Activism And Advocacy: No Plans this Summer? Get Out There and Spread the Word on Cannabis
The420TimesStaff | Aug 19, 2012 | Comments 0
By Sarah Diesel
June and July has come and gone, the days are longer, and the smell of sunscreen fills the air – we are in the middle of heatwave and it is definitely summer! That means we are already halfway through 2012! Holy Smoke!
Considering this is an election year, cannabis activists should make it a point to get informed and pass on information to others. Music and art festivals are excellent places you will find positive people to engage in cannabis conversations with and be accepting to take literature. Here are some helpful summer cannabis activism tips to help you spread the good word about this amazing plant:
First and foremost, educate yourself so you can be an effective activist and educate others. Drug Policy Alliance, Americans for Safe Access, and NORML are just a few of the medical cannabis organizations that have activist toolkits, outreach materials, handbooks, training manuals and much more that you can print or read online (which saves trees — that’s swell). Take some time to go through and read everything you can. There are suggested books on some of these sites as well. Stay informed about cannabis by reading about current events, politics, science, medical facts and studies — the list goes on and on and it never ends. No matter how many years experience you have with advocating medical cannabis, one thing is for sure, we are always learning something new about this plant every day. Whether it is a law that has just been passed or a new scientific study that proves cannabis has medicinal benefits this information is important to be aware of when talking to the public.
Next, you must dress the part of a cannabis activist. Sorry, this does not include cannabis leaf pasties or tie dye shirts. Dress professionally and respectfully if you plan to discuss medical cannabis with the public. How can the soccer moms and politicians ever take us seriously if we dress like teenagers going to a rave? (There is a time and place for that; like at a rave!) Even a nice pair of clean shorts without holes paired with an ironed cannabis organization t-shirt is just fine. Drug Policy Alliance (www.drugpolicy.org), Americans for Safe Access (www.americansforsafeaccess.org) and NORML (www.norml.org) are just a few of the medical cannabis organizations that have online stores with responsibly priced, high quality shirts.
Most organizations have flyers or sign-up sheets available for your own printing to hand out to the public or hang up in your local coffee shop. On Americans for Safe Access’ website (www.americansforsafeaccess.org) click on Community > Resources for Organizers > Outreach Materials; here you will find printable documents such as a pledge for action and a one-page education outreach sheet.
In the modern world of iPads and smartphones, you might want to bring them with you to share amazing cannabis videos such as Hemp for Victory and Juicing Cannabis both via YouTube. I’m sure you have some favorite videos that you can think would be appropriate cannabis educational material to show people in public places. You can also have medical cannabis organization websites open in separate tabs so you can flip through them and show people how to get involved. A step further is to go to the “action alerts” section and have them fill out any information that is needed. These action alerts include, but are not limited to, sending electronic faxes to politicians and signing petitions. Moreover, these organizations have email lists folks can join to stay informed.
Here is a suggested checklist of items to bring with you:
Cannabis organization materials
iPad / smartphone (optional)
Sunglasses (but take them off when talking to people; this way it is more personal)
Being a responsible cannabis activist also means resisting the temptation to medicate outside in a public place, even in the beautiful sunshine of summer. Be sure to always medicate in a safe place. Happy summer cannabis activists!