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In 1963, Pete Seeger had a hit with the song “Little Boxes.”  Many people will be  familiar with this as the song is also used  in the introduction credits of the show “Weeds.”  It refers to suburbia and it’s rows of track style housing and suburban values.

In many ways, the song really describes where I live.  It sheds light on a common perception of suburban living.   One verse states, “and the people in the houses all went to the university, where they were all put in boxes, little boxes all the same.”  The message is pretty clear.   When  Malvina Reynolds wrote Little Boxes in 1962, I wonder if she could have imagined that the same suburban ideologies would be ever present 50 years later.

Perceptions of ourselves, what we value and where we live are an important part of our overall human condition.   Many articles focus on the self or values, but…   is where we choose life often not a reflection of ourselves to a degree?  I live in what is thought to be a largely conservative area.   The question that I asked myself was, how does that effect me as a medical marijuana user?

Over the course of the last 3 years,  facing my illnesses and having my federal exemption has certainly changed my perception of… well, life in general.  I have to admit that it has taken me a long time to become comfortable living more openly with cannabis.  Even smoking it discretely in my own garage had a degree of worry behind it.  I have talked to many med patients who, although in possession of their licence, still go to great lengths to medicate out of sight to be discrete and avoid potential hassle.

I have to be completely honest,  I was terrible when it came to worrying too much about what people might think, smell and say.  I had my little-box-cookie-cutter-home and many of the suburban perceptions that came with it.  The good news is, I have since gotten over it.  I now realize that most of my anxiety about it was just a product of my own perceptions rather then reality.  In fact, I have found that the reality is that people are far more accepting then I realized.  How did I come to this insight?   I relaxed and took a look around and funny enough this is what I saw…

At night in my neighbourhood (and I am sure the same can be said for neighbourhoods all over and everywhere), many of those little boxes have there garage door open about a foot from about 4:20 pm onward.   When I relaxed and became more comfortable living with cannabis, I ventured out to meet a few fellow cannasours … and I did!  I have met the “doctors and lawyers and business executives”  (as mentioned in the song) who live in those houses and I am friends with them.

I guess in the end, I realize that perceptions can be a stumbling block.  They certainly were for me.  The truth of what was going on was that people were overwhelmingly accepting of cannabis and very often smoking it themselves.  We have the same goals, dreams and aspirations for ourselves and our children as anyone else and we all carried out professional jobs successfully during the day.   Cannabis had no bearing or effect on any of that and many guys have told me that it added to the quality of their life.

To think that all those years I just thought that my neighbourhood had a really bad skunk problem!!!  LOL

Lee Parker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La21jYGIQ8k

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