Time goes and things change, so did the perception of Cannabis culture and understanding of Medical Marijuana as we know it now. From smoking and Weed edibles to medication and entertainment, clothing and building materials.
Cannabis culture becoming mainstream – How it all started. Brief look into the 20th century.
In the beginning of 20th century in USA war on drugs started, Marijuana was priority number one. And as most wars progress, instead of destroying the enemy, the enemy becomes stronger. Same did the war on drugs, started by Harry J. Anslinger in 1930s and followed by president Nixon in 1960s.
But even before them, the process was already running, when from 1914 to 1925 twenty six states passed laws prohibiting Marijuana. And so called journalists took huge part in bloating the bubble of Reefer Madness and Evil Weed associated with Mexican immigrants.
While the education on Cannabis matter was running low among the citizens, the anti-marijuana agenda was easily pushed on to society. Not too many people had any experience with it at all. So journalists could run wild creating sensations and “important” news from street gossip and blow up stories from thin air without any resistance from the public.
In that time period public perception of Marijuana smoker associated with socially dysfunctional individuals or blood thirsty crazy maniacs.
As any prohibition it sparks more interest in the matter. Same route was destined for Weed. In the time of war on drugs Cannabis quickly grew out from association with lower classes and immigrants into a relaxation and creative aid.
From underground Jazz scene to college students and middle class the Plant started to gain popularity. The change was on its way.
1960s and the hippy time came by, shifting the attitude strongly towards more open minded society concerning usage of Cannabis and other perception altering substances. From college students to Vietnam vets the Medical Marijuana took a nice home run. Beetles, Woodstock, Counterculture, all together a great combination for a social revolution.
It could seem that hippie time was really close to make real change in legal status of Weed. But, the war on drugs, revitalized by Nixon, was full speed ahead and Cannabis associated arrests increased tenfold.
Like it or not but hippie generation still contributed the most to the shift of perception – the next generations now had the fuel for the fight. And in the second part of 20th century understanding the difference between low grade Weed and Medical Marijuana widens. Also modern perception of Weed Edibles started to pop up.
1970s and the footpath was already laid, new generation of Weed smokers was raising on the vibes of music, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and of course Cheech and Chong. The shape and form, but mostly the meat and bone of the Cannabis revolutions almost always centers on music.
Boom, Hip-hop. The 80ties hit it hard, and the rise of urban culture was inevitable. Fueled by the fight for freedom and expression of frustrated lower classes, the Weed was the elixir of thoughts, gluing together rimes, cultures and social changes.
Followed by 90ties and stronger emergence of “gangsta rap” which can be seen as a perfect ground floor for Weed propaganda and clear messages of smoking big fat blunts with your homies. The ice started to move, the lyrics were not hiding any more. Hip hop brought the Cannabis message closer to the people.
Although the hip hop somewhat converted into pop, the Cannabis culture was given a vast space for growth.
Where Cannabis culture stands now. Weed Edibles and Internet.
With the first waves of hip-hop the Cannabis culture was rocketed into the mainstream culture and Medical Marijuana started to grow into a mass consumption product. Internet totally opened the gates of freedom speech and gave a possibility for an underground practice to become truly mainstream, reaching out to millions of people.
And the Big Money started to follow. Now it flows in all levels of Cannabusiness:
1. Growing – big Medical Marijuana farms and small scale Home Growing.
2. Selling – Dispensaries and E-shops.
3. Consuming – infused Weed Edibles, drinks and Cookbooks.
4. Cosmetics – infused soaps, lotions, shampoos.
5. Grow Equipment – Grow Lights, Tents and Ventilation.
6. Affiliated merchandise – Pipes, Bongs and Vaporizers.
7. IT solutions, Marketing and Design – promotion and support.
8. Media – web News platforms, Magazines and Mobile Apps.
9. Entertainment – shows, movies and games.
From streets to industry. With Big Money behind the Supply and Media space, the demand grows. Also the perception of people using Cannabis changes rapidly – the old stereotype of a dysfunctional Marijuana pothead is fading away and instead comes a socially fully acceptable image of a modern Cannabis user.
They vary from college kids and PTSD patients to people from almost every walk of life, doctors, lawyers, politicians etc. Now the Cannabis starts to become much more than just a classically labeled “stoner” attribute. It’s integral part of our culture, with much stronger ties to past than tobacco or alcohol.
