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We Want Weed | The NORML Stash Blog

MrSpof hails from the Gulag Commonwealth of Virginia where he has been burning the sweet leaf for 28 years (and counting). The utter hypocrisy, injustice, and lies from our government about cannabis are the fuel firing my passion and NORML's kind hosting of my news posts and rants gives me an outlet for that passion. If you're reading this, you CAN make a difference. Donate to the acronym of your choice (NORML, MPP, DPA, etc), come out of the cannabis closet as much as you can, and make YOUR voice heard!


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9 responses to “We Want Weed”

  1. M in Oregon

    Hardworking citizens who have jobs, are pissed that they can’t have a beer after work, and are protesting in the winter, when they don’t get off work to hold a protest until after dark, I’m guessing…

    As opposed to tie-dye wearing, pot-smoking dead-heads who have no work schedule that interferes with their ability to attend a protest at any time they’d like.

    The poke at dead-heads is purely in jest, but the truth is that people’s perceptions are filtered through their previously acquired experiences and opinions, and image is absolutely important in promoting our message to the masses that will ultimately accept and support our ideas. Much easir to do if we don’t also have to overcome their prejuduces against those who have a “counter-culture” appearance, which allow them to categorically deny the validity of the message being presented out of their own ignorance, fear, and prejuduce.

    So the bottom line is, if you want to look like a Goth, a Gangsta Rapper, a Hippy, or a Dead-head, do it. Just realize that it will be counterproductive if promoting your ideas into the collective consciousness of mainstream society is your goal.

    That being said, if you are in the inner city talking to young people, or at a hippy gathering, or at a Love and Rockets concert with a bunch of Goths and trying to spread the word to them, your sub-culture appropriate atire might be a good thing.

    These individuals, by the nature of their counter-cultural bent are more likely to be, or know recreational cannabis users, and are more often already aware of the need for cannabis legalization.

    The real target we need to concentrate on is the average, non-cannabis using individual, and make them aware that the image they have of the average cannabis user, and thus the plant it’s self, is incorrect.

    I got rid of my long hair after having it for 6 months or so during my college years, after seeing how much of a detriment it could be in day to day life, due to the rather dismayingly widespread ignorance of those who had negative opinions of long haired, hippy counet culture.

    I still have long hair on the inside though…
    and my internal organs emit a distinct patchouly scent… Luckily the cops can’t smell it or see it when I get pulled over, so I never get searched.

  2. Raquel

    Wonderful! I needed to read this! :-)

  3. Paradym

    Thanks for the positive feedback everyone, I just hope what I said might help some realize how they can be more effective.

    fallibilist: I completely concur with what you said. How well one speaks and writes is as much if not more important as one’s appearance. Being able to argue properly and effectively, not succumbing to logical fallacies and being modest and humble in demeanor are all excellent tools to winning arguments and converts.

    Here is a quick article on how to argue:

    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=499

    As well, we must all try to avoid language crutches that can detract from one’s message; things such as using “like” all the time, colloquials such as “dude”, “man”, and any cannabis culture related terminology that creates a separation between mainstream society and our cause. We need to be wary of anything that makes us appear as outsiders.

    While I truly do not mean to criticize anyone personally, I do wonder what a person investigating the marijuana movement might think about us if they were to come to this site and simply see the comments on Fresh Stash. I’m just as guilty about being funny and making Spicoli-like comments, but I do that around like-minded friends and not in public, and especially not around those I hope to sway towards compassion for cannabis reform.

  4. Brian Kerr

    Yes ware cloths that don’t make you look like a biker or hippy.

  5. fallibilist

    I’d like to agree hardily with Paradym and also extend his remarks.

    Physical appearance is important but so is the articulation of our arguments, both in speech and in print. One of the most pernicious and stubborn myths is that cannabis makes people stupid. If we are sloppy in our speaking and writing, we inadvertently reinforce that stereotype. While there may be smart people with bad spelling and grammar, people do judge these things just as surely as they notice physical appearance or body odor.

