This is the hardest article/ speech I have tried to write because every day there’s a new injustice occurring in the name of justice. From little old ladies and nurses being arrested to young and old black men being shot, all systemic of the war on drugs.
How do you choose what new evil or injustice to be mad at? You don’t, but you can focus on part of the problem, cannabis prohibition, and be a tool for fighting ignorance online.
Recently I volunteered to give a speech at the upcoming New West Summit; the theme this year is technology. The title of the speech I proposed was “Social Media For Social Justice.” I applied and got a reply with “We’re interested.” “Holy shit,” I thought,”I have nothing planned nor do I have a product to sell but I do have a message to give.”
I’m just a dude doing things online with brothers and sisters in arms trying to change the world, but the title sounded bad ass, so I’ve been working on something, and this is what I’ve come up with:
I am honored to speak amongst my peers here, and I don’t mean people of the industry, I mean my fellow Americans who wake up with inalienable rights.
I am here because I did something right online and some of you have heard of me. Ever since I’ve had access to the internet, my gamer tag Miggy420 has been used to spread the truth that marijuana should be legal. I’ve lived my life as a functioning adult and contributing member of society, and believe I don’t belong in jail for pot.
I speak to you, people of the industry as a member that isn’t a member in most industries, the activist, not the lobbyist. Marijuana news involves people that go to jail, sick people (adults and kids) and a law based off of race, not science – this is the kind of shit that should not be.
The internet is the reason legalization has come so far ahead; it’s been the catalyst for common sense. Like Prop 215 in California was the gateway to legalization, showing bad things don’t happen when consenting adults have access to marijuana, the internet has been the gateway to spreading the truth – the gateway to common sense.
During Myspace days I would write pro-marijuana articles and work it into any conversation I could online. From MySpace I tried creating a website, The Lazy American (which went nowhere) and then created my blog on blogger called Brother Can You Spare A Dime(bag), which is still there but not maintained – This is where I got my internet street cred.
When searching to spread the good word I met two guys that started a marijuana news and activism website (The Site That We Shall Not Name due to a savage takeover), and I asked them if I could contribute because I needed a bigger audience to get my proactive message across. Things worked out well for awhile, I had carte blanche and was able to bring some attention to cases like Joe Grumbine and Eddy Lepp, but there was an inner struggle within the site, so I went rogue and learned a lot along the way.
You, yes you. Whether you’re actively employed in the industry or not, you can make a difference besides donating (but that is always nice too).
What Is The Interwebs
Who remembers the Richard Gere rumors of long ago? Some of our readers are too young, so let me explain; When I was 10, long before the internet of now, kids talked (this is how we learned sex-ed to), and one of the things we talked about was that supposedly Richard Gere stuck a gerbil up his butt. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, as I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered that people who grew up across the nation knew the same rumor, point being “you are the internet.” Each time you take action online or a real life personal interaction, we gain momentum towards national legalization.
The internet is us and our reputation, repeat the honest truth and we’re only bound to win. Internet activism serves as a double edge sword against prohibition. It helps educate the ignorant and lets other people know they are not alone like in States like Tennessee, where the canna community is trying to get their Governor’s attention for proper hemp and marijuana reform. Even Willie Nelson’s granddaughter is helping the trolling efforts by commenting on the Governor’s page.
Got Throwaway Account?
Miggy420 was and is my last throwaway account. We have to face the horrible truth that speaking up can put your personal life in jeopardy; this is why King and JFK were killed.
History will not show images of children being blasted by fire hoses like during the Birmingham Campaign which woke America of the violent racism of its past and present. Instead, there will be images of men and women dying behind steel bars in a concrete room, images of raids gone wrong, stories of cops shooting kids, sick people dying, and broken families.
People fear speaking out due to negative repercussions, but they’re already here, look at our prison system. There’s will always be someone gunning for you or hating on you, no matter what we do, it’s just a matter of doing the right thing when you can which does make a difference in the big picture. Like Dave Chappelle said, “If Martin Luther King Jr. had a sneaker deal, we’d all still be sitting in the back of the bus.”
Throwaway accounts are a necessary evil, anonymity is a need to live without great consequences, but if you do enough good, the fact that your name is Boaty McBoat Face will be overlooked. My gamer tag Miggy420 has made real friends and a real difference.
The email I had with the previous site (the one that shall not be named) was taken away from me due to some douchebag cutting me off from my log-on. An email that I was using to contact prisoners via Corrlinks (The prison system’s email system) and other such things, things you wouldn’t want a fed to track but when I was cut off, I said “Fuck it” and wrote my coming out article on Toke Signals. My livelihood is at risk not because my income is marijuana based, but that I can viewed as a liability but it’s all been worth it.I do what I do to encourage others and to prove a point; that one can smoke recreationally/ medically every day and still be a functioning adult, more so than others in most cases.
A throwaway account or online Troll name can get as much credibility as an individual standing by their real name; it’s just a matter of how you come across. I don’t spew hatred or name calling (unless you’re the asshole that cut me off from my activism) but instead come at them with facts and figures, things that make people think – remember you’re talking to strangers and the point is enlightenment, not a pissing contest.
The point of a throwaway is not fame and recognition but the ability to walk away. Even though I wish I picked a cooler nom de plume like MethodMan, I am proud of the work I’ve done and the people I’ve helped, wouldn’t have it any other way – at least I didn’t pick a name like SaggyBallsack420, just saying.
My social media game is on point, but I am socially awkward, but the insanity of prohibition is important enough for me to speak up and encourage others while doing my own thing. The internet is more than Facebook, but for 90% of the population, it is just Facebook so you can start there.
Facebook is estimated to have 2 Billion active members this means there are more members of Facebook than in any nation of the world. This also means there is a greater chance of people hearing your message. Join various groups and use those as outlets for ways to share the latest raid or law, what you just found out, someone else may not know.
