The year 2019 has the potential to be the biggest so far in the short history of the cannabis law reform movement, with a myriad of possibilities both on a state and federal level in the U.S. But that potential will only be realized if we have all hands on deck, as the saying goes. Everyone who supports marijuana law reform needs to be actively engaged in some aspect of the fight. But what, specifically, can each of you, the readers of The Marijuana Times, do?

Get Involved Locally

Not everyone lives in a state that has activists that are actively and robustly pursuing a change in cannabis laws in the near future, but most people do. Most states are either moving toward changes in the law or need current legalization/decriminalization laws improved.

Any state that has a shot at marijuana law reform will already have groups established for that purpose. Sure, you could start your own, but if you’re just getting started in activism, it will be easier and more efficient for you to join an existing group. Social media hubs like Facebook have a seemingly never-ending number of groups dedicated to legalization. These will be a good place to start to find people in your area dedicated to marijuana law reform.

Many areas also have a NORML Chapter or something similar, somewhere to make contacts and learn the ropes of fighting to get laws changed.

Getting Involved Online

In the age of the Internet, activism is a combination of online and “in real life” efforts. But a lot of people don’t have time to hold campaign/protest signs or attend chapter meetings, so their time can be used more efficiently on the Internet. They can use less time to influence more people and still provide critical support to cannabis law reform.

The easiest way to do this is share stories like this one on message boards and social media networks. A few simple clicks and you’ve amplified a message you believe in. Besides sharing stories and making contacts as outlined above, another great way to use the power of the web is to contact those who have power over cannabis policy.

Organization like NORML, Marijuana Policy Project and the Drug Policy Alliance provide easy-to-use forms that can be used to contact legislators and other government officials and find attempts at changing cannabis laws around the country. These portals are constantly updated, and all the big organizations have email lists you can join to get the latest information and alerts on legislation and efforts around the country.

In the end, the key to being an activist is right in the name: be active. Whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours a week, your efforts add to the cumulative effect that the marijuana law reform movement produces. Follow efforts in your area and at the federal level as much as you can. Contribute your free time and help spread the truth about cannabis in any way that is at your disposal, whether that’s sharing on social media to thousands or talking to a relative at the dinner table.

Marijuana legalization only comes about because of the people involved in making it happen. Freedom, once taken, is never freely returned. It’s up to us.