Using Cannabis Art to #KilltheStigma
The perception of cannabis is changing rapidly, but there are millions of people who still think of cannabis as a ‘gateway drug’ or ‘street weed’ bought from ‘drug dealers’. Those of us in the industry understand how misleading, and hurtful, those stigmas can be, but the options for converting the masses is difficult. So, how can we communicate the beautiful potential of cannabis without hopping on a soap box? One way is with art. And not just any art, cannabis art. Manifested by creativity and driven by passion, Chronic Canvas is bringing cannabis decor main stream. Shawn Drew, co-founder and CEO of Chronic Canvas, shares the story behind his unique business and why you should consider adding one of their pieces to your wall.
How did you get started? How big is the team at Chronic Canvas?
We officially launched our Chronic Canvas line June 3rd, 2016 at Higher Limits in Windsor Ontario, Canada’s largest cannabis lounge. Our company is a two person show operated by Roxana and myself. Our company mission ‘germinated’ after ‘Project Claudia’, a series of police raids in Toronto that resulted in Canadian Cannabis patients handcuffed in local dispensaries. The news and police reports painted the community with bias and ignorance; our fellow patients were under attack. Roxana and I realized the Cannabis community needed a non-illicit way to show their support.
You mentioned the stigma and prejudices faced by cannabis patients and wanting to change it, where did that all start?
Cannabis patients face massive prejudice in both their personal and professional lives for choosing a treatment option that is plant based. Medical Cannabis is a natural, non-lethal treatment option for everything from Chronic Pain to Depression and it does not carry a list of side effects. I have struggled with PTSD my entire adult life, been fired from numerous of jobs, hid my use from my family, and been judged by close friends for being a ‘drug addict/stoner’. Shame is still ever-present in the global cannabis community and it is our goal to help our doctors and families accept and support their loved ones.
What do you want to accomplish with Chronic Canvas?
Chronic Canvas is about driving activism through artwork. We want to be a new, positive voice for the Cannabis movement. Our images are designed to bring pride to patients and their loved ones that choose plants over pills.
What’s a motivating factor you use to stay focused?
Our medical physicians have long forgotten their Hippocratic Oath of ‘Do No Harm’ and the fact remains that prescription overdoses are now the leading cause of death in North America. It is time our medical doctors, community leaders, and misinformed society learn to accept Cannabis as a superior alternative to the profit machine of Big Pharma.
How can people get in contact with you? Is there anything else you want to share?
The best way to contact us is by going to our website www.ChronicCanvas.ca or sending an email to Info@ChronicCanvas.ca. We’re going to have a special promotion to support Veterans starting in November. We’re still working out the details but we found a creative way to drive awareness and raise funds for an amazing cause. I’m really looking forward to launching everything next week!