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December 2010
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New Year’s Resolutions

You probably have your own personal New Year’s resolutions, but if you are really committed to drug policy reform, why not set a few drug policy reform resolutions as well? (And if you’re reading this on New Year’s eve or New Year’s day, I think it’s fair to say that you’re pretty committed.)

What we really need is grass roots growth. Sure, write your Representative if you want, but that shouldn’t count toward meeting your resolutions. Change minds. Increase the knowledge and boost the courage of the vast population of potential allies out there.

1. Get involved in a conversation with someone new about drug policy reform. Aim for once a month. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. Ask them if they heard about a particular article or issue. If you want to make this easy, wear a LEAP t-shirt.

2. Write a letter to the editor. Aim for once a month. Most newspapers will let you write again after 30 days. Plus, there are thousands of papers you can write. Getting a letter published is more valuable than an expensive advertisement.

3. Tell others about Drug WarRant. If you think that this is a valuable site and that you learn more about drug policy reform by reading it, then let others know. Send a link to a story you like to a friend, post it on Facebook or Reddit or Twitter, or bring it up on a discussion board.

4. Make a financial commitment. Give something. Doesn’t need to be a lot, but do your part. Pick a drug policy reform organization that you’d like to support (I’m a fan of LEAP, but there are other good ones as well). And at the absolute minimum, you should tithe. A tithe is one-tenth, and often refers to the practice of giving 1/10th of your earnings to your church. But I’m suggesting a different kind of tithing. Give at least 1/10th of what you spend on drugs (including alcohol) to organizations that are working on creating better policies.

These aren’t hard. But if everyone who read this blog followed these resolutions, it would make a huge difference.

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9 comments to New Year’s Resolutions

  • Great advice, Pete. Thank you for all you do and have a Happy New Year!

    If any readers live in Washington state, one such resolution could be to help with our Sensible Washington campaign to legalize marijuana in 2011 – please check out http://sensiblewashington.org and get involved!

  • pfroehlich2004

    The latest Gallup poll has support for legalization at 46% of the adult population. That’s roughly 100 million people.

    100 million of us contributing just $1 a month would be more than sufficient to fund every major legalization initiative and then some.

    Talk to every legalization supporter you know and convince them to throw a few dollars into the cause. We’ve got the numbers but everyone needs to do their part.

  • Cannabis

    Another thing that you can do is to help keep the lights on here at Drug WarRant. You can click the purple & blue button which reads “Please help direct-pay Drug WarRant’s hosting bills at DreamHost” over there on the left-hand side of any page, just above the Drug War Victims candle flame. I know that Pete would appreciate the donation, plus you get to read the witty text on the donation page.

  • ezrydn

    I know some are concerned about wearing the LEAP shirt out. Listen, the time I enjoy wearing the shirt the most is when I travel and it’s always “international” so you get the idea. Airports are the most fun. On one hand, you flaunt your position in the faces of ICE, local LEOs and you get scores of people asking “Why?” Do it once and you’ll do it forever. It’s truly an “in your face” that they can do nothing about. I normally schedule so I’ve got a couple hours of “layover time” just to field the questions.

    Do it and you’ll be “addicted” to it. LOL When Howard and I wore ours at breakfast, during my VN reunion, in the restaurant, I watched Howard handle “WHY” in 3 different languages at the same time (we were at Yosemite). The shirts are truly MAGNETS for the word “Why?” And all you have to do is simply go about your business as you normally would. Any reformer with a desire to interact will find it to your liking. GET A SHIRT AND WEAR IT OUT!

  • darkcycle

    My favorite shirt is my “Incarceration Nation” T-shirt from Pete’s Cafe Press store. I’ve had all kinds comment on that one.
    Money will be well spent at: LEAP, Sensiblewashington.org (to support the next direct initiative), NORML, or at many other fine purveyors of sanity. Get your sanity while it lasts! And please, this Holiday season, give so that those without, might get a little sanity of their own.

  • Duncan20903

    Hey Pete, I fixed your typo above:

    “And if you’re reading this on New Year’s eve or New Year’s day, I think it’s fair to say that you should be committed.

    —————————————————————————————————————-

    I’ve read there are about 15 million adults that enjoy cannabis on occasion.

    15 million potheads coughing up a dollar per month x 12 months would contribute $180,000,000 per year. That’s almost 2 tenths of a billion dollars. The last time I checked NORML had an annual budget of less than $2 million.

