By Allison Bigelow
Adapted and updated from a speech given at Seattle Hempfest in 1998
There was a booklet distributed to parents of children in the Salt Lake City, Utah school district, where parents are urged in the forward by Senator Orrin Hatch to get to know the “warning signs of any children who are using marijuana or drugs of any kind.” Among the warning signs he lists “excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, and environmental issues….” Well, he makes no secret about why he opposes cannabis legalization! Heaven’s no, we can’t have people going around concerned about social causes, race relations, and environmental issues! And I’ll be damned if I’m going to think it’s a bad thing if my children tend to become concerned about these issues. These are the issues I’m proud to teach them. But maybe I feel that way because I’ve smoked marijuana since I was sixteen. In that case I say thank God for pot! Thank you cannabis, for making me who I am! Thanks for the pot seed, each seed is a gift, with such great potential inside. In the words of George Washington “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” My deepest appreciation goes to all that have ever introduced a cannabis seed to soil.
September 20, 1998 From left: Kollie Davies (farmer), Allison Bigelow, Magic Jeanne Black-Ferguson (Grammas for Ganja) and Eve Lentz
We’ve all heard the saying “Ask and ye shall receive.” I’m beginning to understand that it’s true. Another true one is “Be careful of what you ask for, because you just may get it.” When you want something out of life, how do you go about getting it? You plan, you work, you plant the seeds, nurture your seedling or idea, and finally harvest it, and realize the fruit of your labor.
We ask for our freedom, as a community of people that wish to use a plant, a seed bearing herb, that spirit, or nature, or God put here, for the benefit of all, as a healing medicine. We seek recognition that the cannabis plant, one of the first plants known to be cultivated, has evolved with humans over the centuries for many purposes.
When we ask for this freedom, we need to remember how we ask. A friend once told me that whenever he delivers flyers or handouts, or speaks to people one on one about cannabis, and the absurdity in our current laws, he felt as if he was dropping a bomb in this virtual war on drugs I’ve come to think of it more as we’re planting seeds. If you have not read The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer you do not know the true history of the world. You can read it for free at the following link. Jack always encouraged people to print copies to distribute.
Photo by Eve Lentz. Washington Hemp Mercantile 1996
Educate yourself, then educate your friends and your family. Leave a flier in a coffee shop, or a Dr.’s office, or somewhere it could be appreciated. Most people agree that our current system of incarceration has no compassion for the human spirit, and is in no way a method of rehabilitation. Why does our society demand punishment, and inhumane treatment of cannabis users? Why do we continue to allow it?
We need to visualize what future we want. Then we can ask for it. We can create it by planting the seeds, nurturing them, and then finally harvesting, or realizing we accomplished our goal. We want a future that is free from environmental damage where there is abundance, love, compassion, and understanding. So, we plant the seeds. One way to do this is through educating people from their current status of media hype that they’ve bought into. We teach them that there is a way to achieve these goals in our lifetime. It is our choice to make everyday. Currently we are choosing to create a climate of incarcerating people in overcrowded inhumane conditions. We have given up our collective power, and have been made to feel separate. We are as whole as the ocean, each of us a drop. Every choice we make, whether it is to invest in the stock market in green industries, to eat organically grown foods, to tell someone you love them, or to demand our freedom to use cannabis as a sacred part of our religion…..every choice we make creates the whole. There are some Judges in this country that refuse to hear drug cases. They see the absurdity in our laws that are creating the very world they are trying to stamp out. Some police officers have voiced that they just want to protect and serve. Police deserve our respect, not our fear. They don’t belong being the moral police, and they can also choose not to be silent any more. Prison guards can decide to act with compassion, and investors in the prison industry must be made to see the big picture. Lawmakers can choose to lead with truth rather than rhetoric. We all need to think about our career choices, and how this affects the whole.
Photo by Eve Lentz. Allison Bigelow in a float at the Fremont Parade
I’ve seen the enemy and it is us. By thinking that someone has control over us, we are living in a delusion. Yes, we do have big, corporate run government, where we have little chance as an individual to resist. But this is where we can change things. We are all connected. Brothers and Sisters, Aunts and Uncles, we all have belly buttons! I used to hate polluters. Then I realized that corporations are funded by people who face making choices every day, just like the rest of us. Many of these people are just earning a living in today’s world and they are parents. I began to get some compassion for them. I can see how the media has been used to form a society that demands the very laws we have. Many people that invest in polluting corporations don’t realize there are non polluting alternatives. They are desensitized into thinking that what they do for their money has nothing to do with the big picture. But we are all connected. Like the drops of water in the ocean.
Now my compassion for them is greater, because I realize how hurt their spirit must be, to be so disconnected. Then I come to love my Brothers and Sisters and I rejoice at the thought of inviting them to share my vision of the future, where there is abundance of good organic food, clean water, shelter for all, work for all, love for all, compassion, and understanding. We have the choice, right now, to begin creating this. The only thing we can each control is ourselves. But collectively we can change the world. By practicing awareness and mindfulness of each of your own actions, we can make a change.
What’s wrong with these kids today? Lack of respect, love, trust, nurturing. We’re spending all our resources creating fear. We’ve put guns and drugs into the hands of our children. Gangs form out of the need for survival. The same human need that drove the stock investor to pollute. We all have become disconnected from the whole, desensitized, and angry. There’s 12,000,000 orphans of the drug war with parents in the U.S. prison system. These children grow up without the nurturing and love that they need. Who is explaining to them why their Mom or Dad must be in jail for using a plant, or a fungus, or a chemical. We have a choice. Let’s choose love. Let’s choose compassion for our children that have become what society has created. I rejoice at the thought of inviting them to share my vision of the future, that we have the choice, right now, to create a world where there is abundance of good organic food, clean water and air, shelter for all, work for all, love for all, compassion, and understanding.
The only way to have the future you want in your lifetime is to live it in your lifetime. We can begin on it today.
Photo by Eve Lentz. Allison’s daughters in 1996 at Washington Hemp Mercantile