A few years ago, cannabis was globally considered unethical and illegal. This stemmed from the fact that cannabis was reported to cause addiction. But over the years, cannabis has been reported to be far more helpful than it was previously thought. You can find many of its uses here. Cannabis prevention and the ban are gradually phasing out and it has become legalised in one form or another across the United States.
Despite the fact that cannabis has been legalized across the United States, it is still perceived as unethical in many states. After all, it has long stood the stigma of being a gateway drug. A gateway drug refers to a drug that can lead to habit-forming and the use of other more addictive drugs. In the real sense, it was seen as a gateway that lead to the transition from softer to even harder drugs.
Cannabis education and why it is very important
Cannabis education in the past has been more about the risks associated with consuming the herb to discourage its use, but in recent times, cannabis education has evolved to provide information about the healthy and safe use of cannabis, since many of its benefits cannot be overemphasized. Cannabis education should be about promoting healthy use of the herb instead of outrightly discouraging its use both legally and otherwise. This produced a negative outcome that you will soon find out in this post.
One of the major responsibilities of the new generations is to change the world's view about cannabis and also to create a global acceptance of the herb just like any other like it. Cannabis prevention, just like any other pleasant consumable, had produced two negative outcomes;
- Users were not confident to use it in the open, and thus have a higher tendency to over-use it when they finally get a hold of it secretly
- People's power to make well-informed choices about something that concerns them so intimately was taken away from them.
These are what the new cannabis education schemes have come to address. Legalizing the consumption of cannabis has empowered people to make their own well-informed choices.
Let's take a look at cannabis education and the history of its legalization of cannabis in the United States.
Cannabis education and legalization history
California became the first state in 1996 to legalize cannabis in any form. And since then, other states have followed the movement. Today, all 50 American States have legalised medical cannabis and 33 states have legalized recreational cannabis. And despite over 50 years of combined legalization of cannabis, not all Americans are aware of the dos and don'ts surrounding the herb. A vast population still need education on driving rules, the use of public facilities, and other obligations. So also, there is a need to bring cannabis education closer to everyone.
In 2007, America's first-ever cannabis college, Oaksterdam University, was founded. It has its campus located in the heart of Oakland, California, and its staff and faculty had helped form the current laws surrounding cannabis in California and eventually other American states. The university offers certification in either cannabis business or horticulture, while simultaneously giving you connections and opportunities to flourish in the cannabis business during or after your studies.
There still exists a variation in cannabis laws across the United States. This is mainly because possession and consumption of cannabis are still illegal under federal law, even though some states have legalised it in their own laws. This means that cannabis can only be transported across state borders for industrial reasons and not for recreational or medical reasons.
Which population need cannabis education the most?
The use of cannabis cut across almost all age groups from adolescence to the aged. This also implies that there is a vast population of people - young people, adults and the elderly will benefit from the reformed cannabis education because they may still be affected by the stigma associated with their use. The youth needs to learn how to consume cannabis safely, the adults need to know which forms are safer for them, while the elderly need to also realize that cannabis has some beneficial uses.
As a spokesperson from king cush dc dispensary opines, technology is helping cover this generation's knowledge gap by enhancing the delivery of the proper cannabis education to the consumers.
Indeed, it is also noteworthy that targeting only one population group may create more differences in society. Young people are already stigmatized as poor decision-makers and most adults do not have access to the new technology that serves as a source of proper knowledge about some topics. This makes the elderly not have enough information to make critical and informed decisions about those areas, and in this case, cannabis use.
The reformed "Cannabis Education" Curriculum
If the reformed cannabis education should be effective at eliminating the stigmas associated with cannabis use, or equip people with adequate information to make informed choices, it must be structured on a curriculum that has the following qualities;
The curriculum must be unbiased. It should produce a transition from education around cannabis, that is focused on harmful effects to one that presents facts clearly to the users and let them decide for themselves without any bias, prejudice or discrimination.
Beyond the issue of bias, cannabis education should also state potentially effective methods of consumption. Also, the consumers should also be taught about the forms and types of cannabis that may pose a higher risk to them, based on their age, sex or presence of any underlying illness. For instance, vaping and smoking may be riskier for lung-related effects than consuming edibles. In contrast, edibles may lead to gut problems when consumption is not controlled.
Cannabis education can turn the wheels around by helping eradicate the stigma surrounding its consumption. If we want our future generations to make better decisions about their life and health, we need to equip them with the proper knowledge now. And it all begins with positive, unbiased and open conversations across generations. Cannabis education is about normalizing the healthy consumption of cannabis and not necessarily preventing its consumption.