While many unthinkable things have happened in the last month or two, near the top of the list of the sheer friggin’ unbelievable come to pass is this:
Government, at any level, recognizing cannabis as essential.
Seriously, who would have predicted this? After so many decades of “This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs,” and “just say no” reefer madness propaganda, many state governments have done a complete 180, just like that.
What makes it extra weird: In the midst of this pandemic we’re in a topsy-turvy phase where normalcy has been stood on its head. Yet in this upside-down, it makes absolute sense to finally recognize cannabis as essential.
Access to cannabis is as necessary as access to food, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. And it’s both fitting and ironic that this official acknowledgement came in the fourth month of 2020, just in time for what was supposed to be the biggest 4/20 celebration ever. (Parade of sad emojis.)
It’s no secret: Cannabis relieves pain of all sorts
Of course, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance, with no redeeming medicinal value. In a political system rife with hypocrisy and injustice, it’s the worst-kept secret: Cannabis is actually a legitimate medicine, even though the federal government still pretends it’s not.
Everybody knows this, regardless of the ideological news bubble they choose to live in. It’s one of the few things we can all agree on now. Sure, there are a few deniers, but they are losing the war. Medicinal cannabis is now legal in 33 states, and it’s legal for ‘recreational’ or adult-use in 11 states.
But as Tommy Chong and many others have said: All cannabis use is medicinal. It can certainly help alleviate some of what’s afflicting all of us now:
- Isolation and loneliness
You can put your life at risk now just by popping in the grocery to pick up a loaf of bread. That’s a crazy cloud we’re all living under. Surreal times call for mind-altering measures, and today is as surreal as it gets.
We know it can provide a low-risk high-reward escape from unpleasant reality, but there’s still a lot to learn about cannabis. Scientists are still making discoveries about unknown cannabinoids, and how they work with terpenes and other compounds to create therapeutic effects in our bodies and brains. There’s a pharmacopeia in this plant that we are just beginning to understand. But we do know that cannabis:
- Has never killed anyone.
- Is a less harmful alternative to the alcohol and pharmaceuticals many of us habitually turn to for stress relief.
The 4/20 festivals will have to wait
We are all stressed beyond belief these days. It sucks that we can’t join each other in the park today, but we can still celebrate 4/20.
Whether you hit a joint, pipe, bong or vaporizer, or ingest an edible, remember when you see them next to say ‘thank you' to your budtender, and everyone else working to keep you supplied with the medicine you need.
Cannabis is essential. We have known that for years, and now it’s official. And that makes this the biggest 4/20 yet.