This just in a SWAPical Storm is blowing in and the forecast is calling for $10 and $12 shirts! We are setting “sale” for new products to come and are flooded with merchandise that must go, go, go away! Check out the designs below and order yours today! #puffpuffpassiton
For those of you on the East Coast stay safe and prepared. Water and wind can be powerful and should be taken seriously!
In celebration of the beginning of football season we are having another sale! Get $2 off your order from now until Monday night! Go Team Cannabis! Who are YOU cheering for?
We are now on Instagram! Check us out: shirtswithapurpose
*Click ‘Add promotional code’ located on the right hand side of the screen above the total on the ‘Personal and Billing Information’ page. Offer runs from 3:00 PM 9/12/15 through 11:59PM 9/14/15. Shipping and tax not applicable.
Extra Extra Read All About It!Our group has grown!
Here is a brief re-cap of our meeting last week…
We had a guest speaker; Dave Norris, former Mayor of the City of Charlottesville spoke to the group about political advocacy and how to approach legislature. He learned a lot about politics when he was advocating for affordable housing. He realized the needs of the community were not being reflected in the city’s decision making. He decided to get more involved in city politics, got his message out, and ended up running for Mayor, which he won against all odds, and was able to make some of the needed changes in the city regarding affordable housings.
#1 Lesson — You have to get on the inside of politics to make changes! Or at least have allies on the inside.
• Pay attention to who is running for office
• Talk to as many people as you can and get your message out
• Get other people involved – mobilize them!
• Show up when important legislators are making important decisions. They pay attention to who shows up, and think they can ignore you when you don’t show up.
• Get behind candidates that will support the issues.
On a local level, Wes Bellamy and Kathy Galvin, are up for re-election in Charlottesville, so right now they are vulnerable. Now is the time to contact them and pin them down on the prohibition issue.
Also focus on shifting public opinion. Get out there and talk to as many people as possible and get as much media exposure as possible. Ending prohibition is an important issue, and it is a winning issue. The more you can normalize it, the better. The tide is turning, and change is coming. The majority of Virginia citizens are in favor of ending prohibition. They cannot ignore us forever.
Questions & Answers
How do we approach legislators that don’t want to talk to us?
Answer: Get their constituents in the room with them. Their #1 goal is to be reelected. If you vote for them, they listen. They listen to money, too.
Who are the prohibitionists that are opposing legalization, who we need to win over?
Answer: When they were trying to pass marijuana de-prioritization in Charlottesville it was the drug rehab treatment community who led the effort locally. It is important to talk to prohibitionists directly.
• Get a public discussion going before the election. Radio interviews, writing to your local newspaper, media coverage.
• Join Facebook pages of every one in your district, and Twitter – contact them often.
• Attend events where politicians will be, and talk to them. Sept/Oct is crunch time for political events right before elections.
Two that are happening soon in Virginia:
Greene County Republican Pig Roast Oct 6th
Albemarle Republicans have a meeting at the Doubletree 2nd Sat of every month – next month George Allen is attending, and other prominent people
There will be a national campaign coming very soon, so break out your thesaurus and put your feelings about cannabis prohibition to paper or email, or both! You can also send a tweet to your legislators. It’s simple and can be done in no time. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Attend a meeting in your area. Check out NORML.org for more details on your local chapter. Every voice matters! #ComeOutGreen #VANORML #JANORML
**Thank you Mrs. Tammy Mundy for sharing the minutes you documented so well last Tuesday. It is people like you that make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Dedication is the key to success!**
The long weekend is finally here and we want to recognize all of the hard work and dedication in Marijuana Law Reform. What better way than a 20% off special on our t-shirts?! Just enter the Promo Code: 420LABOR on your purchase order online*, or visit us on the Historic Downtown Mall of Charlottesville Saturday (9/5) from 6 until midnight. You can see a full list of our t-designs located on the Merchandise page! #puffpuffpassiton
*Click ‘Add promotional code’ located on the right hand side of the screen above the total on the ‘Personal and Billing Information’ page. Offer runs from 12PM 9/4 through 11:59PM 9/7. Shipping and tax not applicable.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis of Assisi* #tokethequote
As I look around my house all I can see are projects. Cannabis activism has consumed my life. My living room resembles a manic madhouse. There’s inventory to be counted, sketches to be drawn, price tags to be made, shirts to be tie-dyed, artwork strewn about, and a ‘True or False’ Board looming in the corner. This was once an area of rest and relaxation. What is the use of a coffee table with no space for a coffee cup?
