This op-ed by our Head of Content was originally published in our inaugural print special that was distributed at the Free Cannabis NSW 420 picnic on June 12, and also by our mates over at D’Munchies.
We are still living in the era of cannabis prohibition in Australia and it sucks.
But the problem facing cannabis users today isn’t the enforcement of such ridiculous laws by an ever-growing police state. No, it’s the stigma around cannabis consumption by mainstream society that allows these freedom violations to happen.
While being a smoker or being around circles of people that are may be normal for many of us, there is a huge part of the community that still views smoking weed as something deviant. That still thinks smokers are lazy or depressed, and that still supports things like the invasive sniffer dogs program that notoriously records a majority of false positives on thousands of everyday citizens every year.
But how does this happen? Who are these people?
These people aren’t evil or lusting for the blood of our personal freedoms (necessarily). No, they simply don’t know any smokers and their views on cannabis are tained by stigma and stereotypes.
The solution? Combat the stigma, and legalisation will come. And we’ve already seen a huge amount of progress with this – look how far medicinal cannabis has come over the last 12 months, the success of the Hemp Health & Innovation Expo, or the unanimous backlash against the misrepresentation of smokers in the government’s Stoner Sloth campaign.
We need to show off the drive and talent coming out of the stoner community. We need to get them to ask themselves ‘why the hell is weed illegal but not alcohol?’ — a question we all know has no good answer.
Our community is on the up and up, and we need to make sure that keeps happening.
So don’t be ashamed that you might enjoy a smoke after work. Keep fighting. Keep going to 420 events. Check out your local glass store and see that stoner band’s gig. The more this shit happens, the more people consider it ‘normal’.
Here at Dopamine, that normalisation is what we are about.