An Open Letter to President Obama…Can we talk?

Dear President Obama,

First and foremost, congratulations on your stunning victory over Mitt Romney. I am not sure I could have lived in a Romney America, so thanks for not making me move.

But I would like to talk to you about two other stunning victories in Colorado ans Washington last night….for weed. In case you were a bit busy with all of the “I am leader of the free world” hoopla, last night the states of Colorado and Washington passed sensible laws to allow people over 21 to use weed legally. Voters overwhelmingly decided that it was time to quit taking grown adults to jail because they like cannabis. Pretty awesome, right?

In 2008 you said this:

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

That statement was powerful. It embodied a lot of what I believe and my assumed role as a “Weed Activist.” Our nation’s laws on weed are out of control and evil. We lock up 25% of the world’s prison population; we only have 5% of the actual population. Why? Because we lock up (mostly poor) people for weed EVERY DAY!

This has to “change,” It just has got to; and soon.

There is no getting around that. It is an inherently immoral policy that is aimed at reaping profits for big businesses and special interest by capitalizing off of the ruining of another person’s life….and for some weed? Seriously?

There cannot be one rational bone in your body that actually thinks this is a good idea.

So now that we are past the dumb stuff and you have been elected to your second term, can we talk about the injustices of the war on drugs, and weed in particular? You said that this was an “entirely legitimate topic for debate.” Well let’s have that debate.

Please tell me how you can justify locking up people for 5-10-20 years for a substance far safer than booze and far less damaging to our society? Let me know your justification for our marijuana laws disproportionately targeting minorities and poor folks. Please do explain how we can afford to continue to lock people up for weed at alarming rates for crimes with no victims? Help me to understand why we have militarized our police forces in the name of raiding people for weed.

Yes…let us have the debate. I just do not see how the argument for continuing this failed prohibition holds any merit. Any.

It is no longer okay to brush this subject under the rug as some sort of political taboo. Adult use cannabis legalization passed…and it passed BIG.

For instance…in Colorado you got 1,203,250 votes. Weed got 1,252,951. You lost to weed by 49,701 votes. WOW! You got beat by weed by almost 50k votes.

The point is that this is not a fringe issue for you to laugh off in your next YouTube debate. We need REAL solutions to this issue and not light-hearted jokes. We need you to wake up and smell the choom. We need you to lead on this issue for us.

There are millions of weedheads all across this great nation that do not deserve to be treated as criminals any longer. You know this. You know that when you were choomed out with the fellas back in the day that you were not a criminal deserving to go to jail because weed made you feel good.

So I invite you to organize the first White House Weed Summit. I can make myself available any time. You call the day and I will make it happen.

Then you can tell me why you think it is a good reason to keep taking people to jail for weed and I can tell you why I think that is fucking crazy talk. We will invite Richard Branson….

I hope you will see the passage of adult use legalization laws in two states as an opportunity to open the door to this debate, and to begin to really change the way our society deals with cannabis, and drug use in general. The Drug War is a war crime against our own people that has shredded the fabric of our communities and we must put an end to these draconian failures NOW.

Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to further discuss this matter. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Love,

Weed Activist #23,479

PS: Can you stop killing children with drones too? My friend Tom Angell from LEAP would really appreciate that. Thanks.

 

Weedlection 2012 Updates…Updates……Updates

 Weed Activist will be updating the election results as we get them…

WASHINGTON LEGALIZES WEED…

as of 9:04 p.m.

SOURCE: MARIJUANAMAJORITY.COM

OREGON STRUGGLING…BUT BIG CITIES USUALLY LAST TO SUBMIT, SO HOPE REMAINS…

MEASURE 80 AS OF 8:43 P.M. (56% reporting) COME ON OREGON! BE A MIRACLE…..

News 9 in Denver

WEED PASSES IN COLORADO!

