Last night I went to a fashion show in New York City and met a man named Ilan (pron. E-lon). He appeared to be a laid back guy with a positive mental attitude, typical of the average recreational cannabis user. Jokingly I randomly asked him, while in a cramped NYC elevator suited for five people but packed with eleven "Wanna join the Cannabis and Hemp Association?" He answered with much wit, "I thought I was already in!" So began our networking. With him telling me about his passion for wealth management and his e-commerce project and me giving my overview of the CHA. After showing him my membership card and explaining to him the benefits of being a member his reply, in a very colorful and gregarious manner was, "I see absolutely no reason as to why anyone would want to disclose to the general public that they are a cannabis user!" Wow. Just wow. For me, it was a wake up call. Here I am, a proud card carrying member, but even further the founder of the association created for people just for the very purpose of full disclosure. I got a real taste as too just how taboo cannabis still is. Just moments before his proclamation, Ilan was asking me "what type of cannabis I smoke?" and implying that he enjoys cannabis smoking. When I told him I don't smoke cannabis for recreation, he said "bullshit, c'mon bro I'm not a cop! You can tell me." He wouldn't stop implying I was lying, couldn't believe I'd be in the cannabis business without being a recreational user. Truth is, I am a recreational once-in-awhile user. I use cannabis primarily to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the late fall and winter and I rarely use in the spring and summer. Ilan's reaction to the moment really struck a cord with me as to how much work needs to be done in changing public perception. Even those who enjoy cannabis for recreation, aren't necessarily proud to let the world know. In the LGBT community, they wear their individuality loud and proud but others frown upon that. Some want to broadcast to the world to know they are normal and be a part of change, others don't want any part of it. Some LGBT want the world to become educated beyond the stigmata that plagues a perfectly natural and healthy way of being and others don't. Some want to express their beliefs, others don't. As far as I'm concerned it's just a matter of whether or not you want to be recognized within a community. Well Mr. Ilan, you are recreational cannabis user that may not want to be a member of the cannabis community that's fine. You may want to hide your use completely, you may have another community you want to be recognized with, or you may not want to be a part of any community at all. But to answer your question, the reason someone would want to disclose their cannabis use are many.
Here are a few:
Mr. Ilan, if you are reading this please leave a comment. I'd love to hear how you respond. I apologize I couldn't come up with an answer yesterday and if I could the bar was too loud and you seemed to closed minded frankly for me to offer up a spirited debate.