This month, we decided to launch a new content series called ‘Pass the Blunt’ where we give members of the cannabis culture the opportunity to share their high-deas on trending topics and important conversations revolving around the canna-community.
To kick things off, we passed the blunt to cannabis activist and musician, Abby Adams, who gave us the most up-to-date information on what the cannabis advocacy space currently looks like and the impact it’s having on the community as a whole.
The State of Cannabis Advocacy
The advocacy space needs to focus more on science! Medicinal cannabis patients need more support from advocates of adult use bills. Advocates for adult use bills need more support from patients to guarantee their personal safety. Safety for all is paramount, no matter what reason you prioritize.
Cannabis advocacy is about more than just bongs and thongs, or who makes the best cookies. It’s about environmentalism, diversity, feminism, business licensing, group actions, and entrepreneurial ventures. If America’s green rush doesn’t stabilize soon, there’s not much chance for a stable cannabis economy in the United States.
As larger corporations prepare to infiltrate the small business economy, opportunities for businesses modeled after those in the craft beer and wine market will decrease. As larger businesses employ standard American agri-business models, opportunities for environmentalism in business models decrease.
These outcomes can change with cannabis advocacy space itself. Nothing is set in stone.
There are only so many chances to let legislators hear your opinions before they vote on your behalf, so groups like Start Smart NY which will help you get in touch with your legislators can be very helpful in the cannabis advocacy space.
How to Advocate
The following are some tips and pointers that I’ve found helpful for advocacy in general. I’ve included some examples regarding cannabis advocacy as well:
- Educate yourself
- Read books! Try: “Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness: An Essential Guide for Using Nature’s Medicine to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Inflammation, and More” by authors Dr. June Chin and Aliza Sherman.
- Internet research from reputable sources, of course b.BluntDaily, newspapers like the New York Times Medical Marijuana Page, Forbes, and others are great resources.
- Attend events. I attend Women Grow, CannaGather, and other events. The Maze Calendar is a great resource for more events.
- Find your “tribe”. Mine are Women Grow and TribeTokes. Read Broccoli Mag, and seek out groups like Start Smart NY.
- Have conversations at home. In this case, parents must choose how they speak to their children, but among friends, adults may discuss cannabis freely, which leads to step 3…
- Hosting your own events, and reaching a wider audience. It’s a wonderful feeling to get together with people you care about and share thoughts and opinions. Push boundaries, and discuss your true beliefs. Do not compromise. Do have a structured plan for how your event should run, set time for each question asked, and try to appreciate each other’s ideas rather than shut each other out.
Be the Change You Want to See in the World
The lack of regulation and science that appears alongside prohibition causes events like “the vape crisis” of the last few months. Who knows what will happen when the bubble formed by the green rush pops. This circles back to needing more research in the field.
Advocacy is in fact a stabilizing force in the cannabis community. Education through advocacy channels can only help lend structure to the community going forward. Cannabis advocacy can only lead to more research if individuals advocating for patient and adult use come together and use simple advocacy tools to enact change.
Be sure to connect with Abby Adams by following her on Instagram @abbyadamsmusic