Legalization Strategies

This was my message to Australians, but it goes for those in any country with Cannabis Prohibition:

You have the power to change things, once you realize you have the power to change things.

Those in power never concede anything without a demand. Demand, don’t request. Break out of the box of “we’ve always done it this way.” Innovate protest strategies. Demand legalization to grow for yourself and your patients.

Get Olivia Newton-John to advocate publicly and stridently, as well as other star supporters. It’s not just users like her you want to involve, but all right-thinkers in society including what we call “Libertarians” in the US (less government intrusion in people’s lives) and tax-reduction advocates. In the states, drug law reform is solidly in the ideological wheelhouse of Republicans (personal responsibility, no government in the bedroom, freedom to do what you want as long as you don’t harm anyone else), maybe that’s the case with one of your political parties? Develop allies like them.

Other natural allies are those who will make bank on legalization. Looking at the experience of post-legalization in some US states, that would be real estate for grows, compliance and testing companies, regulators and their bureaucracy, processing companies for export and domestic markets, ancillary suppliers like packaging and security, tax authorities (black market pays zero), and lawyers and proposal writers. The natural enemy is the alcohol industry, police and prison guards unions, and Big Pharma.

Also in the US, legalizing will result in massive savings in prescription drug costs of almost $4 billion annually, 1.1% of all prescription drug expenditures there. Extrapolated to Australia’s population, that’s a savings of $350 million annually. Even just allowing CBD hemp in Italy “led a 1-1.5% reduction in the number of anti-epileptic, anti-depressive, opioid and anti-migraine prescriptions, whereas prescriptions for psychotic patients decreased by approximately 4-5%.” And that’s just the prescription drug savings, there will be massive savings for your health system just from reduced inflammation and cancers, suicide attempts, drunk driving and falls, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and the like. Calculate and publicize it.

Push the improvement in quality-of-life statistics in marijuana-legal states, such as 20% reduction in workplace deaths, fewer suicides and DUIs, etc.

Demand performance-based roadside drug tests, not molecule-based.

Nonviolent protestors are changing a deeply-embedded racist culture in America right now, do the same there. Y’all might be white but the root of all marijuana laws is racism, in 1937 whites’ fear of blacks and Mexicans, then again in 1970 as the last vestige of Nixon’s dirty tricks intentionally targeting blacks and war protestors.

Turn it into a social justice, patient-centric struggle. Call it appropriate policing and better use of government resources, freeing them to fight actual crimes.

Shift the conversation on safety by pointing out Tasmania’s millions of opium poppies growing unsecured 5 meters from miles and miles of public roads, versus nontoxic Cannabis’ remarkable safety profile, not one death. Even the US anti-drug agency DEA called it “one of the the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

Raise human rights defenses, they are legitimate especially as regards to Harm Reduction and Right to Medicine. Don’t let them block you with the UN Single Convention Treaty on Narcotic Drugs (1961), that’s bogus as medical and hemp (CBD) are expressly allowed, and many violate it with impunity already for Adult-use, such as USA, Canada, and Uruguay.

Empower the right leaders to agitate for you. Find the state most likely to legalize and concentrate there. Use patients as advocates and your public face, especially children and those in wheelchairs. It is an unfortunate fact that just one child seizing in a wheelchair in a conservative state legislator’s office had more impact than a thousand adults pleading reason and common sense.

Guerrilla tactics include Overgrow, or seeding public common areas with hemp to normalize the plant, and publicizing a running total of the thousands of deaths and millions of seizures that Cannabis could have prevented. Your crappy medical program exists just to suck the air out of the Movement.

Don’t approach it meekly, hat in hand. People’s lives are at stake, convey that urgency. It’s a Gateway Drug OUT of addiction. Australia is way behind the times, even behind some of the most conservative states in the world. Use the Overton Window by starting an extreme-position group, to make your current ones appear more moderate, centrist thereby increasing their effectiveness.

Ultimately you want at the very least the freedom to grow your own, be able to share with friends and patients, release those in jail now for it, and no new arrests over minor Cannabis acts. Inevitably someone will raise the “regulated industry versus black market” in regards to testing. As we see in marijuana states in the US, the regulated industry has marijuana containing Eagle 20 pesticide and mold. My neighbor down the street, however, does not.

And that’s all without even bringing up taxes on sales of legal Cannabis, because I’m not a fan of them: the savings on enforcement costs is way more than the tax would be anyway. Cannabis Taxes are the low-hanging fruit for governments, the crack cocaine they’ll do ANYTHING for. In this regard Cannabis actually is addicting… for the government.

There are many angles to approach this from. None of this is rocket science, it just needs execution by committed, passionate, courageous, honest people.

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