By: Diego Antolini
When we think of marijuana an awful lot of unpleasant images can pop into the average person’s mind: it is a drug (although moderate), it creates dependence, slows down your cognitive abilities, detaches you from reality, is “bad juju” for your health overall.
Well, although the above is true for an uncontrolled, abusive use of marijuana, there is also a lot of misconception behind it. A controlled dose of cannabis produces beneficial effects. Just recently the NCI (National Cancer Institute) has determined that marijuana users have less risk for bladder cancer, for example.
Since time immemorial, marijuana has been used by man to alleviate pain [to recorded history it dates back to the Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo (c. 140-208), the first who administered cannabis to a patient as anesthesia during surgery].
It can be used to treat glaucoma; to improve lung health (by reversing carcinogenic effects of tobacco); it helps control epileptic seizures; it decreases anxiety; it slows down the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease; eases pain on bones and muscles; it lessens side effects from treating hepatitis C, just to name a few benefits.
Most of all, as an illegal drug, marijuana fills the pockets of cartels and small to medium-sized criminal rings. By legalizing it we all can help to make these cartels disappear.
When The California Nation launched this campaign a few days ago we were not even sure we would be approved by Kickstarter. We did, and I think primarily because they thought it was a cool campaign to help out the balloting. We had clearly explained that LEGALIZE IT NOW® is not just a commercial endeavor, but also a social and political contribution we want to give to California (and hopefully to the other 15 States which are debating upon the same issue).
The “Road to Kickstarter” was not an easy one: first of all we had to find a factory that could work with hemp. I have personally spent some time between China, Cambodia and Indonesia trying to source the right manufacturer. We have struggled, we have found it, and we have made the hats.
We have photographed the 100% hemp fabric snapback hats for our website thecalifornianation.com to show people what it would be like to import them in the thousands into the US and help the cause. Then we submitted our idea to Kickstarter.
We had to wait for a bit and by KS policy we were not allowed to show the marijuana leaves which we have put on the back of the hat, nor explicitly mentioning marijuana in our campaign. So we had to tweak a few things here and there to comply with that policy and the result was the approval of the campaign.
LEGALIZE IT NOW® is up and running and we need the help of all Californians; especially those who believe legalization is the best way to fight drug smuggling and crime.
We need to draw traffic to the campaign and show that with a simple idea (a hat made 100% of hemp fabric) we can contribute to the success of the vote.
We also are creating quite a buzz on the internet (social media, blogs, podcasts, etc.) just to let people know who we are.
The California Nation is a young company created to utilize commercial products to show the true spirit of California; the Golden State, a land of the opportunities for countless Americans. Many great ideas were conceived in California, and since we are located in that state, we wanted to praise this unique feat with a name which evokes its spirit and energy beyond any political structure: a nation with its values, its principles, its problems and its own way to overcome them. A melting pot of cultures and ethnicities all united under the American flag (and a sun that always shines).
The California Nation wants to become the reference point for all Californians who feel they belong to a great state, and serve as an example for people and countries to follow: the power of the ideas and the sacrifice it takes to put them out there and make it happen.
LEGALIZE IT NOW® is the first substantial campaign we have run and surely will not be the last. We have others in the pipeline and in the following months will start working on them.
At the moment our focus is to have as many people as possible to wear our hemp hats and spread the word: legalization is a necessary step in a civilized country, especially in a state, California, where (as of March, 2016 figures) 758,607 Californians are registered as medical marijuana patients in a population of 39 and odd million souls in the state; which accounts for 19.4% per 1,000 state residents. California, therefore, is by far the state of the Union where the consumption of cannabis is practiced most. So, the massive change must begin here.
In “Mapping Marijuana,” The Economist throws out some numbers: Colorado, which became the first state to sell recreational marijuana in January 2014, sold around $600m-worth of recreational and medical weed over the first 11 months, raising $68m in taxes for the state. Americans spend an estimated $40 billion getting high each year, about 20% of what they spend on cigarettes and alcohol. The legal market, estimated at $2.5 billion last year, is just a fraction of that but will grow. A majority of Americans (52%) are now in favor of legalization—in 1969 that figure was just 12%. California is likely to legalize cannabis in 2016; the latest projections see California residents in favor for legalizing 55% to 41%, and our feeling is that with a proper education on the controlled use of cannabis, parents will get less worried about their kids if marijuana can be moved off the street and into medical stores only. We are up for the challenge, are you? LEGALIZE IT NOW®, support The California Nation!
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