Amanda “Ama” Scriver is a self-taught freelance journalist whose writing about cannabis oscillates between the surprising (pot for pets), the practical (cannabis and better sex), and the progressive (a new POV on sobriety).
When it comes to filing a story related to cannabis, Ama’s biggest challenge is the lack of hard stats and reports available to back up her interviews with patients, doctors, advocates, and other industry professionals. With legalization Ama hopes these barriers will continue to dissolve.
There’s not enough consistent, accurate information out there for people to access, and the general public finds it difficult to know where they should start or stop. Even when I went to my doctor the other day [before legalization], I mentioned that I write about cannabis and she confessed that as a doctor, she had no idea what she was “supposed to be doing about that.” That was alarming.
Although I understand why some people are resistant to the commercialization of cannabis, I think about how money dedicated to research could benefit the health and wellness for so many people and believe it is so necessary. ”
There isn’t a central conversation, or an easily accessible, authoritative source of education for doctors, for people who are sick, for regular folks who want to learn more about the why and how of cannabis. We still need to set up those systems, and in the interim this responsibility falls on the media. As a journalist, I have a responsibility to educate people, to do my part to shift this very one-note narrative — but I need stats & reports to back up the things I’m writing about.
For instance, your endocannabinoid system is 100 percent different than mine, and mine is a 100 percent different than another person’s. The way that I react to THC or CBD is going to be an individual experience, depending on my body. This is something many people don’t know. So although I understand why some people are resistant to the commercialization of cannabis, I think about how money dedicated to research could benefit the health and wellness for so many people and believe it is so necessary.
Those who have naively said, ‘Oh, October 17th is gonna come and this stigma is gonna be erased!’ have already been proven wrong. A lot of people have been working tirelessly and passionately towards legalization for a long time, but the stigma is still going to exist because there are still a lot of people who don’t understand. I feel like it’s my duty as a journalist to keep educating myself and reporting on these stories, to keep trying to break down the misinformation that’s out there as best as I can.
Photography by Angela Lewis
Ama’s most recent story for The Walrus examines how a substance like CBD factors in to the discussion around sobriety:
“Zach Walsh is an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. He believes that sobriety is a complex concept. As we discuss what it means, he stops me to ask: “Are you sober when you’re asleep? Are you sober when you’re tired? There’s all kinds of shifts in consciousness, and some of the shifts in consciousness that happen without drugs can be similar to the ones that do happen with drugs.” With so much focus on terms like clean and sober, the nuances of these questions are often overlooked. But they’re also a critical part of reexamining the stigma against drug users—and, depending on the person, what it means to live as the healthiest, happiest version of yourself.”