Take Action: Get
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:
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:
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
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
5. Get active. Educate yourself and
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
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:
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
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
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:
Pot TV has up-to-date news, recorded
interviews, and many great programs that you can watch. Visit their web site at:
Do something. Together we can make a