It is only polite that I introduce myself as I will be speaking to you on a very serious matter: marijuana prohibition, how it is failing and harmful to our society, and why we should seriously consider full legalization across the board. This deserves a very truthful look at all aspects of prohibition and legalization as an option therefore I first want to disclose the facts about myself to you, the reader, personally before I proceed with this subject of such great and impacting importance.
I am a disabled/retired volunteer Firefighter/EMT. I worked in several areas during my working years, which due to my disability were not very many. I was a cashier at a grocery store, waitress at a small town restaurant, convenience store clerk with more duties than the job description, for a short time I worked with a pressure washing company spending very hot, humid nights pounding concrete with water and myself with oil, dirt and who knows what else, and I owned my own business selling cosmetics at the very end of my working career. I am now 35 years old. I have lived in Upstate South Carolina all of my life. I do understand the society and culture that I am speaking to on this subject and realize that my state has a very long way to go in understanding this plant we call marijuana (proper name cannabis) as does most of the country itself here in the United States.
I feel that as a state and as a nation, We The People as established in our Constitution, have not only the right to be informed about cannabis as a plant and its uses derived from that fact but also have the right to speak out and voice our opinions and beliefs about our state taking initiative to one day come to a conclusion based on proper knowledge and conversation about the plant to bring prohibition of cannabis to a final end and fully legalize it.
I believe facts. I am one person that a skeptic does not want to come into contact with. I would call myself a mega-skeptic especially about the use of anything that is legally classified as a drug. It took me a long time learning and talking to others to come to the conclusions I have came to today about cannabis. I have to see things to believe them and I am one tough cookie to convince of anything. I can be open minded (or could be – since I have dropped my defense mechanisms reluctantly in the face of a lot of facts about a lot of subjects that I thought I knew the truth about but later on found out just how wrong I was and as a result that attitude I had described is now long gone – past tense!) and am open minded at this point in my life.
Growing up I was the typical model of “the girl next door” and no one questioned that. Today my friends that are much older than I call me “Hippie” in a loving fashion. Yes I like tye-dye and actually know how to make my own. I love the styles of jewelry that is associated with the “hippie” movement and I love flowers very much. Surprisingly it was not any of those things that made them laugh and blurt out “hippie” when referring to me. I did not have a political mind or motivation in any bone in my body. I hate politics in general. Nothing else of what is stereotyped as the “hippie” movement can be found with me or in my personality. My tastes came from growing up “between” generations. My parents are of the depression era children that were born in the 1930s. My first cousins are the baby boomers and some of them true blood hippies themselves. Where did I fit in? As a child of the 80s I had to wing it! Why do they call me hippie, then? Is it because of what I am speaking about in this blog? No, they do not associate me with drugs or explicit sex as the media portrayed the “real hippies” of the 60s and 70s to have partaken in. They call me that simply because of my laid back attitude and open mind that I obtained through a lot of education about society. In this light I say this: It is my belief that cannabis use is a matter of civil liberty more than anything else first and foremost. Therefore I have learned to be pragmatic about my views and ideas pertaining to the issue of legalization. Before I could do that, it was time for a lesson (or yet another lesson) in civics and society, namely the society of the state of South Carolina. This is important because I realize if I am to be effective here in my goals that I work from a grass roots level.
I want to reach out to my fellow South Carolinians in a manner that is factual and truthful. I do not want to sugar coat anything I say or give to you in this blog or otherwise. In this light I come to you and only ask of you that you have an open mind so we can have a polite discussion as well as a realistic one.