Despite what big media and conservatives want you to think, marijuana activists are not all the same. We do not fit into a perfect stereotype, despite attempts by our opposition to label us all as ‘mindless, lazy stoners.’ I’m proud to call myself a stoner, but I respect the fact that not all marijuana consumers feel the same as me. Once upon a time, I wrote an article called, ‘What Weed Title Do You Use’ I asked readers what they liked to be called, and the responses were very awesome, and at the same time, very different. The article is a clear example of just how diverse the pro-marijuana movement is. Below are SOME, but not ALL, kinds of marijuana activists. If you think of a type of marijuana activist that I didn’t mention, please add one for everyone to see! Here is my list:
The Throwback Marijuana Activist
This type of activist remembers what it was like to protest in the late 1960’s-early 70’s. They are not afraid to spend a stint in jail, and are very vocal about their beliefs. I wish there were more activists like this; people that are willing to be a martyr for the movement, and push the free speech protections that are afforded to them by the Constitution.
The MMJ Activist
Medical marijuana patients and supporters are a little different than ‘recreational user activists.’ This is largely due to the differing goals and motives between the two types. Mmj participants are already afforded a lot of protections under the law, and therefore are not pushing for the same things. They are more likely to be fighting for access (dispensaries) or for additional conditions to be added to the program in their state. With the exceptions of Colorado and California, mmj activists tend to be more complacent with the current policies in their state. For instance, here in Oregon, most mmj participants have an ‘I already have what I want’ attitude. I feel that I can say this with confidence, being that I’m a member of the OMMP, and things are pretty good for me!
The Recreational Activist
This is the type of activist that most people know. They live in fear of prosecution by law enforcement, simply because they choose to unwind by consuming cannabis. As a result, they are never complacent with the current policies in America. Medical marijuana is fine for some, but for this type of activist, full legalization is the goal.
The Politically Correct Activist
This type of activists seems to be a growing force in the movement. These activists do not like being called pothead, stoner, etc. They do not like the words pot, weed, or even marijuana. They only refer to the green stuff as ‘cannabis.’ While I don’t personally play the vocabulary game, I can fully respect the theory behind it. The words I mentioned above are trigger words, and have a ton of societal taboos attached to them due to the decades-long propaganda campaign. If every marijuana consumer in America called it cannabis, and referred to themselves as ‘cannabis consumers,’ it would reshape the conversation.
The Marijuana Sympathizer Activist
This type of activist is rare, but there are more and more of them every day. These people do not consume marijuana, but they possess logical reasoning skills, and realize that the marijuana laws and policies in this country are f’d up. They might be doctors, attorneys, former members of law enforcement (such as LEAP), or just about anyone. One of TWB’s staff members, NoInhale, falls into this category. The movement needs more people like this, because it leaves no room for argument from the opposition.
The College Campus Activist
As a former college student, I can attest that there is no better ‘marketplace for ideas’ than a college campus. College students are vocal, can be united, and have a great knack for using the internet to voice their opposition. Those are all great attributes for any political movement, especially the marijuana reform movement…It also helps that marijuana consumption is one of the leading activities at college campuses around America! I sure know I puffed tough when I was completing my studies!
Of course, there are numerous other types of marijuana activists in America I’m sure. Almost every political movement in American history was never a ‘one size fits all’ type of deal. The movements were/are made up of a coalition of people, from different backgrounds, and when united, they become a force to be reckoned with. The marijuana movement is no different. As the movement continues to grow, I hope people recognize this, and rather than trying to argue which group ‘has it right,’ we all should realize that we share a common goal, and that we all need each other in order to obtain that goal. ONE LOVE!