Troll pages of authority (police departments and news outlets) and comment on those posts about raids with your disgust about the post of a bust any size, cops and other authority figures are just people going to work to, and no one wants to be known as the asshole of America.Most of these pages have rankings and reviews, but when agencies shut down the ability to post comments, this means they don’t want to hear from the people and this is wrong. I’ve been blocked from various law enforcement Agencies pages and have seen comment sections taken down after the people have spoken. Some Justice Agencies have proven they don’t want to hear from the people. Marijuana is not a crime, the people have spoken over and over again, but yet these injustices and laws remain.
Most of these pages have rankings and reviews, but when agencies shut down the ability to post comments, this means they don’t want to hear from the people and this is wrong. I’ve been blocked from various law enforcement Agencies pages and have seen comment sections taken down after the people have spoken. Some Justice Agencies have proven they don’t want to hear from the people. Marijuana is not a crime, the people have spoken over and over again, but yet these injustices and laws remain a cancer, a tarnish, on our good name America.We the people (black, white, brown, yellow, boy, girl, XYZ) are tired of this shit and need an honest world, where people aren’t prosecuted and incarcerated for no victim. No victim means no crime or even if you want to say the children are the victims, the ones that accidentally eat a cookie – still not worth taking another person’s life for, this is beyond an eye for an eye.
These tactics are working, one can see that law enforcement is feeling the pressure when they have to create a response video (another department that I am blocked from commenting on and have taken down their review section).
We don't always troll, but when we do…
Posted by Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force on Thursday, March 23, 2017
We the people (black, white, brown, yellow, boy, girl, XYZ) are tired of this shit and need an honest world, where people aren’t prosecuted and incarcerated for no victim. No victim means no crime or even if you want to say the children are the victims, the ones that accidentally eat a cookie – still not worth taking another person’s life for, this is beyond an eye for an eye.
It’s hard to imagine that in some states I’m an outlaw and in others a respected citizen but this is the case in our Divided States of America, our country has been lied to, over a plant that has many uses besides medicine and a rock concert.
Make A Point
Don’t be divisive. No need to make things personal like name calling but instead use facts – there are enough studies and science out there to counter punch any reefer madness argument.
Other Things You Can Too
Besides arguing online (which can be like one hand clapping), you can use the internet to raise awareness of different situations, i.e., court cases (because anyone fighting the law over the plant could be you), legislation that people need to be aware of, or just volunteering opportunities because no one gets paid to fight for common sense.
When The Human Solution International was in its early stages, I would help bring awareness to the organization and things they were doing in various states from the comfort of my home in Washington via Craigslist (Yes Virginia, People still use Craigslist).
I would post multiple Craigslist ads in different sections of the website. In the NSA section, I would post things like Divorced Female Looking for Not Love and the body of the ad would be a volunteering message or just plain anti-prohibition statement. Or in the free section, I would post headlines like Free Opportunity To Change The World or Free Hugs and then post court support information or even Jury Nullification information because we have inalienable as Americans – this is what scares the prohibitionist, your rights.
I once found a damaging photo of prosecutor Matt Ipson, who was prosecuting Joy Graves and Jason Elliot for being healers with a garden. Joy had the picture placed on a shirt and wore with pride to court – case dismissed.
People are seeking help all the time, people being prosecuted sometimes seek letters of character. As a citizen, your opinion matters, write a let to a judge or prosecuting attorney and let them know how you feel.
It’s About Social Responsibility
I’ve helped an organization along its way, I’ve made people aware of those behind bars just for pot, I helped end a trial by finding a photo showing conflict of interest, I’ve helped raise awareness of people facing trial or the travesty that is known as a trial, all from behind a broken keyboard with determination, you can to.
“I” goes to We, we help others by spreading their story and holding on to science with a dash of common sense, we have an opioid crisis because Americans are not given the truth but instead are told convenient tales because grown-ups don’t want to talk about drugs and are afraid of sexuality.
Marijuana is illegal because a bunch of old white men got together and made a plan. I imagine they never rested until that plan came to fruition and you should do the same. Until no one can go to jail for pot is the time not to be mad and disappointed in your country.
Why Do Anything At All?
People need to know they’re supported and loved before the internet there was just High Times and self-published rags in head shops. In some places believing and accepting the proven properties of a plant is equivalent to sin.
Hope is one of the most powerful weapons, as once expressed by freedom fighter and former pot P.O.W Eugene Fischer. While people sit behind bars or some waters a plant that can give them 10 to 20, it knows that other people care that makes the day easier to press on with. “Rebellions are built on hope” – Star Wars.
The Netflix documentary Accidental Courtesy has shown me something I already knew, hate and anger don’t change minds it just fuels the fire: logic, reason and respect is what changes minds.
Marijuana activism is depressing and boring. Depressing because people lose their lives over a plant, depressing because there are sick being denied a choice, depressing because people are losing custody of their kids over a plant, depressing because families are ruined over law, not the plant. Depressing because it is a better recreational choice but yet there are those who don’t want you choose.
Boring because it’s legislation that is going to free people, the same thing that put them there; but the question remains, why is it easier to incarcerate someone than it is to free them?
To sit idly by as this happens is like watching a rape or some other vicious crime and not helping.
Marijuana is society’s greatest equalizer, and that’s social justice. Any man, woman, race, gender, religion, or sexual preference can plant a seed, and any group can crunch a number; marijuana is not only a sacred right, but it’s also the great educator of life. It teaches us the discipline of botany, the fundamentals of business, and at the same time heals our bodies for those that choose to.
At the end of the day, you are your best advocate and activist. Remember the enemy doesn’t take a day off and if they do that’s our one up.