The year was 1998, and I was a senior in high school. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) campaign was in full swing, and it was my first realstep into marijuana activism. I had supported marijuana reform before that, but 1998 was the first time that I actively started campaigning for it. I would cut out newspaper clippings about the OMMA initiatives (there was two) and post them in my locker, as well as at home on my bedroom walls.
Oddly enough, it wasn’t the hate that I got from the high school staff that worried me. It was exercising my First Amendment rights at my mom’s apartment that I had the most hesitation about. I will never forget the look on my mom’s face when she saw my bedroom wall plastered with newspaper clippings in support of medical marijuana. I was expecting a showdown, so I braced for the worst. However, my mom didn’t get combative. In fact, it was the opposite – she was extremely supportive.
I started off the conversation explaining why medical marijuana was important, as well as recreational marijuana law reform. Because the issue was very important to me, I had memorized a lot of facts about mmj, and provided a very passionate explanation of my views. I told my mom that the issue was important to me at the time, and it would be the rest of my life. My mom took the opportunity to explain to me that she too felt that the marijuana laws in America are harmful. My mother never told me that I should smoke marijuana, or that anyone should for that matter. But what she did point out to me is that if people want to do it responsibly, than they should be allowed to do so.
This was a big moment in my life that I reflect on often. What if I had never had that conversation with my mom. Would I have pursued marijuana activism as hard as I have over the years? Would she support marijuana reform in the same capacity that she does today if I had never had that talk with her? My mom isn’t necessarily traveling with me to the Cannabis Cup, but she does vote for marijuana reform when it comes up, and has helped me pay for TWB’s monthly overhead on more than one occasion. Would that have been the case if I had just left my newspaper clippings in my high school locker instead of bringing some of them home to display?
I encourage all TWB readers to make it a goal to talk to their mom today about supporting marijuana reform. If moms want to make a 420 sign and stand at the capital that would obviously be great, but really it’s just about having that initial conversation. Explain to your mom why marijuana reform is important to you, and to America. Mom’s led the charge that defeated alcohol prohibition – the same thing will occur with marijuana prohibition.
Your mother can see marijuana reform commercials on television, or see marijuana reform billboards around town, and maybe the message resonates with her. But nothinggets your mom’s attention more than if her own child is telling her about marijuana reform. When mom’s hear about marijuana reform from outside of the family, it doesn’t hit home nearly as much as if the person they gave birth to is explaining it to them. Bringing it to a personal level has always been the most effective form of marijuana activism. So when you’re at Mother’s Day dinner tonight, or dropping off that last minute Mother’s Day present, or just stopping by your mom’s to do laundry (don’t judge me!) this next week, take a minute to explain to your mom how you feel about marijuana reform. The movement depends on it!