Activist: A Fine Line of Brilliance and Fucking Nuts
Not all activist are created equal but everyone arrested for marijuana is not guilty, just like there is no bad weed, just bad farmers; not all activist are created equal. Without a budget to travel and investigate its hard to see the complete truth of anything, so I rely on people who are there. Having been aware of the cannabis world since I was 17, my heroes have been the ones that make a living from this beautiful plant or the one that put themselves out there trying to change the law and public opinion.
Every person standing against prohibition has an opinion about how it should go, some do it for business others for freedom. Ask a grower who grows the best shit, and they’ll say them, ask a cannavist “What are the best non-profits” and a hundred you never heard will pop up. Recently I posed the question “What is your favorite marijuana profit?” on Facebook and got several remarks, here’s my take on things.
Nonprofits: Charity Is Business
Nonprofits are good, but like all nonprofits, you have some bad seeds out there. NORML has had whispers around it since the 70’s. I like NORML. The thing about an organization is after a certain point due to its size that it’s not about the creator but the individual chapters.
When a person joins a chapter, they’re joining a political process that the creator started. The creator did all the footwork to get the organization to the 501c3 status, and maybe a little ego invades them as thousands look to them for answers, but it’s up to you and your small army to do things locally that will make the difference.
The next one I like is Parents For Pot. The first year this organization started it posted a list of people in need (kids of pot prisoners and other victims of the drug war) and linked it to an Amazon wish list, this was the year I participated. Since then they’ve done yearly fundraisers prior to major holidays to ensure that kids and adults believe in Santa Claus.[Side note: R.I.P Mickey Martin #FuckMickey]
Another organization that I’m deeply familiar with is The Human Solution International. People of The Human Solution have been the tip of the spear when fighting the drug war. It’s a simple message to advocate but powerful nonetheless. Things like being an average citizen and showing up to a court case on the side of the defendant, make a difference.
They also help spread the word on Jury Nullification which is a pretty big fucking deal. Did you know that as a citizen on a jury, it’s your right to say not guilty. In other words, if someone was found to have a 100 pounds on them and you’re on the jury, not guilty.
Since there are so many organizations and more to come, I’m going to scroll down my Facebook feed and address as many as I can.
- Personal.Yes, Virginia, there are still good people out there. Even though everything cannabis is not all drum circles, peace, love and chicken grease, some people believe it is and try to make it so.
- Freedom Grow. This organization is run by Drug War P.O.W Stephanie Landa and gardener to the stars Dr. Dina. This dynamic duo have raised thousands of dollars with 100% going to the prisoner books and fighting prohibition. On a side note, not only has Stephanie serve time but her son Max has just released from prison due to a bad law.
- Voices Of The Cannabis War. Started by Kristin Flor whose father died behind bars and mother received P.T.S.D from a bad law. Kristin hosts a Sunday internet radio show and raises awareness about pot prisoners when she can.
- Safershirts.org. If you’ve seen a shirt that says “Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol” and other such mantras, then you saw the handy work of Jared Allaway trying to spread the word that marijuana is safer than most shit.
- The Fight Locally. Each State has a group or two fighting the good fight, whether it’s NORML, New Approach, or some other named group focused on changing the bad law. Look into each one and see if this group’s message fits with mine than volunteer or join by paying a fee.
- The Veterans Groups. There are many out there, and honestly, I wish I could stand behind them all but I am only familiar with the works of one, and that’s Twenty22Many. A group of Veterans bringing cannabis to other Veterans for their P.T.S.D, a network of support that has helped many. Now there may be a group like this in your State. I urge you to do your research and join them, the only way we find out the bad groups is when good people speak out.
- It’s for the kids! There are a lot of groups devoted to medicating children out there; groups focused on selling CBD products for medication. This started with the Stanley Brothers and Charlotte’s Web and had taken on a business of its own. I’ve seen multiple times groups being told to remove the word “Cannakid” from the name or be sued. I understand branding but when it comes to marijuana and verbiage, adding the word canna as a precursor is quite normal, and it seems that the organization is more focused on branding than doing the good deed.
- The Silver Tour. Since his release from prison after 28 years, Robert Platshorn has been fighting prohibition one old folks home at a time. The system stole his youth, but it didn’t take his fight.
- Last but not least, Seattle Hempfest. This group of prohibition freedom fighters runs off of donations and volunteers. What’s great about it? Well, there are two dirty hippie responses, it’s the largest and longest running Protestival or one of the biggest cannabis parties.
When it comes to nonprofits, always do your research. How long have they been around? What are they doing? What have they done? But keep in mind, just like girls with pictures think they’re models, so people with Facebook groups. Not all are ugly; you just have to stare deeper before you commit your dollar or time.
Next up, religion and lawyers.