Six years? Has it really been six years? My how time flies when you are blogging about marijuana reform. It seems like yesterday Jay Smoker and I were sitting in my living room and I was rambling about all things marijuana for the millionth time, when we decided to purchase the URL TheWeedBlog.Com. I came up with the idea while in a Political Communications class in college. I could never get it off the ground because I didn't know where to begin to build a website.
Fortunately my best friend Jay 'speaks computer' as I always say. After months of prodding on his part, and likely a desire to quit hearing my ramblings, Jay Smoker asked for my credit card, purchased the URL, and the rest is weed blogging history. We had such a simple goal at that time - to post articles and send them into the internet abyss and hope that we convince at least one person out there to vote for reform, and if we were lucky, to inspire them to fight for reform.
That was it. We didn't start the blog because we thought it would be a good business venture, or to win popularity contests. We started in 2010, back when blogging wasn't as popular as it is today. It was also back before there were any recreational states, and far less medical marijuana states. The marijuana industry was so small back then. Zoom forward to today, and I'm living in one of four states that has legalized recreational marijuana, and I'm watching the industry grow rapidly around me.
2016 is going to be the biggest year in the history of marijuana, both from a reform perspective and an industry perspective. I am truly honored and humbled every day to be able to to say I'm a part of it, in whatever fashion and capacity I can be. I know that Jay feels the same way. That's not to say that some days aren't tough, because they absolutely are. There are some days when it's outright brutal, and I have to pull myself aside and remind myself that some of the horrible stuff I'm seeing and/or enduring is part of the process. Fighting for social justice isn't easy, ESPECIALLY when there is an industry component that has some bad actors involved in it.
I'm a very simple person blogging about a movement and industry that is very complicated. It's a very weird thing. It's hard for me to fit my head around a lot of the time to be perfectly honest. It's like the marijuana world has grown up so fast these last six years, and I'm just along for the ride, and pointing out what I see along the journey and hoping it facilitates discussion. I don't claim to be a journalist, and actually always correct people when they call me that. A journalist has a rigid set of guidelines and expectations that comes along with the job. I'm a blogger, and a reform blogger at that. My goal isn't to win a Pulitzer prize, or any prize for that matter. It's to spread the good word and keep people in the know about marijuana reform in whatever way it takes to achieve that goal.
I have always said that I would rather be wrong and facilitate discussion than be right and have no one talk about it. That's an approach that I will always take, both while blogging and outside of blogging. We are all in this battle together, and while we may not all agree what it will take to win the battle, or what strategy should be pursued, we should all remember that we are all on the same team. That means working together, valuing the opinion of others even when (and especially when) we disagree, and respecting each other.
The Weed Blog turns six years old today, and if I have internet connection and a blog to log into, I promise to be around for another six years if the marijuana internet community will continue to have me. I have experienced more than my fair share of frustration, have been taken advantage of, and have seen the same happen to others in the marijuana community that are very good people and don't deserve it. That has resulted in days when I hang my head in sadness. But that doesn't usually last long because I'll receive an e-mail, message, or text with words of encouragement from a blog supporter and it will lift my spirits.
I say this from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. Thank you to all of the people that have supported this blog over the last six years. I truly feel that we are doing amazing things for reform via internet activism, and none of it would be possible without the support of our fans. Here we are in 2016, on the cusp of the biggest election in the history of marijuana, and The Weed Blog is in the mix helping campaigns, organizations, and activists fight for reform victories. As a policy wonk/activist/marijuana fan/believer in social justice I couldn't be happier.
Our goal when we started was to reach one person in the name of activism. As of today we have received over 158 million page views, and are still going. That's insane, and I have to pinch myself daily to remind myself that this is all real. It's extremely humbling. We don't have enormous resources at this blog, and we are not located in a large media city, and we don't have a team of dozens of people, or a lot of other things that all other large marijuana websites have. What we have is our readers, truth, justice, and a never ending desire to end marijuana prohibition, and I'll take that over all of the other jazz any day of the week! I have made so many friends in the reform community over the last six years, and know that I cherish every one of them.
The last six years are history, and the next six years are a mystery. I'll make you a promise if you make me one in return - you keep supporting The Weed Blog, and I'll keep waking up early to blog, and sacrifice my lunch breaks and a lot of time after work and on the weekends to help keep the conversation going. Deal? We stand at the edge of history, with the winds of change at our backs. This is truly an exciting time to be a marijuana activist. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS. ONWARD. LEGALIZE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!