Because of our diversity and direct democracy, California has always been a “test state” for many new ideas and political reforms. The Federal government is now targeting California and its Medical Marijuana patients to create a test case out of us.
They are afraid to change the status quo. But it is not just Medical Marijuana patients, or even marijuana smokers they are targeting.
The people of the state of California are the ones who voted for Medical Marijuana. We did this by direct democracy, by voting to change our own laws with Proposition 215, rather than have legislators write them for us. This is the essence of a democratic republic at its best.
By attacking Medical Marijuana in the State of California, the Federal government is attacking and disrespecting the people of California. They’re effectively saying, “We don’t recognize your authority over your own lives. We want to control you and force you to use only the medicines that we approve. We don’t care about your actual health. And we really don’t want you to get the idea that you can change things by voting.”
The Feds are very afraid of direct democracy because it challenges the power of the bloated, monolithic central government. All the career politicians are afraid of what can happen when people realize the power they have. Remember the 1960s rallying cry Power To the People? We have the power and we’re not planning to give it up.
“They got the guns, but we got the numbers.” — Jim Morrison
We are tired of being persecuted and mistreated simply because of our choice of medicine.
Marijuana users are treated as a laughingstock, even by a president that publicly claimed to be one of us.
We are sought out, profiled, and arrested.
We are imprisoned.
We are called drug addicts and losers by our own government.
Even the most unfortunate among us — who have cancer, AIDS, MS, depression, and intractable pain of all kinds — are treated in much the same manner, sometimes even judicially murdered.
Would the American public put up with this treatment if it was happening to gay and lesbian people? To Jews? To Muslims? Certainly not!
Each of those groups have suffered persecution in the past, gotten organized, and either aroused public sensibilities about their treatment to the point where it was made socially unacceptable, or gotten laws passed or changed to insure that it wouldn’t happen again.
But we have something special that these other groups don’t have.
We outnumber them all put together.
That’s right. There are 30 million people who regularly smoke marijuana in the United States. That’s about 10% of the population.
About 5% of Americans are gay or lesbian (so 15 million in round numbers), around 5 million are Jewish, 7 million are Muslim. We could easily throw other often oppressed groups in here, such as the Sikhs, without changing the equation.
The nation’s marijuana smokers need to unite for real change.
We must get organized.
We must arouse public sensibilities about our treatment and make it socially unacceptable to laugh at medical marijuana patients as well as recreational users.
The American public must understand that we – medical marijuana patients and users – are not anonymous drug-addled strangers. We are their sons and daughters, their brothers and sisters, their fathers and mothers, their grandfathers and grandmothers.
Marijuana prohibition is a failure based on lies, bad science, and racism. Millions upon millions of people have had their lives ruined – not by the harmless cannabis plant, but by the laws, arrests, lost jobs, and denied medical treatment.
75 years of marijuana prohibition is long enough for us, as a nation, to calmly sit down and acknowledge that the experiment of making a medicinal plant illegal is unconstitutional, morally wrong, and destructive to our society. It’s time to change things to insure that it won’t happen again.
We have the organizations — NORML, ASA, MPP, and others. We have our own media: The 420 Times, High Times, Kush, Skunk, Cannabis Culture, Treating Yourself, Toke Of the Town, and plenty more. But all of us have tended to work separately. Now it is time for laser focus.
We now call upon all of these organizations and publications, and all of us – patients and caregivers and recreational smokers alike – to unite behind a single, attainable goal:
Reschedule Marijuana Out Of Category I
Doing this can be a face-saver for the Federal government. No laws need be changed, no “embarrassing” Congressional debates over “pot”. No high-level politician even has to take “the blame” for it. It just becomes a simple administrative change in a database, but it will allow open medical research and actual legal prescriptions by doctors. It’s also about time that the Federal government acknowledges that cannabis actually is an effective medicine that is safely used every day by millions of people…since they already know that.
Let’s all take the time to help them help us.
Our first step: support CA NORML’s Call The White House campaign set for Tuesday, October 11.
Our second step: sign this online petition directly to the White House to address rescheduling marijuana out of Category I.
Our third step: we will be working with these other organizations and publications to organize a National Day Of Protest to call attention to this problem.
And for heaven’s sake, vote.
N.B. This manifesto does not intend to minimize the oppression that these and all other minorities (including women and people of color) have suffered in the past and present in this country and elsewhere. But the point is that the oppression of marijuana patients and users is official government policy to this very day, and we must not be satisfied until it ends forever.