Spread the Herb, I Mean the Word

By: Ava Madison

Activists, although burdened with tumultuous tasks and roads, are the most effective change agents in history. Mahatma Ghandi, attorney turned Indian rights spokesman, was the first to deploy civil disobedience, leading India to independence from England.  Martin Luther King Jr., like Ghandi, was assassinated during one of his great works. King Jr., a clergyman and pastor, led the civil rights movement in 1960’s America, winning over 50 honors and awards, and furthering human rights in regards to racism, poverty, education, and more.  People involved with law aren’t the only activists.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney turned their celebrity status from music into a platform to deliver messages of peace and love throughout the world. Bob Marley lived through his music, affecting millions and spreading the Rasta culture. None of these people were authorized to create change, to have an opinion, or to take action. They did what they did because they believed in themselves and in people.

Injustices against humanity, poverty, and sickness along with war and greed are constant evils that need soldiers and generals alike to fight against them, to bring awareness to the masses about these issues and urge for alternative solutions. Everybody has an opinion, and furthermore, activists must seek to resolve these heinous and contentious problems.  The point of activism is to create social, economic, and cultural change. As such, activists carry the burden of initiating, crafting, and carrying out all steps of that change. Various tactics have been deployed, such as the aforementioned civil disobedience and songs, boycotts, protests, rallies, and marches.  However, these are not the only ways to ensue activism. The approaches are inexhaustible and you should do what works best for you.

Diligently researching subjects will expand your confidence and strengthen your arguments.   Knowing the truth and getting the facts is essential, so do not overlook this step. Once you have the information you need, develop “talking points” or the main highlights of the issue at hand. Support these talking points with facts. Argue and counter-argue each talking point with yourself and others of like-mind.

Make your message heard, even though communicating your views can be tricky. Recipients often meet you with cynicism, doubt and apathy, and may not find your interests or concerns important.  Remember to deliver your message suited for the person receiving it. If speaking to politicians, dress like a politician, present documents with statistics and citations, and deliver your speech with authority and confidence. When speaking to your grandmother, you may want to explain how the laws or policies of an issue have affected her.  Different people need to hear different things and receive messages and information in different ways.  By tailoring your messages, you increase your chances of being understood and empathized with.

2009 was an unbelievable year in marijuana reform, especially for San Diegans.  The Supreme Court ruled in our favor against the County Board of Supervisors, the City Council created a Medical Marijuana Task Force, and the Federal government promised to back off legal medical marijuana patients. The Tax, Regulate, and Control Act of 2010 gained more than enough signatures by December to put an initiative on the ballot in November 2010 that would legalize marijuana for all Californians over 21. Jovan Jackson of Answerdam, a medical marijuana dispensary, was acquitted by a jury when his case, the first medical marijuana dispensary case in San Diego, made it to trial.  Mainstream media has covered positive American Medical Association statements, UK Drug Advisor’s pro-marijuana politics, and marijuana’s semi-legalization across 14 United States.

What have marijuana activists done so far this year? Non-profit groups and activists have begun to fuel the fire even more in 2010, making marijuana one of the hottest issues in politics, and gearing it for sensible policy and regulation. In January, the Assembly Health Committee voted on and passed AB 390. Due to scheduling conflicts in legislature however, the bill won’t be able to proceed to its next step until 2011. San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Task Force is continuing their work to draft ordinances for collectives and cooperatives. Their meetings are open to the public and they encourage the general public’s participation. Attend a meeting and help positively influence marijuana reform.

Simple things that you can do right now!

Join nugmag.ning.com to have marijuana news and updates sent straight to your inbox!

Contact your elected officials and tell them to respect medical marijuana.

The President oversees all Federal agencies. Got a problem with DEA policy? Want to put an end to Federal marijuana prohibition? Then tell them about it! Call (202) 456-1414 or Email president@whitehouse.gov

Medical Marijuana Task Force meetings are the next critical step for safe access in San Diego. Take your ideas to the City Council Advisory Board and be heard. City Council Chambers are located at 202 W C St in Downtown San Diego, and the meetings are held on the 12th floor.

Contact the District Attorney’s office and urge them to stop ALL medical marijuana prosecutions and disengage in ALL medical marijuana investigations.  Respect the will of the voters. Call 619-531-4040 or Email publicaffairs@sdcda.org

Write a letter to your local paper.  Express your views as a concerned citizen.

Write a letter to us at NUG Magazine! Let us know your story and what you’ve done to help foster change!

Talk to a stranger about marijuana laws, facts, and myths.

Share your story and experiences with others.

Give 5 people that you really care about a copy of NUG Magazine.

Support others in critical times. Whether they are going through financial hardships, emotional distress, or the burden of a court trial, the greatest thing you can do is be there for someone.

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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