At my college, 4/20 was marijuana Christmas. Every year at that time, people would go outside, put on their worst possible pants, turn up the jam band radio stations (String Cheese Incident, baby!!!), and smoke up.
As much as I loved seeing my fellow classmates roll down grassy hills, the 4/20 of 2019 has become more than a traditional stoner’s holiday. It’s also an incredible opportunity to advocate on behalf of legal marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes.
Want proof? Just browse through some of the material under the #Happy420 Twitter hashtag.
With multiple Democratic presidential candidates now pushing for the full or partial legalization of marijuana, 2019 has already been a banner year for the legal weed movement.
SEE ALSO: Is it OK to be 420 friendly on main?
Here’s how you can become more involved.
1. Yell at the Democratic primary candidates
Multiple presidential candidates, including Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Jay Inslee, and Elizabeth Warren, have already aggressively pushed for the full legalization of marijuana. Other Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator Amy Klobuchar and (allegedly soon-to-be) presidential candidate Joe Biden hold far more tentative positions. If you’re an advocate for legal marijuana, now’s a great time to send a letter to these candidates, yell at them on Twitter, attend a town hall, and let them know your feelings.
2. Follow the lead of the good … brands?
Historically, brand activism is one of the worst kinds of activism there is. But every once in a while, a brand will come along and do the right thing for the right reason. Look at the approach Ben & Jerry’s took for 4/20/2019. For the Vermont-based company, 4/20 isn’t just an opportunity to “smoke up” — the legalization of marijuana is part of a larger racial justice platform.
3. Learn more about marijuana reform
You can always come to the great Mashable.com for marijuana coverage. But if you’re looking for incredibly state-specific marijuana coverage, turn to Marijuana Moment. While plenty of activism is happening on a federal level, Marijuana Moment can show you what’s happening at the state level, where some of the best organizing is taking place.
4. Find out about how your own Governor feels about marijuana reform
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws grades politicians on how marijuana-friendly they are. Check out how your governor is performing by examining their report cards. Only two United States governors received a grade of ‘A‘ in 2018. Now’s the time to start yelling!
5. Get involved in some grassroots pro-marijuana reform organizing
There are multiple organizations dedicated to marijuana reform and advocacy. Learn more about how you can get involved by following marijuana reform nonprofits like the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, or a local organization like New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR).
6. Donate, donate, donate
Politics is about money, and so, too, is a lot of grassroots organizing. If you don’t have time to put boots on the ground, consider donating to any of the nonprofits listed above. Nonprofits and community groups rely on big grants as well as individual donations to survive.
7. Talk to your neighbors and friends
Support for marijuana legalization is at a high: 65 percent of Americans now think marijuana should be legal, according to a new poll by CBS. But that leaves 45 percent who are either opposed or unsure. One of the best ways to change someone’s mind is by speaking with them directly. If you know someone who’s a little tentative about marijuana reform, talk to them about it.
8. Speak up
If you believe that marijuana should be legalized, don’t keep your opinion to yourself. Announce your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Tell your friends how you feel. Let your oppositional aunt know your innermost pro-marijuana thoughts.
4/20 is about so much more than smoking up. The time has come to spread the holy word of marijuana reform.