And as most industries are created the growing Cannabis industry is no exception, the main rule applies – demand creates its own supply. People are voting with their wallets. Why to make a shady living or try to buy unknown weed off streets? Possibility to make Marijuana legal, avoid jail time and criminal record, pay taxes, raise quality standards, create jobs and earn some money, is happening right now.
While the prohibition, in most parts of the world, still applies and the law is against usage, production, distribution and transportation of Cannabis, there are vibes in favor of legalization happening right now globally.
At time of writing this article 3 more states in USA voted on legalizing recreational use of Marijuana. For both parties, people and the state it’s a win/win result. The sight shifts towards more Cannabis culture oriented and caring society.
And as it becomes more positive about the usage of Medical Marijuana, this is where the industry expands. New products and applications of Cannabis are entering our periscope. The appetite dictates the dishes – kief, Moon Rocks, Weed edibles, infused drinks, specific and boosted strains, CBD oil, Hash oil, you name it.
One more splendid side of this story is an opportunity for everyone to be part of a committed community of, let’s say, Cannabis home brewers, a curious bunch of folks, if you ask me. The freedom to be your own herbalist makes me wonder, if that’s the peak of achievement to a plant loving individual like myself.
Predicting the unpredictable Cannabis culture.
I will let the speculations aside. And try to look into the logic of matter at hand. Medical Marijuana as a society’s remedy works with an exclusive effectiveness on one’s consciousness and awareness. That’s why considering the fact that Cannabis was a starter of changes in the past I’d surely bet on it again.
In the past fighting a plant could provide political leverage and additional funding provided from tax payer money. Now it becomes clear that making Cannabis legal and not battling it can provide much better results in both matters of tax income and political foothold. The next step, which happened in the past and to which we partly started to lean again, is putting this plant into hands of people.
And that would be the best option available, considering the fact that Cannabis plant is a medicine, food, fuel, paper source, building and clothing material etc. And it’s safer, faster and cheaper to process it than most of its current competitors.
What other applications of this unique plant are ready to be uncovered in the future? Just for a moment, let us look at the Cannabis plant as a material with still unknown possibilities but huge potential, the fastest and most promising road to discover those possibilities is to give freedom of experimentation to huge amount of different people. That is what we should move towards, give green light to Cannabis culture.
Results are already at hand, looking back at last 30-40 years, when first legalization cases happened and brought results to masses in form of new products and ways of using the plant, being right now on the heels of established industries that just can’t let it go. And that even without taking into account discovered applications of the plant in the last centuries.
Current situation and further development, in most cases, is a result of combining the plant with technology. An already known trail, to which we’ll stick for sure in years to come.
Public’s opinion on Cannabis changes, it becomes more popular, affordable and, at last, steps out of shadows into the light where it should be. Where an ignorant doesn’t see an opportunity and brighter future, the wise knows the benefits – safe and affordable medical and recreational value, jobs, taxes, smarter society, where should I stop.
And even in a more regulated and saturated market, there’s always a place for home growing, which easily can be considered even more usual than home brewing. A hobby or a little bit more for some of us.
All hail to Medical Marijuana.
The Cannabis as we know it now started off in the first part of 20th century, its perception transformed over time, partly bringing new horizons and partly echoing in earlier history. But still there’s one thing that goes thru time, it’s the power of Cannabis to ignite individual and then public change of dogma.
The strongest part of the herb is not the raw material or profit to be made out of it, it’s the opportunity to see things differently, to break out of old patterns. And of course in many other aspects of life it’s proving to be most valuable partner to us as well. Analyzing the legalization process and the change of social norm as a whole shows a good example of society’s evolution. Amazing, just one plant but so much hustle around it.
While I bring out more the moral aspect, it wouldn’t do justice not mentioning Cannabis as a commodity. In both means of recreational and practical use, it’s a game changer. As far as the State should be concerned right now is that Cannabis creates new money flows, salaries and taxes. For individual the scale of values is even greater. Avoiding or even battling such process in 21th century could be compared to a throwback to stone age.
Acknowledging Cannabis as our companion and using benefits of a plant that is easy to grow, maintain, process and is a remedy for a world gone mad, that would be more appropriate for a civilized population. The long needed steps are made and we should keep it that way, embracing the Cannabis culture.
Times change and the sight shifts once again.
“The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer
Cover image courtesy of Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press
- Posted by Zion420.com
- On November 21, 2016
- 0 Comments