The cannabis industry might have progressed in leaps and bounds since prohibition first unfurled across the United States in the early 20th century, but there is still much to be done. With a little bit of conscious advocacy from people just like you, long-awaited legal reform can finally happen.
Responsible cannabis consumption is one of the primary goals of advocacy groups and organizations across the nation, of which there are plenty. However, due to the federally illegal status of cannabis, a significant portion of consumers still have to resort to unsafe sources and methods. If cannabis prohibition laws in the U.S. are rescinded and responsible use more widely accepted, there could be endless benefits for public health, public safety, economics, and justice-related issues.
What Is NORML Doing for Cannabis Advocacy?
Organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)—which has divisions across the U.S.—lobby for legal and relaxed cannabis use with a public health approach. The organization pushes for regulatory policies that prevent cannabis consumers from losing their rights and instead help expunge their cannabis-related violations.
As per NORML’s official website, the pro-cannabis group has the following goals:
- Reduce the chances of and risks of problematic drug use
- Enhance safety for people who use cannabis via harm reduction programs
- Increase availability of counseling, treatment, and assessments
What Other Cannabis Advocacy Groups Exist?
Some of the more well-known cannabis advocacy groups include:
Aside from cannabis rights organizations, a broad scope of political parties also exist, such as the Independent Grassroots Party and U.S. Marijuana Party.
How to Play Your Part in U.S. Cannabis Reform
The rewards of cannabis advocacy can be widespread, from making friends with like-minded people to leaving an everlasting footprint on the U.S. legal cannabis landscape (and beyond). Here’s a rundown of the ways in which you can be an active supporter of the legal cannabis movement.
Join Cannabis Advocacy Organizations
Perhaps one of the best ways to get your foot in the door involves joining organizations that promote marijuana reform and racial justice since these two elements play an integral role in prohibition at large. Steve DeAngelo’s collaborative effort, The Last Prisoner Project (LPP), is a prime example of an organization that blends reform with racial justice. The LPP is “committed to freeing every last prisoner of the unjust war on drugs, starting with 40,000 people in prison for cannabis offenses legal in most states.”
“Around the world today, there are hundreds of millions of people who love this plant. We come from every country, we speak every language, we are every race, every economic level, every educational level,” DeAngelo told us during a past interview.
Practice Smart Cannabis Consumption Habits
Another step toward becoming a conscious cannabis advocate involves smart consumption habits, which means no driving or operating heavy machinery and motor vehicles when under the influence of the plant! In order to stamp out injustice, we must stand together and prove that it is possible to enjoy the plant in a sensible manner.
Get Educated on the Subject of Cannabis
A big part of being responsible involves educating yourself. With the internet at your fingertips and many influential figures to follow on social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, there’s no excuse to avoid getting clued up on the subject. By making yourself fully aware of the perks and pitfalls of cannabis policy, you can stand up against prohibition with a well-informed view on the subject.
Respect Others’ Opinions and Preferences
While enjoying cannabis, consumers should also learn to respect the rights of others. The responsible cannabis user will pay close thought to his or her setting and will respect each person’s individual preferences towards cannabis consumption. Additionally, to become a conscious cannabis advocate and play your part in U.S. reform, it’s important that you comply with accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety.
Never Stop Advocating
There’s no denying the fact that cannabis is a highly sought-after product, with research suggesting that consumption has drastically increased since the COVID-19 pandemic first started. Plus, according to stats gathered by Flowhub analysts, U.S. cannabis sales reached $25 billion last year and as many as 91% of adults want to legalize the plant.
Notwithstanding the noticeable surge in cannabis consumption, along with ever-changing opinions on the plant’s legal status, more advocacy efforts are needed. Seeking out advocacy groups (such as those mentioned above) and attending any events that they host is a great place to start.
Don’t forget to share your support for cannabis reform at annual festivals/events across the globe, too. Some examples include the Freedom Rally, Global Marijuana March, Hash Bash, and MardiGrass. It’s also worth checking out the Global Commission on Drug Policy website to learn more about their report condemning the drug war, which was released on June 2.
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