Are All Narratives Fungible?
People have been building brands for as long as anyone can remember. Now we have verbiage around brand building that helps create an inspirational statement that hopes to trigger an emotional response around the product, movement, or belief.
The Federal Government, starting with Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, architected the concept that cannabis could cause psychosis and possible insanity even though he knew it was not the case. He also tossed in there that Blacks and Latinos were the primary users. That cannabis would destroy our society, promoting interracial marriages. Why? Because as prohibition was crumbling, he realized his job would be gone too. In 1937, the law making marijuana illegal was passed. And so the narrative was set in stone.
How do you change a narrative that has been foisted on the American public for so long? Ansingler cannibalized people’s fears and once again let people in power jump on the bandwagon to push puritanical views that continue today.
How are children looking at cannabis? They should be looking at it as a positive thing. It appears okay for adults to have a drink with dinner, but why are people wary about smoking that joint? Millions of people use medical cannabis to manage pain. The countless positives of the weed, from anxiety, and inflammation to pain and even Alzheimers disease, far outweighs alcohol’s benefits where there are basically none; unless used in serious moderation, it could be good for the heart and circulation. There are new findings every week about weed as more scientists are working on the benefits of cannabis.
People are funny about children. Over 50% of kids own a smartphone at 11 years old and can access anything but god forbid they see their parents take a toke.
Cannabis dispensaries in each state are being held to expectations far exceeding liquor stores. Why shouldn’t an entire family be able to walk into a dispensary when they can in a liquor store? Again, the Government is holding on to a ridiculous narrative that weed is harmful. Looking at the dollars spent on cannabis and the taxes made for each state, it doesn’t take much to realize that Americans like to get stoned for all our priggish ideals that are so unfounded.
It is time to change the narrative and rebrand cannabis as it should have been branded before Ansingler used it for his own trajectory.