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A Special Thank You To Unpaid Marijuana Activists


marijuana prohibitionDedicating your life to something that doesn’t reward you monetarily is not an easy thing. Sure, it’s great to get high fives, hugs, and words of admiration and encouragement. However, sadly, you can’t pay rent and other bills with ‘thank you e-mails.’ In a perfect world, all marijuana activists would get paid to do so. But, unfortunately, there are only so many dollars in the marijuana activism world, and those usually go to ‘professionals.’ There are many, many activists out there that dedicate long hours and pour their souls into fighting for reform, and do it while making no dollars. In a lot of cases, they actually spend their hard earned dollars to get to legislative hearings, to attend events to raise awareness, and other vital activism efforts. I know first hand what it’s like to pour your soul into something and dedicate long hours at the expense of family and personal time for zero dollars. It’s not easy.

If what I have described fits you, then I want to say a huge THANK YOU for your efforts. You may be wondering if your efforts are worth it. I know what it’s like to attend activism meetings and have no one listen to you because they are an ‘expert’ in their mind and don’t value what you say. I know what it’s like to pour your soul into something and do something amazing, just to have one or more other people swoop in and try to take credit for it. I know what it’s like to eat peanut butter sandwiches and Top Ramen all week just to afford to put gas in your car to attend a rally. Again, it’s not easy, and I thank all those that have done it, and are doing it, because it’s vital to reform.

Without unpaid marijuana activists, we wouldn’t be achieving the victories we are achieving. That’s not to say that paid activists aren’t significant, because many of them are. I’m just saying that it’s a combo of both, and whereas paid activists get a lot of credit, unpaid activists are usually left behind. Unpaid activists don’t do what they do because they want credit. Unpaid activists don’t fight for reform so that they can be strategically placed to profit from the end of marijuana reform. Unpaid activists do what they do for one reason – because it’s the right thing to do.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing what you do. If you are like me, you probably get ridiculed by a lot of people for putting in so much time for no monetary reward. These same critics offer up examples of how you could better spend your time, point out that the time you are dedicating to helping people for no credit could be spend with your family, and are the first people to say ‘I told you so’ when you struggle to get by. In a rare use of french on my part, fuck those people. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on. Keep doing your thing, and at least know that there is one person out there that appreciates your efforts. Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart! Legalize it!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Thank you So much for these words. When people learn: Freedom is not free. We might win.

  2. My pay will eventually come in the form of legalized, readily available, and affordable marijuana.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this. It gets discouraging sometimes. Especially difficult in an apathetic state. :) Really thanks for writing the above. :) Every once in a while a thank you makes a huge difference. – Judy, Exec Director, Maryland NORML

  4. Deborah Joan Coleman on

    Cannabis changed my life. I’m pain free from fibromyalgia pain. I replaced every pill I’ve ever needed with cannabis. I have to do this. I was unable to care for myself about 18 months ago. Pharmaceutical drugs almost killed me. They destroyed my family. Almost destroyed me. I’m grateful to be blessed with the passion to fight for those who don’t know they need it yet….and those that desperately need it right now.


  5. Andrew Glazier on

    I sold grow lights for wholesale to cancer and aids patients for seven years until my store “Four Seasons” went out of business. If I still had it, I’d still be doing it. We were pretty much the first grow shop to openly help patients grow their own medicine avoiding the profiteer assholes.

  6. At least it seems to be a growing club, rather than the shrinking one that it used to be.

    I guess more people are simply getting fed up with “the moneyed interests” always finding new ways to “rename” prohibition “so it sounds a little bit better than it did last week” instead of REPEALING IT!

    Have a spot o’ tea for your efforts. d;o)

  7. Basically, we are expected to follow the Orwellian path…thinking is bad…shut up and beg for more taxes, because that’ll solve everything. The less rights you have, the freer you’ll be…blah, blah, blah.

    The sad part is that so many people refuse to think for themselves, they keep following the propaganda, nd haven’t even a hint of a clue why things keep getting worse…


  8. Wondering where my comment went. Will try again. Have forwarded this to Julia who works tirelessly to promote the memory of Peter McWilliams. This article made me think of her and others like her :)

  9. You’re welcome. d=O)

    Just try to at least pass along what those few of us are trying to do…eventually, maybe one or two of the scumbags who are only in it for the “fiat debt notes and zeroes and ones” (it ain’t “MONEY” any more, people!) might accidentally repeat what we’ve been TRYING to tell people for the last decade or five…

    Remember: It is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to continue to refuse to help those who want cannabis prohibition to END (you know…like what everyone “says they want to see happen?”) while you keep paying those who only want to keep it alive, for their own personal financial benefit…no matter who it hurts.


    Then its OVER.


    Then we keep it FOREVER.

