A couple of weeks ago I saw a question floating around Facebook asking people what inspired them to become a marijuana activist. The most common answer seemed to be that a person inspired them. That makes sense, as I find it hard to not get inspired when I hear people like Vivian McPeak talk. A lot of the comments involved stories of being at a rally, or festival, or some other type of event, and hearing a powerful speaker talk about the issues that marijuana prohibition causes, and felt inspired to do something to make positive change in this world via marijuana activism.
Another common answer was that someone had a run in with the law, and felt that no one should ever have to go through that. Jay Smoker was a marijuana activist before he was arrested in 2009 for a marijuana offense, but he certainly kicked it into overdrive after his arrest. He always says there’s nothing like having your freedom taken away from you for something to get you fired up about changing things. One of my good friends had a SWAT team raid his house because he was growing marijuana. His family was put through a lot of trauma, all because our government feels marijuana is dangerous. There are countless other people that have experienced the same fate, and have been fighting for change ever since so that others don’t have to go through it.
I have met numerous people over the years that became cannabis activists because they, or a loved one, have had their suffering mitigated by the medical properties of marijuana. These are some of the most devote activists I have ever met, because they know first hand that marijuana saves lives. It’s extremely difficult for me to not tear up every time I hear a first hand story from a cancer survivor that got through their suffering thanks to cannabis. I have met people that have never consumed cannabis in their life, yet are fighting daily for reform because of what they have witnessed in their loved ones’ lives.
I became a marijuana activist in high school (90’s) because I saw how brainwashed my classmates and teachers were, and I wanted to expose the lies that they believed in. I consumed marijuana daily, which was a fact I didn’t hide, and was often ridiculed as a result. The staff at my high school would often single me out as ‘the bad kid’ because I smoked marijuana even though I had done nothing wrong, and I didn’t like it. I also saw how it was used as a tool to target other ‘non-desirable students’ at school to push them out, which still makes me sad to this day to think about.
So for me it wasn’t a person, or incarceration, but a desire to make change. I saw how much of a waste of time and energy it was to enforce marijuana prohibition, and I saw first hand how marijuana laws were used against my friends to push them out of school, which inevitably sent them down the wrong path that they didn’t have to go down. Why did you become a marijuana activist? How long have you been an activist? What do you do to inspire others to do the same?