By Christine Edmond
I suppose a lot has happened in the last 12+ months….
Actually, my entire life changed.
I had another breaking bad moment, but this time was more like a rocket ship lifted me off into full throttle. I discovered a part of me that was on fire and hungry to empower others to see[k] truth and change.
Two days before entering 2016, I attended my first DC NORML (National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws) meeting (I previously attended several meetings in Virginia). I’m not sure if it was the contagious energy of the executive director or the energy from the company that led me to attend, but something inside was triggered.
It made sense.
Taking on a double minor in undergrad at American University, I studied psychology and justice, law and society on top of my journalism major. I chose to take courses like Drugs and Human Behavior; Drugs, Consciousness, & Fulfillment; and Law, Psychology and Justice…among others with a similar theme.
My goal? To understand (and also #nonprofitstartupfuturegoals).
Until college, I was a proud and supportive DARE advocate. That was until I realized it is all propaganda, especially when it comes to the Cannabis Sativa plant, and that all the honor students “smoke pot.” Surely the smart kids couldn’t/shouldn’t be excluded from the list of “good people,” as the new attorney general may propose. 😐
At this point, we realize DARE does not keep people from their curiosities, and instead creates ignorance by covering truths. As the New Jim Crow notes, we are wasting money and resources to put nonviolent people who should not only be spending time being productive in the world, but they could be spending time building and investing (please think beyond money) in society…and with their families.
War on Drugs? …nah.
But the drug war goes further than stealing lives and years from people (read John 10:10)—particularly against people who look like me.
Looking at the grande scheme of the Universe, the drug war is really an attack on the family. This is my biggest heartbreak.
Taking fathers, mothers, and caregivers away from the future generation; to be sent behind bars, made to feel like a criminal (I love you, you’re probably not).
If you’ve seen any of the shows making money from sharing behind the scenes of the demoralizing prison system, then you know it’s not somewhere you want to end up when you’re just trying to peacefully live your life without causing harm to anyone………including yourself…
Once this truth was unveiled to me through both my classroom and real life encounters, I knew that I couldn’t keep this realized truth for and to myself. Believing this as part of my purpose/existence, I barely felt any fear in knowing that I am a first-generation American with Christian parents who are not supportive of supporting anything that the law says ‘no’ to.
But the revelation came to me. The law: written and inspired by man’s personal desired outcome, has once also said that blacks and whites cannot eat in the same place or marry; women could not hold certain roles or vote; and blacks are only worth 3/5 of a person….. I’m sorry, but no. I hope your convictions on the laws of man have been altered because this flux and subjectiveness is our human reality.
So how could I ignore the number of [black] people behind [privately owned] bars who never hurt anyone, including themselves? Or the millions of sick patients who can benefit from the healing of a plant with zero negative side effects (depending on the strain and your evening plans)?