Talking to Friends and Family About Medical Marijuana: Getting the Support You Deserve
Medical marijuana has been used as a form of treatment for thousands of years, but it's only recently that we’ve seen cultural acceptance of medical cannabis in America.
Doctors and patients alike have found that cannabis helps alleviate their symptoms, often more than any other medication or natural remedy out there, and we're seeing more research come out every day proving these claims.
And for people in the Natural State, getting access to medical marijuana in Arkansas is a very new phenomena, even though all but just a few states have now legalized a medical marijuana program.
Although people may still find some aspects of medical marijuana hard-to-accept, many doctors believe that medical marijuana should be considered an alternative medicine by all means necessary, and in this article, we’ll cover how to have that conversation with your family and friends!
Who is Medical Marijuana For?
Medical marijuana is a very specific type of product that is typically designed for two types of people:
Chronically ill people
Terminally ill people
Excluding for just a moment the cultural ideas behind being a pot smoker, medical marijuana programs are designed to cater to a very specific subset of people in the United States, people with chronic or terminal illnesses.
Chronic illnesses are conditions that are essentially permanent and aren’t expected to go away.
Terminal illnesses are fatal, and the end-stage condition is not expected to get better with treatments.
You can’t shy away from the fact that medical marijuana programs don’t let just anyone off the street buy as much weed as they want, to then go home and light up.
But because medical marijuana programs have only been available for around 30 years, some people will still hold antiquated and inaccurate beliefs about what the cannabis plant is, what it does, and how it is consumed.
What Being a Medical Marijuana Patient in Arkansas is All About
You might think that opening-up about your medical marijuana use is a surefire way to encourage others and maybe even help someone else find the benefits from cannabis that you have.
Unfortunately, though goodhearted, it’s not likely to result in a positive outcome if your audience holds antiquated or offensive beliefs about medical marijuana.
And outside of bringing it up yourself, your reasons for using medical marijuana might entertain a few different explanations.
For instance, it may be due to the frequency or location in which you consume medical marijuana that sparks someone’s interest in your treatment plan, or perhaps this is something new that has caught the attention of your family or friends.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand both your reasons for using medical marijuana as a treatment option, and the reasons why you would have a conversation with someone about your medication.
How to Talk About Medical Marijuana
There is a common misconception that marijuana only has one function, recreational drug use, and this leads many people in the US to believe it's not an option for medical use.
The confusion around what qualifies as "medical" marijuana can largely be attributed to its recreational counterpart - which does exist alongside medical marijuana, but with different product standards, intent of use, and of course, its user base.
Unfortunately for some, the opinion that cannabis is a harmful drug with no medicinal benefits is too deeply ingrained in their minds, and no amount of facts or data will sway them otherwise.
If that's the case for your audience, it’s important to understand you probably shouldn’t enter a conversation expecting them to change their minds or accept anything about your treatment plan.
In these cases, the tone should be educational and professional, and it’s best to avoid arguing or debating.
Common Stigmas About Medical Marijuana & How to Address Them
MMJ Stigma #1: Medical Marijuana is just for people that want to get high.
A common misconception about medical marijuana is that it's just a way for drug addicts to get high. But the reality is that the cannabis plant has many known medicinal benefits and can be used in a variety of ways without ever even getting high.
As a matter of fact, many cancer patients, HIV/AIDS patients, Multiple Sclerosis patients, and even patients with severe muscle spasms are often prescribed synthetic chemical copies of THC or CBD, such as dronabinol.
Forcing patients into one category is not only unfair, but it doesn't take their individual needs and circumstances into account. For example: some people may need cannabis for pain management while others suffer from chronic conditions like epilepsy which require the potency be kept low enough so that side effects are manageable, especially in the cases of children.
MMJ Stigma #2: There’s no difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.
Although both recreational and medical marijuana products may come from the same plant, recreational cannabis is only available in a few states, but medical marijuana is specifically targeted to help the unhealthy.
That means for medical marijuana programs, extreme testing and analysis for harmful toxins, molds, or unhealthy compounds is of utmost importance.
Aside from quality control, there are many more product choices for medical marijuana patients, including tinctures, salves, lotions, pain patches, pills and even suppositories.
Medical marijuana patients need a healthy way to consume their cannabis, and often that doesn’t include smoking cannabis, which is typically what a person with antiquated beliefs think that medical marijuana patients are doing.
MMJ Stigma #3: Only kids and drug addicts use marijuana.
Of course, it’s not surprising that these groups have been using cannabis for many years; however, until recently, most users were typically only a small number rather than an average Joe or Jane across America - but today things are very different!
This change reflects well on our society as we learn more about the healing properties of cannabis, which can help so many people who suffer from ailments specific to their age group like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, back pain, and even arthritis.
Final Thoughts on Talking to Family & Friends About Medical Marijuana
Being a medical marijuana patient can be an important step in the right decision, but at the cost of losing relationships or upsetting family members, reality must be weighed against your treatment.
It won’t always be the case that friends or loved ones will accept medical marijuana as a viable treatment option, but that’s ok, they don’t have to.
It is ultimately up to you and your doctor, as to whether medical marijuana is right for you.
And in Arkansas, you have the right to become a medical marijuana patient if you are diagnosed with any of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.
Become an Arkansas Marijuana Patient
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 844-249-8714, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Arkansas Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Arkansas.