    It’s time to stop spouting wind and make the RIGHT decision for a change.

  10. Julia of petermcwilliams.org is a lovely example. Her speeches about Peter McWilliams are moving. (I was named after Peter, myself!) She does so much to keep the memory of that hemp hero alive. :) Will forward this to her.

  11. Yes! There’s no way we’d be where we are today without the unpaid marijuana activists, especially people who talk to their friends, neighbors, bus drivers, grocery shoppers, PTAs, etc every day, the people who sign and share the petitions, the people who show up at rallies and hearings, and ask for nothing in return. I second Johnny’s thank you even though he’s near the top of the list of people who should be thanked.

  12. Doing the right thing might not reward in material wealth but in treasures for the spirit. The many miracles that have filled my life, manifest from the passions I have learned as an activist. All needs met and so much more.

  13. Thank you ,speaking out on Unpaid marijuana activist, I wouldn’t have any other way even through I’m on disability and I pay my an way, I know where every penny is coming from.I don’t have to worry if some Pham., is behind-the-scenes paying.. I will always pay my own way. This is for MO 2016 MCRP..

  14. Thank you! To me, my passion here is more important than money…although it will be nice when income starts to…um, flower.

    I like Freewheeling Franklin’s quote (from the “Three Freak Brothers” comic books) best: Times of dope (pot) will get you through times of no money much better than times of money will get you through times of no dope (pot).”

  15. Jonathan Waldin on


  16. A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    A friend with weed is better,
    A friend with breasts and all the rest,
    A friend who’s dressed in leather,

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    A friend who’ll tease is better ,
    Our thoughts compressed,
    Which makes us blessed,
    And makes for stormy weather,

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    My Japanese is better,
    And when she’s pressed she will undress,
    And then she’s boxing clever,

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    A friend who bleeds is better,
    My friend confessed she passed the test,
    And we will never sever,

    Day’s dawning, skins crawling [repeat three more times]
    Pure morning, [repeat this three more times]

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    A friend who’ll tease is better,
    Our thoughts compressed,
    Which makes us blessed,
    And makes for stormy weather,

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    A friend who bleeds is better,
    My friend confessed she passed the test,
    And we will never sever,

    Day’s dawning, skins crawling [repeat three more times]
    Pure morning,[repeat this three more times]

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    My Japanese is better,
    And when she’s pressed she will undress,
    And then she’s boxing clever,

    A friend in needs a friend indeed,
    A friend with weed is better,
    A friend with breasts and all the rest,
    A friend who’s dressed in leather

    Peace, Pot, Politics,
    Wayward Bill Chengelis
    Chairman, US Marijuana Party

  17. anyone who promotes legalized governmental control of medical cannabis needs awake up call, not one person should have to pay one penny to any corporation, who has killed more people than can be counted with their so called miracle drugs, and who now want to have the legal rights to become.. as many say of regular people…drug dealers… there is a right every person on earth has, it is a right to life, and if a person can heal themselves without any pharma corporation involvement, they should be able to do so, if anyone dis-agrees with this, shoot yourself, because your part of the problem, a problem not needed in a humane society, so get that gun, and squeeze, you’ll be doing the world a favor ridding yourself from earth

  18. Thank You as well. As you stated, you are also one of us <3
    It is nice to hear the appreciation, keeps the spirit of our fight alive

  19. Good move. Brazil and the European Union approved #Rimonabant
    a couple of years ago, but then had to take it off the shelves because
    people were starting to commit suicide. Pot does NOT cause suicide, but
    the drugs #BigPharma
    can lace into anything DO! … So, take the survey: Would you want your
    daughter to smoke ‘Skinny Girl’ pot if you knew it was laced with #Rimonabant? C=> http://goo.gl/forms/DvjUWe2qsy #GotDrugs? #Please #RT

  20. I’m slated to testify when the legislation comes to committee before IN senate! Contact your reps & sens. Make yourself heard!

  21. Tyvm. I pulled a ‘Norma Rae’ at my local food pantry yesterday. There are. 2 bills in front of the Ind Senate this session pro mmj. I stood in front of 100+ pantry patrons, explained the legislation, said research, educate yourself, contact your reps! I said I need this to live! Do you?
    I received a standing ovation. PS I’m slated to testify when IN SB 284 goes to hearing.

  22. You are so right! Thank you for the kind words. We appreciate your article. One love from We Are Huntington!

  23. Gail Williams-Patterson on

    How kind of you to think of all of us fighting for such an important cause. You’re right too, we don’t think about getting or being paid for our work. I am one of many in S.C. that fight our fight here, and will continue to do so until our fight is won. Thank you for all your work and selfless contributions, Johnny. Keep up the great work! ( Marshal’s Message For Medical Marijuana )

  24. And thank you Lori. You have done more than anyone in Oregon to help patients have access and paid a huge price fighting for justice while people who never heard of you and never helped, take your work to the bank.

