Losing the Battle, Winning the War

So by now you’ve figured out I live in Flori-DUH. We just seem to never get anything right. Even though there was overwhelming majority of votes in favor of medical marijuana (58% vs. 42%), we goofballs earlier voted that amendments had to have 60% in order to pass. We were only two percent away! Unfortunately, and quite sadly, the 18-29 year-old voters (who supported medical marijuana in polls), had a pathetic and measly 14% vote. That’s quite a sad fact, knowing that if THEY had gotten off their butts and gone and voted, we’d have medical marijuana approved today. They even had WEEKS of EARLY VOTING! AND … they could have voted by mail. There’s just no excuse. I feel sad for those that suffered fighting for our right to vote, and they got dissed by those who stayed at home and didn’t.

But anyway, although I’m quite sad that we lost this battle, I’m confident that not only will marijuana be approved for medical use, it will also be approved for legalization here in Florida. That’s how we’re going to win the war. But we MUST change the stereotype of what people associate with cannabis use: the stoner. I cannot tell you how many stories I heard (firsthand) about, “I smoked pot back in the sixties and all we did was sit around and do nothing.” Well, folks, we are not the face of the stoner. At least I’m not.

I am not the person who smokes pot, sits around on the couch, eats food uncontrollably, or laughs non-stop. Who am I? I’m not the stoner. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, I’m raising a child, I’m happily married, I have a prestigious full-time job (almost 15 years at the same company), I served on a Board of Directors for five years as the PR chairperson, I volunteer regularly at my child’s school, I’m a photographer, a blogger, I’m well respected. You wouldn’t know by looking at me that I use cannabis. Why? Because I don’t look like the “stoner” that you envision. Because in this decade, we use marijuana to help us – whether for chronic pain, blood pressure control, glaucoma prevention, seizure control, or even for creativity. Or for nausea. Or a natural sleep aide. Yes, I can use marijuana and function, quite well, thank you very much. Because I’m not the generation of stoners you’re thinking of.

I’m merely a user of cannabis.

We’re professionals and workers, we’re scientists and mathematicians, we’re writers, artists, you name it. We’re not the lazy stoners you think we are. We work, we play, we have families. We’re just like you, we’re just not the stoners you think we are.

Yes, there are lazy people who use cannabis. But guess what? Lazy people are lazy – regardless if they use marijuana.

Yes, there are people who have stolen to get marijuana. But guess what? They’d steal for the high, regardless of if marijuana was around or not. They are dishonest, regardless if they use marijuana.

Yes, there are people who might drive around while using cannabis. But guess what? They probably already do, just like the thousands of people who drive drunk. There are ZERO deaths related to marijuana, but tons and tons of deaths related to alcohol abuse. Yet that is legal?

What I’m trying to show you, to paint you a different picture, to change your perspective, is to show you that I am not the face of the stoner.

I’m simply a cannabis user.

I’m telling you, Florida, especially John Morgan, the way we’re going to win this war is to go for the whole shebang – make it legal for medical and recreational use. Then we get the attention of those 18-29 year old kids that didn’t vote. If we vest them, they will go and vote. But more important, we have to show the other side that has the vision of the stoner, that the old stereotype is just that. Education is key!

Education is always a winner. Well, not in Florida. But watch out for us in 2016!

I am not the face of the stoner.

I just use cannabis.

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