NORML Southern California had the opportunity to set up a booth at the “Legalize it 2010 Tour” Featuring Slightly Stoopid, Cypress Hill, and Collie Buddz. The goal was to distribute information through various channels helping to educate the public that WE NEED TO VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 19. One volunteer, Aaron Evans, of the local group “The Green Brothers,” spent his time volunteering at the event Saturday. I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes of this emerging activist/artist’s time, and was able to discuss what actually happened that night.
Did you collect any signatures for Proposition 19?
There was a table set up from Oaksterdam University working directly with Proposition 19 collecting signatures and handing out information during the show, so I felt like I could direct my energy elsewhere. I introduced myself to the 3 gentlemen working the booth as we got set up for the day. They all seemed passionate and driven so I knew we where in good hands. My biggest complaint during a otherwise fun, exciting, and highly successful day would be that the venue pushed all the pro marijuana booths to the far corner of the vendor area.
Were many people against Proposition 19 saying “it will take away my [illegal] business?”
Unfortunately I did come across quite a few individuals that where not to happy with my efforts to legalize via. Proposition 19. Sadly many did have snide and rude remarks [claiming] it [could] undermine their business. I simple greeted them with a warm smile and suggested that perhaps we should sit down and discuss the issue. Needless to say not one of them decided to take me up on my offer.
I think people need to take a breath and not rush judgement…I would also ask that people pause to think of those outside themselves, this isn’t about one grower or bottom line. Its about [knowing] together we shall concur, divided we will fall. Proposition 19 isn’t perfect by any means, it’s a first step. It could be a landmark historical moment if we can come together and use our collective voice. We are standing on the presuppose of something that none of us have ever had before…FREEDOM!
I had the opportunity to talk with many of the musicians and speak to them about Proposition 19. Most if not all had nothing but supportive, encouraging comments and that truly made my heart sing. I took the chance to educate any and everyone I could to get more involved. Not an opportunity passed that wasn’t seized and I left backstage felling totally fueled with positive reinforcement, yet totally exhausted.
I find it sad that if on November 3 we fall short it will be in large part to a small percentage of our fellow [marijuana users] falling on the side of greed and lust while living in the shadows.
Did you get to go backstage?
Yes, after setting up and introducing ourselves to the other green organizations in attendance, Craig Beresh and I set off to network backstage. After a brief wait Miles from Slightly Stupid came out and let us back. Miles was real cool, kinda what you would expect from a Southern California musician; laid back, enjoying the festivities, smile plastered ear to ear- still you could sense a sharp focus on the nights performance.
I’ve been back stage many times over my career as a musician and activist but this night was different. Friends and Family filled the area with laughter, memory and joy as the evening raged on creating more of a family reunion type energy rather than being back stage at a major national tour. Not that the normal suspects of groupies, super fans, and friends of such couldn’t be found sprinkled among the area but every last person seemed green to the gill while they let the music carry them off into the soft Californian night.
Did they say anything about proposition 19 during the concert?
From what Craig told me they did. We talked to Miles about it right before he went on stage and he said he would, but half way through their set I headed back to the booth to relieve some of the other volunteers. From what I know, he gave a shout out to NORML and Proposition 19; that was one of the big goals of getting backstage.
What was the most memorable part of volunteering for NORML last Saturday?
I think the part I’ll remember for a long, long time will be the very end of the night…After leaving back stage I decided that I had one last push in me, at this point I’d call it my fourth wind…As people heading for the exit, “I grabbed every last piece of promotional material I had left about NORML and Proposition 19 and posted up right in front of the gate screaming at the top of my lungs ‘’Who want to legalize weed with me?’ [This was done] over and over for about 45 min. straight. Given that I have 5ft dreadlocks and was wearing a ‘Think Green’ t-shirt its safe to say I got the masses attention,”
Aaron’s passionate attitude for marijuana was easily visible Saturday night in Chula Vista. We need to realize that if his attitude and actions were recreated by every other marijuana user in this country on a daily basis, we would have no draconian laws left to worry about because marijuana would be legal. We need your help in donation of time, dollars, and ideas. We need your help to get this country NORML!
Besides thanking Craig his family, MPP (the Marijuana Policy Project), Oaksterdam University, Slightly Stoopid, Cypress Hill, Collie Buddz, Fresh Made Daily Collective, and the other volunteers for their help , Aaron leaves me with these powerful statements, “I handed out several thousand pamphlets before Craig joined me to help bring it home. Needless to say we left empty handed which was the final goal for the evening,” and “November 2nd we can and WILL change the world!”