Passive arm-chair activism vs. Actual activism
For all of my life I have been active in one cause or another. Whatever had churned my heart. When my heart strings are pulled on an issue, I typically pour my entire self into the endeavor. I can’t just passively participate, it’s not in my soul to sit back and watch other people do all of the work. Something inside me tells me that I have to get involved.
Recently I have been called “lazy” and a “drug user” and a plethora of other things by jealous family and friends. The reason being is that I got in a horrible accident in 2013, I’ve had many surgeries since, and I got a bit of an insurance settlement to get me through the next few years. So I took some time off activism. For example, this forum was down for a little over a year, just because I didn’t not have the ability to focus on this. For about 8 months of that year, this site was not online at all. I simply let it go, which is not like me to do, after putting 7 years into this blog/forum. We have 13,243 members (which I am going to clean up inactive members at the end of this month). On twitter we have over 6000 followers, and between all of our facebook groups we have over 60,000 likes/participants. Needless to say, I put a lot of time in to this site, and others. But since my accident, I just have been in a bit of a slump.
But even with the downtime, I still provided for my family. We started a new newspaper, and a vaporizer store while we were in Idaho. I couldn’t just lay around moping all of the time, I had to do something.
But I am getting my bearings straight again, and I am getting back to it. Trying not to get too deep into passive arm-chair activism
Activism for me does not pay anything, nor would I want it to. I have almost a million views on Youtube, but I do not turn on adwords or monetization, because I don’t want my activism to be based on a financial gain. For 7 years I have my hundreds of videos for youtube, some of them each have over 60,000 views and hundreds of likes, but I have not crossed the line from “grassroots activist” to “paid lobbyist”, it’s just not my style.
You can see some screenshots of my youtube account for xcannabis;
(reference this video for more, circa 2013; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDm7cjLXolM)
I mean if I was desperate to live the easy life, I would tap into every opportunity to make money off anything that I can.
But instead, I have done all of my activism on my tab. When we spread the word in the past, we have printed and given out t-shirts at out own expense (I got arrested for it in Springville Utah, and ended up getting a law nullify that the used to arrest me). I also paid for that lawyer out of pocket, and got no reimbursement for it from anywhere.
During the Sensible Washington campaigns, I used my own earnings to rent a conference room at a law office and paid for the meetings and all of the concessions. We did not pay signature gatherers with those initiatives, but we did give thousands of dollars of gifts away from our stores for rewards in regards to the efforts of collecting signatures.
So what does this all come down to? First of all, I have family who are activists for gay rights and such. We have had a few conversations about our activism, and I get a feeling that they sense competition with me. The last conversation that I had with a family member about activism was in March. I started trying to apologize for our misgivings on facebook. She stopped me, and she said “I have my causes, and I am passionate about it, and you have yours. We are all passionate”.
I was like whoa nelly. Im not having a competition about activism, I am just trying to apologize and move on from our disagreement. The conversation ended, and I haven’t heard from that person again. It’s likely that I never will, and its likely that I will never reach out.
But I notice that I am a competitive person. Not competitive with other people as much, but competitive in getting something done.
Like with those initiatives in WA under Sensible Washington in 2010, and 2011 (i-1068 and i-1149). I was desperate to get those initiatives passed, because I KNEW and I made videos about it, and I said that “If we do not get these passed, we will have some corporation or organization come in to Washington and take over cannabis, and screw it up”, and that is what happened with I-502. This video is kind of long winded, but I post it to demonstrate why I am so passionate and maybe even competitive. Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtFsQ-EO3H0
For someone who has been arrested for simple possession of cannabis (as a teen), spent many months in jail over simple possession, was denied service to this country over it, and who has had negative side effects follow me around from being arrested in my life, I am VERY passionate about getting cannabis laws decriminalized.
That is not the only thing that I have worked on. I have also worked on issues like protesting the wars (including the drug war), ending affirmative action, fighting against unconstitutional issues like Proposition 8 in California, restructuring our markets in the USA, and promoting responsible and smaller government. But I think my biggest efforts have been made in cannabis law nullification.
Anyway, we only have one life. Are we going to pass a broken world on to our children, or are we going to fix it? Do not let this opportunity pass you by, to make the world a better place!
This was a video that I made directly after my accident that took me out of commission for 2 years. This explains why I do blog.