in which I talk about what spring means to me


This is a scary post for me to write.

I am a medical marijuana activist.

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.

  One thought on “in which I talk about what spring means to me

  1. March 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I’m right there with you; marijuana keeps proving to be a beneficial aid – as opposed to alcohol ! Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)

  2. Sarah
    March 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I’m so proud of you for being so brave on this. Issues like this are what turn us into activists, inevitably. When we realize that not only is something not fair but that it is damaging people in a way that just can’t be undone. Here’s when we aren’t afraid on top of the chronic pain. It sucks to have to make a choice between function or fear.

  3. April
    March 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Sarah, your courage is amazing. I only hope that the people in power hear the message and make the change that is so needed and deserved.

  4. Barbara Hoffman
    March 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I would be happy to weigh in since lobbying in Maryland is what I do.

  5. Deidra
    March 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Never be ashamed to take a stand. 🙂

  6. Karen
    March 24, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Compelling and convincing. Well done!

  7. Rachel
    March 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Good on you, Sarah! I am quite aware that none of us (umm, like me) ever know when we may find ourselves in a position where medical marijuana will be key to their pain management, and you are fighting that fight not only for those who would currently benefit, but for countless others who will face this need in the future. Hurray for the activists!

  8. March 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Sending you hugs and support and GREAT THANKS for your activism. Here in Minnesota BOTH houses of our state legislature approved the use of medical marijuana, only to have it vetoed by Pawlenty (do NOT get me started on how he screwed up our state…)

    What a load of nonsense the fight against this most helpful plant is. Thank you for your fight! And the yarn in your header is SO beautiful!

  9. March 29, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Very compelling, and you were (and are) very brave. You were also very clear and professional and sincere sounding. I hope that everyone who lives in Maryland IS calling and emailing to get this passed.

    • Barbara Hoffman
      April 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

      There were two bills in the Maryland legislature that would have made a very small step forward and while each bill passed its own house, each failed in the opposite chamber. There is still a lot of work to be done.

  10. Heather Johnston
    April 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I’m lucky enough not only to not need medical marijuana (yet), but also to live where it’s legal. Good luck in your fight (both medical and legal). You have support “out there” whether we say it or not.

    Take care of yourself.

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