SOURCE: 9NEWS DENVER

DENVER – Voters passed Amendment 64, allowing for the legal, recreational use of marijuana, according to 9NEWS Political Analyst Floyd Ciruli.

Amendment 64 will allow adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It also would allow people to grow as many as six marijuana plants in private, secure areas.

More than 300 Colorado doctors offered their names in support of Amendment 64. However, the state’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics urged a “no” vote. Supporters say alcohol does far worse things than marijuana.

“We know that many Coloradans are ready to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition,” Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol spokesperson Betty Aldworth told 9NEWS in September. “We can create a system where marijuana is controlled. We will have an easier time keeping it out of the hands of children.”

She cited a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control which suggests marijuana use among high-school students in Colorado dropped between 2009 and 2011 as evidence that medical-marijuana regulation is having an impact.

“In an unregulated, underground market there are no controls,” Aldworth said.

Voters rejected Amendment 44 in 2006. That amendment would have legalized the possession of a small amount of marijuana, but did not include the regulatory framework that Amendment 64 possessed.

Colorado Results listed live here.

As of 7:26 p.m.

As of 8:07 p.m. 30% reporting

Massachusetts voters approve ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana

By Chelsea Conaboy, Globe Staff

 People with debilitating medical conditions and permission from their doctors will be able to buy marijuana from state-sanctioned distribution centers starting next year. Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question that makes Massachusetts the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana. With 49 percent of the vote counted, 63 percent had voted in favor of the measure, 37 percent against it.

While opponents of the law warned that its passage could increase recreational use of marijuana, especially among teens, members of the Committee for Compassionate Medicine lauded the vote as a win for patients who have been waiting for legal access to a drug thought to relieve pain and muscle stiffness associated with certain chronic conditions.

Eric McCoy, 59, of Boston, who said he has multiple sclerosis and has used marijuana medically for 17 years expressed relief that voters had supported the measure.

“Now that this law has been passed, it will finally be legal and safe for myself and many others in the state to procure the medicine,” he said.

All New England states but New Hampshire now have legalized medical marijuana in some form.

The ballot effort was funded in large part by Peter Lewis, chairman of the Progressive insurance company, who has said he supports lifting the ban on marijuana.

Under the Massachusetts law, patients with HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, or other conditions can obtain a card from the state permitting them to purchase the drug and will be allowed to possess a 60-day supply. They also may appoint a caregiver to obtain the drug on their behalf.

The Department of Public Health is charged writing the rules within about four months to fully implement the law, within the framework outlined on the ballot, and registering at least one nonprofit distribution center in each county, with up to 35 allowed in 2013.

Kelly Sielis, 21, a Boston University student and first-time voter said she has watched her mother deal with anxiety as she undergoes cancer treatment and believes some patients might reasonably look to marijuana as “a more natural alternative” to other medications.

“I think the illegalization of marijuana is outdated,” Sielis said.

Some saw the initiative as a veiled step toward full legalization of the drug.

“We just opened our door to a billion dollar industry that can capitalize on anyone with pain and our young people,” said Heidi Heilman, president of the Massachusetts Prevention Society. Opponents, she said, did not have the money to fight the ballot initiative effectively.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, the state’s largest physician group, opposed the proposal, saying large clinical trials and federal regulators — not popular opinion — should determine whether marijuana has therapeutic value. But supporters of the state law say the typical drug approval process has been thwarted by federal drug policy.

Other opponents worried that the law could lead to more recreational marijuana use among teens, who may believe the drug is safe once it is labeled as medicine, and they warned that marijuana produced in state-sanctioned facilities could be diverted to the black market, as has happened in other states.

Molly O’Connell, 33, said she went back and forth on the ballot question and ultimately decided to vote against it when she cast her ballot at Duxbury Middle School Tuesday. She worried about the policy’s impact on teens.

“I teach high school, and I see how readily available marijuana is now,” she said.

