The Cannabis Picture: Black and White vs. A Touch of Gray

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When it comes to the ever-popular topic of Cannabis legalization, decriminalization, and law reform, as well as hemp, I have come to realize that despite my many years of advocacy, and regardless of how much information and scientific proof we advocates provide, the entire picture takes on two views of the term “black and white.” There is the either/or, which excludes all gray area, and then there is the art of black and white, as in photography. The gap in perceiving these two differences of the same name is huge, although the words sound the same.  A black and white thinker believes in yea or nay, while a black and white photographer thinks about the shades of gray that define the black and white, the art of the message.
The problem I have observed and now am disturbed to witness is misperception, a detriment for any Cannabis advocacy, is the black and white thinker. This, in my opinion, is the danger, especially when that thinker is in a position of authority and can effectively shut out all gray areas, influencing the law to respond and rule based on a narrow minded thought process.
The true beauty of black and white photography is in the capture of the shades of gray, the way they illuminate some areas, while minimizing others. This is the essence of this art, and I find myself personally drawn to this particular kind of photography because it invokes thought and an individual’s personal interpretation.
There is perhaps an overabundance of information on the Internet, in the written media, as well as clinical, science based studies. With all this information so readily available, one must ask why it is so difficult to get the message across. I do. And I believe the answer lies in perception, and how information, when it reaches the black and white thinkers, not detail oriented artists, is discredited and sends we advocates back to our art, shedding light on the important facts before they are blackened into the darkness and stunt the process of reaching individuals in positions of legal authority regarding rulings on Cannabis.