Activism Blog Canada Feature Medical Politics

Beware Sharks, Snakes and Pot-Bellied Pigs

Snake Pig Shark

Ted Smith

For cannabis enthusiasts the current era is full of excitement and uncertainty.  As the veil of prohibition is lifted around the world, new opportunities to work in the industry as an employee or entrepreneur offer an exciting future for many.  However, with all of this glorious wealth to be made come a few issues, not the least of which is greedy, ruthless people.

sharkOf course the world is full of corrupt and self-centered people, but the cannabis culture has prided itself on being different.  Until recently the threat of arrest has meant that only the brave and idealistic have openly defied the cannabis laws, as self-centered people rarely put themselves in harm’s way for their ideals.  Those that were willing to break the law just for money simply grew cannabis, selling it quietly to the highest bidder while ignoring activists trying to change the law.

Many people in the cannabis culture hope for unity.  Some constantly plead for cooperation and peace amongst all those in the field. That spirit does not exist in any other industry, as the drive for profit often incites fear, suspicion and competition among businesses.  Indeed, many activists have been drawn to the cannabis community because until now one could reject the corporate world and make a decent living at the same time.

For those simply wishing to work in the field, it is very important to know what you are getting into before taking a job.  Since many in the industry are breaking the law, it is critical to know whether your employer is prepared to help you in case of an arrest.  If the place where you wish to work has suffered a police raid, it is easy to find out how the employees who have been arrested were treated, and you should expect the same.  If you are working somewhere that has not been busted, then you should consider how much support you can expect from the management in the worst case scenario.

snake_sketch_by_chaotica_iOnce you are working in the cannabis industry, it will become clear that some people conduct their business with very high standards, while others cut corners for profit, abuse staff, and seek glory.  These are problems that exist everywhere, but it can be very disappointing to find out that someone who has fought for our rights has become ruthless and self-centered.  It is not easy finding employers anywhere that have high standards for their employees, customers, and investors, but ultimately if you work for a company that does not strive to be the best it can be, then it is hard to feel great about yourself and what you are doing with your life.

For customers it is much harder to know how responsible a cannabis business is without investigating.  But if you spend a lot of money on herb-related items then it is worth looking into .  Your money is your vote, and by supporting businesses that treat their employees, the environment and the greater movement with respect, you are helping to build a better future for everyone rather than just for those at the top.  Purchasing from stores that sponsor local events, support political activism, and empower their staff, is the best way the average cannabis lover can contribute to the cause.

pig2Investors need to be very careful right now.  With so much potential revenue in the future cannabis marketplace, it has been easy for a few con artists to take advantage of eager investors who want to earn extraordinary profits before there is too much competition.  Too many people are entering into so-called gentlemen’s agreements to set up dispensaries or other operations without spelling the details of those arrangements out in writing.

Applying your ethics to your workplace and shopping habits is definitely more expensive, but for those of us who got into this scene to make the world a better place, personal wealth is not the most important thing in the world.  Feeling good about yourself, valuing your contribution to the world, and surrounding yourself with people you can trust are far more important than how much money you have in your bank account.  After all, many people are bound to make a lot of money from the legalization of cannabis.  So let us do our part to make sure they are the nice ones.

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