Leading by Example

It can certainly be argued that attacks against Governor Schweitzer are warranted.  His action, or more appropriately his inaction; is despicable and self-serving. His political future is on his mind, rather than the Montana cannabis population who has deservedly never been considered a  serious voting contingency.  It remains to be seen if we can mobilize our voters enough to be taken seriously. Politicians, with very few exceptions; make decisions that protect themselves first- this shouldn’t shock any of us.  A legislator (one of the few that I like) said recently that Schweitzer is easy to work with if you keep his priorities in mind.

1. Brian Schweitzer    2.  Screwing over the Republican Party   3. The Democrats  4. Montana

For a quarter of a century, cannabis proponents in our nation  have struggled to overcome stereotypes unfairly associated with cannabis.  Montana’s recent regression via the legislature is reminiscent of 1937 or so, progress-wise.  However, we most effectively seek legitimacy and positive recognition by setting good examples, following proper channels, and acting in a civil manner.  I empathize with those who are gravely disappointed.  Some of us will soon be devastated by the actions of  the legislature, physically and financially and as a result, emotions are running high. Some in our group have chosen to ignore all reason in favor of acting like many liberals upon their emotions.  By no means am I trying to tamper our first amendment protections nor am I suggesting we silently allow our rights to be revoked by tyrants, but some of us would be better serving our movement by shutting the hell up.

I’m not a big fan of Governor Schweitzer, although we could certainly have a worse governor.  I won’t defend him but I will grant him a level-albeit very minimal- of respect simply because he is the Governor of our state.  Placing profanity or otherwise crude or offensive language on his Facebook wall, calling him names, or otherwise unsavory behavior doesn’t make much sense.  First of all, he most likely doesn’t care about what you think- if he ever noticed at all.  Second of all, thousands of people read his wall, thus witnessing your activity.  You may believe you are representing only your own opinion, but stereotypes aren’t logical so anyone speaking out is easily lumped in with the industry and movement.  This is why I’m peeved.

I don’t like being associated with Jason Christ and most of you don’t either.  Unfortunately, however; many Montanans associate Jason Christ with us.  He most likely didn’t initially intend to damage the industry so extensively, but it happened. As angry as we are at our elected hacks chastising us and providing “marijuana is like arsenic” analogies, the initial blame shouldn’t fall on them- Our legislators obviously had an agenda- one based on false ideas- but if self-appointed representatives of our industry weren’t publicly boasting about their profits while participating in shady activities, the old stereotypes would have been just that, old stereotypes.  There are unscrupulous people in every industry.  Those in ours simply provided a vehicle for our legislature’s obsession.

We can all agree that there is no shortage of passion associated with either side of the cannabis issue.  Although the opponents currently hold the legislative power, WE HOLD THE TRUTH.  We are bullied by the opposition because they have no other tools.  Knowing this, can we not contrast them simply by being courteous?  I am not directing this lecture at anyone in particular, but I’ve worryingly watched our unity and decorum deteriorate in past weeks.  Egos are out of control.  So is anger.  Fear.  Perhaps each of us should take a deep breath and actually think about our words before verbalizing, typing or posting them.  Ask yourself a few questions, here are a few ideas:

  • Will these words hurt others? 
  • Will these words be taken out of context or used to hurt me or my industry and movement?  
  • Are you setting a good example?
  • Am I legitimizing the prohibitionist’s arguments? 
  • Are my words part of a solution or the problem?
  • What are my true motives? 
  • Would Jason Christ post something like this?
We all need to vent occasionally but perhaps the irrational SUPER PASSIONATE venting should be contained to our own walls- or better yet, private messages as opposed to the walls of our elected officials.
Positive reinforcement is required for any truly effective scolding and this instance is no exception.  You can now officially stop gnashing your teeth, the following words are more friendly.
 We should be proud of our accomplishments, we have been blessed with effective leaders who make sacrifices for us all on a daily basis. We have made great strides and  have a clear plan as well as the initial means to achieve our goals and we all deserve a pat on the back.  Our support crosses partisan boundaries.  In the last few months, we’ve likely learned more about Montana law and the legislative process  than we ever desired.  We are registered to vote! We are taking an active role in our future! My personal goal is to show up at the polls in unprecedented numbers in 2012, armed not only with a desire to affect cannabis legislation, but ALL legislation.   These events will shape our future- this isn’t just about marijuana.  This is about liberty. We have a long battle ahead of us and I encourage readers to support the Montana Cannabis Industry Association in their efforts to protect our rights.  Please join us Saturday night in Billings for a MTCIA mixer, details available at mtcia.org.   I regret to inform you that the GOP God Squad/MONTaliban won’t likely be joining us as the event conflicts with the Yellowstone Lincoln Reagan dinner where they will be congratulating themselves on a job well done. It was a tough choice, but I will see you all at the mixer.

9 thoughts on “Leading by Example

  1. I couldn’t agree more…well said. We have been stereotyped as the 25-yr-old unemployed stoner that got his “green card” because of last month’s skateboard injury. I look at the facebook comments and it doesn’t seem that many on “our side” can express their views without using the f-word. I understand the frustration but please don’t play into the opposition’s hands. Just sayin…

    • Right! I know we are often the non-conformist type and many of us don’t really follow conventional patterns, but I know politics better than I know marijuana….my advice is not based on any random ideas, I know very well what can be done with our comments. At this point, the opposition lies about us. I’d rather them invent lies than actually have truth to exploit.

  2. I am standing and clapping about this blog!! Thank you. Yes, yes, yes!! Remember people….if we all band together we are unstoppable!!

    • Thank you, Heather! I was hesitant to hit “publish” on this one as I figured it wouldn’t go over well, but it has been weighing on my mind.

      • You have mirrored my thoughts and put them into words so eloquently! As they say…..sometimes the truth hurts, but ultimately we are all better for having heard it.
        Still clapping!

  3. We need to take the higher ground, so to speak, if we are to change the public’s perception of us. I think that treating others with respect, no matter what the situation, is appropriate at all times. I’ve found that when people have responded to posts I’ve made with clear, unattacking responses, I accept what the say and think about it much more. Not to say I agree, but there have been times that I’ve seen a different point of view, and have been happy to be shown something different. We must remember to attack the policy, not the people.

  4. I don’t mind the passionate swearing and folks venting a bit on the Govs page, although I don’t think it helps the cause at all. What I REALLY don’t like is the talk of violence, guns, and wishing cancer, etc. on folks. Seems like a MUCH worse use of words to me.

  5. Nice post. I needed that one. I had a disappointing message from one of my Doctors. It was passed on so I didn’t hear it. Point was I asked her to take the Patients Out of Time, AMA course before my Sept. appt., and I was told she wouldn’t sign any cards and Billings Clinic doesn’t allow it.
    I already knew she doesn’t sign them. Her idea is there isn’t enough research. Apparently a few thousand years isn’t enough. I was pissed when I heard.
    ALL I wanted was for her to take a 10 hr. f***ing course. Last visit I had to explain why there can be no overdose and the endo-cannibinol neurological reasoning.
    I stewed on it and considered calling to leave a pissed, semi-rude message when they opened. Glad I decided to return the paperwork, and re-state all I want is the education to help treat my MS. This post summed up how we need to continue. I was bummed for the morning thinking, ‘dammit I’m 0 for 3’ on Dr.s taking the class.

    • Sorry to hear that, Josh, although not surprised. I think my doctor would take the class, if he had time anyway. That’s the key. He works most days and lives 3 hours from Billings. He believes in it enough though. It is hard to even keep going, I knew we’d be very weary by the time the session ended. Stay positive. We have our work cut out for us though.

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