  25. Skywolf Neal Smith on

    And thank you for thinking of us. In a state like Indiana, I am amazed at the quality of people who have stepped up and are taking the message of reform to all parts of the state. We have old and young, conservative, liberal and libertarian, old hands at activism and beginners. None of us are paid. And while we’re not there yet, we are gaining traction. We want our freedom and will work towards it constantly.

  26. You are most welcome. I don’t fight for fame and glory I fight because its the right thing to do because as an American its my civil duty to speak up. I fight proudly because its a fight worth fighting, and the moment we fail to take a stand for what’s right is the moment we begin to die and our lives have no meaning. I lost my job of 3 ½ years because I chose to fight the good fight, Do I regret it ? Hell no I don’t because it’s the right thing to do. I start the conversations that matter, and I speak my piece with no fear and I put those who stand against us on blast in public forums, I put my boot to peoples asses and motivate them to stand up beside me and fight for what is right. And I do it all proudly with a smile on my face, wouldn’t have it any other way.

  27. Scott Sherwood on

    No, thank you Johnny for all your hard work over these long years. We need all the help (and thanks) we can get!

  28. You’re wecome Johnny. It really is rare that we are remembered. Thank you for doing that. Shared on facebook

  29. I want to thank YOU Johnny Green for totally understanding what the last 40 years [next year ] of my life has been like. I have voluntarily dedicated myself to the Cannabis MMJ Hemp cause 24/7/365 days a year because I know that its the right thing to do! After all, it is the Grass of Fields, the Sacred Herbal Plant, the tree of knowledge, the tree of life and it is grown in the Garden of Eden! I have no choice but to see it become totally Legalized around the world, to set the plant and the loving human beings that use it FREE! ! Jah Love, the Holy Hemptress {the original from SF CA circa 1975}

    Please help with getting #CCHI2016 on the ballot and passed here in the great state of California! THANKS! <3

  30. paulvonhartmann on

    Thanks to Johnny G & The Weed Blog. Twenty-three years on the hemp trail, watching the world’s oldest culture fail in recognizing its own legitimacy, and suffer at the hands of corrupt, warmonger fascists, has been balanced with meeting great people of pure heart and high spirit at the other end of the spectrum. For those of you whom JG’s gracious thanks acknowledges, I add my humble thanks as well.

    At this moment in history, the unpaid, grassroots folk who just want to be left alone to use Cannabis as they would any other “herb bearing seed” have an opportunity for major progress in the effort to free the herb. The release of Reverend Roger Christie (on 9/11/204), after four years and three months of federal imprisonment-without-trial-or-bail, to a “halfway house” in Honolulu has begun a progression of legal events that affords the most time-efficient way to end Cannabis prohibition immediately, completely, in the interest of national security and global integrity.

    Roger has spent the past thirty years working to educate and mobilize people in Hawaii and beyond, change laws and formally recognize the spiritual legitimacy of the world’s oldest global culture. Now that he is able to communicate with the outside world, we are introducing “essential civilian demand”* for “hemp”* the “strategic”* “herb bearing seed” “of first necessity” into the media conversation (*Executive Order 13603). Now that the “drug policy reform establishment” (oxymoron) has revealed itself as a front for the Cannabis carpetbaggers who seek to control the industry, it is time for the grassroots to pull together in the tug-o’-war for everyone’s freedom to farm.

    One person can make a difference, but one person can’t make a difference by themselves. Please do whatever you can to support Roger’s appeal, in order to bring awareness of the fact that Cannabis is essential not illegal.

    My book entitled “Cannabis vs. Climate Change” will be finished in October. There is no money on a UV-Broiled planet. Please do what you can, and pass the word on to your circle of sincere, concerned and active Earth-healing relations.


  31. I hope you big ballers who will cash in on med mj are contributing money, time, and effort – med mj does not intend to crash and burn …

  32. Give Scott and FLA Legislature pats on the backs for job creation from Charlotte Web and vote for your heartfelt informed candidate.

  33. The Human Solution International thisintl.org wants to thank you for giving our advocates and activists a shout out! Everything we do is to #EndProhibition2014 and to help our plant prisoners!

  34. I’ve narrowed it down -In my condition -I could manage on 6oz a year –
    Depending on the strain of course –
    If I replace my cigarettes with medical marijuana -it make increase to at least 1lb –
    I smoke 2 packs daily – 40 joints a day would be great for a day or two -lol
    Would love to grow my own -for personal use only –

  35. I wouldn’t say I do this without thinking of future monetary pay off. Even for a musician such as myself, it will eventually pay-off.

