What are the best ways you can advocate for cannabis to your local government?
Over the past few years, marijuana has found a new home in the headlines as more and more people are uncovering not only the medicinal benefits of cannabis but the advantages if it’s legalized as well.
With its popularity increasing and the conversations around cannabis intensifying, advocates are upping the ante on their efforts and are working diligently to lobby on behalf of cannabis to their local governments.
If you too feel strongly about the legalization of marijuana and want to join the fight, we’ve outlined six helpful and functional ways that you can advocate for a pro-cannabis government in your area.
1. Let your voice be heard
You have a message that you want to be heard but the only problem is is that you don’t know where to start.
The solution to this issue is to start small. Begin by making a call to your local representative or simply showing up to the next city council meeting.
If you do in fact attend a meeting, tread lightly. You do not want to push into the meeting and completely overhaul it in your favor. You want to speak up when it’s appropriate to talk about it.
Meaning, bringing up the topic of cannabis when talks about building a new playground are going on, probably isn’t the best idea.
If you’re not a fan of public speaking, pick up the phone and call your representative or send them a letter in the mail. Whichever you choose, make sure that you follow up each and every time you try and make contact.
2. Come with the facts
Did you ever think that people might be against cannabis based solely on their preconceived notions or their lack of knowledge on the topic?
If either of these is true, this is an opportunity that you can leverage in your favor to teach your government officials about cannabis and its benefits.
When it comes time for you to step up to the mic and have your voice be heard, make sure that you’re backing up your claims with nothing but the facts.
Your government officials will likely want to poke holes through your story like a piece of Swiss cheese. But, stay strong and do your homework. When you become well versed in the topic and can speak to it intellectually and in a professional manner, your argument will pack a bigger punch.
3. Pinpoint your allies
Advocating for something that you believe in is a two-way street. Just as you need to lobby for your cause, you also have to form viable relationship along the way. After all, the old idea of “strength in numbers” is true.
That being said, it’s important that you engage with others throughout your journey. Pinpoint politicians who are in favor of what you believe in and reach out to them. Form a relationship and show that you can be their ally and you can help aid their fight. It is also important to meet other advocates (attending events can help with that) and join forces with them as well.
Always be transparent and let them know that you’re willing to help them in any way possible.
4. Focus on the economic benefits
Let’s be real for one second, if there’s one way to get to the heart of your local government officials it’s through their wallets. But, in the case of cannabis, it could mean putting money back into the wallets of many citizens.
Just like any industry, when it experiences a boom it results in job creation and economic opportunities. If you focus more on the economic benefits of cannabis for the community, you may be more apt to tap into the minds of the decision makers.
5. Make it a point to talk about safety
Safety is a very common counterclaim when it comes to marijuana. Many people, especially government officials are quick to draw the assumption that cannabis is unsafe and can lead to doing more harm than good. However, did your local government officials ever think that legalizing cannabis could help with public safety? If law enforcement’s attention shifted from nabbing people with marijuana to patrolling and taking care of other issues in the community, corrections and court costs could be reduced significantly which in turn puts money in the pocket of the local governments.
If you’ve been thinking about lobbying on behalf of the legalization of cannabis, keep these six helpful tips in mind.
At the end of the day, it’s all about building a viable case, backing claims up with factual information, and showing the wide array of benefits that are associated with cannabis.
Good luck to you and I wish you nothing but the best on your endeavors!
Author Bio:Nancy Fernandez is a cannabis connoisseur who actively searches for new and budding (pun intended) research findings on the medicinal benefits of the various strains of marijuana. More recently, her attention has been focused on finding ways to lobby for cannabis in local governments.