Abuse of the law to sell marijuana for non-medical purposes will be considered a felony punishable with up to five years in state prison

Medical Marijuana fails in Arkansas

Posted: Nov 06, 2012 10:56 PM PSTUpdated: Nov 06, 2012 10:56 PM PST

By Jason Pederson – bio | email
Posted By Evan Hoffmeyer, Digital Executive Producer – email

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – After Tuesday’s elections, 18 states plus the District of Columbia now allow marijuana for medical use.

Arkansas voters decided not to join them, though. The final count came out much closer than most polls predicted, ending around 48 percent in favor, 52 percent against.

Issue 5 sought to legalize the drug for medical use even though marijuana remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government. Arkansas would have been the first southern state to approve such a measure. Instead, we join South Dakota as the only state where voters have said, “no,” to medical marijuana.

Jerry Cox with the Arkansas Family Council credited several high profile voices for leading to the measure’s defeat.

“I can’t say enough about the fact that the governor came out against it, the attorney general, Congressman Tim Griffin, the Arkansas Medical Society, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chiefs of Police, the Sheriff’s Association; the list just goes on and on.”

Both Colorado and Washington state took the legalization of marijuana a step further Tuesday, approving cannibas for recreational use. It remains to be seen what, if any, response the federal government will have to this development.

Yes on medical. Yes on adult use. Yes on weed.

What a glorious day to be a weed activist.

All across the nation today citizens have the right to cast a vote for freedom and sensibility. Weed is on the ballot for medical use in three states, and for adult use in three more states and even a city! Weed is everywhere in the national dialogue today and I have heard more than one political pundit say “We could be having a very different discussion about the war on drugs on November 7th.” Yes…indeed we will.

The passage of one, or more, of these adult use measures could force our nation to have a real and honest adult conversation about taking people to jail for weed. That is a conversation we win when all the facts are laid out there. Drug warriors have succeeded in making the subject taboo for so long that we often forget how easy of a victory the weed conversation is for our side. “Weed is safer than alcohol. Taking people to jail for it is expensive and evil.” Done.

I was a little disheartened to see that Americans for Safe Access, the nation’s leading medical cannabis activist group, could not find the courage to stand up for adult use legalization efforts on their voting guide website (http://votemedicalmarijuana.org/), which can be found here. Why does this bother me you may wonder. Because a group that claims to support more access to more affordable cannabis for patients should be excited and supportive of an effort that opens up the cannabis market and makes this safe plant much more available and affordable. They clearly are not. They have made a political calculation to protect their “reputation” vs. actually making the right choice for patients, and those who use cannabis. It is sad that a group with a national voice could not find the backbone to declare that folks should vote yes for adult use legalization. But, alas, it is clear that this movement is continually fragmented by divisive positions that attempt to put medical cannabis on a pedestal, as if they are not with the rest of us weedheads. Disgusting.

For me, it is a no-brainer. Medical should be a given. What kind of jerk would vote against allowing suffering people to use a safe and effective plant-based medicine? BUT…a “medical only” classification for cannabis is the second most restrictive classification next to all out prohibition. So it would beg to wonder why anyone who truly believes in the safety and ability of cannabis to heal would want anything less than 100% adult use access, without the limitations of what is medical and who is sick enough to use it? To not publicly support an effort to make cannabis more readily available is simply supporting prohibition. The silence is deafening.

 “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

The fact that we have three possible victories for ending cannabis prohibition altogether on the ballot is a huge victory in itself. These efforts have changed the national conversation on cannabis and have forced us to take a long hard look at the way we deal with weed in this country. The conversation started in 2010, when the great Richard Lee stood up and decided to put his money where his mouth was and take a shot at adult use legalization. Prop. 19 narrowly failed here in California, but the effort inspired many to carry the torch to other states and it laid the groundwork for the three efforts to legalize on the ballot today.

