Believe it or not, the marijuana community is not capable of passing a marijuana measure in Colorado, Washington or Oregon on their own. In order to pass any legalization measure anywhere in America, you need the support of the mainstream voters. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t amazing activists doing great work in all three states, obviously there are. It just means we can’t continue to run campaigns as if the we can do it without the help of people who don’t use marijuana at all.
A large majority of Americans have tried marijuana at some point in their life, and a recent Rassmussen poll shows that 56% of Americans support ending the failed prohibition of marijuana. But as anyone who has ever worked on a winning campaign will tell you, you need to appeal to voters who don’t use marijuana currently. Most progressive voters agree with statements that marijuana is clearly safer than alcohol and that it would probably be better regulated under a state regulated system as opposed to criminals dealing on the black market.
So this begs the question, what does the cannabis reform movement have to do in order to get the mainstream voters to vote for legalization? The answer is simple enough, but the ways in which we must accomplish our goal of getting people to vote for legalization who aren’t so big on consuming it is not so simple. Below are a few questions you should ask yourself in order to get your friends, family, co-workers and even strangers to vote for putting an end to adult marijuana prohibition!
It’s all about the ask:
- Are all your friends registered to vote at their current address? I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that you have at least 10 friends who have no idea that they need to re-register when they move. Inform them of the voter registration laws in your state and get them registered online TODAY by going towww.rockthevote.com.
- Do your parents and grandparents know that legalization is even on the ballot? Yes, you may feel weird about asking you parents about marijuana if they don’t know you support the reform of marijuana laws, that’s natural. What people tend to forget is that the conversation doesn’t have to be a coming out party telling them that you smoke marijuana. Many people tend to forget that the failed prohibition of marijuana is a social justice issue. The prohibition of marijuana is an issue that is fueled by greed, racism, corporate power and draconian federal laws that have no scientific basis to back them up.
- Do your co-workers feel unsafe talking about their medical or recreational use of marijuana? Chances are the answer is yes, assuming that most employees are mindful of how their boss feels about marijuana in general. The status quo is indeed slowly changing, but this does not mean you should go up to your boss and tell them you’ve been smoking every morning before going to work for the past ten years. The point here is that if marijuana is legalized it will be more or less treated as alcohol is now.
- Have you herd strangers say something to the effect of “marijuana is safer than alcohol” or “can’t we just legalize it already”? Chances are you have. Did you ask them if they are registered to vote? If everyone in America who is already registered to vote helped five people confirm that they are also registered to vote, our votes might be worth a little more. After all, that’s the idea right? To have our votes actually mean something in an election.
Voting has never been Americans favorite past time, but that doesn’t mean we should leave it up to those who take the entire five minutes it takes to not just register, but to actually vote. Empower yourself to create the change you want to see in the world. If you live in Washington, Colorado or Oregon, vote YES to end marijuana prohibition!
Follow Sam on Twitter @SeriouslySamuel
Published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition