Despite more than three dozen states and the District of Columbia having legalized medical cannabis, there is still a stigma attached to the plant. That stigma may be enough to compel medical cannabis users to stay quiet. They do not want to let family members know what they are doing.
Keeping quiet is each person’s prerogative. If that’s what a patient feels they must do to protect themself, there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is also nothing wrong with talking to family members about things.
For some medical cannabis users, the hardest part about telling family is getting the conversation started. For others, it is the fear that they will be shunned by family members who oppose cannabis in all its forms. But there are ways to approach the conversation in order to minimize any negative fallout.
Below are some helpful tips from Salt Lake City, Utah’s Beehive Farmacy. Beehive Farmacy is a state-licensed medical cannabis dispensary with two locations in the state.
1. Educate Yourself First
You can bet your last dollar that speaking to your family about medical cannabis will engender plenty of questions. The best way to prepare yourself is to learn as much as you can. Educate yourself about the law, science, and so on. If you need to take notes and utilize them during the conversation, so be it.
2. Answer, Don’t Defend
When you sit down to have the actual conversation, be prepared to answer questions openly and honestly. Make sure you answer without defending yourself. If you get defensive, you only reinforce perceptions that you’re doing something wrong or trying to hide something.
In addition, do not be afraid to answer a question by saying you don’t know. It is better to admit a lack of knowledge than to make something up on-the-fly. You can always go search for the answer and get back to the person who asked the question.
3. Discuss Your Symptoms
You probably know by now that medical cannabis doesn’t cure anything. It is a drug utilized to treat symptoms, no different from a pain reliever or an antihistamine. Your family members need to know this.
Be open and honest about your health. Discuss the particular symptoms you address with medical cannabis. Be sure to explain how cannabis makes you feel. If your family members can understand medical cannabis from the perspective of symptom relief, they are more likely to reserve judgment.
4. Explain How You Consume
Many of the barriers to medical cannabis acceptance are due to misconceptions of how people use it. So many people picture cannabis users as lazy stoners who lay around all day smoking weed and telling terrible jokes. Your typical medical cannabis user doesn’t operate like that.
Explain how you use your medicine. Explain the delivery method, the dosage, and when you typically consume throughout the day. Relate it to everyday life. For example, talk about how you continue to work (if you do) even though you use medical cannabis.
5. Be Positive and Honest
Throughout the entire discussion, strive to maintain a positive attitude and be honest in everything you say. Positivity will help keep the overall discussion as positive as it can be – at least from your end. As for honesty, your family members will know if you are not telling the truth. Be honest and they will have no reason to doubt your sincerity.
Talking to family members about medical cannabis isn’t always easy. Should you decide to do so yourself, the right approach could make a world of difference. Taking a chance might be worth it for you.