Voting is merely the first step

Vote. You know you want to be part of this one, so just do it. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. By now, if you’ve got a brain, you’ve figured out what you’d like to do with your vote, and don’t need me to help you.
I’m also going to assume that if you have a drug policy related referendum question on your ballot, you’re not going to screw it up. If you’re a reader of this blog and need me to tell you whether to vote for a marijuana decrim referendum, or a release-non-violent-drug-offenders referendum, then it’s time to put down the joint and get off my couch.
If you need to know how your representative voted on drug policy issues, this guide from DPA may help.
24 hours from now, we’re going to know about some winners and losers, but our job won’t be over. It’ll just be getting interesting.
Once the election is done, we can start working on the newly elected officials to let them know about drug policy reform. Learn about your new Representative, and start planning a visit, or a call to their staffers to let them know that there is someone in their district who knows something valuable about drug policy and would like to share it with them.
I’m looking forward to it — with the much anticipated retirement of Representative Jerry Weller (yes, that one), I’ll finally have the opportunity to actually develop a relationship with a new Representative in my district.
And this will be the time, when silly season is over for a few months and politicians aren’t as frightened of drug policy discussions.
One of the positive things I’ve noticed in this election season is the lack of discussion about drugs (outside of specifically drug-related referenda). Yes, I see that as positive, in that nobody was pulling the tough-on-drugs routine. There were plenty of opportunities, and except for insignificant moments (like McCain’s over-the-top rant about performance-enhancing drugs during tonight’s football game), there has been no call for longer prison sentences, or major drug crackdowns, etc.
It appears that the politicians have discovered that there are no votes to gain by pulling out the tough-on-drugs rhetoric. That’s huge!
Sure, they’re not anywhere near the next big step — recognizing that there are votes to gain by supporting reform — but this is a good start.
I still believe that the most important part of our efforts is to educate public opinion so the politicians can follow, but we do have a wonderful opportunity post-election to build a relationship with our political employees.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.