In order for marijuana to be legalized at the Federal level several things must change.
First public opinion must change. As long as 50% or more of Americans believe that marijuana is just as bad as or worse than alcohol its use will remain illegal. A very public national advertising campaign portraying marijuana users in an honest and open fashion and presenting facts disputing our governments misinformation campaign would do our cause a great deal of good. Most of us are not in a position to speak out for ourselves but if we have a spokesperson who would present our case to the public, we could educate and possibly change the minds of people who still believe that our government should be in the business of trying to ruin the lives of those who use marijuana. But as you know advertising is expensive. Estimates of how many people currently use marijuana are varied but an estimate of six to ten percent of the population would not be unreasonable. That’s 20 to 30 million of us. Just a few dollars from each of us would purchase a lot of advertising and as you have likely heard “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
Second our politicians must be convinced that we will accept nothing less than the same freedom afforded people who use alcohol. There is no moral difference between using alcohol or marijuana and there shouldn’t be a legal difference either. This is the easiest and likely the most effective thing we can do. Hand written letters or even form letters get a lot of attention from our leaders. The main thing is we must make our wishes heard. As long as we remain silent nothing will change. This is something we can all do and it costs little. A sheet of paper and a few minutes of time a stamp and an envelope is all that is necessary. NORML and MPP have a very good system for contacting your elected officials along with editable form letters to mail or e-mail your representatives. All you need is your Zip Code to get their contact information. I will also post letters to print and mail.The main thing is to be heard and this is a safe way to express yourself without fear of losing you job. Just be respectful as threats and name calling will do nothing to advance our cause.
I don’t want to give the impression that this is going to be an easy fight. Marijuana has been illegal for a long time and there are a lot of people who still believe Reefer Madness is an accurate portrayal of marijuana use. There are also a few large industries that will be opposed to legalization because if marijuana is legal they will lose revenue through competition with hemp and marijuana. Immediately upon legalization the pharmaceutical industry will lose money through competition as will the alcohol industry. Soon to follow will be the prison industry, the pulp wood industry, the cotton industry and petrochemical industry. These are industrial giants with enormous influence on our leadership in Washington and they will not let this happen without a fight. But I believe if we are persistent and make enough noise we will win because the laws against marijuana are built on lies and misinformation and we have the truth on our side.
I would love to be your spokesperson and let America know of the injustice we suffer because of laws built on lies that demonize marijuana users. We are not the enemy of this country we are Americans and we deserve equal freedom. I urge each of you to voice your opinion to your Congressmen, Senators and the President. I also urge each of you to vote. Educate yourselves about the candidates and the issues and vote for the person you believe will serve us best. I also ask that you give generously and often so that we can be heard on a national level to show people that we are not the demons of society that our government has portrayed us as. But as normal Americans who love their country. We are not the enemy we are Americans.