If you have been a marijuana activist or marijuana entrepreneur for awhile, then I’m sure you have noticed the unnecessary amount of feuds and baggage that surrounds so many people in the marijuana world. ‘Hell no I won’t work with them, I hate them, and they hate me,’ is a common expression I have heard over the years. I’ve seen MANY reform efforts get hindered, and MANY business deals fizzle, simply and only because someone harbors ill will towards someone else in the marijuana world. Even when moving forward was a no-brainer, and a lot was on the line, I’ve seen people put up walls and barriers to such an extent that it has actually harmed people’s lives.
This is unacceptable to me. I get it, not everyone can get along with everyone. Wrongs have been committed against people, and it has left them very jaded. I know I personally have been wronged more times than I can count by some activists, and especially members of the marijuana industry. But that hasn’t stopped me from putting my own personal issues aside and keeping my eye on the prize.
I see this happen a lot in states like California. If activists could have banded together in California in past elections, they likely could have legalized recreational marijuana by now. But instead there is a bunch of infighting, name calling, and accusations being hurled. Hence why there are so many different initiatives in California, and in other states that are fighting for similar reform. Imagine if everyone worked together?
We are all in this together, whether we like it or not. I remember being at a marijuana politics debate in Oregon back in 2012. At that time there were several initiatives that were trying to make the 2012 ballot. I vividly remember long time Oregon marijuana activist Madeline Martinez saying, ‘I don’t care who’s driving the damn bus, I just want to be on the damn bus.’ That statement has always stuck with me. Everyone always fights over who gets to steer, which then leads to fighting over who gets the credit, even before there is any credit to be given. It’s exhausting, and I’m tired of it.
Marijuana opponents love to see infighting within the marijuana community and industry. It makes their jobs easier. Every attack that is hurled from within the marijuana community is one less attack that opponents need to hurl from the outside. Opponents know that it’s even easier to drag their feet and fight to maintain the status quo when marijuana supporters are basically doing the same thing by refusing to work with each other. There is a lot at stake right now, especially with the chance that we can get a very unfavorable President during the 2016 Election. In order to properly fight, we must unite. Put your own personal issues aside, swallow your pride a bit, put your MASSIVE ego on a shelf somewhere, and let’s get to work. If we don’t, we could see the recent reform victories and growth of the marijuana industry unravel before our very eyes.