DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER: What Can Cannabis Do For YOU?
Let’s start obvious. Tax money. Cannabis in Oregon is taxed on the absurdly heavy side (20 percent) and as other states legalize, it will be unsustainable. But hey, we’re trying to get our foot in the door and when we hear that 40 percent goes to the common school fund, we can’t balk. The rest of the allocations could be discussed more, but hey, PROGRESS! Then there is the 3 percent of the 20 that goes directly back to local government. Medford said “no” to growing personal cannabis but “yes” to dispensaries and their tax $! So, I think it’s unanimous: “Ok, we’ll take the money.”
But let’s go a bit deeper on why normalizing and even supporting cannabis in Southern Oregon and beyond, whether or not you consume it, is a really good thing. Healthcare in this country is costly and unreliable, to say the least. Enter cannabis. With cannabis, it’s always recommended that you educate yourself and start slowly when experimenting with a new cannabis product. Check back in with your local pro like a budtender and go from there. And do it for wellness, not intoxication. This is exactly what doctors should already be instructing…and to a degree, they do. But usually when it comes to medication, we just turn our brains off and take whatever pill the doctor says at whatever dose is printed on the big-pharma bottles that cost our insurance an astronomical price. Cannabis is helping to create a culture of health-conscious consumers when it comes to what we put in our bodies. And besides the wealth of recent scientific evidence pointing to the health of stoners, if you look deep into the roots of cannabis culture, it’s all about health. Healthy bodies. Healthy minds. Healthy communities. Healthy planet!
That brings us to the next benefit of legal cannabis: It gives the power back to the people! Control your own health. Control your own communities via connections—in this case, through cannabis—by finding out EVERYONE SMOKES WEED. I don’t mean every person. Rather, every kind of person. Retail clerks. Grandmas. Doctors. Lawyers. Brothers. Sisters. Moms. Daughters. Preachers. No category can escape the diversity that is the cannabis consumer. What that means is we all finally have something to unite over! If you live in Southern Oregon, you probably are friends with someone who smokes cannabis!
No category can escape the diversity that is the cannabis consumer! What that means is we all finally have something to unite over! If you live in Southern Oregon, you probably are friends with someone who consumes cannabis! Yet, unaware of what we’ve had in common with our neighbors for so long, our communities have become ruthlessly and passionately divided. Instead, we might come together and appreciate one another over the diversity that is our humanity—and to diversify is be healthy and prepared for what’s next! (Ask the financial industry.) And now, racism, classism, sexism and other -isms are being dissolved because cannabis prohibition specifically puts the power into the hands of the people it sought to marginalize! The black market created by prohibition was an equal opportunity employer, and the result is that minorities, women, and those with enough economic incentive (hint: not the 1%) to risk their lives are now the ones who know the most about the cannabis business. We’ve been running the game for almost a century now and we won’t give it back that easy. The proof: Stats say more women and minorities are running companies in cannabis than pretty most other industries.
Finally, the Rogue Valley is Oregon’s cannabis capital; the tip of the infamous Emerald Triangle (despite not being California) and as much The State of Jefferson as anywhere else between here and Mendocino. Speaking of which, our geographical location is key: when national legalization happens we unofficially become Cannabis, USA! The only truly viable region to produce enough sungrown cannabis to supply the nation is right here in the good ol’ State of Jefferson! This is the economic opportunity that will revitalize the region in the wake of the timber industry fallout. The adult-use cannabis industry is poised to bring a wealth of legal opportunity to S. Oregon when the inevitability of national legalization becomes a reality.
Manager, Talent Health Club
Board member, Rogue Valley Messenger