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Picture this: sexy young women in naughty nurse costumes “medicating” with dabs in a virtual online smoking lounge, enticing users into live chats.
Sounds like a porn site, right?
Actually, it’s the “420Nurses” website, which claims, “It’s more than a brand, it’s a movement!”
What movement the 420 nurses stand for is hard to discern, but the website’s casting call for models to attend an adult entertainment convention in LA is far cry from the reality of critically ill medical marijuana patients, advocates, and actual RNs.
Yet somewhere in the blurred lines between medical advocacy and recreational advocacy, the stereotypical image of the “naughty nurse” has become linked with the medical marijuana movement.
The general public and policymakers are finally coming to terms with the fact that it is grandmothers with glaucoma, mothers with MS, veterans with PTSD, and kids with epilepsy that make up the medical cannabis patient population, not just people with fake doctor notes looking to score.
The sensationalized image of the 420 nurse fuels ignorant beliefs and strengthens the claims made by medical marijuana opponents. Some advocates feel that the stereotypical representation of a serious profession reflects poorly on the integrity and legitimacy of the entire medical marijuana industry. Is this the movement the 420 nurses hope to help?
If not the medical marijuana movement, then what movement are the 420 nurses about? Nurses? Women? Profit?
Real licensed nurses who advocate for medical marijuana put their professional careers in jeopardy every day for the cause. Nurses have been subject to accusations of illegal drug use, drug testing, and loss of their licenses for standing up for medical marijuana.
Real 420 nurses are also key to de-stigmatizing medical marijuana in the conservative climate of the American healthcare industry. Organizations like the American Cannabis Nurses Association bring cannabis education to patients, healthcare professionals and caregivers.
Real 420 nurses are professionals like Leslie*, a registered nurse and medical cannabis advocate.
“It definitely takes credibility away from the plant,” Leslie says when asked about sexualized 420 nurse marketing. “It wouldn’t bother me so much if we weren’t in such a fight to dispel the negative stereotypes of cannabis users. As a nurse, it really annoys me when I hear people associating ‘lazy’ or ‘clumsy’ or ‘forgetful’ behaviors with cannabis use, and (the image of) sexy bombshells…only makes it worse.”
David, a nurse, caregiver, and cannabis patient commented, “It sends the wrong message for medical patients. As a caregiver, I’d never want to use such a tool for any patient.”
Real 420 nurses have earned the right to be called “nurse”. We respect our profession, our patients, and our cause enough not to reflect poorly upon them. Real 420 nurses don’t want the line between medical cannabis access and recreational cannabis being blurred by sex and profit.
I AM A REAL 420 NURSE!
*Last names are omitted to protect privacy