March 11, 2011

Fight The Fear First by David Brannon

Here's David Brannon's most recent post for Baked Life. These wonderful photographs are from chrstnrdrgzphoto on flickr.

Every metric shows a sea change in society’s attitudes towards cannabis. Blind prejudice is – slowly -- being impacted by truth and legitimate research.

Things are in good shape on this front, considering we are up against lies which were presented as revealed truth too many times to count since the 1930’s. The bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated the sooner it is accepted as truth. Humans. What can you do?

Our challenge and our opponent in this effort to re-legalize cannabis are not the lies. The real problem is the fear which was used to power the lies. First, make people afraid. Next, make people think you can protect them from whatever it is you have taught them to fear. And the small price charged for taking away the fear? Obedience. And how much easier it all is if the danger you’ve been taught to fear isn’t real in the first place?

Lots of this foundation of fear came from Hollywood via the good offices of Harry J. Anslinger, the nation’s first anti-pot czar. You’ve probably seen Reefer Madness, but there are lots of other films demonizing cannabis. My personal favorite is Assassin of Youth. If you want to see fear being installed, just sit back with these films. [There was some powerful pot back in the day, if these films can be trusted.]

Society resists changing the cannabis laws in part because of this campaign of lies and fear. We can dismantle this sad structure. The truth will defeat the lies. But people fear what they do not know. We have to demonstrate to them that there in nothing to fear.

What if each fearful citizen got to know one rational, normal, Johnny Lunchpail stoner? It should be someone who is already in that fearful citizen’s own routine, day to day life. Better still if that responsible-stoner-someone turned out to be a member of that citizens own family.

Once the fearful realize that they already know, respect, and maybe even trust a real, actual, responsible stoner, the fear underlying the drug laws is going to collapse. Fear fails in the light of personal realization. Without the support of fear the lies about cannabis will fail. Never forget we are the ones speaking the truth.

Everyone who is afraid of cannabis already knows a responsible stoner. There are many, many more invisibly responsible stoners out here than anyone realizes. Most keep our heads down and go unnoticed. That’s not going to work anymore, not if we want things to change. It’s time to come out for cannabis. Yes, it’s scary. But if not now, when?

A good first step would be to no longer stand by while someone – anyone – slanders this wonderful and versatile plant. Every one of us needs to be conversant with the sad history of the hemp plant these past eighty years. Read The Emperor Wears No Clothes or Marijuana Myths / Marijuana Facts or watch Grass on DVD (narrated by Woody Harrelson). Be able to discuss the truth about cannabis. Then, when the chance presents itself – and it will -- when you hear someone say something wrong about the weed, you can -- in a calm, dignified manner, stop letting the unenlightened slander our healing herb.
We are the ones speaking the truth. We need to speak that truth louder.


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