Ask a budtender: how do I make my family understand cannabis is medicine?

Lorena Cupcake, voted “best budtender in Chicago,” has answered hundreds of questions from cannabis shoppers and patients during their time as a budtender. And now they’re turning that experience into a monthly advice column, Ask a budtender. Got a question for Cupcake? Submit your questions to   Dear Budtender,  How can I normalize cannabis use within my family so that my relatives understand that this is my medicine? Dear cannabis patient,  I’m glad we’re tackling this question, because the need to defuse and debunk stigma around cannabis is an almost universal challenge. Though I’ve been lucky enough to pass the bong with the former flower child who raised me, employers and health care providers have often made it clear that my daily regimen is seen as a vice. During my time as a budtender, I’ve helped many medical patients find discreet methods of consumption to avoid prying from nosy neighbors and judgemental relatives. If we want to move into a future where no one faces unjust repercussions for using cannabis medically or recreationally, part of that battle begins at home. It means tough conversations with adult family members who might carry their loaded expectations to the table, as well as age-appropriate discussions with children. Early conversations with children might focus on the need for them to understand that certain medicines are not appropriate for them and that certain storage areas are off-limits for their own safety. Over time, however, cannabis can be used as a teaching tool in the mission to show young people how to care for themselves and develop healthy coping mechanisms. At the same time, it can be used to encourage our extended family to develop more understanding and empathy. How to start a conversation If you’re not sure where your family members stand on cannabis, one…

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