April 20 may have a reputation as being something of a “high holiday,” but potheads across the country are doing a lot more than just lolling around on the grass smoking joints and taking bong hits in their basements.
“National Weed Day” (started by a group of five stoner California high school friends in 1970), also gives activists the opportunity to stand together and speak out about the complex issues surrounding the legalization of pot.
Mason Tvert, the driving force behind a Colorado campaign to regulate marijuana just like alcohol, is an example of one advocate hoping that weed enthusiasts will use April 20 to broach the more serious side of the cannabis issue, including the ways in which pot laws fail to address drug abuse and addiction and the fact that the government spends billions of dollars to lock up smokers.
“4/20 has become a day when people feel a lot more comfortable talking about marijuana,” Tvert told High Times, “so we’re encouraging our supporters to use the occasion as a way to start a conversation about not just our initiative, but about the issue in general.”
Interested in joining conversation? Read through our slideshow below to learn about the five ways you can support the activists at the forefront of the fight to legalize marijuana.SLIDESHOW:
Leading the fight to legalize cannabis, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws offers its supporters a number of ways to get involved. Advocates can join the organization, donate money to the cause, lend legal expertise and get educated about the issues involved.
For those who say that pot should be just as available on store shelves as booze, there's the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. This Colorado-based organization is the driving force behind Amendment 64, which calls for personal use of pot among adults to be legal and will appear on the Colorado ballot during this year's presidential election. To show your support, take the pledge to back Amendment 64 here.
Since 1965, 20 million people have been arrested for marijuana-related charges, a figure, cannabis-activism group NORML says is costing our country billions and overcrowding prisons. To show the government that you are serious about legalizing weed and are opposed to spending federal funds on locking smokers up, join the 33,000-plus people who have already signed a petition on Change.org to legalize the drug.
Pushing for the legalizing of cannabis for therapeutic use and research, advocates working with Americans For Safe Access, help patients navigate the legal system, hold law enforcement accountable, enact policy change and lobby on Capitol Hill. Learn how you can take action by starting a local chapter and getting in touch with your representatives here.
Made up of current and former members of the law enforcement, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition believes that our country's drug policies have failed to effectively address issues of drug abuse and addiction. Its members are pushing to get marijuana off the black market and into a system of regulation and control that will be less harmful, less costly and more ethical. Learn how you can get involved as a member and give to the cause.