    We have to combat the pot-makes-you-stupid myth. That means we should be able to make clear, concise, persuasive arguments in writing and conversation.

    I realize that there will be typos. I also realize that everyone slips up sometimes when answering questions. But if you want to do your part to legalize pot, three simple things you can do are (1) use a spell-check when you make pro-marijuana comments online or in a letter (2) pay attention to grammar in your writing (3) learn to answer spoken questions in a direct, succinct, calm way.

    I am convinced that cannabis will be legal one day in the United States. We hasten that day when we present our case in the best possible light.

  6. HopelessSinner

    You are correct Paradym,Nice post.
    So remember leave your tie dyed shirt at home
    on Marijuana March Day.

  7. Urb Age

    A post like that deserves a little props Paradym. Good job and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your take 100%. One reason why you wont be able to purchase a tye-dye TS from UAD in the past,present, or future, unless its legalized. (Before you tyedyers flame me, I love em and wear them at the right time also). I just dont support them on the battlefield and most cases that is in public.

    Russ should I doctor that picture to fit our message?

  8. Paradym

    Going to put my foot on the third rail for a moment:

    Russ, you bring up what I believe to be one of the biggest hurdles to cannabis reform, and you’ve been mentioning it here and there a bit more recently: Image. The general population’s perception of cannabis users, and how we choose to present ourselves.

    While I am definitely completely supportive of the freedom to dress and groom oneself in any manner one chooses and that one’s character and worth should not be judged by our manner of self expression, the truth is that humans do judge based upon appearance and presentation. This is why there is racism, genderism, classism, and all other forms of prejudice. It’s something we need to continually strive to overcome but we must be aware that it is a fact of life.

    There was a time when people dressed basically the same, as evidenced by the photograph above. People kept themselves well-groomed, were generally well-mannered and polite. If the core base of the cause of cannabis law reform was populated by the well-educated middle-upper to upper class of conservative, suit & dress wearing and well-spoken people, I would argue that prohibition would have ended long ago. Instead, the public usually sees the counterculture types being the ones protesting prohibition. They see young, inarticulate, rebellious, partying people dressed in “different” attire that they cannot identify with, and therefore have a difficult time respecting and listening to their arguments. I think one of the strongest factors in the growing acceptance of any kind of cannabis reform right now is due to medical marijuana, in that disease and disability can affect anyone; it levels the playing field and opens people’s minds to listening to what we have to say. The sick are deserving of our sympathy and attention, the hippie stoner is simply selfish and not contributing to society.

    If we are not being successful in our cause we need only look in the mirror. We can blame government oppression, big business conspiracies and general public ignorance and prejudice. Those are all factors, I would agree. But the real roadblock is facing us right in the mirror. We want to be taken seriously. Ending the war on drugs is a serious issue. We have the facts on our side. Therefore, we need to get serious, present ourselves in such a way as to be seen as serious and worthy of respect. Rebelliousness isn’t having lots of piercings, dreadlocks, wearing funky clothes and painting your fingernails black. That’s been done and done by many. Being a motorcyclist I often chuckle at the Harley-Davidson crowd, all wearing the same thing and riding the same bike and at the same time pronouncing their individuality. Instead, I offer that a real rebel is one that can blend in with one’s opponent but inside still harbors counterculture ideas and works within The Game to achieve the desired results. That’s my new tact. That guy sitting next to you on the subway wearing a suit, freshly shaven and with groomed hair might actually be a tattooed hard-core rocker on the inside and share the same world view as you. While you might perfectly emulate your favorite band and take pleasure in making soccer moms uncomfortable just by your appearance, guess who’s going to get the attention of the town mayor or the local business leader? Guess whose opinion is going to garner more respect? Same opinion, different outcome.

    Just sayin’.

  9. Jillian

    who holds a protest march in the middle of the night? :?:

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