6 Ways to Overcome the Stigma Around Marijuana
Humans are social animals. Deep down, we want others to accept us for who we are.
Obviously, you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time, but we still do our best.
However, when it comes to medical marijuana treatment, some patients run into real problems. There’s still stigma around marijuana, even though a majority of Americans support legalizing it.
Certain Patients Could Benefit From Medical Marijuana but Are Afraid to Try It Because They…
- Don’t want to be accused of being a “pothead,” just looking for an excuse to “get high”
- Are afraid of upsetting their friends and family
- Don’t want to risk losing their job if they use their medicine at work
- Aren’t allowed to travel across state lines with their medicine, due to federal laws
- Live in federally-subsidized housing and don’t want to risk being evicted
Stigma Around Marijuana Can Prevent Patients From Getting Proper Healthcare
A California study showed that patients considering medical marijuana are more likely to hold off on treatment or not get treated at all because of the stigma around marijuana. It can also affect their quality of healthcare.
Not every physician is comfortable recommending marijuana, for a variety of reasons. Because of this, patients may hide their medical marijuana use from their doctor.
This is potentially dangerous because the doctor can’t track the status and well-being of the patient. They also might unknowingly prescribe drugs that negatively interact with marijuana.
You Deserve Access to Medicine That Can Relieve Your Suffering – Without Feeling Any Shame
Marijuana is a medicine. That’s the most important thing to remember.
Each patient needs to decide, along with their doctor, whether medical marijuana is right for him or her. If you feel that the stigma around marijuana is preventing you from seeking treatment, here are six ways to overcome it.
1. Confide in Someone You Trust
If you have a friend or family member who you feel his open-minded and won’t judge you, talk to them about it. Let them know you’re interested in medical marijuana (if you’re not already using it), but you’re concerned about the stigma. Having someone to talk to will help you feel less isolated, and that can make a huge difference.
2. Talk to Your Doctor About It
It’s always important to keep your doctor in the loop about any healthcare decision you make. If you have a doctor who is open to recommending medical marijuana, he or she can provide you with information that can help empower you. Your physician may even be able to advise you on how to cope with the stigma attached to marijuana.
3. Educate Yourself
Knowledge is power. Read and watch videos about the science, history and laws surrounding marijuana. Examine articles that debunk common marijuana myths like the “gateway drug” theory.
The more you learn about this medicine, the more confident you’ll feel in your decision to use it.
Plus, you’ll learn cool facts like:
- One of the earliest recorded uses of medical marijuana dates back to Ancient China. It was used to treat rheumatism, gout, malaria and (believe it or not) poor memory.
- Marijuana possession has only been illegal in the U.S. for about 80 years. When you compare that to the 5000-year history of medical marijuana use, 80 years is just a blip on the radar.
- CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta was really against medical marijuana – then he did a lot of research, changed his mind and issued a public apology.
- Alcohol and cigarettes kill millions of people every year. Both are legal. Other the hand, there is no evidence of anyone ever fatally overdosing on marijuana.
- The same is true when you compare marijuana to opioid drugs, which kill thousands of people a year due to overdose. Even over-the-counter drugs like aspirin are more toxic than marijuana.
4. Join a Group of Fellow Medical Marijuana Patients
Many medical marijuana patients and caregivers have started groups so that people can get together to share stories, experiences and even advocate for marijuana policy change.
Essence Dispensary holds a Wellness Wednesday event each month to help the Las Vegas medical marijuana community stay informed on the latest happenings.
Two great examples of patient organizations are Weed for Warriors, and Mothers for Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism.
5. Remember: Medical Marijuana Grows More Popular by the Day
29 U.S. states and D.C. have already legalized medical marijuana.
More than 60% of Americans support marijuana legalization nationwide.
In other words, the tide is turning.
Yes, there are people who still don’t fully accept that marijuana is a medicine, but that number is shrinking every year. If a well-known and respected doctor like Sanjay Gupta can change his mind, who knows how many more minds can be changed!
6. Trust Yourself
Hopefully, the people close to you will understand and support your decision to use medical marijuana. At the end of the day, however, it’s your choice to make. Consult with a doctor so that you can make sure that choice is an informed one.
Have you ever faced stigma for using medical marijuana? How did you respond? We want to hear from you, so give us a shout on social media.
If you have a qualifying condition, but the stigma around marijuana is holding you back, get in touch with us. Give us a call at (239) 349-2999 or schedule an appointment online to meet with our doctor. We’ll evaluate you and give you the information you need to decide whether medical marijuana is right for you!