WHY IS IT STILL ILLEGAL?

1) Why is it STILL illegal?:

The official answer: Because you shouldn't use it. You can't use it because it is illegal, and it is illegal so you can't use it. You should not use it. It is illegal. It is illegal so you should not use it.

The manic-depressive answer: It'll never happen. People are too unorganized/stupid/disempowered. It's just futility. Try, but don't expect to get anywhere. I won't get my hopes up.

The paranoid-schizophrenic answer: Don't you SEE?!?!? The guys at the top have it SEWN!! They own everything. They'll never let it happen. I shouldn't even be talking to you, but let me give you some advice!! listen... you shouldn't mess with THEM, THEY know everything. THEY are practically psychic, see? And the only way to get it to happen is to become one of THEM. You'd better watch it, or
THEY will come and take you away -- THEY do that, you know. It's all a CONSPIRACY!!!

The neurotic answer: Marijuana? Eeek! Don't you know that stuff is dangerous? People don't make laws for no good reason, you know! Where did you hear about marijuana? Wait! Don't tell me, I don't want to know. If anybody even knew you thought it should be legal -- well -- they'd never
talk to you again! Don't you know that marijuana this... marijuana that... ... ... ...

THE REAL ANSWER: Marijuana is still illegal because enough people have not yet stood up together and said:

`` THIS IS STUPID!!
I WANT CANNABIS HEMP LEGAL!!!
FOR PRODUCTS;
FOR MEDICINE;
FOR FOOD;
FOR FUN;
FOR GOODNESS'S SAKE! ISN'T THAT WHAT LIFE'S ALL ABOUT ?!''

Without large-scale grass roots support, marijuana will never be legal. Every person that stands up for
marijuana/hemp legalization makes us that much stronger, and our voices that much louder. Believe me, we appreciate all the support we get. Almost as importantly, it makes it that much harder for people to say ``that's a stupid idea'' or ``nobody really believes that.''

If you aren't convinced yet, Or if you are having trouble swallowing any of the answers given, I encourage you to learn more about the issues. Try the sources listed at the end.If you're with us, let us know! Let everybody know, unless it will get you canned or arrested, but most importantly, keep an eye on what's going on, and try to lend a hand when you can. Also, know your stuff, so if you have to, you can convince a friend or loved one that *you* are not nuts -- the rest of the world is.

2) What can I do to bring some sense into our marijuana laws?

There are many things you can do. Activists are working right now at all levels to reform marijuana laws. If you cannot afford to be an activist, there are many ways you can help -- activists find themselves short of money, time, and occasionally even friendly company. Get to know a hemp or marijuana legalization activists in your area, and just keep up to date on what they are planning. Odds are you will find something that you can easily do which will help them out a whole lot. There is a list available called the Liberty Activist's List which will give you the phone numbers or address of groups near you. Also, you may call the National Office of NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) at 1-202-483-5500. The most important thing you can do on your own, though, is to keep tabs on your state and local legislators, and let them know that this is an issue to be taken seriously.

Many activist groups offer `memberships.' These usually involve a fee for joining the group, and a newsletter that keeps you up to date on the group's activities. This way you know when and why to write your legislators, and thought provoking information which you normally would not get is
delivered to you. If and when you need to, most importantly, you will be able to contact the group and seek or give advice.

3a) Where can I get more information?

Many places. One of the best is by using electronic communications. The Information Superhighway has been a tremendous leap forwards for our movement, and there is a lot of information available. Start by sending e-mail to "({{{readme}}})<verdant@twain.ucs.umass.edu>". There is an
e-mail file-server set up at this address, and just about anyone with Internet e-mail can use it. The server contains many files about marijuana, and more importantly directories and pointers on how to get more information by WWW, GOPHER, FTP, IRC, and TELNET. For a overview list of these
resources send mail to "({{{netlinks}}})<verdant@twain.ucs.umass.edu>". If you have trouble making this work, send a note asking for help to "verdant@twain.ucs.umass.edu"

A copy of the Liberty Activist's List is also available through this server, by mailing to
"({{{groups}}})<verdant@twain.ucs.umass.edu>." This will help you get in touch with activists near you. If you are interested, there is an excellent mailing list devoted to Drug War issues. It is called DRCnet and you may send mail to "borden@netcom.com" for information on becoming involved.

3b) Umm, I'm computer illiterate, so that just went way over my head. Are there any good books I could go get instead?

Here is a list of some of the must-read books and articles about marijuana and legalization. Check the
source section of this FAQ for more information about these and other sources.

``The Emperor Wears No Clothes'' by Jack Herer pub. Queen of Clubs/HEMP, 1993/1994

``Hemp, Life-Line to the Future'' by Chris Conrad pub. data pending

``Marihuana Reconsidered'' by Lester Grinspoon pub. 1977. Harvard University Press. pub. 1993 data pending.

``Marihuana the Forbidden Medicine'' by Lester Grinspoon pub. Yale University Press 1993.

*** Journal Articles of General Interest ***

``Marijuana Laws: A Need for Reform'' by Roger Allan Glasgow in ``Arkansas Law Review'' Vol. 22(340) pp. 359-375.

*** Government commissions recommending legalization ***

The Panama Canal Zone Report of 1925, pub. United States Government.

Mayor LaGuardia's Committee on Marijuana (New York) Report issued 1944. (Initiated 1938 -- an extensive study of marijuana) pub. New York City Government

The Final Report of the Le Dain Commission on Marijuana Legalization, pub. Canadian Gov't

Final Report if the National Commission on Marijuana, 1972, pub. United States Government entitled ``Marijuana -- a Signal of Misunderstanding''

*** Court Rulings ***

``In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition'' by Hon. Francis L. Young Docket# 86-22 1989.

 

4) Do you have any advice for people who want to organize their own group?

There are some very good books that will help new organizers hit the ground running. Here are two titles you should try to locate:

Si Kahn ``Organizing: A Guide For Grassroots Leaders'' McGraw-Hill 1982 0-07-033215-0 (0-07-033199-5 paperback)

Ed Hedemann ``The War Resisters League Organizers Manual'' 1981 0-940862-00-X
The War Resisters League 339 Lafayeyette St., New York, NY

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