Cannabis has been used as a medicine for many centuries. Some resources suggest that it can even be traced back to 2 millenniums ago, when Chinese surgeons used this mighty plant as an anesthetic. In fact, if we translate the Chinese word for “anesthesia” (mázui) it literally means “cannabis intoxication”.
Frank Dikötter, a Dutch sinologist wrote a book “Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China” where he talks about the ancient use of marijuana in medicine. Even the ancient Egyptians used cannabis in medicine, especially in hemorrhoid treatment.
But, somehow, over the course of time our relationship with cannabis has changed. Up until recently, it was shown only in a bad light, and the medical benefits were completely overlooked because of the vastness of misinformation and prejudice.
Not only was cannabis use frowned upon, but it was characterized as a threat to society. Today, the situation is a bit different thanks to the global exchange of information and numerous studies, so people are starting to see the truth behind the propaganda and realize that this is, in fact, quite a powerful medicine.
In this article, we will reflect on some interesting and creative ways people tried to raise cannabis awareness and educate others about its incredible benefits.
1. “Face of cannabis” project
This project was created to help raise awareness about marijuana and its medical benefits, and to facilitate some changes. Its goal is to change the way people view cannabis, and to open their minds. The project involves a series of photographs, black and white portraits of children suffering from serious diseases.
It was created by Nichole Montanez whose niece suffers from Dravet Syndrome, and wanted to help other people and children in the same situation by attempting to do something about the legislation. Dozens of people who have seen Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary “Weed” decided to permanently leave their homes and move to Colorado. This can serve as an example for other states to work more on legalization of marijuana and thus enable people to stay at home with their families.
Montanez was inspired to begin her project after visiting her niece in the hospital: “I went to see Charlotte shortly after she began cannabis therapy. I sat down with her while she ate, on her own, after years of being tube fed. That image erased decades of misinformation from my mind. I couldn’t stop staring at her. I knew that a seizure-free moment was nothing short of a miracle. I knew there was hope”.
2. Art to raise cannabis awareness for the deaf community
In many states in the US, most people can’t sell marijuana legally, but they can give it away, so many entrepreneurs from DC decided to find a way to help people get their medication. The District of C started a project with their website.
People can simply go on their website, choose some artwork they would like to buy, and then it is delivered to their address along with a little green gift. The logo on their website are the letters D and C in the shape of hands to represent these letters in sign language, and thus promote deaf artists and give them an opportunity to showcase and sell their artwork.
Reportedly, there are around 9 million deaf people in the US and 75% of them are unemployed. District of C consist of 4 deaf people who “aim to show the world that deaf people can do anything”. Artists, manufacturers and the staff employed in this company are all deaf.
“We knew we wanted to start a business to support our community. Many employers are reluctant to hire deaf people due to communication barriers. We have always noticed that the deaf community has an outsized amount of visual artistic talent. When you think about it, we can’t hear, so often our other senses improve”.
Moreover, besides helping the deaf, people from District of C also wanted to raise marijuana awareness and help other people as well – some local cannabis growers kindly offered to help the cause, and raise awareness about the health benefits of marijuana, by providing around 3 grams of marijuana to be shipped with each piece of art that is sold.
3. Boy goes on a road trip to help raise cannabis awareness
Billy Caldwell, who suffers from a severe kind of epilepsy, began his Ireland and UK tour to raise awareness about marijuana in the beginning of February this year. Billy and his mother were accompanied by supporters and politicians on this road trip.
After numerous life-threatening seizures, Billy was prescribed CBD oil and thus became the first epilepsy patient to be prescribed medical marijuana. His mother Charlotte said: “Our wee boy’s journey of hope will open your eyes and hopefully change the lives of others forever”.
4. Moms for marijuana
Mothers for Marijuana is an international initiative that gathers people worldwide to fight for the same cause – raising awareness about the use of medical marijuana. The movement started in the US in 2006 and their goal is to educate people and promote some changes regarding this plant.
Aimee Shuman, one of the people behind this initiative says: “We recently marked a decade as the first, largest, oldest and most respected group of women activists in the world. Moms for Marijuana currently has more than 130 offices around the world”.
In conclusion, although marijuana has been viewed as practically an enemy for many decades, its medical benefits are being rediscovered and people are being educated. Thanks to the above-mentioned projects and initiatives, as well as many others, we may expect a significant increase in awareness worldwide in the recent future, and hope that many lives can be saved.