Helpless: Lacking confidence in the weed movement.

I am beyond frustrated.

I have dedicated a large portion of my life to weed activism and advancing the cause of cannabis freedom. Admittedly, I am a nobody in the context of cannabis reform circles. I am but a voice in a sea of voices. At times, I can be a loud and influential voice; but just a voice nonetheless.

I have no position or power. I do not have the resources or organization to impact the national dialogue about marijuana in the way I believe needs to happen to end prohibition once and for all. I am helpless in my approach. I often feel like the crazy person on the street corner with the “THE END IS NEAR” sign.

I cannot understand the motives and direction of the cannabis reform circles these days. There is no passion and very little sense of urgency. While we are seeing society change the way it views marijuana in a major way, our industry/movement continues to travel down the same ineffective and sleepy pathways that have seen us endure the longest and most insane prohibition, and imprisonment of our neighbors, that this country has ever seen.

We continue to see this group throw another party and hand out big awards to their pet activists and big mouth donors, while very little resources are directed to actions that reach those outside of the reform circle. A few big money donors and the people who have brown-nosed them enough to gain position, continue to take weak and noneffective steps towards cannabis freedom.

When was the last “WEED FREEDOM” rally thrown by any of these groups? There are like 70 “medical marijuana” expos/conferences/Cypress Hill shows a year, all sponsored by this group or that group; but where is the call for direct action? Where is the message that the real evils of prohibition are not that a few very sick people cannot get weed, but it is that we take HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of non-violent weedheads to jail and lock up mostly poor and minority people at alarming rates? Did I miss that press conference?

Now I have been seeing a lot of press this week about a medical cannabis provider named Matt Davies from Stockton, who is facing several years in prison for operating dispensaries in Sacramento and Stockton. I have seen quotes from this reform group and that influential person about what a travesty of justice this is. There is no questioning that. It is bullshit.

But the last time I sat in a Federal court room waiting for a friend’s case to be called I saw three young black men sentenced to 5 and 10 year mandatory sentences for low level drug offenses, and no one even batted an eye. There was no press conference. Just a weeping single mother in the back of the room that I felt I needed to apologize for how fucked up my country was for taking her son to jail for a decade for driving a couple of lousy pounds of weed from Cali to Texas.

But you will not see Allen St. Pierre at this guy’s sentencing hearing. You will not see MPP coming to his rescue. There will be no Americans for Safe Access speech about how messed up it is that this kid is losing his freedom for a decade. Nope….not a word.

It is clear that our own organized efforts to fight the corruption of the drug war have become hampered by the same powers that created the drug war….the evils of needing to pander to big money donors, and do the bidding of the few, instead of the many. In a lot of ways the reform game has become as big of a racket as those who profit off of mass incarceration. Do you know the biggest excuse for not shutting down the prison infrastructure and releasing the millions of non-violent drug offenders? It is that these facilities provide job security to tens of thousands of people who get paid to participate in the mass incarceration of our citizens. The drug war has created an income stream for so many, that it is nearly impossible to stop.

The drug reform circles operate on the same principle. Their resources and income come from the political and social chaos of the drug war. If marijuana laws actually are “reformed” is there a need for the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws? If marijuana policy is no longer and issue, is there a need for a Marijuana Policy Project? If we quit hiding behind the “we are all very sick, and weed is the cure” mantra, and actually legalize weed for any adult to use for whatever they please, does Americans for Safe Access cease to exist?

Am I directly accusing these organizations of sabotaging reform efforts in an effort to keep the reform money flowing? No. Of course not. That would be jumping to broad conclusions. What I do know is that I am often dumbfounded by the positions and strategies taken by many in this industry/movement, and  cannot help but think that maybe subconsciously, it is hard for people to actually work their way out of a job.

It is almost as if people can retard social change just enough to keep the price of weed high, the legality of it questionable, and the need for reform at a steady pace, that the status quo is not so bad. Sure…we lose a few folks to prison for decades every once in a while; but the rest of us are doing great.

I have begun to distance myself from people and groups who I cannot seem to agree with. That may end up being everybody before it is all said and done; but if that is necessary to feel like I am doing the right thing, then so be it. I am not scared of being alienated.

What I am scared of is knowingly participating in this “holocaust in slow motion” without giving everything I had to ending it once and for all. I cannot sit by and wonder why this is happening and that is not. I can’t find a way to justify my existence in this movement any longer. I am helpless and somewhat lost.

At some point you begin to wonder if anyone is listening at all; or if the time, energy, and heart you put into ending the madness is all for naught. It is painful to think that your output is a failure, and that the machine will ensure that the bullshit marches on, regardless of how much you kick, and scream, and yell.

I have begged for new directions. I have made clear the short-comings of those we have chosen to “lead” us to the promise land. What is clear is that there is a set agenda, and that I am not the person setting it. So be it.

I do set my own agenda. Do not count on me showing up for this meeting or that “reform” event any more. Until I see real and meaningful strategies to truly end prohibition being implemented, I have no desire to continue with the charades. I will continue to make the case for our society to “quit taking people to jail for weed.” Anything less falls short of reality and justice.

