This is a momentous time in history. We are finding out so much about medical marijuana and the miraculous benefits it provides through continued research. It has become the truth movement about what marijuana can do for all of us united. The polls have shifted in favor of marijuana legalization federally. Why are so many of us passionate about helping others? The answer might be very simple but alternately complex. Our myriad of distinctions creates a narrative with a dynamic comprehension of newly-developed research on a constant ongoing basis. The scientist and pharmaceutical giants are not seeing the truth, or if they are then they are ignoring it in the name of profits.
It is our duty as marijuana activists to educate ourselves and others around us to create the change we need on a physical level. The only way for us to create change is to be active in our communities. Social networking can only go so far, as we have all heard the saying that you can talk the talk but can you walk the walk. What I am clarifying as a distinction here is that we must all create activism that lifts the movement to the point of complete legalization worldwide. So, put down your cell phones and go speak with your local councilman or mayor by making a visit to their office.
The best way to initiate social change is to educate those that do not know about the history of marijuana prohibition and how it has evolved with proven science almost one hundred years later. You can make your case to your local newspaper about how marijuana has helped any one of your myriad of health issues from which marijuana has created a form of alleviation. Cancer patients are discovering medical cannabis and how it dissolves their nausea from chemotherapy in mass quantities. Senators, governors, judges, law enforcement officials – all are seeing family members go through debilitating cancers and epilepsy, and they have become activists themselves.
Perhaps the guilt of locking up millions of innocent youth for a little marijuana for ten or twenty years hard labor can change the minds of those in power that are directly or indirectly affected. The most important factor is that we must all mobilize on a face to face level verbally speaking. In this ever-increasing artificial world of social networking we are just talking the talk, but when we petition our governments, when we are truly active in our local communities then that is where the walking takes place. Let us use the virtual world to create a real world in which we can live in harmony without the law knocking your door down.
Big Brother has become a tip toe master in locking up the masses for marijuana and drugs. It is time we take a full approach of legalization with treatment for harsher drugs instead of incarceration. The prisons should not be for profit in the first place, as this creates a major conflict of interest because you have to create more prison cells and terms in order to make your shareholders more profit shares. We are already seeing major reform recently all across the United States. When the U.S. legalizes marijuana then it will become legal worldwide.
The real legalization movement emanated in San Francisco, California with Brownie MaryJane and Dennis Peron who started the first retail dispensary called the San Francisco buyers’ club in 1992. They came from a place of compassion as there was a major epidemic of AIDS ravaging the San Francisco gay community, along with others. Brownie Mary became a volunteer at San Francisco general hospital passing out brownies with marijuana in them for the cancer and AIDS patients, who felt immediate relief. In the early 1980s she was selling 50 plus brownies a day until she was busted. When the cops came to her house, she opened the door and said “I thought you guys were coming.”
This set off a chain of high profile events that created sympathy for her since she had the whole grandmother thing going on. Brownie MaryJane Rathbun in 1991 helped draft Proposition P, which created the policy to force the city of San Francisco to make cannabis available through the state of California and the California Medical Association for medicinal purposes. It also created protections for doctors that prescribed medical cannabis. It passed with a 79 percent approval by San Francisco voters on November 5, 1991.
Then, the single most important time in history for medical cannabis legalization was the founding of Proposition 215 in 1994 to create a system of legal dispensaries in California. The coauthors of this bill were Brownie MaryJane Rathbun, Dennis Peron, Dale Gieringer, Beth Moore, John Entwhistle, Jason Pathrick Menard, Gerry Leatherman and Tod H. Mikuriya. This came from a place of compassion. They wanted the movement to be about healing the sick more than making a dollar. The vision of Prop 215 was and has always come from a place of true compassion for the sanctity of life.
This is when the green rush began and no one has looked back ever since. The true freedom fighters that created major positive change will always be remembered. We must realize those that put themselves on the front line in the beginning, because the fact is that millions will be released from prison for marijuana and millions can heal themselves with marijuana. Those that had the balls to stand up when no one else would are the true patriots of the movement. The medical marijuana movement is one of the great three movements: the woman’s rights movement, the civil rights movement and now the marijuana legalization movement.
We must not forget those that put blood, sweat and tears into the beginning to make it possible to free the world from mass prison slavery and medical bondage. It is the duty of the people in the United States of America to change the laws the way they see fit. The way to the path of the most prominent healing innovations. This goes out to all those that were on the front lines, especially Eddy Lepp, who was and still is a rock star! He made a grand appearance back in 1995 in Sacramento, California at the first Million Marijuana march, and always had a large entourage with a cool limo.
The march was very memorable as there was an AIDS patient who was smoking his medical marijuana when a police officer snatched it out of his hands and tried to cite him a ticket. A woman who saw this started screaming at the top of her lungs to the crowd of one thousand plus attendees that “the police stole medical marijuana from an AIDS patient.” Everyone started yelling at all 20 cops that were there; they felt like the biggest pieces of shit in the world for taking this medicine from an AIDS patient.
The cops conversed with each other after everyone on the Capitol steps starting lighting up as many joints as they could in protest with a huge cloud of smoke. The police decided to give back the medical marijuana to the AIDS patient. That was what only seemed to be a small victory, but was more powerful than we could possibly imagine, because all the senators were looking down on us and seeing how many of us wanted to legalize marijuana. A grandmother in her wheelchair spoke about how prohibition is a big failure and that it keeps sick people from using plants as medicines.
We want to pay homage to all the activists that made it happen, who put themselves on the front line to help heal the sick and dying when no one else would stand up! Those that follow after need to carry the legacy of love, healing and compassion as the bright beacon of light for the millions across the world that can be healed from medical cannabis. These are the names of other freedom fighters that need to be paid major homage by the entire community at large. Make your profits knowing you are healing the masses.
Now is the time when we must all work together to raise one another until full legalization worldwide is a reality. On our list of freedom fighters, number #1 is Tom Forcade, founder of High Times magazine and those that helped him along the way. If it wasn’t for this man we might have never seen legalization! Then there’s Keith Stroup, the founder of Norml, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Hugh Hefner for giving them their first big donation. We also pay homage to the Prop 215 founders, especially Brownie MaryJane, to whom we will give freedom fighter of the century!
We would also like to show our major love for the Marijuana Policy Project – Bravo Mason Tvert for legal marijuana in Colorado. The Drug Policy Alliance is making huge headway for recreational in California for 2016. Thank you Norml Woman’s alliance, and the Students for Sensible Drug Policy. We want to thank all of those that have put themselves on the front lines.
Thank you Colorado Amendment 64 for your dedication to the people. Washington State initiative 502 legalizing recreational has also been a time to be remembered in the history books. We
want to give former Governor Gary Johnson the medical liberty fighter of the year award for his dedication in fighting for the rights of individual liberty for medical marijuana patients. Additionally, we recognize Judge James Gray along with Law Enforcement against prohibition. We most importantly thank all of those that have contributed to the legalization effort to educate and liberate the masses. Our hearts go out to all of those for which marijuana provides relief beyond a reasonable doubt. Our hearts go out to all of those that have been put in prison for marijuana.
By Racquel Knight Editor-In-Chief of The Art of Maryjane magazine