Back to Class(es)
Its’ time to recognize that we have become so complacent and comfortable with our current marijuana laws to the point of creating separate classes; the leagalizer and the patient. A bit of history and an opinion on our state:
First, we need a brief history on the activism here in Oregon. All activism came from leagalizers. Before OMMA, the patient was considered a leaglaizer. Under Federal Rules there is no difference between patients and leagalizers. The Cannabis Buyers Club, although staffed with “patients” was totally ran and underwritten by leagalizers. We owe much to these people for our medical program. As it stands therefore we are still all legalizers until we can change the Federal laws.
There are many patients enjoying the comfort level of the current program. However it is those who work outside this comfort zone that forge the way. They firmly believe in patients “rights” however are not a patient now and hope to never have to be. This does not mean that they have not worked hard for the efforts, will do all they can to enhance and support the program. But we cannot forget the real fight, total freedom. As it stands now, we are constantly in the line of fire and there is no guarantee that your patient rights in Oregon are protected federally. We could loose them at any time. This is why the fight MUST continue, including that of the leagalizer. This makes it even more important to the patient. After 10 years of program we are just beginning to gain credible ground in educating our medical providers. They did not create the program.
There are many patients who never used marijuana before the program. It is hard for them to understand that it was in fact the recreational users who forged the path of success for medical marijuana. Many of these early pioneers were very adept in the “black market”. All of these pioneers were professionals at taking great risks. The current medical program was made available to you largely through these individuals. We are all one.
Stop The Class Division- It Is Up To You!
These class divisions leave us prey for divide and conquer tactics. To date this has been the biggest trouble maker we face.
Quite frankly, it is in the leagalizers plan to use medical marijuana as a launching pad to total freedom (Federal Re-Scheduling). If mj is re-scheduled then all of our major battles would be over…finished. We would not be here discussing these issues. Even as a patient you can agree with this.
We met with Kieth Stroup (NORML Founder) last year at the 2007 Oregon Cannabis Awards hosted by ORNORML. During the discussion one of our key points was that there in fact had been a division of classes amongst marijuana users here in Oregon. We also had great concerns about the problems this class division was causing (including amongst orgs).
We felt that some were assisting in creating this division with the exclusion of “leagalizers” and focusing only on MMJ (it is good to see the direction changed somewhat). We felt that NORML needed an outlet for leagalizers. We feel the patients are well organized and know their own needs better, and that NORML needs to have primary focus on national reform for everyone. The point is folks we all have only one fight. We won’t win if we are divided. We must not be afraid to work outside of our comfort zone to move forward. We did not win yet, contrary to popular belief (and current comfort level).
Let’s be careful not to support a class division.
The medical use of marijuana is and always has been part of the strategy for full legalization by all major organizations. This will not change. Patients cannot forget that there is no sanctity yet until the war is won. Simply winning one small battle on the front does not guaranty victory of the war. NORML cannot forget that it has a goal first for National Reform, not medical reform. Medical reform cannot happen without National Reform. We are team mates regardless of our current position and we have not won yet.
Keep up the fight, I know I will. But let’s not create classes of citizens in our own community. It is up to each of us to take a look at the whole and support each other.