Often I am surprised that more people do not keep it real in this movement. That people tread so lightly and fail to express in public what so many say in private. The whispers and silence are deafening. We fail to learn when we fail to express ourselves, for better or for worse. So let us lay it out there.
1. There are a lot of people (and organizations) in this movement that simply suck. As people, as activists, as human beings. Do not get me wrong. This movement is filled with many great people as well. Somehow we have made it over the hump and we have found ways to overcome great odds to create real social change. But lets face it. Those who suck make it bad for everyone else. Those who choose to strap on the old ego cap and act like thy are better than everyone make it difficult to defend their actions. Many people in positions to make a real difference simply do not because it is inconvenient or they have their own self interests in mind. They use any opportunity to forward their own cause, even if it means putting everyone around them down to do so. In the meantime they forget how they got to where they are or the struggles of those that have made it possible for them to even exist.
2. Non-Profit is an evolving term. It seems easy enough and something that should be more defined, but in all reality there are very few organizations that can justify their revenues and many choose to line their pockets rather than contribute to the community. I think that people should be able to make a lot of money. I think the non-profit factor is bullshit. But those are the rules we play by in this day and age and the fact is that many have no intention of contributing anything to anyone ever.Creative accounting at its best.
3. Our biggest downfall is our failure to adapt and change. Sure. There are many things different now than there were 10 years ago. But many of the issues that people have with our movement. The laziness. the unprofessionalism. The inability to work together. The lack of oversight. The unwillingness to confront those that do dumb shit. The lack of seriousness. The failure to hold the “leaders” of this movement accountable. The romancing and fantasizing. The simple lack of reality. The short attention span. And the selfishness. None of these ever change. There are the same dumb arguments, the same dumb behaviors, and the same nonchalant attitudes now as there were when I made my first stupid candy bar. I have often marveled that we have made it this far with so many ill conceived plans and flawed execution at so many levels.
4. Compassion is a buzzword. Not that there have not been some extremely compassionate acts done by this community over the years. There have. But could we be doing more? Yes. My recent experiences living in the Tenderloin have brought a harsh reality just inches away from my doorstep. There are a lot of people in dire need and that are truly suffering in this community. We, as a community have so much, but for one reason or another fail to understand the needs of those that are in such peril and distress. Do we even really take the time to understand the pain of another? Sometimes, I suppose we do, but often compassion is just a word used in the law that allows cannabis businesses to operate.
5. This movement is made up of several smaller movements. There are little tribes of people in this movement that interact and there are followers and leaders of these tribes. Some work against each other. Others just work for themselves. often they do not really work at all. Unity is a far stretch on most days and their are many feelings of resentment and frustration that are harbored and never really addressed. These fractions of a movement are counterproductive and often leave us working twice as hard, as we fight the opposition as well as one another. It is almost like cliques in high school.
Those are just some simple thoughts. A rant of sorts you may say. Obviously none are applicable to any or all situations. None are the end all, nor are they biblical by any means. They are just some simple observations from a person in the movement who is often alienated because of his opinionated and passionate dialogue. Often I do not know where I fit in, or if I fit in at all. Nor do I know if I really want to. I have made it this far I suppose, so why turn back now, eh? I am honored to be a part of this movement. I have worked hard to advance this cause and do not plan on giving up anytime soon. May people have come before me and many will come after. Cannabis is a beautiful thing. It has brought me to worlds and people I would have never otherwise known. But it can also be a source of controversy and division. I sometimes feel like I am talking to myself on this list or elsewhere, and that is okay too I suppose. I think there is a voice of reason in all of us. I think many fail to express that because of fear of backlash or exposure. Maybe I should have more of those fears. Maybe I should just shut up sometimes. Maybe I am nuts. Who knows? Be well out there and find your voice. I would love to hear from you every once in a while.