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MJ Lifestyle Issue 01 Digital

HOW DO YOU TABOO? BY

HOW DO YOU TABOO? BY ALLISON RAY BENAVIDES Where are you right now? As you sit reading this article in MJ Lifestyle magazine, where are you? On the subway? In the break room at work? In the bathtub after you put the kids to bed? Can you leave this article out on the coffee table when your parents come over? If you are in public, are you reading this on your phone to be discreet? Cannabis has been in hiding herself, but not by any choice of her own. The DEA locked her up like a common criminal, alongside heroin and bath salts. I imagine her as Rapunzel, falsely imprisoned at the top of a high, stone tower. Instead of lowering her long hair out the window to catch her lover’s attention, she releases her sweet and sour scent into the breeze. Her distinctive fragrance could be overlooked as a defensive skunk, interpreted as a warning sign to turn back. But to those of us who know her, we lovingly follow her scent like Pepé Le Pew. Devoted and determined, thousands have attempted to scale the tower to break her free. But surprisingly, it is our children who ultimately reached her. She loves our children. Nothing has set fire to Cannabis the way our babies did in 2012. Efforts to legalize Cannabis for medicinal or recreational reasons had been slow to make progress over decades. But then a brave father in Modesto, Jason David, gave a high CBD strain to his young, suffering son Jayden. In one dose, he stopped thousands of seizures and changed the world forever. In perfect mythic fashion, it took the purity of a child to reveal her most sacred purpose. Cannabis undeniably heals, and Jayden doesn’t care about the taboos he innocently turned inside out. But our social order still does, despite countless public opinion polls showing an increased acceptance of Cannabis. In 2012, 48% of Gallup respondents supported legalization. By 2017, support had grown to 64%. Additionally, Quinnipiac University National Poll found 94% of respondents support medical marijuana. Yet even though over half of the United States has passed some sort of Cannabis legislation, strong stigmas and barriers remain. While a growing consensus has caught her scent, it takes infrastructure time to catch up. The longstanding laws and policies that have defined her and us can continue to have disastrous consequences when transgressed, particularly for parents. As much as I hate to acknowledge it, even in progressive So Cal pediatric patients have been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services within the past year when their parents declined pharmaceuticals and pursued Cannabis. So while it’s incredibly important for these same reasons to be open about our lifestyles, it is also important not to get too far ahead of ourselves —Cannabis hasn’t been freed from the tower yet. Allison Ray Benavides, LCSW is a medical social worker living in San Diego and working in the field of death and dying. She has a deep respect and gratitude for all wisdom traditions and is most inspired by her work when women, nature, Spirit and healing come together. When her threeyear-old son was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy in 2013, he was lucky to find seizure freedom with high CBD. She is the cofounder of a support group for San Diego families navigating the uncharted territory of pediatric Cannabis together. To learn more visit PediatricCannabisSupport.com ISSUE 01 68

SO... IN THESE SHIFTING AND SHIFTY TIMES, JUST HOW DO WE LET OUR HAIR DOWN? HOW DO WE IMPACTFULLY CONFRONT THE TABOOS THAT PREVENT SOCIAL CHANGE WHILE PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES? 1 BE COOL - Respect what can make Cannabis dangerous and make safe choices. 2 BE RESPONSIBLE - Understand that your recreational use impacts patients whose life depends on Cannabis. Our 3 sick children especially can’t afford for us to go backwards. BE EDUCATED - Learn the science behind your experience to dispel harmful myths and reinforce an accurate narrative. There actually BE LAWFUL - Black market will always be there but is science that supports your lifestyle. with new legislation comes new consequences. Be sure you know what they are in your state. 6 4 5BE EMPOWERED - Get inspired by our youngest and strongest political change makers like cancer survivor, Rylie Meadler. At 11 years old, BE OPEN - We largely learn about Cannabis through she and her mother’s efforts led to both Delaware’s pediatric medical our relationships. Sharing our experience can marijuana law and an amendment legalizing use on school property. make it safer for others to have their own. 7 BE DISCREET - Protecting your job and family are always top priorities. If you are feeling uncertain about sharing this part of your life publicly, then don’t. There are ways to BE A CONSCIOUS CONSUMER - Entrepreneurs in the hospitality, support without putting your life on the line. tourism, beauty, and self care industries are making it easier than ever to integrate Cannabis into your lifestyle. Make it 9 8 a point to support the companies who support you. BE WITH YOUR TRIBE - Cannabis loves community. She brings people together and building consensus is what ultimately pushes the envelope and leads to change Emancipating Cannabis emancipates us all. Secrets are dangerous and creepy; Cannabis was never meant to be one. Her scent alone says, “Hey you! It’s me!” So if you find yourself following it, don’t be afraid. Just be cool. We’re here for you. 69 @MJLIFESTYLE

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