These campaigns have also revealed some stark realities for the weed community. First and foremost, we are not all on the same page by any means. I have no idea what some people in this movement are thinking sometimes. I never imagined, in all my years, that I would be having arguments with people who like weed whether or not to pass an effort that legalizes weed. I never thought that when I made a conscious choice to support groups like ASA when they formed that they would turn their back on legalization when we got to that point. I assumed we were all fighting for the same cause…cannabis freedom.

Not limited cannabis freedom. Not medical only cannabis freedom. Not an “I gots mine. Screw you” type of freedom. Not a “one issue, screw the rest of the world” type of freedom. Not an “if I cannot have everything I want then forget it” cannabis freedom. Not an “I am okay with people going to jail as long as I can get MY medicine” cannabis freedom. Not an “only these few people can grow weed for sick people” cannabis freedom. NO!

I thought the goal was to make cannabis free for any adult to use as they would like without fear of arrest, or losing their standing in the community. I am pretty sure when I decided to be a weed activist that the end game was to quit taking people to jail for weed and end the injustice and morality of our current policies on weed. I still believe that, and will continue to work towards that ultimate goal of real and meaningful cannabis freedom.

At the end of the day the vote is simple….”Will this vote make cannabis more free for adults to use as they please?”

Not “Is this effort perfect?”; or “Will this effect my business?”…but “DOES IT INCREASE CANNABIS FREEDOM?” If the answer is “Yes,” even if it is not as much freedom, or the exact kind of freedom, you had in mind then the vote should also be YES.

Vote Yes for Weed today and let’s move that ball down the field. We are almost there.

Why We Vote and Why You Should

 

It is easy to be overcome with anxiety from the voting process. You are not alone. On many levels, it can seem like a futile effort. Every couple of years we are put right in the middle of a stupid game that nobody really likes playing. Big business and special interests dump billions of dollars on this candidate, and that initiative effort, to try and convince us to vote this way or that way…usually against our best interests. We are bombarded with ads and overblown rhetoric invading every form of media we enjoy. I cannot check my email without at least ten messages from Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, these days. As voters, the entire process has become a painful exercise in bullshit.

But as painful as it is to suffer through the godforsaken process, what is more painful is not voting and letting the bastards win through apathy and attrition.

Believe that the system in place is specifically designed to exhaust you and discourage you from doing your civic duty. While politicians spout off about how much they want your vote, the fact is that the people who pay them off want you to stay home. You are unpredictable. You have the power to defy the odds and to bring common sense to the polling place. Special interests and lobbying groups HATE that about you. So they work tirelessly to convince you that your vote does not count, and have their puppets pass restrictive voter suppression laws to make the actual process much more difficult.

We have already seen long, long lines of people waiting to vote early in key states like Ohio and Florida. Why? In this day and age, it is unconscionable to think that the most advanced country in the modern world does not have a more convenient and credible way to cast a vote. We should be ashamed…but believe that is all part of the plan to keep your ass home on election day.

Do not let these parlor tricks fool you. Your vote counts and we need every last one of them.

The reason why we vote  is easy…to make our voice heard and to select the best options for running our government. It may sound boring, but it is most definitely not. Voting is one of the most powerful things you get to do as a citizen. A person should relish in their ability to be a part of the decision making process. It is important for you to make your voice heard and help us to make better decisions in this nation, and for the world.

It is easy for a person to try and rationalize whether or not their vote makes a difference….here is a cold hard fact- IT DOES!

In any given election only about 60% (not even usually) of registered voters come out to cast their ballot. The harsh reality is that the 40%+ who normally do not, are the ones whose voices need to be heard the most. It is the working class folks. The people who grind for 8-10 hours a day, raise the kids, and try to make the ends meet with a second job are the ones who normally do not find the time in their day to cast their vote. Yet, it is these people who need the most help and good representation. It is this 40%, that if they went to the polls, could vastly change the way America does business. It is because they do not vote that the rich and elite have run roughshod over our electoral process and have driven us to the point of chaos.

