YOUTH LAUNCHING â€œGENERATION 420â€ ORGANIZATION TO
CAMPAIGN FOR LEGALIZATION
by Leo E. Laurence, J.D.,
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Youthful, high energy will feed a new organization in San Diego called â€œGeneration 420â€ (Gen420) to â€œbring together young people in the campaign to legalize marijuana,â€ says Ty Wightman(25) of San Diego, the Gen420 founder.
â€œWeâ€™re creating a social movement under the auspices of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.) in San Diego where young people can use all their energy, all their talent, and all their passion to push our legalization campaign,â€ Wightman said in an exclusive interview with NUG Magazine. â€œWeâ€™re launching an organization so people around my age (25) can have a place to talk about this, and to set the record straight. So far, older people dominate the marijuana campaign and may be completely out-of-touch with young people,â€ Wightman observed. â€œWeâ€™re going to start by creating a Facebook â€˜Groupâ€™ where young people can come together (online), and out of that will come a Facebook â€˜Causeâ€™ (that further develops our Internet communications with young people). We want to give young people a forum where they can talk to other young people under the experienced guidance of L.E.A.P. in San Diego. They will create a free flow of ideas and information that is not suppressed by (older) people with other agendas,â€ Wightman explained.
Choosing the Name:Â â€œGen420â€
Weâ€™ve heard of Generation X and Y. Similarly, the name of this new youthful organization was created spontaneously by Wilfred â€œChachoâ€ Romero during discussions with founder Wightman. â€œThe name is a synthesis of one of the most popular, counterculture numbers (420), which is code for marijuana while texting. Everyone in my generation is able to pick up on its meaning and appreciate it,â€ Wightman explained.Â â€œItâ€™s a generational movement that we are creating here. Young people want this to happen! They want it to happen NOW! They are done with being lied to (about marijuana). Theyâ€™re done accepting the status quo. Theyâ€™re done with being told by the powers that be what they reasonably can or cannot do,â€ Wightman added. â€œWe (young people) see the facts.Â We are increasingly joining together and realizing that we can make a giant difference with all our passion and energy. Generation 420 is going to be a pivotal organization that helps bring all that about,â€ Wightman explained. At 25, Wightman is a 2009 graduate of Arizona State University with two undergraduate degrees: a B.S. in Marketing and a B.S. in Supply-Chain Management.
In addition to using Facebook as a major Internet media to get its message out to young people while inspiring them to get involved with the cause, Wightman added that Generation 420 will also be using the very popular YouTube. â€œYouTube is progressively becoming one of the most important voices of young people today. Theyâ€™re turning off their TVs and turning to YouTube, and that says a lot. We need to be on YouTube and we plan to ask the teenage videographers in the Media Arts Center (M.A.C.) in North Park to help us with that,â€ Wightman reported.Â M.A.C. produces the internationally popular Latino Film Festival each spring in San Diego. â€œWeâ€™re hoping they can produce a video for and by young people, so we can explain our new organization (Generation 420) and what it does, and give more of a voice to young people.â€ By â€œyoung people,â€ Wightman and his Gen420 crew are generally referring to anyone under 30. With parental permission, teenagers are even encouraged to get involved.
On Facebook, Wightman and his Gen420 participants are creating an ambitious agenda of possible things they can do. Discussion groups for young people are being planned for the near future.Â There are critical online links to a vast amount of current information on marijuana, including medical marijuana issues. They plan to use the word â€œmarijuanaâ€ rather than the more timid word â€œcannabisâ€ in Gen420 educational efforts.Â They want the public to feel comfortable using the word â€œmarijuanaâ€ in their conversations. Using young people recently trained in professional polling methods, the Generation 420 organization plans to conduct local polls on the â€œrealâ€ public opinion of these issues without using the distorted and loaded questions of polls produced by the opposition. A contest among students in local graphic arts classes to design a logo for the new organization is also on the agenda. The ambitious plans of the Gen420 organizers also include the production of video games to teach young people the truth about marijuana. The high costs of creating those animated games will come from targeted, fund-raising efforts. Hopefully, a 501C3, non-profit organization will come forward to help make those serious contributions tax-deductible.
A.S.A Helps This Launch
During an L.E.A.P. speech before a Jan. 11th meeting of the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (A.S.A) in La Jolla, arranged by the San Diego Area Liaison Eugene Z. Davidovich (SanDiegoASA@gmail.com), baby-faced Wightman was noticed in the center of the audience and used as an example to encourage more young people to get involved. Wightman met with L.E.A.P the following day for four hours to get guidance in launching the new organization that is specifically for, of, and by young people under 30. Without the connections made at the A.S.A meeting, Generation 420 may have never been launched. While A.S.A is an organization primarily focused on â€œadvancing legal medical marijuana therapeutics and research,â€ Gen420 will have a broader focus to include the legalization of marijuana, which is more expansive than the more limited provisions of Prop. 19 last fall. Indeed, as a matter of policy, L.E.A.P., with headquarters in Medford, MA and a PR office in Washington, D.C., seeks to legalize all drugs just as Portugal successfully did, thereby reducing consumption.
Anyone interested in getting involved in Generation 420 can contact Wightman directly at (619)218-2378 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by contacting L.E.A.P. – San Diego at (619)757-4909 or e-mail at leopowerheremsn.com
Current and former law-enforcement personnel (local/state/federal), prosecutors and prison staff are invited to confidentially contact L.E.A.P. at the phone number or e-mail address above.Â Your confidential help to L.E.A.P. is needed!