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  • Writer's pictureElucidation Strategies

The Concession Factor

The act of conceding rarely feels good.  It means having to admit that a viewpoint is not accurate or a belief is not true.




past tense: conceded; past participle: conceded


1. admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it, Oxford Dictionary

Conceding is an act of acknowledgement, an act of admitting wrongness.  


The bigger the deal, the longer the insistence, the nearer to your heart – the worse the concession feels.  But, it often comes with increased wisdom or clarity, even if it was grudgingly acknowledged.  


When it comes to cannabis, many people have had it wrong for a very long time.  However, the explanation behind why so many have had it wrong is complicated. The inaccurate information and the problematic messaging were designed to misinform and scare the general public for over a century.  It wasn’t just that people wanted to believe that cannabis was inherently bad; they were fed a steady diet of curated cautionary tale horror stories, prescribed value judgements, and warnings of inevitable deviancy.

Throughout an astounding chunk of time, those interested in furthering the “cannabis is inherently bad” narrative didn’t always use compelling falsehoods or carefully-constructed misinformation. It started that way, but eventually, those folks in positions of power just used authority, momentum, and intimadating claims of righteousness until it eventually became the default.  So many people ate it all up, even thinking it was the responsible thing to do. 

What’s the best strategy for unpacking why cannabis remains controversial and confusing?  We can rely on history to understand all the contributing factors.  That’s what we need.  But that history represents something much more practical and simple. 

The concession factor. 


If you’ve held to a particular belief (in the case of cannabis, often based on the heart, not the head) for 20 or 40 or 60 years, it can be hard to concede, even when there’s plenty of proof.  How you feel about cannabis can be different from what you think about cannabis, an internal tension that makes it challenging for you to consider adopting a more accurate perspective.  You likely need something to point to and say, “This new information compels me to change my position,” which makes conceding much easier.  If I had only known that xyz were true… - it can go a long way when it comes to replacing inaccurate perspectives with correct ones.


By prioritizing cannabis history education as an ideal path forward for learning – as opposed to resigning ourselves to online shouting matches that volley overly-simplistic claims of it’s good and it’s bad to no productive end – inaccurate information is replaced by valid, truthful information AND it gives many a way to concede that saves face.

C'mon, no one likes admitting that they're wrong, especially when they realize they've been duped or manipulated. People often need some patience, graciousness, and understanding. Let's be sure to give them something to use to have the option to concede with intention and dignity. The more we do that, the faster destigmatization and normalization happens.

Let's look to the past to better understand the present and plan for the future. Using historical information as a springboard for conversation to correct false information (let’s finally eliminate the Gateway drug myth!) and replace it with verifiable, data-based evidence is an approach that helps everyone move forward in a way that’s comfortable and logical.

Contact Elucidation Strategies for cannabis consulting services.


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