September 9, 2011

A Window of Opportunity by David Brannon

Here's David Brannon's most recent editorial contribution for Baked Life.

The presidential election now underway presents us with another chance to change the drug
laws. Medical marijuana demonstrates that the various states will make various decisions, if
left to themselves. When the day of re-legalization comes – and it is coming -- some states
will welcome cannabis, others will not. It is clear, however, that the major impediment to re-
legalization is the federal government. Sadly, the truth about cannabis is being sidetracked by
the age-old question, who makes the decisions, and who is obliged to follow the rules?

We must make the war on drugs part – a big part -- of the emerging presidential debate. It is
time for every one of us to COME OUT FOR CANNABIS. We must make each and every
candidate – especially those seeking national office – state clearly and concisely where they
stand on the war on drugs. No candidate can be allowed to hide. No candidate gets a pass. We
only have fourteen months till election date 2012. We need to get attention focused on our issue.

In the days ahead the people seeking office are going to be in your neighborhood knocking on
doors, appearing at your local shopping mall, speaking at your PTA meeting, and, while pressing
the flesh, kissing babies and ANSWERING QUESTIONS. These early rallies are thinly
attended. You can get some face time. Go to these gatherings, meet these potential lawmakers,


If interviewing people is not something you usually do, it’s okay to practice asking questions
in the privacy of your own room. You can pretend you got an unenlightened response from
an unenlightened politician and then practice asking some appropriate follow-up questions.
Follow-ups are used to hold the audiences’ attention on your issue. Breathe deeply. You may be
nervous the first time you step out and do this. Maybe try a little role playing with some friends?

Don’t go to these rallies unprepared. Make sure you can explain, in a few words and in a calm
tone of voice, how cannabis became an outlaw. This story has been featured in Baked Life for
the past few months, so check there if you need some schooling. Know the truth about hemp and
speak that truth at every opportunity.

You might be more comfortable with a prepared pitch of your own. Use NORML’s:
No cannabis induced deaths; a safer alternative to alcohol +
A regulated cannabis market is a source of significant tax revenue +
A regulated market will make it harder for youth to find cannabis =
It’s time to tax and regulate marijuana.

We know why and how cannabis became illegal. We know the truth. It’s time to leave our
comfortable culture of accommodation – where cannabis is functionally legal if you pay
attention to what you are doing – and make it legal for real.

Go get ‘em. Our time is now.


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