Every year we have a birthday and celebrate our existence, and we benchmark the time we have spent here on planet earth. With age comes responsibility, and often it is assumed that knowledge also comes from getting older.
Age is an interesting equalizer with people. The age of someone shows their level of experience in a measurement of time. While certainly the amount of actual days spent somewhere is a factor in experience, when we look at something as vastly mysterious as the meaning of human life, time can be an imperfect measurement indeed. What actually happens in that time frame also matters, and affects the level of wisdom and understanding of a person. It is easy to understand how a person who has been exposed to a variety of life experiences, cultures, and emotional situations may know a bit more than a person who has lived a more sheltered experience.
Work ethic and a hunger for knowledge are also very important aspects of human understanding. A person who is more determined and ambitious to learn about the world we live in will generally have a larger knowledge base to draw from. and in turn, should be wiser for it. Educational opportunity and an openness to learning determine how we grow as people and take in our world. One can assume that a person who is focused on, and who has the opportunity to expand their education might be wiser than a person who is lazy in their studies, or who has little opportunity in their schooling.
The main point being that just because a person is older they are not necessarily any wiser for it. It is a myth that simply aging will bring wisdom.
My birthday is always a simple reminder that I do not really know shit, and that I should work harder to learn more because my days here are obviously numbered. It is always the time when I evaluate if I have done enough, have been good enough, or have worked hard enough. Have I made a difference in my world? Or has my time been wasted?
It is healthy to examine one’s self and better understand if you are living up to the morals and objectives that you have set forth. Are you achieving your goals? What are areas that we can do better? What opportunities have we missed, and how can we avoid missing more opportunities in the future? How can we step up our game and take it to the next level? Have we kept our word and have we been a good stewards of our community? Can we be better?
My birthday has always been an exercise in self-examination for me. If this is how we keep score here on earth then I generally want to take a minute and see where I am on the game board.
So what does this have to do with weed?
I thought you would never ask. As an activist community, and a movement, and as an industry WE NEED TO DO MORE SELF EXAMINATION, as well
I am not sure what day would be the exact birthday for the weed movement (4/20?), but it is high time that we all sat down and took a long hard look at where we are, and how the hell we got here. We need to examine closely what is working, and what is not; and commit to changing what is not. How many years have gone by without so much as a change in strategy, or leadership, or methodology?
Why do the figurehead organizations “leading the charge” for cannabis freedom look the same today as they did a decade ago? Or four decades ago for that matter?
Has so much gone right for cannabis users over the past few decades that we see no need for change, or even maybe a dynamic shift in who we send out there to beat the drums for our cause? Is it just me who thinks the standard shtick of this movement has gotten stale; and that the same idiots keep saying the same things to please the same folks with the same money, and that in the translation the needs of the average and ordinary weedhead are getting shoved aside?
It is offensive to watch the folks that pretend to be fighting for weed users’ and cannabis patients’ rights continue to sell out our values to the highest bidder; and to disregard what is best for the masses in hopes of winning favor with the money folks. For us to not take a closer look at why we continue to operate in a “business as usual- don’t rock the boat” manner would be tragic. It is time we stepped out of our comfort zone and began to ask ourselves if we are good enough?…and more so, could we be better?
For us to blindly travel down the same road hoping to arrive at a different destination than we have in decades past is ignorant and idiotic. We are better than that.
This movement is no spring chicken. Some of these players have been fighting this fight for a long, long time. That certainly makes them older. I am not sure about any wiser. Often it seems as if we are fighting yesterdays battles on different terms and ignoring the evolution of the world we live in. I think we lack youth and expression on many levels, and have given too much to tradition, with little expectation of results.
We have allowed our movement to ride a long on cruise control with the same few folks dictating the direction, energy, and rhetoric. We MUST ask ourselves if this has been effective, and if we believe we can improve, we certainly should.
Weed will be legal soon, whether by our works, or in spite of our efforts. That choice is up to us to make. We can let the sheep in sheep’s clothing continue to sell us out to the highest bidders; or we can begin to demand accountability, ambition, and evolution.
When can we knock off the dog and pony show, and consolidate the best and brightest this industry has to offer into a powerful force to knock down the final walls of prohibition and lead us to the promised land?
As I turn a year older today I will certainly reflect on my place in society, but I cannot help but wonder how many more birthdays will have to go by where we still take people to jail for weed because maybe we could have done more, worked harder, or have been better. I hope that this is the last birthday I ever have under cannabis prohibition and the idiotic drug war, and you should too….