    OK I went and looked it up. MPP is a tad over $2.5 million. They also get a very poor rating for organizational efficiency. NORML doesn’t seem to have it’s numbers included. I swear I recall getting the less than $2 million number from charitynavigator.org.

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10789
    ………………………………………………..

    pfroehlich2004, I see we’re thinking along the same lines but one of the utter stupidities of the gov’t statistics on this matter is that ‘lifetime’ users are anyone who ever tried it. Calvina Fay and Skip Miller may be included in that 100 million figure. There’s a locksmith in Portland Oregon that has been a vociferous enemy of the truth and of freedom.He claims he was a significant pothead before he quit and dedicated himself to being a senseless idiot. Here’s a sample of what the US government considers to be a pothead:

    http://www.examiner.com/drug-policy-in-portland/john-english (caution: horseshit zone)

    In my day I’ve been aware of at least 4 people that tried cannabis and swore it off forever because they didn’t care for the effect. No, not a lot considering I’ve been in this thing now for exactly 33 1/2 years as of today, even less when you consider that my involvement causes me to meet a significantly larger number of people who participate than most. Still, all 4 included as potheads in the US Gov’t handouts.

    Using that 100 million figure just doesn’t sit right with me. I think people should be required to get high a second time at the very minimum to be included in this cohort. It’s also bothersome because it’s such a powerful argument in our favor. 100 million tried it, where are all the brain addled goofballs who ‘ruined’ their lives with cannabis? But all in all it’s unethical to use such an argument if you know it’s very likely that the category has been defined too broadly and therefore includes people that it shouldn’t. I want us to be ethical and differentiate ourselves from the Know Nothing prohibitionists. Unlike them, we don’t need to use bald faced lies, half truths, and hysterical rhetoric. The Know Nothings haven’t got anything else.
    ………………………………………………..

    Hmm, it looks like Mr. English hasn’t been regurgitating his pap for over a year. I wonder what the heck happened? Well, I hope that it included serious permanent physical injury and/or (fingers crossed) death for Mr. English. I certainly hope he hasn’t started enjoying cannabis again. Some people I just don’t want sitting on my side of the table.

    • Dan L

      …included serious permanent physical injury and/or (fingers crossed) death for Mr. English.”

      This phatic lagniappe at the end of your posting doesn’t do the cause any good. Wishing death or injury on someone who arguably hasn’t harmed or assaulted you raises barriers to persuasion and communication.

      In a lot of people’s eyes, wishing death or injury on a person is a single step from actually doing it. Why not take the high road, and avoid confirming what they already think of you?

      Hating people just because they hate you isn’t generally very productive.

  • pfroehlich2004

    Hi Duncan,

    the 100 million figure actually doesn’t refer to lifetime users. The most recent Gallup Poll (28/10/10) on whether marijuana should be legalized found that 46% of respondents support legalization, with 50% opposed and 4% undecided.

    Based on a population of 300 million minus roughly 75 million who are under 18, 46% comes to about 100 million supporters of legalization. F*** Calvina Fay, Skip Miller, Barack Obama, and any other hypocrite who’s smoked weed and wants to keep prohibition. We’ve got the numbers even without them.

  • malcolm kyle

    I first laid eyes on Old John English at last year’s mid-July concert. He was holding a sign instructing the local district attorney to confiscate Conde’s land. The man looked lonely and slightly daft, but my pity for him was tempered by the realization that he was also very rude. I don’t think any cannabis activist has ever stood outside a church full of extremist, pot-hating people, asking the government to confiscate the church’s land.

    I talked to Old John last year; he poured out his condemnations, lamentations and prophecies. He bragged of driving the Grateful Dead out of Southern Oregon, of harassing the Oregon Country Fair, a “hippie” event that is more uplifting in an hour than a rodeo, drag race, gun club meeting, or fundamentalist church service is in a week.

    When I saw Old John this year, I stopped the car and began to take photos of him. Apparently, he didn’t want his picture taken. He said he’d call the police, and began pushing me.

    Old John believes pot smokers are weak, dumb, wasted people who have no strength or spunk. Losers who don’t fight back. Of course he’s wrong. I informed him I’d have to knock him to the ground if he continued to touch me. He seemed surprised, then afraid, and began frantically dialing his cell phone, pleading for police intervention.

    I took the opportunity to drive away, and arrived in the parking lot with a creepy sensation that I’d had an encounter with a devil. Thank Jesus I escaped.
    http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/articles/73.html

    John is indeed totally M.I.A; pity!