Building awareness and influence is scary, particularly when the message you are sharing is one in support of something controversial. In the 1990s we had the Internet, full of mystery and still quite scary to people, government officials and businesses concerned that nefarious hackers could take remote control of computers and wreak havoc on commerce and national security.
But imagine that, knowing all you know today about the power that the internet has to educate, expose and inspire, you could go back in time to 1997 for a job interview at Google. By then the Internet was indeed taking off, but it was still a new frontier and people were suspicious of it. Who the heck would need email or want to work at a little information sharing platform like Google when they could pick up their desk phone and talk to someone or send a fax?
So, who the heck would want to work in the cannabis industry when people already have the options and accessibility to use over-the-counter pain killers, ointments and anti-inflammatories? Television advertisements tell us that they will ease our discomfort and doctors tell us that stuff is safe. We can get ibuprofen and acetaminophen on a whim at any corner convenience store, along with a pack of cigarettes and a 6-pack of beer, so it must be safe! Why would anyone be interested in something like cannabis, which our elected government officials say is toxic?
And who cares about hemp, anyway? Why would anyone care about a plant that can clean up toxic soil, as hemp is doing now in Chernobyl? Why would anyone want to explore something like Hempcrete when we already have fiberglass and vinyl? Why would anyone be interested in a renewable resource like hemp when still have a few forests to destroy?
Admitting your support for something that most people in your life don’t understand can be frustrating and dispiriting, making you question why the heck you’re squawking about it in the first place. Flat-earth resistance comes from all corners for a variety of reasons, legitimate and nefarious. Use it as motivation.
After all, why would a caveman want a wheel when he can walk?
Beth Waterfall is Chair of Women Grow: Boston.