It would be nice to have my kitchen table back. It’s not a desk for bills, technology, or abandoned objects waiting to be put in their home within my home. It is for dining across from my sweetheart, (I’ll admit, we do sit in front of the TV every once in a while to enjoy a meal but now it’s getting old). To say the least all of it has been overwhelming and never-ending. I have come up with so many fantastic ideas if only my wand wasn’t on the fritz. The stress of getting it all done as soon as possible really wears me out. The War on Drugs isn’t going to end itself or it would have already! “I’m A Little Engine that CANNOT HANDLE IT!”
Eating would be a good idea; I can get so wrapped up in my work that famishment is not out of the question. The to-do list is getting longer and fuzzier upstairs. Nutrition would help. I cannot afford writer’s block today; I need to get Google to like me! I must confess I impressed myself last week. There is magic to self-discovery; it can be quite refreshing and essential.
If I use my writing as an outlet for the growth of SWAP, the results could be electrifying. I have been advised that posting on a regular basis gets you recognized more often on the web. It has been a long time coming for the “Dot Com Makeover”. I was very skittish at first but with some guidance I have been learning the ropes. A lot of it is trial by error; very aggravating at times but with each click there is progress. One more tag (“Hey Google, over here!), one more fact to educate the masses (#cannabiscanassist); I am connecting with the world. Like a marathon, I must remain at a steady pace. Hurdles are opportunities to improve my strength; each step is momentous; each leap covers a bound. I cannot hocus pocus to the end but there is potential to get there if I stay focused. We will keep in mind how much easier it is to say than to do…
Will I get my living room straight? Organize SWAP Headquarters so I can have my dining room table back? Create new designs in a couple weeks? Paint the ‘Cannabinart’? Dye the shirts? Stock the inventory? Laminate the price tags for new merchandise? Complete the ‘Pot quiz’? For goodness sake, will marijuana finally get legalized?!
Yes of course, but not by the flick of the wrist or wishes. It is as simple as counting pens on break from flogging blogging. I can now keep better track of the donation items for our local chapter, JANORML. In just a few seconds, the odds of my success became more probable to achieving the unimaginable: LEGAL WEED! One less task on the list. There is a finish line; life is not just smoke in mirrors. Unless it’s 4:20 that is…
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi* #tokethequote
Yesterday I discussed the spectrum of public response to marijuana reform and the struggle to educate the facts to those who are against it.
How about those who are for it? They are bubbly and refreshing, like a glass of imported French champagne to toast a special occasion. As of April, we have acquired over 800 signatures for the end of cannabis prohibition and regulation of it in Virginia. Not too shabby to say the least. Due to the fact that we live in a ‘Commonwealth’ state, a petition alone will not get the topic on the ballot. Instead we use it as a tool to show our legislators the support from the community. Unfortunately, we have some who approach the table and say “I would love to sign but I can’t because of my job”. My brow furrows with empathy and remorse; have we forgotten that we have a voice? I express to people that although by law a petition holds no water, they are signing their name in favor of what they believe in; the true definition of our First Amendment Right: Freedom of Speech*. That is the foundation of what this country is built on, “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.* Why are so many remaining in the closet?
Perhaps it is the image media has portrayed of what the ideal dream looks like and the paranoia of being seen as otherwise. “I don’t want to be labeled as a lazy pot head who has nothing to contribute to society.”