So while you mull over whether or not your one vote counts, you and the other 100 million folks that do not vote are allowing evil to steal elections, and set policies that continue to damage the fabric of our society.

Try to forget the big picture numbers and worry about your vote, your voice, and your duty to make a choice for what direction we go in this country. If you just do YOUR job then you have done your part. Sure…rarely is an election won by 1 vote….but the 2000 Presidential Election was won by 537 votes, and that election ended up costing this country dearly…effects we are still working out of this very day.

Believe there are 538 people in Florida who decided to take the day off because they felt their vote would not count, who now kick themselves in the ass as they look for a job in a struggling economy brought on by the Bush Administration, and whose grandkids will pay for the war he started that was unnecessary. Most people have more that 537 Facebook friends these days….we are not talking millions of people. We are talking one guy walking around for a month talking to people could have swung that election….so your vote and your effort DOES matter. Quit buying into the crap that it does not. That is just the line of bull you have been fed to keep you from screwing up the power grab that has been happening here for decades. End the madness and go vote already.

For those of you voting in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon on legalization ballot initiatives, I will make one plea with you. I have remained somewhat neutral in the battles happening over these efforts, mostly because I do not live there and do not believe in telling people how to vote on things when I do not have the power to cast a vote myself.  I still will not tell you how to vote. That is between you and the big magnet in the sky. But for those who oppose this legalization measure or that initiative for one reason or another, ask yourself this…..”Would you compromise on the problems you have with the initiative if it meant another person never went to jail for weed again in this country?”

I know…it is hard to wrap your head around. But get this….if two, or as I am predicting, all three legalization initiatives pass (I believe Oregon will squeak out like Arizona did for medical in 2010) we will succeed in opening Pandora’s Box of prohibition and force the conversation onto the center stage as never before.

I think it is interesting that the US Department of Justice has failed to issue strong warnings as they did in 2010. I think there is a change happening  albeit rather quietly and slowly, that could see REAL reform happen in the next year, or so. I strongly believe that if these initiatives succeed that it will be a watershed moment for our movement, and I believe we will see an end to cannabis prohibition shortly thereafter.

Now, while I am very pissed that I-502 contains a stupid DUI limit and does not offer much in return, I would not pass on ending cannabis prohibition once and for all because I am worried that some vigilante cops are gonna start running mass blood testing on weedheads around the state. Obviously, the choice is yours to make; but if the choice was about ending cannabis prohibition forever (which it is) would you be so cavalier in passing on it because of some stupid and poorly thought provisions?

Maybe you would. I would not. But that is why we all get one vote. If you choose not to make that vote, then you essentially have given the other side two votes. Please do not give our opposition two votes. They have already bought plenty.

When the sun comes up tomorrow, and the kids are screaming, you are a little late for work, your coffee machine is on the fritz, and you are thinking “Maybe I will skip voting this year” DON’T. Do it anyways. Make the sacrifice and get it done. We need your voice and your choice. No excuses…JUST VOTE.

Inspired: Why this week's election could be the straw that broke prohibition's back.

I got up early today and watched one of the better news discussion programs on the air, Up with Chris Hayes. On the program today they did a piece on Amendment 64 in Colorado to legalize adult use marijuana, and had on the great Mason Tvert, Executive Director of SAFER, to make the case for his initiative and the cause. For those who do not know Mason Tvert, he is  an outright leader of marijuana reform, and has helped to revolutionize how our society views weed by making the simple statement, “Marijuana is Safer, So Why Are we Driving People to Drink?,” which is also the title of a book he co-authored. But what was inspiring about Mason’s message this morning was the look of confidence that he has just 48 hours before the election with polls showing Amendment 64 poised to pass, leading by 10 points. To see Mason on a national television program making the argument in a bold and dynamic way made me realize, “Holy shit! We are probably gonna win this thing this week!”

