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How Can Medical Cannabis Overcome the Street Drug Stigma?

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July 18, 2018 9:00 AM

How_Can_Medical_Cannabis_Overcome_the_Street_Drug_StigmaEven though the number of people discovering the overwhelming benefits of medical cannabis is growing, this product continues to leave a bad taste in many citizens’ mouths.

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Here’s how this authorization can overcome its storied past.


The Beginning of the Stigma

The mainstream media has long painted marijuana as a dangerous drug and a menace to society. It’s still largely considered the “gateway drug,” despite the fact that other substances, such as alcohol, have been thought to influence users’ decisions before marijuana enters the picture.

Years of negative conversations in North America have made it difficult for generations to overcome former misconceptions. Old attitudes and stereotypes are hard to look past. Yet, this picture is inaccurately painted. Brainwashing propaganda of the past has caused much of the stigma, then and now. Those using it today, however, are hardly “stoners” or bad people. They’re finding a way to cope with their pain, and medical marijuana provides that solution.

It’s a very slow change to convince the public of medical marijuana’s benefits, particularly when ignorance, lack of knowledge, and preconceived values continue to take hold. The stigma does nothing but hurt medical marijuana users. Those uneducated about this medication only think of one component: THC, which is the cannabinoid that causes the high effect. Taking medical cannabis is hardly about the high: It’s about relieving pain and combatting illnesses to be able to continue on with daily routines.


A New Kind of Education

Is marijuana better or worse for your health than alcohol? Consider this never-ending debate in the fight and stigma against this drug. It’s time to educate yourself. How do you do that? You look to a variety of resources and expand what you know. Consider these five ways marijuana is used medically. Use your newfound knowledge to educate the uninformed. The best way to overcome the current stereotype is to educate society.

As a patient, arm yourself with the facts—plenty of incorrect stories are out there. When confronted by the opposing side, have your knowledge, such as research, studies and statistics, ready to back up your claim. You want to provide those without the right information the best guidance possible. Interested parties should stay abreast of industry studies and news, policy changes, and the latest research. It’s important to expose others to the correct research to change attitudes.

You want people to really see that this medication is truly helping you live your best life. Share your story. This can be a particularly effective mechanism if you’re trying to convince a friend or family member who’s struggling to understand this medication’s benefits.


Marketing for the Future

It’s time for new marketing strategies, advertisements, education sessions, and other similar methods to enter the field. The talk surrounding medical cannabis has to shift in a new way that allows users to understand its benefits. Slang-free marketing, clean images, and patient testimonials help lower the opposition towards this medication.

Overcoming misconceptions will no doubt play a part in changing views. While the crossover between medical and recreational may never disappear, destigmatizing its old image is a big step towards decreasing an outdated and misinformed stereotype.


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Topics: Medical Marijuana

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