Dedicating your life to something that doesn't reward you monetarily is not an easy thing. Sure, it's great to get high fives, hugs, and words of admiration and encouragement. However, sadly, you can't pay rent and other bills with 'thank you e-mails.' In a perfect world, all marijuana activists would get paid to do so. But, unfortunately, there are only so many dollars in the marijuana activism world, and those usually go to 'professionals.' There are many, many activists out there that dedicate long hours and pour their souls into fighting for reform, and do it while making no dollars. In a lot of cases, they actually spend their hard earned dollars to get to legislative hearings, to attend events to raise awareness, and other vital activism efforts. I know first hand what it's like to pour your soul into something and dedicate long hours at the expense of family and personal time for zero dollars. It's not easy.
If what I have described fits you, then I want to say a huge THANK YOU for your efforts. You may be wondering if your efforts are worth it. I know what it's like to attend activism meetings and have no one listen to you because they are an 'expert' in their mind and don't value what you say. I know what it's like to pour your soul into something and do something amazing, just to have one or more other people swoop in and try to take credit for it. I know what it's like to eat peanut butter sandwiches and Top Ramen all week just to afford to put gas in your car to attend a rally. Again, it's not easy, and I thank all those that have done it, and are doing it, because it's vital to reform.
Without unpaid marijuana activists, we wouldn't be achieving the victories we are achieving. That's not to say that paid activists aren't significant, because many of them are. I'm just saying that it's a combo of both, and whereas paid activists get a lot of credit, unpaid activists are usually left behind. Unpaid activists don't do what they do because they want credit. Unpaid activists don't fight for reform so that they can be strategically placed to profit from the end of marijuana reform. Unpaid activists do what they do for one reason - because it's the right thing to do.
I want to personally thank each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing what you do. If you are like me, you probably get ridiculed by a lot of people for putting in so much time for no monetary reward. These same critics offer up examples of how you could better spend your time, point out that the time you are dedicating to helping people for no credit could be spend with your family, and are the first people to say 'I told you so' when you struggle to get by. In a rare use of french on my part, fuck those people. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on. Keep doing your thing, and at least know that there is one person out there that appreciates your efforts. Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart! Legalize it!