You’ve all heard them in one form or another. They seem to think that their opinion is the one that matters and they are going to get up on their soapbox and tell everyone what they can and cannot do. They impose their opinions on anyone that will listen regarding the marijuana industry laws, having a medical marijuana career or even attending medical marijuana dispensary training. Let’s start with the politician! Every state has one. He or she is elected under the pretense that they will stand up for their constituents and make sure their voices are heard when it comes to voting on certain things. These shiny politicians are, however, heavily backed, supported and have their campaigns financially contributed to, by pharmaceutical companies. These companies are blatantly against the legalization of cannabis whether it be medicinal or recreational - after all, that just takes money out of their pockets, right? While the voters in said politician’s territory support cannabis, they do not have the financial influence the big pharmaceutical companies do - and low and behold, the politician is suddenly against the marijuana programs. Next you have the local “editors” of newspapers and television General Managers who decide to take a stance on medical or recreational marijuana and announce their particular media entity does NOT support the local initiative. These are the people that will claim their will be a “pot shop” on every corner … when state laws limit the amount of licenses they will approve and have very strict guidelines that must be met to even get one of the licenses. This person will shout from the rooftops that those looking to get a job in the medical marijuana industry are drug dealers - first of all, someone that is growing or selling underground is more than likely not to pass a background check (which you must do to work in the industry). Additionally, why would they want to be a caretaker -unless there is a personal cultivation clause in the state program (which very few states now have) the caregiver cannot grow a thing. That being said seems they’d stay underground just to keep making money they have been making. They most certainly aren’t going to get rich being an “unpaid” caregiver. Next up is the local attorney that thinks their idea is better than the current idea out there and tries to recreate the wheel – they have good intentions and creating new marijuana laws, but putting in a second or third amendment muddies the waters and confuses many. This has happened in several of the states with referendums on their ballots. One group submits a strong, well written and well layed out plans for a successful program but some other busy body comes in and decides that they will “word” it better or have stricter rules or whatever illusion they are trying to spin on their proposal and now, you have a confused voter. Who are these media figure heads anyway? Why do they get to dictate to the rest of the community what they should and should not put into their bodies? Why does everyone have to put their two cents in without doing an ounce of research? Do you allow that same person to tell you that you can or cannot consume alcohol? What if they started telling you that you had to become a vegan, would you? Should they control whether you can or cannot use opiates if your doctor prescribes them? Then it makes no sense why you should let them influence your decision in this voting matter. Why should they have an opinion on what you do and better yet, what the hell should the general public care? These people aren’t doctors and they have no qualification other than a large platform from which you can hear them roar. Why not allow John. Q. Public to make their own decisions about what go into their bodies; in this case it’s not a hard decision … organic medication or lab created poison? It seems to me, freedom has become something of an illusion lately. We have to be vigilant in our desire to make our own choices yet find opposition at every corner. We want to choose healthier eating habits, but the U.S. won’t demand that food labels contain country of origin or whether it’s a GMO product. We try to choose organic medication, yet the government stands up for the pharmaceutical companies and ensures that the cannabis stays a Federal schedule one drug but allows doctors to create yet another generation of “addicted people” to pills. There are so many resources available to everyone that in this day and age, it’s a shame so many people count on the opinion of others, negative ads (that are generally untrue) and of course those ever present Facebook memes to get their “truths” rather than spend a couple hours on Google and educate themselves. It’s time to dust off those voter cards, get off your couch and participate in the primary and this year’s presidential election. We must get our voices heard but we must stand in unison to do so. Please get out and support your choice for leadership. Volunteer for their campaigns and be part of the solution. Do research! Figure out where each presidential candidate stands on marijuana issues and other issues important to you! Together, we CAN do this.