In America, you’re perceived as successful if you have a good paying job, own a house with a white picket fence, and a golden retriever sleeping on your front porch. Your kids are in the yard gazing at the clouds and slurping cherry popsicles; the babysitter is coming up the asphalt driveway. You finally have an evening with your spouse to unwind from the long, 40 hour work week (which isn’t a bad idea, the pursuit of happiness has had a toll on your love life) and you are going to celebrate the new position you landed at your job. All that overtime has finally paid off.
“I have to tell Suzie about spraying ‘Shout!’ on those stains. Those are $35 outfits from ‘GapKids’. We are paying her to do the laundry.” “Speaking of kids, we need to tell them to turn off the damned lights when they leave the room.” “We shouldn’t have taken the loan out on that new car when the old one ran just fine.”, “But we couldn’t fit all of our camping gear. It’s tradition!” “The soccer game is at 9AM in the morning. Timmy’s receiving the All Star award in his age group and Laynie’s recital is at 7 tomorrow night.” ” I better set the alarm early. The roast needs to be in the crock pot by 8 and breakfast ready by 8:30.” The traffic breaks. You’re already late for the reservation you made on lunch break and Suzie ups her price after 10PM. Tick. Tock.
Only a few more moments before you can taste the stress dissolving on your tongue. The night promising so many things you have waited all week for. Who cares about the hangover tomorrow? It’s legal. “Make it a double, I’ve got some catching up to do.”
Sunday: the house has to be cleaned, the lawn mowed; the week’s groceries aren’t going to buy themselves which is the first priority after worship service (you know, because everything is on sale and you have to beat the crowd). Before you know it you’re opening your eyes to Monday morning; the dog is at your feet crossing his legs, and you hit the snooze button one too many times. Your brain is crapped out from last week’s caffeine and (thanks to the DVR) you stayed up late just to catch up on your favorite reality TV show. How’s that promotion feeling right now…
It is the pandemonium of life that revolves around us. Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit down and smoke a doobie on that front porch of yours?
But what is the price you pay for a grass stain? Your reputation smeared by your friends who don’t agree with your ‘stoner’ lifestyle? Your boss not understanding that pot helps you sleep and soothes your joint pain? Or the police seizing the very dream you work so hard for, taking you away from your family over a couple plants in your basement?
These are just a few risks from the gun that is held to our head amidst the innocence; silence by intimidation. When in actuality we need to SHOUT to the world that we are ‘NORML’ people. We must change the stereotype. How can we be free if Mother Nature is illegal? It takes everyone, not just a couple or a few, but the entire weed nation that is alive and thriving behind closed doors. We can become the ReUnited States of Cannabis if we act now. Let’s pop the cork on reef-form! I urge you to #ComeOutGreen!
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino* #tokethequote
Our “Conscious”: the nagging advice that’s determined to make us ‘get a grip’. The side effects include happiness, anger, depression, elation, grief… Mute. I’ll tune out to that! Advice has an effect on our emotions and how we project the ‘reality’ of the world. Let’s use television as an example…
What are the side effects of a commercial? You are attentive to the story unfolding before your eyes with popcorn stuck in your teeth; all of a sudden Sarah McLachlan pierces your ears and an abused puppy pops up on the screen. Before you know it you have tears welling up and a heavy heart, (“I have a few extra dollars to spare.”). Next up, the raspy voice of a middle-aged man with a hole in his throat explaining the dangers of cigarette smoking, (“I don’t want to clean a hole in my neck with a Q-tip trying to get breakfast out of my esophagus every morning! I am quitting tomorrow!”). How’s about that juicy double-decker cheeseburger that’s $1 for a limited time only (“That looks delicious…wait, wasn’t I just eating?”)! Don’t forget those pesky pharmaceutical commercials; It might help ya or it can kill ya!, (“Oh, what a wonderful field of tulips they are frolicking in. I would like to frolic in a field of tulips that wonderful…”). And just like that, in two minutes you’ve experienced grief, fear, hunger, and happiness. “And now back to our feature presentation…” To be honest, at times I forget what the hell I am watching. You don’t need that greasy heart attack on a bun. That’s just your munchies talking! Go floss your teeth! Your ‘reality’ is showing!
