Culture: Love and Politics

Love and Politics

By Sean Donahoe


 February revolves around a celebration of lust, love and relationships, respective to our romantic status when the big V-Day rolls around. We dwell on the best things in life, that which warms our hearts and nurtures our souls, during the depths of winter. While many lust for a glistening nug or brilliant shatter, many have relationships with a favorite strain or an always-helpful budtender, let's reflect this month on the importance of love and how it relates to the politics of cannabis reform.

 First off, I believe it is important to love the movement itself, to love all comers to the movement, and to love the opportunity to be a part of the movement to reform cannabis laws. I ask that we all step back and reflect on how lucky we are to be a part of something historic, even revolutionary. Its not often in human history that one can participate in grassroots change and see it change the world in a matter of years. There is a vibrancy and a diversity within our movement (and our burgeoning industry) that is truly taking the world by storm, and the movement's scale and scope increases every day. We are the lucky ones and we are truly greater than the sum of our parts. Celebrate it proudly, celebrate it often, and celebrate it confident that we are on the right side of history.

We should also have love for the history of our movement: So many warriors have fought so hard for so long. Truth-tellers and shit-stirrers like Jack Herer and the Cannabis Action Network, the compassion of “Brownie Mary” Rathbun during the peak of the AIDS crisis, the vision behind Prop 215 back in 1996 and the boldness of the Prop 19 legalization proponents just a few short years ago. Without those who have come before us, those who fought before us, the world would be a colder and much less stony place. Politics is made by those who show up, and many before us not only showed up during dark times for cannabis, they showed up and set examples for activism and honesty that we would do well to emulate.

It goes without saying that we should love the plant, in all its forms and all its derivatives. Mainstream society is beginning to accept the the efficacy of cannabis for so many ailments, the entourage effect only provided by using the whole plant, its inherent safety relative to other drugs and its role in traditional cultures from every continent. In this cannabis plant we find healing, wellness, and joy—it seems the least that we could do is to love it back. We should also not forget to love our planet and look at the sustainability of our ganja, being aware of its carbon footprint and the substances and practices used to cultivate it. Us lovers of cannabis should be always aware that we are ambassadors for the plant in the political space, as society begins to un-learn its alleged negatives and begins to learn all its benefits. In closing, if the cannabis reform movement remembers to love itself, its history, and the plant itself, then I think we are all going to love the future for the politics of cannabis reform.

Sean Donahoe served as founding staff for the California Cannabis Industry Association and is on the executive committee of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform. To find out more about how you can be a part of the cannabis reform movement visit