These days, most of you have heard about how cannabis can heal a myriad of maladies—from its astounding results with epilepsy, the way it can transform a persons life with the weight of PTSD looming over their lives, to the life saving alternative of using soul draining opiates.

If your reading this article, chances are that you even know that cannabis is a pretty amazing recreational enjoyment that provides some added happiness, a sense of well being and some laughs and smiles. But what many people overlook can come as quite a pleasant surprise to some: the uncanny ability that cannabis has to act as an anti-aggressor and bring people together.

Cannabis can undeniably reduce hostility and change people’s demeanor, creating a more tolerant and communal atmosphere. Great examples are cannabis events, like the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup. With over 28 U.S. Cups in the past seven years and 5,000 to over 30,000 attendees per event, there have been no real physical altercations to speak of. That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million people!

Imagine 30,000 people amassed together in the Mile High City celebrating 4:20 with tremendous roar and a volcanic cloud of smoke filling the air in the absence of any hatred and hostility. Just love and peace. Sounds pretty neat, huh? Believe me, it was magnificent. Colorado really knows how to party!

But give it some deeper thought.

In a day and age where NFL football and MLB baseball games are wrought with brawls, both on the field and in the alcohol-drenched stands, what is the one ingredient that makes these so different? Cannabis. Even tee-ball games aren’t saved from being exposed to parents and coaches succumbing to fighting.

Probably one of craziest and most aggressive thing I’ve seen take place at a Cannabis Cup would be in 2011, at the second San Francisco Cup. In between presentations at the awards show, a charming green-eyed, blonde girl sprang up on stage, grabbed the microphone and triumphantly announced, “I’m high on mushrooms,” to the applause of the crowd!

And if you were wondering, yes, the Cannabis Cups serve alcohol as well. There’s just something about cannabis that washes away intolerance and helps people look past differences. It opens the heart to the need for contact and sharing.

In the ’30s, Harry Anslinger painted a picture of cannabis causing immigrants to go crazy, raping America’s daughters. Ronald Reagan is famously quoted as saying, “Marijuana….is probably the most dangerous drug,” and was instrumental in increasing penalties for cannabis. What’s even more troubling is that in this day and age of exponentially advanced science and progressive values, we have an incoming attorney general who believes “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Sure, politicians say that the experiences and findings of millions, if not billions, of people throughout history are merely anecdotal. More studies need to be made. But then, those same politicians block the ability to study marijuana’s uses, to let science have its way with it. With people screaming from all over that pot cures cancer; that it replaces opiate medicines which kill more people than other people, cars and animals do; that its infinitely less harmful than alcohol, wouldn’t you fast track science to verify this?

The question is what can we do?

It all begins with each one of us. How we represent a community of people that proudly use cannabis paints a picture to the rest of the world, the true meaning of cannabis and its connection with man.

The human body has THC and CBD receptors which are found only in cannabis, which suggest that at one time in history, humans and cannabis intersected on some level. Whoa, right?

So make sure to be proud of your relationship with cannabis and help spread the good word of brotherhood, tolerance and friendship. Be kind to someone in need. Show compassion for someone you may not understand. Accept what’s different, and understand that not everyone needs to walk the same lines, have the same beliefs.

You can go to an event where like-minded people come together to release their worries for a bit and refuel their batteries. Come and join us at a Cannabis Cup and see what all the buzz is about. There’s a tremendous amount of good people, lots of learning and access to the newest strains, gadgets and art, all while we celebrate the gift of cannabis.

In a time of uncertainty and political unrest, we all know that love Trumps hate, and cannabis can help us achieve that.

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