10 tips on how to talk to federal politicians about ending marijuana prohibition.
By Dr. Mitch Earleywine | freedomleaf.com
Just before Labor Day, NORML hosted a one-day training for folks like you and me to learn how to speak with elected officials and their staff. The next day we all pounced on Congress and gave them our message.
The pleasure of lobbying is hard to describe without sounding like a corny zealot. It’s supremely fun. The dazed delight of trekking down the marble halls and opening the oaken doors instills an unexpected sense of patriotism. Combine that with astonishing insights into the utter insanity of our legal process, and you’ve got about half of it. Like the pleasures of our favorite plant, words don’t quite suffice; you’ve got to share the experience. No matter how many emails and letters we send from home, nothing is as persuasive and satisfying as showing up at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. and sitting down in a legislator’s office.
In an unabashed effort to persuade you to join us next year, here’s a list of recommendations before you attend. There’s plenty of time to plan. Even if you’ve never contemplated lobbying, check these out and see if you can envision the trip. I guarantee it’ll change your life.
1. You will not be the dumbest, least-informed person to ever set foot in Congress. Trust me, if you’re reading this magazine, you probably know more about our issue than most of the 535 members of Congress. Elected officials and all of their staff put their pants on the same way we do. You deserve to be there as much as John Adams did.
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Mitch Earleywine is the Chairman of the NORML Board of Directors, and Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at the University at Albany, State University of New York.
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