Marijuana is big news these days. For example, check out this CNBC special report on Marijuana and Money: An Inside Look Into This Multi-Billion Dollar Industry. With sections on the business, the law, the consumer, state-by-state information, and commentary, this is one of the most in-depth reviews of the marijuana issue by a major media source in years. CNBC is also publicizing a recent poll that shows that while 60% of the public favor medical marijuana, 55% oppose legalization.
Actually, the fact that 45% of the public support marijuana’s legalization is big news; support for legalization continues to grow.
What does it all mean? Not much, really, unless Congress gets the message. House rules: only Congress can legalize marijuana. State-by-state reform is progress. Congressional action is the prize.
The most valuable step supporters of marijuana’s legalization can take is to contact their representatives in Congress. Tell your Congressional Representative you support marijuana’s legalization, tell him or her why, and tell them you want them to support reform in the nation’s marijuana laws.
It’s really quite simple. Just focus on the House of Representatives. Go to their Web site, find your representative, and send them an email. They want to hear from you, and they make it easy. There’s a link on the upper left hand side of the home page that will enable you to write your representative. Or, just go direct to the writerep page. Select your state, enter your zip code, and then hit the “Contact My Representative” button. (The zip code entry asks for your full zip+four code, but your basic five-digit zip code will work. To get your zip+four code, check with the Post Office.)
Here you have options. The site identifies your Representative and provides a full list of contact information, including phone and mailing information for the primary office on Capitol Hill and the local district offices. You can contact your representative by calling one of the offices, sending a letter through the mail, or by sending an email. The site provides an email form, right at the top, labeled “Send a message.” On the next page, many representatives request your zip code again before routing you to their email form; this is to make sure that only their constituents utilize this service to get in touch with them.
So, go to the writerep page, enter your state and zip code, and hit the contact button. On the next page, hit the contact link, then enter your zip code again, and then you get to the actual email form. Enter your name, address, and your message; then send your pro-legalization message to your Representative.
Be polite, be civil, be informed, and keep it simple. Remember, this individual is YOUR representative. They also represent other people in your congressional district. Some of these folks also favor legalization, others oppose it, and others don’t have a strong opinion. Let your Representative know where you stand, and why.
The CNBC special report provides a lot of information about marijuana, its economic value, and the overall public debate over legalization. Take a look at the report, find a few interesting facts about the issue, and use them in your message to your representative.
You might hear back from your representative. They may explain why they oppose legalization, they might just thank you for your input, or they may even support reform. If they oppose legalization, find out why. If they state a reason, find a response to it and let them know why they should reconsider their position. If they state no opinion, ask for one. If they support reform, thank them and encourage them to speak out on the issue and push for congressional action. In any event, respond to their reply.
The best way to persuade Congress to seriously consider marijuana’s legalization is to let your representative know you feel strongly about the issue and that there are persuasive arguments in favor of legalization. The way to indicate you feel strongly about the issue is through persistent contact, through following up on your initial message, and by continuing to press them for action. Be polite, but be firm. Be civil, but steadfast. Be informative, and concise.
Finally, don’t leave this for someone else to do. This is your responsibility. They’re your representatives, and they need to hear from you. Contact your Congressional Representative today and let them know of your support for marijuana’s legalization.