From 1936-1950’s, the United States government propagandized “Reefer Madness”: a film depicting that marijuana would drive you insane, attempt rape, hallucinate, or commit suicide.* This brainwashing had a large effect on the youth of America at the time. Weed was frightening to parents (or at least the ones who never toked up). This heightened sense of dysphoria still lingers to present day and facts are difficult to relay to ‘muted’ ears.
In the three years that I have been on board with SWAP, I have seen opinions from each end of the spectrum. The public works two ways; they fuel you up or strip you bare. People have a predisposition when confronted with the subject of cannabis whether it’s scoffing at the very sight of the leaf, or approaching our table with enthusiasm and an open mind. Some evenings I go home feeling defeated because I could not change a viewpoint effected by ancient false advertising. Yet deep down inside I know there will be success. “Don’t be a dope, Jes. You will get them next time. Just don’t give up.” I am sure any veteran in cannabis advocacy has experienced these very same affirmations. It is easy to hone in on the emotion of the moment rather than direct our focus to the big picture. I educated someone about cannabis; I planted the seed of truth in their conscious; I advised them to think again about something which once brought them confusion; I advertised that pot can be positive.
Emotion and reality are vital to one another and our little voice guides us through everything in between (i.e. “This program is brought to you in part by…”). People can only stay tuned out for so long. It will take a lot of dedication from many to debunk the carefully crafted myths of Mary Jane. We just have to listen to ourselves in the process and the world can’t help but to turn the volume up. We are the little engine that Cannabis.
“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” -Elbert Hubbard* #tokethequote
As I sit here, desperately attempting to learn the language of computers, I cannot help but to think of how much the world has changed just in the 25 years I have spent on it. I believe technology has evolved the human species at a rapid pace. Yet, it has had an impact on how we communicate with one another person to person. I have seen whole families sitting in a room and they are all on their phone, tablet, or laptop barely making eye contact with one another. The social media has been a wonderful tool to connect people all over the world but do you believe we are pushing too many boundaries? My fear is for the little “milleniums” to lose sight of what was once before like hand written letters in cursive, having a long conversation with a friend over the phone, or reading a book at night and having to fold the ear over because you forgot a bookmark. We hardly even know our neighbors anymore let alone have a conversation with them on the regular. These, to me, are all essential qualities for a healthy society. Ones that we must keep alive and thriving.
As for marijuana, the world wide web has done phenomenal things. The truth about cannabis has been spread far and wide. Pandora’s Box has been open and the eyes of the public are widening. What is this miracle crop we grew to know as ‘devil weed’ that would turn our brain into an egg? What is the difference between THC and CBD? What is this whole nonsense about hemp being the number one biomass resource in the world? Oh, and let’s not forget about the whole billion dollar industry thing. All of these questions have bombarded ‘Google’, Yahoo!’, ‘Bing’ and other search engines. People are thirsty for the facts and thanks to the internet they can get answers. The social media has helped accomplish leaps and bounds of connecting and exposing the issue of cannabis prohibition which once was a complicated feat. From hand writing letters, calling everyone you know, and protesting outside the White House now you can send a simple ‘Tweet’ or email to your legislator about cannabis reform from your couch ( of course it is important to do all those other things as well). These issues could never be more accessible for public debate and attention. It is what any advocacy group has ever hoped for.
So, what is my conclusion on it all? Like everything else, its a personal choice. You could allow something to have negative or positive effects on your lifestyle. Too much sugar can make you a diabetic. Too much alcohol can bring you physical harm. Too much exercise can exhaust your body and too much world wide webbing can cause disconnection. As far as too much cannabis, we might just have to take a poll on that one… 🙂
At the end of the day it is about consciousness and staying connected with the earth and each other. Another wonderful aid of cannabis; CONNECTION.
Speaking of connection, I suppose I should get back to helping YOU connect with US! Always feel free to comment. I would love to get a conversation going. Have a fantastic Tuesday!