Today is the net neutrality day of action. For those that are not familiar with the battle to keep net neutrality in place, net neutrality is defined as ‘the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.’ Without net neutrality, big money interests can essentially buy the internet.
We at Weed News are enormous supporters of net neutrality. You may have noticed our pop-up today (which we assure you is done for justice, we don’t like like pop-ups) as seen below:
It is undeniable that the rise of the internet and social media has greatly benefited the marijuana reform movement. The internet and social media make it easier for activists and organizations to organize, make it easier to spread the word of reform, and make it easier for marijuana reform efforts to raise funds, in addition to other benefits. I have seen situations more times than I can count in which the web has been harnessed to win significant reform victories. If it were not for the internet, and marijuana activists harnessing it, the cannabis policy landscape would likely be dramatically different than it is now.
What would the marijuana reform movement look like without net neutrality? It would look a lot like the past where a handful of marijuana opponents leveraged their iron grip on the media to spread misinformation and defeat any attempts at bringing truth and facts to the marijuana debate. Marijuana opponents have enormous financial resources and would be able to ‘buy the message’ online. Prohibitionists have historically benefited greatly from the ways of the old media world, and that harmful situation would return if net neutrality is rolled back.
Marijuana supporters cannot sit by and let a rollback of net neutrality happen. We have fought so hard to make our voice heard, and the internet has played a huge role in that. Mashable posted a great article by a former counselor to the FCC’s Chairman which describes how to speak out in support of net neutrality, as well as tips on how to do so effectively. Check out the article and do your part. The success of future reform efforts depend on it!