As we move into 2023, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the way we treat those who use cannabis. All too often, people who use this substance are labeled as “stoners” or worse, and are dehumanized in the eyes of society. This type of stigma is not only harmful to those who use cannabis, but it is also counterproductive to the progress we’ve made in recent years in terms of accepting and normalizing this substance.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that cannabis use is a personal choice. Just like with any other substance, people use cannabis for a variety of reasons. Some use it for recreational purposes, while others use it for medicinal purposes. Regardless of why someone uses cannabis, it’s important to respect their choice and not judge them for it.
It’s also worth noting that cannabis use is becoming increasingly accepted in society. In many states across the US and in countries around the world, cannabis has been legalized for both medicinal and recreational use. This shift in attitudes is a sign that people are recognizing the many benefits of this substance and that it should not be stigmatized in the way that it has been in the past.
Another reason why we should not dehumanize cannabis users is because it creates a vicious cycle of discrimination and marginalization. When people are labeled as “stoners” or worse, they are often isolated from society and are seen as less than. This type of stigma can lead to feelings of shame and self-doubt, which can in turn lead to further marginalization and a decline in overall mental and physical health.
Finally, it’s important to remember that cannabis use is a complex issue that is often influenced by a wide range of factors. For example, people who live in poverty or who come from marginalized communities are often more likely to use cannabis and to experience the negative effects of stigma. Rather than demonizing these individuals, we should work to understand the root causes of their behavior and to provide support and resources to help them overcome these challenges.
In conclusion, as we move into 2023, it’s time to put an end to the stigma surrounding cannabis use. Whether someone uses this substance for recreational or medicinal purposes, it’s important to respect their choice and to not dehumanize them in any way. By doing so, we can create a more inclusive and accepting society that values diversity and supports all individuals, regardless of their background or choices.