Just look for the crazy guy with the bullhorn and this sign…..


7 thoughts on “Helpless: Lacking confidence in the weed movement.”

    1. I thought the A64 campaign was a bright spot in the mosaic of cannabis reform history, and will be seen how it changes the dialogue. But the response since the election from a lot of these factions seem to lack energy and effectiveness. I am holding judgement for a few months on that situation….

      1. I hope I’m not crazy to think an ordinary citizen (Not a Politician)
        with out a huge fund raising machine can
        not only run for US House in a district that is better than 70%
        Republican.But as a Democrat can win without any Democrat party
        support, solely on the merit of what I say, do and believe. I need
        5000 likes minimum to be able to claim mass support for legalizing
        nationally, hemp/marijuana. Be it manufacturing, medicinal or
        recreational use for adults like beer or cigarettes. $42 Billion in
        taxes and wasted law enforcement expense lost to the economy and right
        into the black market. Mean while my kid, your kid, every-bodies kid
        can score in school any day of the week and there’s nothing we can
        currently do about it. Trust me locking them in the basement is not a
        legal option. Then if caught it can often ruin there life as last year we incarcerated more people for Marijuana than ALL Violent Crime COMBINED. Search {Russ Hurley for Congress 2014} on Facebook

  1. We keep beging for “legalization” when that’s what we’ve already got.

    You see, cannabis/hemp was “legalized” the second they wrote the first “statute” which “criminalized” an entire species of plant, thereby “importing cannabis/hemp into the legal sphere.”

    So is it really such a surprise that when we keep begging for more of the same, we keep GETTING more fo the same?

    People have this misguided and media reinforced delusion that before cannabis was “illegal”, it was “legal” but the reality is that this is not the case at all. This is “word play with a designed intention to subvert reality”, as, for cannabis to have been “legal” before it was “illegal”, there would have needed to have existed statutes which specifically deemed cannabis “a legal commodity.”

    Before the first “statute” against cannabis was written, there were no “statutes” on cannabis, and thus, it was not “legalized” yet. Anything which has not been “legalized” is simply “free.”

    Isn’t that what everybody “says” they want these days? “Freedom?”

    Now, if what people “say they want” is what they actually want, there are three simple words which can, if used and understood, eliminate cannabis/hemp prohibition once and for all.

    1) DEschedule.
    2) Repeal.
    3) DONE!!!

    If people “really” want their freedom, then they must simply eliminate the “statutes” that have usurped their rights and given them to “the legal system.”

    Once the prohibitionary statutes are gone, with them goes prohibition, and ALL of it’s known, documented, and repeatedly proven to be negative effects.

    To those who honestly believe that in order for OUR EMPLOYEES to stop wasting 20 billion of YOUR MONEY attacking YOUR RIGHTS, first we need to hire new government employees, greate new government agencies, write new “control statutes” and “regulations” and create “new taxes”…I ask you very simply:

    Why do we need to create more government to have our existing government simply stop using our money against us? How do you honestly think that’s REALLY going to work?

    “Well, if you want us to stop wasting 20 billion a year, first you have to let us take more people out fo the real economy to justify raising your taxes to pay for the ‘new employees’, then you have to pay the new taxes created to pay for the new employees, and then we need to create ‘cannabis-specific taxes’ so that we can collect more of your money so that we can hire more government employees to stop doing the workd that you wanted us to stop wasting 20 bilion a year on in the first place. So just cut us a cheque for 100 billion a year, and we’ll stop wasting your 20 billion attacking you, stealing your property, raiding your homes, shooting your children and your pets, etc.”

    Uhmm….yeah. Sounds pretty good for SOMEONE, doesn’t it?

    Well…if the only thing THEY understand is tax money, then maybe it’s time that we all WITHHELD our money until they proved that they were either capable or willing to do what they were elected to do FOR US, as OUR EMPLOYEES in the first place?

    If a corporate CEO bankrupts a company, they fire him.

    If a corporate CEO lies to stockholders, they sue him and take everything he stole from them.

    So what do we do with “our elected representatives” in the same situation? We give them more money, give up more of our basic human rights, tell them to stop, and when they don’t stop, we give them more money and tell them to stop again.

    Boy, that’s worked so well for the last 80+ years…hasn’t it?

    Again: Want it over? MAKE IT over.

    1) DEschedule.
    2) Repeal.
    3) DONE!!!

    ^^^ You just read the entire plan. Plain English. NO “legalese.” No 500+ page documents to say “I just didn’t have time to read it, man…” THREE SIMPLE WORDS could change everything.

    If that’s what you really want.

  2. i find the in-fighting to be very frustrating.
    many times it seems more like a popularity contest, and less about the patients.
    some of the big org’s have never given my projects or my voice the time of the day.
    it seems those with the money are the ones taken the most seriously but if you’re struggling and you don’t have a big support system, you can be brushed aside as though your message means nothing.
    but your message always means something, if you truly believe in it.
    and, i owe it to the ones who do get my message, to not give up. at least not yet.

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