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Take Action: Get involved!

It is up to us to advocate for our equal rights. While it is important to come out of the closet by participating in the Cannabis Consumers Campaign, we must also become a visible political constiuency that speaks out for our rightful place in society.

Following are suggested things you can do and some groups and web sites that are actively working for change that will help make you more effective:


1. "Come out" to your friends, relatives, and other colleagues and peers.

This is one of the most important things you can do. Talk to your parents, siblings, your aunts and uncles, cousins, and other relatives about cannabis. Talk to your friends and associates. Letting people know that you enjoy cannabis at times, with no adverse reactions, and still lead a respectable life is invaluable as one-on-one public education. People close to us care about us and will support us and our rights, once they understand that prohibition is causing us harm and pot isn't. We must allay their fears, dispel the negative stereotypes, and they will join with us calling for equal rights for all. Besides, you will probably discover that many of them like cannabis, too.


2. Write letters to the editor. Call in to talk shows. Be heard.

DrugSense/Media Awareness Project (MAP) will help you express yourself to policy-makers and the public via the media. Write letters to the editor (LTE)-- express your ideas in print. LTE's can influence thousands of people in newspapers. It's like free advertising. MAP also has the largest archive of articles to help you stay informed on drug policy issues. Visit their web sites at: http://www.drugsense.org/active.htm or http://www.mapinc.org


3. Contact your elected officials. Call them, write to them, make appointments to meet them. Develop policy changes that protect our rights.

The Marijuana Policy Project will help you get active in your state! See what policy items are on the table in your area. Contact your representatives directly from their site, and let them know that you want them to support reform. Visit their web site at: http://www.mpp.org.

The Drug Policy Action Center, a project of the Drug Policy Alliance, will enable you to fax your representatives in Congress with pre-written letters about the latest drug policy legislation that we need to stop or support. Visit their web site at: http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/

Work with elected officials to come up with local resolutions and policies that ban the discrimination against cannabis consumers in the workplace, in schools, in custody battles, in housing, etc. Lobby your representatives to create reform. Help them to come up with legislation to tax and regulate cannabis, to take the burden off the budget crises. Work with appointed or elected officials at local, regional, state and national levels.


4. Organize and protest. Join local activists in standing together.

Americans for Safe Access will help you to start organizing around medical marijuana issues. For excellent organizing materials, to see if there is a group in your area, and to get great advice on advancing your rights on medical marijuana, visit their web site at: http://www.safeaccessnow.org

There are many organizations around the country and world working for reform. See what groups are active in your area. If there aren't any nearby, join a national organization, or start one yourself.


5. Get active. Educate yourself and others.

Drug Reform Coordination Network is working for reform of US drug laws and an end to drug prohibition worldwide. Keep current on the latest policy issues and get active with their alerts. Visit their web site at: http://www.drcnet.org

Equal Rights 4 All has a lot of flyers that you can download and photocopy related to marijuana issues. Chris Conrad, court-qualified cannabis expert, has developed lots of useful information about the many uses of the hemp plant. He can help you fight your legal cases, too. This site hosts lots of cannabis-friendly web sites. Visit it at: http://www.equalrights4all.org


6. Get involved in student groups on your campuses.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy groups are organizing students on campuses around the U.S. Get involved with your local chapter or start a new one. Students are making a difference! Visit their web site at: http://www.ssdp.org.

Some wonderful student NORML chapters are also forming and organizing educational events in various states. Visit their web site and see what's going on in your area: http://www.norml.org.


7. Help the prisoners of the Drug War get out of prison.

The November Coalition is organizing prisoners of the Drug War and their family members to educate the public about the injustices of the drug and sentencing policies that are locking up their loved ones. They have a national vigil campaign. Visit their web site at: http://www.november.org

Human Rights and the Drug War will give you a primer on how the Drug War is operating. It gives visibility to non-violent drug offenders that are otherwise hidden behind bars. You can sponsor an exhibit showing. Visit their web site at: http://www.hr95.org

Families Against Mandatory Minimums is working on lobbying to end harsh, mandatory sentencing laws. They have local chapters. Visit their web site at: http://www.famm.org


8. Be involved in your community and political parties.

Get active in local PTAs, religious and spiritual groups, environmental organizations, political parties, and other community groups. If cannabis consumers are seen as valuable, involved members of their communities, we will create more supporters for our cause. Introduce positions and policies that end stigmatization and advance our rights, freedoms, and social justice. Get your political party to take a stand to end marijuana prohibition as part of their party platforms.


9. Keep up to date on news events.

Cannabisnews.com will keep you up to date with daily news updates on all topics related to cannabis. Check out their web site at: http://www.cannabisnews.com

The Marijuana News is another great source of daily news, information, and analysis. Check out their web site at: http://www.marijuananews.com

Pot TV has up-to-date news, recorded interviews, and many great programs that you can watch. Visit their web site at: http://www.pot-tv.net



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