Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
In our cover story, we talked to folks at a local cannabis event for perspective on who uses marijuana and why. Part of why we like running stories like this is because we want to normalize cannabis use. There’s still stigma. We sent our questionnaire to some local business owners and politicians, and received some “are you crazy?” replies. Some community leaders still don’t want to be associated with cannabis (especially not as users).
I like using cannabis. Probably not as much as you might expect judging by my long hair, ice-cream-eater’s physique, and eclectic music collection, but did I pop an edible before going to the Pixies concert at GSR last week? You bet.
At the RN&R, we treat cannabis as something nice, normal and non-threatening—the same way we treat craft beer, the same way we treat local theater, the same way we treat mini golf.
It’s not just a cultural issue. It’s a justice issue. Cannabis prohibition laws in this country were developed as tools to target specific populations, especially African Americans. There are thousands of Americans still in prison on cannabis-related charges.
Cultural reforms can lead to legal reforms. It starts with normalization. Just think of how putting nice, normal and non-threatening gay characters in TV sitcoms changed national conversations about homosexuality.
Being gay is nice and normal. Playing mini golf is nice and normal. And using cannabis is nice and normal.
Of course, that’s probably just what you’d expect your local “liberal rag not fit to line a birdcage” to write. And you’re right. And we’re willing to say it in public.