Words themselves have no real meaning, not on their own anyway. They are really just jumbles of recognizable sounds that we put together. It’s once we collectively agree on a meaning for that group of sounds that, Boom!, you’ve got a word.

When we begin to be mindful of the associations we carry for most words and names we begin to see that our thoughts, feeling, and maybe even many of our reactions, are largely built upon our own unique memories and experiences. Simply put, the word ‘Mom’ doesn’t evoke the same feelings and images to me as it does to you.

As we grow and start to interact with our world, we encounter things and we are told their names by the people around us. “That thing over there is called a bee, Johnny.”. Being curious little kid, Johnny wants to learn more about things so he reaches out grab a hold of the bee and…

Okay, stop a minute…

Now I am going to ask the reader to take a second and pause – Imagine what your initial reaction would be if someone that had never seen a bee before, reached out to grab one right in front of you. What would your knee-jerk reaction be?

If there is any truth to the assertion that we humans actually create our worlds, it is evidenced by the way we attach significance to many of the words that we hear every day, binding them with the bricks and mortar of our own individual experiences, emotions, and attitudes. ‘Mom’ is not just ‘mom’, she is ‘MOM’.

But it is also in this way that we create our own blindnesses, when we allow our distractions, resentments, desires, and prejudices tell us how to feel and react to a single word or phrase.

…And now back to our little bee!

And if you had never experienced a stinging insect before, bees sure do look fuzzy and cute. And if Johnny is curious about his world, he is likely to reach out and pick up the bee. It’s at this point that we experience that initial reaction to a kid trying to pick up a bee right in front of us. And if you have ever been stung before, or you are allergic to bee venom, you’re probably going to have a different reaction when Johnny goes to pick up the bee than someone like, say Steve Irwin would have.

The whole point to this is to talk about the fact that older slang words for cannabis like pot, weed, and even marijuana, by their very nature are slowing the cause of replacing the public perception of cannabis as a real medicine. Let alone as a safer alternative to some of the legal intoxicants people already use.

There is also the added fact that ‘cannabis’ is actually the plants real name. Add to that the fact that there are literally millions of people out there who still believe the antiquated disinformation campaign that pushed the ‘marijuana leads to harder stuff’ idea.

This one single action of carefully choosing our words when it comes to talking about cannabis, will help us more rapidly bring about these reforms because we won’t have deal with accidentally be conjuring up images of Cheech and Chong sitting in a parked and smoke-filled car, as one of them asks how his driving is.

It’s just not as funny when you just say you use a vaporizer with cannabis to treat the pain from your spinal cord damage.

As funny as that is, it has never gotten us closer to the image of seeing a doctor prescribe cannabis for spinal cord pain because of how effective it is. But also because they were concerned about the addiction potential to many of the other pain medicines they used to use.