I grew up in a conservative household, in a conservative little village, right smack dab in the middle of the bible belt of Alberta. There were more churches than stop signs and saying “crap” would get you a smack upside the head.
Things in tiny towns like that seem simple, like following an easy roadmap clearly marked with no detours. There is right and there is wrong. Black and white.
I grew up innately thinking of weed as a drug with the same life-destroying capabilities as heroin. Nobody talked about it. Nobody thought about it. And you can be sure that only the “outcast” teenagers with the oversized hoodies and frantic mothers ever did it.
It was bad.
If you did it, you were bad. It turned good people into lazy hoodlums that only care about getting stoned and revving their engines too fast at stop signs. Shameful. Dirty.
I never questioned it.
I had no reason to. To me, it was just a fact of life and something that didn’t really warrant a second thought. That is until I moved away from my tiny town in its little plastic bubble.
I met my (now) husband. A handsome musician that wrote poetry and let his fingers strum from his soul. He was successful and a homeowner with a well-loved cat and a nice car. (Great butt too, by the way.) He paid his bills, loved his mom and didn’t play video games. He made eye contact even when I wore a v-neck.
He also grew pot.
That fact hit me like a freight train. A freight train full of doobies.
This guy? This lovely, attentive, motivated, healthy, kind guy – he grows drugs? How?
I couldn’t comprehend this real-life contradiction to everything that I had thought was fact. My new boyfriend held a licence, from the government, to grow marijuana for a man that was very sick.
Medical marijuana? I had so many questions. When I expressed my confusion, his response was simple – research, Amie. Go read. Read real things – real studies with hard results, not speculations.
Down the Google rabbit hole I went, learning more about cannabis than I had my entire life. Scientific articles, forums, personal experience stories, medical miracles. I started to form my own opinion, for the first time, and my head was spinning faster than that freaky chick from the Exorcist.
My husband now works as a cannabis consultant, sharing his knowledge internationally and seeing its effect firsthand. This plant doesn’t ruin lives. It doesn’t make people lazy or dangerous or reckless or useless. It is relief. It is health. It is arthritis ridden joints that happily flex again. Clouds of depression that clear, brain tumours that shrink until hope can take their place. PTSD, endometriosis, Lyme disease, lupus, cancer, anxiety, fibromyalgia – it had help them all.
Sure, I’m angry. We have been misled for so long. Popping tricky white tops off of little orange bottles, no label in the world big enough to host its list of side effects. Masking the symptoms of one ailment with a pill whose name I can’t pronounce, thinking it’s my only option while it burns holes in my stomach and steals my libido.
I’m angry, yes. But more than that, I’m excited. Times are changing. We have now been given the opportunity to scientifically prove the value of cannabis that “hippies and criminals” have understood all along. Information is becoming common knowledge and more successful secret stoners are crawling out of the woodwork. Showing their faces as misplaced judgments fade, further proving the stupidity of the “pothead” stereotype. We still have a ways to go, still with so many people resisting the idea that they’re misinformed. I get it, it freaked me out too.
I implore you, research it. Open your mind, open a book, form your own opinion and evolve. Keeping your head in the sand won’t make the world stop turning, it’ll just land you grumpy with a headache. But don’t worry, I heard CBD is really good for that.
Mommy’s Inside Voice is a bi-weekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three.