OK, folks, I wanted to come up with some great holiday/New Year’s message of peace, love, and all that other great hippie stuff. I’ve been feeling some of this for awhile now, but it’s recently gotten much worse, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to speak up.
To me, cannabis is a plant that can help people medically, emotionally, and spiritually. I’m quite aware that some people see it literally as “the devil’s lettuce”, and that some of them happily lie and spread hysteria about it. Some of those people are well-meaning but ignorant or misguided, but a great many are making money from their anti-cannabis attitude, and they don’t care who they hurt in the long run as long as they get their money. So it is with the federal government and its minions, too, and the less said about them, the better.
But I’m here today to talk about our own people. Pro-cannabis advocates and activists, many of whom are now shredding each other in public. It’s really quite frightening.
There are very few prominent people in the pro-cannabis movement who have escaped the wrath of the haters. It seems that as soon as someone gets to a certain level of visibility, the personal attackers come out of the woodwork, like so many cockroaches. I’ve seen, for example, some pretty vile allegations made about a whole litany of people, including Cheryl Shuman, Rick Simpson, Steve DeAngelo, Steph Sherer, Steve Kubby, Dale Gierenger, Steve Elliott, and even organizations like NORML and ASA and companies like Dixie Botanicals. And no, I won’t link to any of the libelous articles.
The problem is that it’s hard to ignore this kind of thing if you’re on the receiving end. Do you keep quiet and hope it goes away? How do you counter it with denials or even calm facts without sounding defensive? If you’re reading it, do you say to yourself “innocent until proven guilty” or do you go with the “if there’s smoke, there’s fire” concept? And if the latter, how do you know this “smoke” is even real or whether it’s completely made up specifically to injure someone’s reputation?
Before you answer that, remember that all of these people are on “our side” and they’re all working against some pretty anti-social elements. We should never forget that the anti-cannabis forces have already spent a trillion dollars and killed untold thousands of people as part of their infamous “war on drugs” that’s made many of them rich, while preventing sick people from healing themselves with a plant. So can you doubt for a single second that they are at least willing and able to commit the relatively minor crime of lying online?
I personally believe that — as usual — ego, power, and greed are behind the rest of these attacks. Many of the targets of these attacks are people who have achieved some measure of personal recognition in the world, and frankly, other people are jealous of them. Others are people who seem to be in a good position to make “Big Money” from the coming re-legalization of cannabis, and frankly, other people are jealous of them. The greedy ones want not only “their share”, but everyone else’s too, it seems.
Right now, there are four “competing” cannabis legalization petitions going on here in California for 2014 and (so far!) they’re all playing nice with each other. Why can’t the people in the cannabis movement do the same thing?
We’re all working towards the same essential goal: make sure sick people have full access to healing cannabis, and stop putting anyone in jail for a plant. Right? So it should be simple: anyone working against that goal is our enemy, no matter what they actually say. And anyone working towards that goal is our friend, no matter what others say.
I’ve said this before in a completely different context, but “Why can’t we all just get
a bong along?” Bury the hatchet. Play nice. Golden Rule.
Our New Year’s message for 2014: hugs and (legal! At least in Colorado and Washington!) nugs, and all that cool hippie peace and love stuff. Really, all we need is love.
P.S. Origin of the title.