Kay Smythe - Santa Monica



Wednesday, April 17

Overcoming Stigma in Cannabis [PART 1: What is Stigma]

The greatest misconception in human history is that one’s stigmas are anything more than just a shitty set of opinions. 

My name is Kay Smythe, and for the last five years I’ve worked in the fields of behavioral sciences concerned with normalization, biases, and deviancy. I’m not going to bore you by listing my qualifications or the numerous organizations and corporations whom I have consulted for, worked with, and continue to conduct research for, but let’s just say that all of the work I do comes down to two basic questions: 

1. What do people currently believe, and why? 
2. How can these beliefs be changed, measurably?

It sounds awful, but I get paid understand exactly what you believe, and to change your opinion using the latest in scientific evidence. Just like how all major industries hire lobbyists for international governments, the most sensible industries also hire behavioral scientists to track and forecast the future of human thought (oh, Capitalism). 

Financial and competitive reasoning aside, forecasting human thought also allows for the initial creation of emerging industries. Now that Big Tech has finally come to fruition, the legal cannabis market is emerging as the next Big Industry (I could have told you that a decade ago, but you weren't paying me). 

However, unlike Big Tech, cannabis has at least 75 years of fake news, BS, and the affiliated stigma to break through before it can become a normalized part of the capitalist model, and integrated efficiently, and competitively throughout the North American market. 

Stigma & The Amygdala 
*to find out more about Kay’s work in unconscious biases, neuroscience, and more, fucking Google her... it's not difficult.

Again, I’m not looking to bore you with a full breakdown of how stigmas are physically formed, but it is important to understand why their formation makes them very important to understand, whether you're a cannabis user, cannabusiness owner, or just about any subdemographic affiliated with cannabis: 

Between the ages of zero and four, everything we experience goes into forming how we instinctively react to things in the future. For example, I grew up with huge stigmas against senior citizens. Because I had so few positive experiences with old people, I entered my adult life filled with stigma against them - just like a huge number of people have with cannabis...

All Old People Are Racist, Abusive Snobs 

OBVIOUSLY NOT. However, the ridiculousness of this sentence should shed some light on how stigmas form, and why you shouldn’t feel badly for having them. 

Imagine everyone in the world was repeatedly told that all old people were racists; we’d have instituted a mandatory assisted suicide age of 65 in order to mitigate this inherent social problem. 

Just like how I had developed a misconception about old people based on the limited and shitty data provided to me through my experiences with old people, an untold percentage of the population has lived with the same shitty information about cannabis. 

Over the course of this series, I will provide you with the written, video, and verbal information you’ll need to (a) help mitigate your stigmas, (b) educate others to help eradicate their cannabis stigma, (c) innovate your cannabusiness to perpetuate positive and accurate information on cannabis, CBD, and hemp, and any other areas of your work where stigma will make you fail.

*PART II will probably get hyperlinked in here if I, or any of my team remember to remind to do it... (if it's not, contact me to do so and I'll get you extra Lifted points as a thank ya).

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