Andrew Brown

Thanks for picking up this issue of the Cannabis Digest. I have had a great time putting it together for you, and encourage you to write us letters and become engaged with the paper. We want to tailor our content to suit our readers’ interest, so feedback is important.

I’m pretty lucky to be able to work with the Hempology 101 Society, and put my education to use in a way that allows me to do something positive in the world, rather than feeding the machine and coasting along with everybody else. I think it is important to push for change every day, in any capacity we can, and use our varied skills to hit the current system from every angle we can. After all, bill S-10 is looming around terrorizing all Canadians, and it’s up to the cannabis community to edu- cate the public about the true nature and costs—both monetary and human—that this bill will bring upon Canadians. We need to figure out how to use our skill sets productively.

I write, so that is a big part of what I do to contribute. I work on this paper, I write letters to MPs, senators, the PM, the Justice Minister and other political figures, newspapers, and any other place I can think of.

Letters are very important. The more letters, or even emails, our MPs receive regarding cannabis policy, the more likely they are to address it. They want your vote, and if they feel that the majority of their constituents are likely to vote for them on a pro-cannabis platform, you can be assured they will be bringing the subject up. Newspapers seem to love the cannabis topic lately. Over the past year, I believe that only one of my letters was not published, and quite often my letters are in the company of another one or two cannabis- friendly letters. Educating the public is a crucial step in gaining support from politicians and law-makers.

I will try to paraphrase something I heard David Malmo-Levine say once, that I thought was really motivating to get people writing letters. If you don’t write letters, try writing one; if you wrote a letter last year, try writing two this year; if you wrote five, try 10 or 12 this year; and so on. Letters don’t have to be long, in fact, short and to the point seems to be what really gets the message out.

Besides writing letters, you can incorporate activism into the more routine parts of your life, like work. If you work at a convenience store, try to have cannabis-friendly publications brought in; if you work at a coffee shop, tune the radio to the reggae station; If you work at a video store, bring in a few quality documentaries; if you are in a band, write a song about the herb; do some art, write a poem, make a video, dance a jig, do something. Do it well, do it respectfully, and have fun. Any amount of activism is productive, and the more varied the techniques we use, the more people we will reach.

It’s not a secret how many million people use cannabis, and if we all become vocal about it, we will be heard!