I do not want to jinx it, as it is far from a done deal; but there is a real good chance that on November 7th, Colorado, Washington, and I still got mad hope for Oregon too, we could be having a much more forward and impacting conversation on really ending prohibition than we have since at least the 70’s. if not longer. That is EXCITING, and gives me a lot of hope. In a world short on good news at times, I look forward to, even just for a minute, basking in the glory of a victory for cannabis freedom.

Watch Mason KILL IT on the show below:

As I try to imagine the impact this will have on the psyche of America, I am humbled. I imagine this being the straw that finally broke prohibition’s back.

While I clearly understand this is far from the last battle we will face to free cannabis from the clutches of tyranny, it is a HUGE crack in the armor of the drug warriors efforts to imprison and enslave our fellow man for safe and enjoyable plants. If we can pull this thing off in one, or multiple states, we will have succeeded in proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the time for cannabis prohibition to end is NOW….and do not be surprised when it does. As we tear down the wall, believe the drug warriors, after being exposed, will try to claim it was their idea all along.

I always hear the cannabis talking heads make statements that, IMO, sound less than hopeful that reform will ever happen. Here is what Ethan Nadelmann of Drug Policy Alliance said on the Gavin Newsom Show on Current TV.

 Nadelmann added that the only prospect for bold reform out of Washington would come in the unlikely event of the Democrats taking both houses of Congress in addition to the presidency.

However, even without a complete overhaul, he thinks that some modest changes come down the pipeline relatively soon. “[I think] we’ll see the emergence of an independent commission to reevaluate the state of drug policy in this country,” he said. “We’ll see more opening to new ideas that are beginning to percolate, but I’m not going to hold my breath for major reform.

Now I understand Ethan’s position 100%, and probably agree with him on most of this assertions and insights on drug policy. I have always said that Ethan is the smartest person in the reform game. But his statement, “I’m not going to hold my breath for major reform,” I just cannot get behind.

I have been holding my breath since the day I took my first rip of cannabis and I have a much more optimistic point of view. Maybe I just smoke a lot more weed than Ethan; but from all measures, based on my personal experiences with prohibition and our society’s view on weed, I already see a MAJOR change in the way our communities understand marijuana and the call for an end to the policy fo taking people to jail for weed grows louder by the day. I have to believe that, regardless of who runs Congress, or the White House, that social pressure on this issue will continue to make it impossible for these laws to survive.

I think the passing of Amendment 64, I-502, and Measure 80 (which I believe will win by a squeaker) will undoubtedly force our government, and citizens, to look at this issue closely and as not just a thought, but a now clear reality in at least one, if not three, states. That is huge. It is epic. It will change the dialogue in a way no activist ever could.

It says, “Screw you. Weed is legal. What are you gonna do about it?”

Now, sure…the Feds could decide to go batshit crazy and blow their load working to shut it down. I just do not see it. I do not think it is a viable option for them any longer. The more they play their “prohibition at any cost” card, the more people are standing up and saying, “What are those costs again? And why are we paying them for weed?”

It is a different age and era. Almost everyone knows somebody who smokes weed these days, and most all of them are good, honest, hard-working folks who just want to burn a doobie and be left alone. That is not a lot to ask, and people are waking up to the fact that we have wasted over a trillion dollars enforcing laws and policies that have done zero to reduce drug use or availability, while creating an incredible burden on our society by imprisoning 5x the amount of people as the rest of the planet. People know it is stupid, and politicians are beginning to realize that people are not as dumb and predictable as they used to be on this issue.

They used to just be able to scream “DRUGS ARE BAD! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?” Now when they scream “What about the children” the response is “What about the children you are locking up for weed and how much that costs us in blood and treasure?” It is a much different climate than when California revolutionized the way we view cannabis with Prop. 215.

