While we here at Twelve High Chicks try to keep current events that don’t directly involve the cannabis freedom movement out of our articles, sometimes the world can’t be ignored. What happened in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend is one of those times. And the best way I can express what I’m feeling is through cannabis, with puff’n’pass poetry.

(Cannabis) Freedom is This

Cannabis freedom is not
just for medical users
or just recreational.
It’s any.

Cannabis freedom is not
sativa or indica
or just for the hybrid strains.
It’s for all.

Cannabis freedom is not
politicians giving in
or voters allowing it.
It’s just right.

Cannabis freedom is not
legalizing sativa
while still banning indica.
It’s for all.

Cannabis freedom is this:
access for those that want it
and for whatever reason.
It’s for them.

Cannabis freedom is this:
People doing as they do
with rights to be as they be.
It’s for us.

Cannabis freedom is this:
standing up for what is fair;
access for all, regardless.
It’s for all.

Freedom for cannabis is
not greater than for people:
people should be free to be.
All to be.

— Jay Schmoeker, 2017

Cannabis activism is about the freedom to choose for ourselves how to live. Whether we’re medical users or recreational, if we’re not harming anyone else we have the right to be left alone. Activists may disagree about next moves, we find like-minds within the movement that hold the same ideals, we make friends and find opponents, but we are all part of cannabis advocacy. Medical patients don’t throw recreational users under the bus to gain rights. People who prefer sativa strains don’t try to have indicas banned.

The same should hold for peaceful people. Every right we wish for ourselves — safety, self-determination, freedom  — we must also wish for others. Not just for those that look like us, or pray like us, or will make the same choices. Everyone deserves to feel safe and free. Fascism, ethnonationalism, and white supremacy are not freedom —  calling to strip the rights of others is not freedom.

Freedom is not zero-sum, it’s available for all. And we all deserve to be safe and free.