    With Cannabis/Hemp (Re) Legalization comes JOBS- many thousands of new jobs. And when the stigma is gone, and “random” drug testing for cannabis is a thing of the past, jobs that are currently off limits to cannabis enthusiasts, will be available once again.

    When people have jobs, they have money to go out and support live music, restaurants, theaters and other “cultural” events.

    Like the alcohol/beer industries, eventually the Cannabis Industry will be able to sponsor music events, concerts, and festivals. We have a local music festival called “Blues and Brews”. I can easily see a better, safer festival called “Buds and Bands”.

    Someday I would love to open a Cannabis Cafe/Nightclub with great food, live music, and of course a wide selection of cannabis products- flowers, dabs, edibles, and more…

  36. mark_lee481 BSHA on

    Wow Johnny, it is so nice to be appreciated!!! Even when one may be biting off more than they can chew!!! I should be getting some help soon, but I never give up, thanks to Weed Blog!!!

  37. granted… I wouldn’t be growing less than 2 million in pot for 200,000…. the fact is, EVERY STATE needs 100s of Metric Tons! Growing a few million on a a few acres will only cover a so many users. Even if we covered the whole state in weed, it would still all sale. It happens. Can’t wait to give people access. Legally.

  38. You’re right John -a master grower should be paid $200,000.00 -and more for the money it generates –
    I’m just a user -no plans to make money -all I want is access to medical cannabis –

  39. aw, that is really nice of you not to have killed them. you know if the shoe was on the other foot… your dog would have been shot.

  40. lol, no, 200,000 a year as a master grower will be payment for me. We are doing this for jobs too, not just for freedom of choice and morality. Jobs keep food on the table and the lights on.

  41. I want to thank all those good people and organizations for their service in cannabis freedom. I especially want to thank the good folks for this blog, and the many wonderful people here who take the time to comment and share their ideas and concerns.

  42. THANK YOU!!! :) this means a lot to us in NY! :) We sacrifice more than we really could, because of our passion and dedication to such an important cause – our freedom, yours and mine. Cannabis legalization is a multi-functional cause, as it effects & resolves many other issues, so yes it IS that important to all those who don’t understand why we are doing this. Peace & love Johnny! <3

  43. If Measure 91 passes, there will be no doubt that The Weed Blog will have been a critical factor in the victory.

  44. If it was just about getting high we wouldn’t be this dedicated,,the war on marijuana creates and influences so many issues that almost any American patriot would take up the cause if they were educated to the facets of prohibition that impacts them and is destroying America..

  45. Eventually, after we’ve all lost the last remaining rights that the putridly wealthy, the “big names” and the fraudulent organizations (whose terror of repeal killing their permanent revenue streams prevent them from even uttering the word “repeal”) wanted to take from us, the millions of perpetually deceived people will finally understand what we were trying to tell them–for DECADES–while they bought into what the rich told them they wanted.

  46. The people responsible for this blog, especially, deserve a massive THANK YOU from the reform community, at large. And a personal thanks from myself for tolerating my pseudo-presence. The Weed Blog is the first (often only) resource I check daily for information about the ongoing struggle to reform our nation’s broken cannabis laws. I suspect the same is true for countless others.

    Besides, the paid “professionals” and so-called “experts” are the last people I’d thank. They’ve had their backs turned on the people of my state, Georgia, since Jimmy Carter. The negligence of “professional” cannabis activism is directly responsible for the inception of CBD-only legislation here, in Georgia, and the subsequent adoption of similarly useless and unhelpful CBD-only bills across the country. The paid “experts” could have nipped CBD-only legislation in the bud had they shined a bright national spotlight on the ineffectiveness of Georgia’s CBD-only HB885, last winter — the *original* CBD-only bill. But no, NORML couldn’t care less about my state, so they were totally oblivious when CBD-only legislation snuck up and completely defused every last bit of momentum created by Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary. Why did that happen? The funded “professionals” were far, far too late to the party. I read so many wonderfully useless *retrospectives* about HB885 published after the fact by “experts” trying to justify their paychecks… The real tragedy is that most articles I read concerning HB885 were obviously written by people who spent all of five minutes on Google doing their research.

    On the other hand, it was the unpaid, local activists who actually read the bill, paid their own way to attend the hearings, and knew what was happening under the Golden Dome in real time. There are dozens upon dozens of local Georgia activists who scrape by in much the same way Johnny has described, above. What do the activists in Georgia get from the “professionals” at the national level? Consummate dismissal. When talking about reforming Georgia’s cannabis laws, Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, said “No way Georgia is going to be adopting anything that looks like anything in Colorado or California.” Well thanks for that brush-off and screw you very much, Mr. St. Pierre. I’ve made my last donation to NORML.

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