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The Marijuana Industry Needs To Do A Better Job Of Supporting Marijuana Reform


donate relocation fund medical marijuana patientsSomething that has always bothered me, and that I’ve always been very vocal about, is that too many marijuana business owners and executives don’t do enough to support marijuana reform. They make large sums of money, but when they are asked to donate to the cause they act like they don’t have a dime to their name. Why is that? I’ve always pointed out that marijuana businesses should support reform in any way that they can mainly because it’s the right thing to do. And if being noble doesn’t fit into someone’s business plan, they should at least realize out of some form of self preservation that they should fight to protect marijuana freedoms which translates to marijuana sales and marijuana related product sales. Yet, so many owners just sit back and think the good times will always be rolling, and act like ‘why didn’t anyone do anything’ when public policy changes damage their bottom line.

If you are a marijuana business owner or executive, ask yourself ‘what have I done to support marijuana reform, and could I have done more?’ Be honest with yourself. Yeah, you can play it off to other people in the press or in public that you are some kind of dedicated freedom fighter, but deep down you know if you are really fighting the good fight or not. If you truly support marijuana reform, it will show and you will be rewarded. But if you are fake about it, or refuse to support reform because you are greedy, I hope that every consumer in the industry boycotts your product/service/establishment.

Ethan Nadelmann called out the marijuana industry recently at a marijuana industry event:

The marijuana reform movement makes more than enough money that we should be funding campaigns and lobbyists in every state ourselves. We shouldn’t have to rely on donations from rich people that don’t even own marijuana businesses. There’s just simply no excuse. Now, I get that not all marijuana businesses make large sums of money. I have been running this blog for almost five years now, and if I were to calculate the amount of money I’ve put in to this endeavor versus the profits that have hit my pocket, I’d definitely be in the red. You have to get it to give it, I definitely get that. But if you are a marijuana company that makes significant amounts of money, I ask you, how are you giving back to the movement? If you aren’t, what the f is your problem? Why do you not have the basic brain power to put two and two together that you should support reform efforts, if for any reason to protect your bottom line? 280e reform isn’t going to happen by itself. Asset forfeiture reform is going to happen by itself. I’m sick and tired of this ‘I got mine, so the hell with yours’ attitude that is way too prevalent in the marijuana industry.

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Johnny Green


  1. It appears to me that LEAP has contributed more time and energy into the legalization and decrimalization effort than any MJ business’es that I’m aware of. I may be wrong since Ky is so far removed from any type of efforts other than the prosecution and incarceration of anyone who imbibes. Someone enlighten me. peace.

  2. The problem is that those that make money off Cannabis are too greedy to help out those that dont. PR people. If you have great public relations and support your community rather than them supporting you. Your business will thrive. Every dispensary should give away 10% of thier crops to the less fortunate people whom this business was built off of. The smokers and Medical patients for without whom these businesses would not exist.

    However now is not that time, yet. We need to decriminalize the US first. Once everyone is on board then the distribution of something that litteraly grows on trees will be fair.

    Right now everyone that smokes should be bombarding their local governments for decriminalization. Stage a TAX revolt since we have no representations in the government.

  3. Somewhere in my mind I vaguely recall that there were CA dispensaries throwing moeny and influence at legalization efforts in the Northeast. Can’t remember the state. Anyway, they had their eyes on opening up shop in the state(s?) they were “helping”. This just made my blood boil. I believe that they (and the likes of them) are the ones behind driving up the costs of marijuana licensing/regulation in some places. Sick bastards. And no… It’s not that I’m too stoned to remember, it’s just that I consume so much information I can’t hold it all in anymore. This is a tough topic to follow, and thank GOD tor TWB.

  4. If we could just get some people high, maybe that would change in some people. I haven’t ever been able to understand that mentality, in any business. I loath that greedy monster, and I have seen it rear it’s ugly head in the most unexpected places. Humans need to evolve.

  5. Weed sellers profit from prohibition. When prohibition ends there will be a major shake up in the industry and most won’t be left standing.

    Like the song says, “it’s only business.”

  6. mark_lee481 BSHA on

    BTW, why can’t NORML have a full membership fee at a modest price, just like THC Finder provides medical cannabis for $50 an ounce for those on a limited income. My org. will be free, all I need is a little gas money.

  7. mark_lee481 BSHA on

    Hi Johnny, You hit the nail on the head. I get more responses from Iowa legislators and city councils than I do Keith Stroup of NORML. Then last night I was hit with a Cedar Falls story on the news. The councilman has ordered police to stop focusing on minor amounts of cannabis. He did not know how to give his position any teeth. I emailed him the facts of Michigan’s city-by-city policy using their home rule charter. He was excited about this and is looking forward to working with me to iron out such a city statute. Iowa City will quickly follow as will the Quad cities, 1/2 of which is in Illinois. Why spend time keeping those from Illinois at a “check point Charlie” backing up traffic for hours. They will join in medical and massive decriminalization city policies. I have the governor’s weak point too!!! I am not asking for money to do this, only the stories of patients. They seem to believe this is their private property, but those patients gave their stories for cannabis legalization everywhere!!! Not one man’s book!!!

  8. Good friggin’ article! I agree 100% after living in Cali for the last 6 years and watching these dispensaries actively campaign AGAINST prop 19! The best part anymore of having a little bit of my own harvest is not having to support these greedy, two-faced bastards.(and it gets me WAY higher than dispensary bud!)

