often minorities) out to take advantage of the common American’s hard work.
This myth, which is steeped in racism, classism and indeed greed, delegitimizes the role cannabis has played on the medical front for literally thousands of years.
When we talk about cannabis, we are speaking about both the hemp and high-THC (often classified as “Marijuana” or in legal terms “Marihuana”) derivatives. That very classification which still stands, in itself, has racist origins meant to associate the plant with Latino migrants, hence the phonetically Spanish pronunciation.
Let’s make one thing clear – CBD and THC are two cannabinoids under the cannabis umbrella and both possess medicinal qualities.
Breaking The Idea That More THC Equals Better
Another, more recent, stigma which has unfortunately been widely promoted by those within the cannabis industry itself, is that “the higher the THC content, the better.” Once again, this is simply not true.
The truth of the matter is that the genetic and biological makeup of every single body is different. This means that cannabis does not adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach, but is more about the specific cannabinoid and terpene profile than it is about how much THC is in it.
Cannabis Isn’t Just About Getting High
This leads us to our next point: getting high doesn’t have to be the main objective. It’s not about consuming to just get high as much as it’s about mindful consumption.
Many wonder what mindful consumption even means. It may even drum up thoughts of spiritually-charged intentions made to elevate us to another state of consciousness.
While that may also be valid, what we mean is consuming cannabis to address different needs in any given situation. As studies, both domestically, but especially abroad in countries such as Israel suggest, this could include any number of situations such as addressing focus, pain and even sexual arousal.
The key shouldn’t be to find the product that gets you the “highest”, brings on the biggest euphoria, or even gets you high at all. It should be finding the right products to address what it is that you need specific help with.
More Emphasis is Needed on those Affected by the War on Drugs
The final, and perhaps, most important point to bring up has to do with the humanity behind the plant and the subsequent “war” against it. While the government and the industry alike would have you believe that this new iteration of cannabis is just and equitable, those who do even a minimal amount of digging will find that it is anything but.
In fact, there still remains a large gap between those who have been allowed to enter the cannabis industry backed by large VC funds ponied up by, you guessed it, largely white male constituents, and those who still sit behind bars for nonviolent cannabis offenses due to antiquated, and often overturned laws.
This is not an intended indictment on white males in general or particular, but rather a sobering admission that the vast, vast majority of those who have been incarcerated for such offenses are Brown and Black people who were the direct targets of the so-called War on Drugs.
How To Make a Change This 4/20
As cannabis PR maven and industry influencer, Alice Moon, put it recently in her since viral social media post “As we prepare to celebrate 4/20, remember that it is a privilege to be able to smoke weed and work in the industry. There are currently 40,000 people incarcerated for non-violent cannabis crimes in the United States.”
If we are to see the much needed, long-term positive change that the cannabis industry has been advocating for, then the industry, or better yet, we all must not just “show up” for the cause, but also support it in real, tangible ways.
That means voting at the booth and with our wallet.
That means writing letters to legislators and other people in positions of power.
That means opening up our wallets to donate to organizations that are fighting for the very lives at stake. A small list of those organizations include Cage-Free Cannabis and the Last Prisoner Project.
Calm Better Days aims to do our part as well. For that reason we are a proud member of the anti-racist Floret Coalition. An excerpt from the Floret Coalition website: “The Floret Coalition is an anti-racist collective of small businesses in the cannabis and cannabis-adjacent space supporting and funding equity-oriented actions via monthly donations and social campaigns. Together, we raise funds and awareness for organizations prioritizing the needs of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. These same communities bear the deepest scars of the misguided “war on drugs”. To date, The Floret Coalition’s 130+ brand members have donated over $120,000 to partnered organizations.”
The Final Word on 4/20
While legend has it that 4/20 started as the daily blaze time for a group of high school students in the 70’s, it has grown into a worldwide event that transcends its counterculture roots by influencing the mainstream. In all, we must all leverage the notoriety 4/20 has been getting in recent years into a revolution about the ways we view, use and support cannabis and its associated causes. That includes not just our relationship with THC, CBD and all other cannabinoids and terpenes, but even more so with the human beings who have been caught in the cross fires of political and legal demonization.
As a special gift to you on this day of celebration and the push for greater awareness, Calm Better Days is offering a 20% off coupon code for all products on our site.