I often reflect on the path we’ve walked and think to myself, its all been worth it for the friendships alone. I love my fellow advocates in a heartachey kind of way. You know how sometimes you fall in love with someone, in the nontraditional sense of the word...Your heart literally aches to see them, to talk to them, to be close to them, and there’s nothing romantic about it? You just love them so damn much that it hurts not to be close.
Even spending a very long, frustrating day at the Capitol, listening to politicians talking politics can’t possibly erase the smile off your face as you race out of their office and immediately turn to your cohort. You erupt into a chorus of laughter as you scoff at the audacity of the legislator you just spoke with. Of course, we’ve walked out of offices and burst into a flood of tears at one time or another. But even then, even in that moment of pure desolation, you can’t help but crack a terribly inappropriate joke and your accomplice will almost fall to the floor laughing. To share laughter at the most discouraging times...That’s true love.
For Medical Cannabis Advocates, the road is long. The battle will be filled with obstructions. The anguish we feel some days is almost suffocating. However, to become enraged and frustrated with each other is the ultimate defeat. To sell each other out in the interest of preserving our own ego is to swallow the most bitter pill. Our friendships have been forged in the trenches of injustice, and to sacrifice those friendships for the sake of our own gratification, whether that pleasure be in name recognition, or in discrediting each other, is to disregard the sacred bond of unity that we claim to hold so dear.
Some of us have lost loved ones during our journey. Cause of death: War on Drugs. I can think of few things more fulfilling than honoring their memory through our advocacy. I can also think of few things more satisfying to our opposing parties than knowing there are fractures in our community. Fractures, no matter how small and insignificant, will weaken us. But if we repair those fractures, binding them with forgiveness and acceptance, then we will move forward far stronger. Consider each fracture a test. Consider the repair a small victory. Consider the small victory a reason to celebrate. And of course, always celebrate with friends.
As for me, I will choose to be thankful that voices are being heard, even if its not my voice. I will choose to celebrate everyday that I’m still fit for this fight. I will choose to be grateful that the hand of the Almighty has guided us here. This movement will not be credited to any one person, or any one group, but rather the collective efforts of many kindred spirits. May we find peace in our travels, comfort in our friendships, and strength in knowing that we are doing good work. Blessings.