In 2009 I decided to stop writing fiction – something I had devoted 7 years to – and focus on something I was passionate about: marijuana legalization. I knew a lot about the subject and I was familiar with expressing my opinions both in oral and written form, so it was something I knew I could do. But it was also something I doubted would make much of a difference in the overall scheme of things.
After all, in 2009, marijuana legalization was seen by most as something that was many years away. Debates among those who favored legalization focused on whether it was something we would see in our lifetimes or whether it was something were we fighting for our children to see.
The last 7 years have been a whirlwind. I have written over 3,000 articles about marijuana and the law/culture that surrounds it. I have seen an amazing amount of progress in a short amount of time. There is still so much to be done, but this Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.
We can be thankful that people in more than half the states in the U.S. have access to some form of medical marijuana protections. We can be thankful that some 63 million people will soon live in a state that has legalized marijuana use for all adults. We can be thankful for the tens of millions of cannabis users who worry less about cannabis prohibition than at any other time in their lives. We can be thankful for the tens of thousands who have jobs in a new legal industry and the millions who no longer worry about their cannabis use leading to jail and a criminal record.
But most of all we should be thankful for the movement we have built. We may disagree and fight among ourselves, but most of us are good people who want to see cannabis users set free from the shackles of prohibition. We should be thankful for all the activists who work so hard to make legalization and keeping marijuana users out of jail a reality.
There is more road to travel, and there will be setbacks along the way. But at the end lies the ultimate goal: nationwide marijuana legalization for all adults. Seven years after starting this journey I can honestly say now there is no doubt in my mind that I will see it in my lifetime. I will witness the ultimate victory over prohibition and I will be forever proud of the small part I played in bringing it about.
And for that I am extremely thankful.