So as this week rolls in, I am taking time to soak it all in. I am proud of those who continue to fight for cannabis freedom, and am honored to call myself their colleague and partner in the battle for justice and morality. When you read the headlines the day after the election and it says “Colorado (and/or Washington and Oregon) Legalizes Weed!” be inspired. Let it motivate you to continue to knock down the walls of prohibition, and know that it is a MAJOR step in ending this thing.

To all the folks on the ground doing what it takes over these next two days to get out the weed vote, I just want to say “THANKS!” You guys are my heroes.

 

TreesActivists on Reddit

Greeting fellow Weed Activists, We are starting a new community on Reddit that we would like you to be a part of. Reddit is a great medium for sharing news, views, and experiences with one another. Feel free to joint the conversation by subscribing here; or visit http://www.reddit.com/r/treesactivists/. We are just getting started and will be adding custom looks and widgets soon. If you want to help out, let us know. Part of activism is reaching people from outside of our circles, and Reddit has proven to be a great tool for that. So help us build a solid community of activists and supporters of TREES FREEDOM.

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Make a difference, or get out of the way….

Undoubtedly. we have a lot of work to do to realize true and meaningful cannabis freedom. It is going to take a huge effort by those dedicated to this cause to see this thing through to the end. We need people on the front lines right now who are willing to do the work and make the sacrifices it takes to make a real difference.

What wee do not need are popularity contest activists, who are simply in the way of real progress, gumming up the works any more…you know who you are. If your goal is to get your name, or your company, more exposure then the work you are doing is called “marketing”, not activism. If you have the need to talk about yourself in the third person, then the work you are doing is “public relations”…not activism. If your “activist” duties only include things that benefit you, or your organization, and you are absent from all of the real work being done on your behalf, you are an opportunist…not an activist.

I make these distinctions, not to single anyone person or group out, but to ask politely that all of the hucksters, charlatans, greed-mongers, and narcissistic  bastards that continue to pretend what they are doing is some heroic act of activism to get out of the way. Your close-up is over, and it is time for the grown-ups to take the prohibitionists to task. Either put your self-interest aside and get back to focusing on making weed legally available to any adult that wants to use it, or get run over. The time for glad-handing and taking victory laps is over. We are on the threshold of something great, and I will be damned if some beauty pageant activism is going to stop us from ending this thing once and for all.

We have lost a lot of time and resources on very little action over the last four decades. This must change moving forward.

We must figure out how to make a bigger difference with the people and resources we have, and quit letting the noise from a lot of fluffy activism stand in the way of us moving the ball down the field. It is easy to step back and look over the cannabis horizon and see what groups, activities, and activists are making a difference….not for themselves, but for weed. You can also pretty clearly see the ones who are just there to shamelessly promote themselves and their bullshit (Hint: Look for the advertisements and video crews).

It does not really serve us well to allow sideshows to detract from the reality that what we do to people who smoke weed in this country is nothing less than a tragedy and we should all be ashamed of the immorality of the current situation. It is not about this weedlebrity, or that well intentioned fellow with the funny hat. It is not about how great this product or that weed shop is. No one gives a shit about how wonderful your shatter is when they are looking at a decade in prison for selling it to their patients. Put the vaporizer down and step away from the scantily dressed nurse for a minute.

Some of us have a job to do that does not include hype and promos. God Bless you and your hustle…for real. But there is a time and a place for everything, and on the battlefield in the war for cannabis freedom, we just can no longer afford the distractions and the circus that has, at times, become cannabis reform these days.

If you are unsure whether the work you do as an “activist” is making a difference, then chances are it is not. Those who spend their free time volunteering, making calls, sending letters, and taking care of our POWs know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they do makes a real difference. Activism is thankless. The folks that do most of the work you have likely never heard of; and they are fine with that. Making a difference is its own reward and does not need fanfare or recognition. Activism is a lot like pissing yourself in a pair of dark trousers…no one may notice, but it is sure to give you a nice warm feeling.

Make a difference or get out of the way. Please. Thanks.