In a bid to persuade people to contact their senators and demand legislation to legalize marijuana on a federal level, a coalition of marijuana advocacy and industry groups, as well as celebrities such as Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman, began a campaign on Tuesday.
A joint campaign by the United States Cannabis Council and Cannabis Voter Project, dubbed “Cannabis in Common,” is underway. For the program, the groups partnered with a bevy of big marijuana businesses, including Canopy Growth, Columbia Care, Cresco Labs, and Weedmaps.
The campaign’s official video, shot directly to the camera, had Rogen saying that “contrary to what you may have heard, Americans can genuinely agree on something—and that something is weed.”
His argument was based on polling results that demonstrate solid majority support for legalization. Recent polls have revealed that the problem is becoming increasingly nonpartisan as well.
"The American people have cannabis in common. It’s time for Congress to join us," says @Sethrogen.
— U.S. Cannabis Council (@USCannabisCncl) November 9, 2021
“Do you know who, on the other hand, can’t seem to agree on anything? Politicians,” the comedian, who also owns the cannabis company Houseplant, said, noting that fewer than half of U.S. senators have expressed support for reform and that others have kept mute on the issue of marijuana legalization.
According to Rogen, it is possible that their silence would prove to be the difference in the outcome of a meaningful law that would legalize cannabis on a federal level and erase cannabis offenses from thousands of people’s records.
“However, here’s the thing with elected officials: they spend the majority of their time worrying about whether or not they will be re-elected.” In other words, when their inboxes and phone lines are flooded with constituents all rallying around a certain cause, which is when things truly start to happen.”
This year, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker have been working on “landmark” legislation, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. A draught version of the CAOA was made available earlier this year. Awaiting the final product with bated breath are those who support the legislation.
Even though “legalizing cannabis for all purposes has been long overdue,” Rogen believes that if enough people raise their voices, it will eventually become law. He recommended that people take advantage of a new resource to fill out and submit pre-written emails to their lawmakers or phone their offices, to advocate for the repeal of prohibition.
Silverman made a similar call to action in an animated video, underlining the widespread support for legalization. Are we as Americans unable to come to any sort of agreement? “‘Gif’ or ‘jiffy’ is the proper term. What do you think hotdogs are?
Do you consider wrestling to be a sporting activity? According to her, “Thanks to one issue that most Americans agree on cannabis legalization. More than two-thirds of us believe it should be legalized, and we have a real chance of having federal legalization passed now if we speak out.”
“If we don’t make a change quickly, we’ll have to make do with laws that disproportionately imprison people of color,” Silverman warned. In doing so, we’re preceding hundreds of thousands of employment and tax revenue that could be used to fund education and other community expenditures.
Among those who took part in the campaign was comedian Jessimae Peluso, who released her video encouraging people to make their voices heard and contact their senators over the pending legalization legislation.