The media has a fantastic, unrealistic opinion of marijuana users. The view they present of cannabis users and professionals hurts the legal, legitimate role of the medicine in society. In my California law practice, I work with marijuana growers, providers, and patients every day. I encounter nurses, paralegals, farmers, accountants, investors, teachers, artisans, and engineers that are dedicated to safe and legal access to marijuana.

A leading stock photo and media site called Shutterstock is used by magazines and TV shows for graphics and footage. I searched Shutterstock for photos of Marijuana users, and found many images that play right into the fears of an underinformed public.

It can be entertaining and enlightening to present the straight truth, with a twist in context. Below are selected photos from the site, with the Shutterstock watermark still embedded. Though embellished with my commentary. Please enjoy.

Together we are all changing the perception of the medical marijuana community. Though legal, many keep it in shadows and shrouded in smoky mystery. Growers are starting to farm in the open, with well kept, professionally arbored gardens. Co-ops and collectives and other access points for medicine are less like head shops and more like clean well lit book stores or cafes. I am proud to be an attorney that fights for marijuana rights. Let’s push marijuana awareness from High Times magazine into Time Magazine.