  9. Im asked to join Mn norml all the time.And i dont hsve the cash. But my point is, they say they have plans for legalizing pot in Mn.BUT ive asked , written whatever many times , with no answers back. But yet mn norml needs $10,000 for a new office, and dB who knows what.Why would5 i donate anytime soon when i cant even get a answer as to how they plan to do it in Mn???????? Its beyond me what the plan is. I mean they ask for money while posing in front of thier many huge jars of weed all smiles and funny funny asking for money. FORGET IT MN NORMLU NEED NEW WAYS TO COMMUNICATE YOUR PLANS

  10. It’s an easy really. It’s cartel mentality. And this is nothing new even for legalized marijuana. I have been a staunch critic of those MMJ owners who could care less or even worse, fight against full legalization. Far too often we have seen one segment beg and plead for support to get laws passed for their benefit and once that is accomplished, it’s basically “we got ours, fuck yours” attitude.

    It’s funny how once laws get passed that it is no longer about the “freedom to consume” but more about the “freedom to profit”. My greatest fear after this latest round of legalizations that those great spokesmen and fighters will relax and relish in their accomplishments while the rest of the country suffers just because we don’t happen to live in a state where voters have passed referendums on legalization.

    Russ Belville was an amazing asset for getting Oregon’s law passed but we would be foolish to expect him to fight with the same vigor for another state such as Kentucky or Wyoming nor should he be expected to. But this raises another huge question for those who refer to themselves as cannabis activists. Should we all expect them to keep up the fight even after laws are passed in their state to fight on the behalf of other states with the same tenacity and vigor? Or should we just accept that these activists put all they have into getting their state’s laws passed and not expect them to fight for all?

    Ethan is spot on in his criticism. The marijuana industry needs to pick a side. Either we all unite and fight for cannabis rights for all or we just accept that the industry is nothing more than legalized cartel dope dealers and that they aren’t much different from the Mexican gangs and petty dope dealer on the corner.

    To be taken seriously, the industry MUST rise up and put their money where their mouths are. We get you want to make a lot of money with something newly legal. And customers want you to. But not when potential customers in other states are still under the same iron fist you once were. We call the drug war senseless but the fact is we are all fucking prisoners in this drug war. Those marijuana companies who don’t do shit to help the cause are no better than a prisoner of war who escapes and abandons his fellow soldiers left behind to further torture. I mean after all, they are free from confinement, why should they keep fighting for the very same people they asked to help them get what they finally got?

    I live in a state that will most likely never be legalized or at best, one of the last. But I have supported and embraced all of the initiatives over the passed several years. But I question whether I can count on the same people to help my state by giving and raising awareness the way I have for their causes. The sad fact is we already know the answer. Fuck no.

    But for many of those owners, the good times will be rolling for them. And they will roll even better with less competition. It’s the same cartel mentality. That is why they don’t want to spend cash supporting reform. For many of them, it was never about freedom to consume cannabis or the movement itself. It was a fight for the freedom to profit from cannabis under the disguise that they cared about our freedoms. It was their capitalistic freedom they cared about. Not us.

  11. Right on, Johnny! Let me share something with you and the readers:
    I saw a photo on one blog some time ago talking about California’s failed legalization attempt two years ago. It was a photo of a truck with some bumper sticker that some quisling (sorry for that word, but I call it as I see it) greedy grower scumbag had put on that read, “Support Humboldt jobs, keep marijuana illegal”, or words to that effect. So NorCal growers feel that they are entitled to make money off of me and don’t give a fuck that I go to jail, or get harassed. If sociopathy was a valid qualification for MMJ, they would qualify, I’m sure.
    I’ve also read posts on cannabis blogs from people in some MMJ states that say, “Oh just get a medical card.” They also say imbecilic things like “nobody gets persecuted for marijuana, stop being so dramatic.” Sorry, Mr. I Gots Mines Stoner Against Legalization, I hate to harsh your mellow but just because you have a house slave mentality (forgive my expression, but again I’m just being straight up), doesn’t mean that crimes against humanity are not going on. Pretty pathetic viewpoint when there are people of good will who have never smoked weed in their life that actually support legalization.
    Another thing, I have noticed that these examples that I have just given made by these little stoners against legalization are eerily identical to Project Sam’s talking points.
    On a positive note, to the Weed Blog writers, the good commentators on this blog and those that have stepped up and performed beyond the call of duty to ending the scourge of prohibition, I say “Thank You” from the very bottom of my heart. You are my heroes! Thank you for letting me vent.

  12. I live MMJ activism 24/7, and have done more for WV, than anyone else people tell me. But only a handful have helped financially. Check out my Facebook page and WV4MMJ, and see the hard I’ve put into legalization in WV. I’ve pawned my own property, and suffered physical injuries due to activism, while trying to survive off a small fixed income. Anyway, the show must go on!!!

  13. Its all about the Benjamin’s brother. As with almost all (political) reform movements, once the money starts rolling in the game changes (as do the hearts of the players) and that is sad. The best of intentions always seem to morph into a bastardized version of the original ideal. I hope this does not ring true with cannabis but history is pretty solid on this one. Human nature is a bitch.

  14. This is because of the greedy monster that resides in so many people. It is the attitude of “I got mine so F you”

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