SOPA And PIPA Could Take The Marijuana Movement Back To The Dark Ages
I don't think it's any secret that the internet has helped the marijuana movement. Using blogs, social media, news outlets, etc. the marijuana movement has grown significantly over the last decade. Take a minute and think about what the marijuana movement would be like without the use of the internet...Scary right?
Remember those days where we would have to stand long hours outside of malls and other high traffic areas in order to gather signatures. Remember when marijuana events were almost impossible to organize unless you had a long list of phone numbers? If SOPA and PIPA are approved by the United States Congress, the ramifications on the internet will be severe, and online marijuana efforts will be one of the first to get the chop. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a supporter of online piracy. However, I am a fan of common sense, and throwing the baby out with the bathwater is never a good idea, which is what would happen if SOPA and PIPA were passed.
Have you been using Twitter and Facebook to organize your rallies and protests? If SOPA and PIPA are passed, it's almost guaranteed that you wouldn't be able to use social media like you have been. Do you own a blog, or follow blogs to get your marijuana news and information? If SOPA and PIPA are passed, you will be forced to go back to newspapers and TV media, which let's face it, newspapers and TV media are not marijuana friendly, which is why online marijuana efforts started in the first place! Don't just take it from me, below are some things that I found on the net that others are saying:
Google - Fighting online piracy is important. The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs...Too much is at stake — please vote NO on PIPA and SOPA.
Wikipedia - For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.
ACLU - We opposed SOPA in its original form mostly because the impact on non-infringing content would violate the First Amendment right to free speech of the owners and authors of that content, as well as the rights of Internet users to access that content. In fact, we were asked to present our views at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee scheduled for today and submitted our testimony in preparation for that hearing. But the hearing was postponed after SOPA’s proponents promised to significantly change the bill and after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proposed not to bring any bill to the floor for a vote unless it represented a true consensus of those who support and those who oppose SOPA.
As you can see, this is as serious as serious gets. If you like using the internet to gain marijuana information, or to spread awareness, or you just don't like the federal government overstepping it's reach, then FIGHT SOPA AND PIPA! The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel.