Happy Anniversary PHX & Arizona’s marijuana movement. One year ago today, I arrived in PHX by bus, broke & homeless, but with a dream that I would help build a powerful marijuana movement that would improve the lives of all people in AZ’s cannabis community and in specific help create a phenomenal rally at the state capitol to dramatize the need for reform. A year later again and though the world has shifted mightily in the course of 365 days, here we are, once again, ready to rally!
My former organization, Safer Arizona, is stronger than ever and I am the state director of the Arizona state chapter of NORML and together we are once again organizing a powerful statement on marijuana for our state legislators: the Time Is NOW! In the past 6 months, between the two campaigns over 200,000 signatures have been gathered to call for legalization, for demanding an end to the worse US policy choice since the 3/5s compromise. If only 100th of that number show up Monday morning, it will change the state forever.
I want to reassure you that progress is indeed coming. The new crime statistics are in & again, AZ arrests for cannabis are continuing to decline, both in possession and after a high point last year, in production and sales charges as well. A ten percent decline from 2010. We know that it is not because Bill Montgomery “AKA “Maddog Monty’) have gone soft on crime. Indeed, this year the unbridled SOB spewed some of his most hateful insults this year prescisely at marijuana consumers, patient or no. & despite the steady decline in teen interest in cannabis, I would doubt it is because we have had a reduction in the number of cannabis consumers in the state. Now that the hippies of the 60s are in their 60s, suddenly people are beginning to understand that line about pain relief, wasn’t just a line.
As troubled as it is, the reduction in arrests can be attributed to the AMMA, Prop 203. Far being a tiny step forward, AZ’s MMJ laws have been the launching pad for the past 5 years of progress. In addition to providing pain, nausea and spasm relief for nearly 100,000 Arizonans, a rich culture of cannabis innovation has been spawned and activists like myself, empowered by the partial shield the card provides, have traipsed across the state to carry the message of change with a greatly reduced chance of arrest. All that progress has been built because once upon a time activists took it on themselves to change the future of the state. In states with full legalization possession arrests have fallen as much as 99%. That kind of future can be ours if we want it enough to get it. Like no other political issue in your life, this really is up to you.
If this year is like last year, the power of our numbers on Monday January 11 will give us courage and strength to dramtically announce our message: AZ needs to lead the way in our cannabis reform. America cannot wait any longer.
Please join us as we join activist groups from around the state to make our voice be heard:
click map to enlarge
- State Capitol Complex Courtyard, 1700 w Washington. Monday January 11, 2016 9am
- Park in lots on Adams or Jefferson, just east of 17th or in lot on west side of complex with entrances on Washington or Jefferson just east of 19th.
- Despite the cool weather, bring water and snacks if necessary.
- Dress comfortably but aim present a positive image of AZ cannabis
- Bring signs if you have them. You can attend the sign painting party Saturday Jan. 9 to prepare.
- Block in the morning hours to join the protest and go visit your representatives’ offices while on campus.
- the child you save may be your own