This is a scary post for me to write.
I haven’t been doing this in the dark, but this year I’m so much more public about my involvement in medical marijuana legislation in my state. I haven’t written about it yet in this blog, for example, but I’ve talked about it on my (very locked down) Facebook.
Last year, I became involved so very suddenly, and it was all very new: I was just learning, and I was so very unsure. This year, I’m more educated, more certain, more steady, more seated in myself as an activist and in the cause. This year I am more versed in the dialect of disability awareness, more clear on the issue of medical marijuana laws throughout the nation. This year I’m becoming much more open about what I do every spring.
This year I am also more vulnerable, with a new business, with my disability itself having so recently and nastily reared its head this past month.
The risks I take are worth it. The risk of arrest, the risk of the financial strain of setting up a legal defense, the risk of stigmatization, all worth it.
I go to the hearings to testify, I go to the press conferences to speak, and I meet with advocates, state senators and delegates, and most of all, other patients: my community. There are these pockets of time in which I am surrounded by people who truly speak my language in a way that the other people in my life can’t- the language of pain and waiting, the language of living in a body that is full of mystery and strangeness, the language of patience and frustration, the language of sitting with our disability and living in a world that doesn’t understand our bodies, a world that wants to pretend our bodies don’t exist.
I fight for this for them, for us. I fight for this because we deserve to be pain free, because there are so few advocates for us, so few voices, and if I have anything, I do have a great big mouth.
Help us, if you can. If you’re in Maryland, please, call or write Governor O’Malley and ask him to reconsider his stance on the medical marijuana bills currently under consideration in the House and the Senate: SB 995, HB 15, HB 1024, and HB 1158. If you’re outside of Maryland, look into your local legislation. There are people in chronic pain who need your support.
You can find form letters and contact information for your local legislators at MPP or NORML. Please, get involved. We need every bit of help we can get. We are not criminals: we are patients, and friends, and members of your community.