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I’ve recently returned from a drive to the fine state of Montana to examine their medical marijuana scene. I had a lot of time to ponder while sitting in the quiet woods, dipping my feet in the clear cold rivers, and sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car for an unthinkable amount of time. I was amazed at how far along the fight for legalization has come in the small towns of the conservative state, but once I started talking to the people I began to understand it a bit more. Montanans are mostly Libertarian minded; “I don’t care what you do, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else (for the most part).” They are not sitting around begging the government to give them the right to cultivate their own medicine; they just do it.

The right to chose our own medicine, the right to marry whomever we want, the right to food, housing and water– these are all things that we fight to have laws overturned about. However, how can someone make a law that takes away a basic right? How can getting married to someone who you love and who loves you back be against anything? I understand the need to fight (if I get caught with marijuana in certain states, I’ll spend years behind bars), but the whole thing just makes it seem like all we’re doing is playing their game. We have the right to use marijuana (or whatever else we consider medicine), we have the right to be in love, we have the right to eat, and yet some people tell us we can’t, and they write words on paper that confirm that we can’t. Then a bunch of people who claim to represent us, vote on this piece of paper and suddenly we believe that we don’t have the right to do something anymore. Then we either become more underground with what we’re doing, we stop doing it all together, or we make a bunch of signs and ask these representatives to please give us back our rights. How the fuck can someone give you a right? You have that right, but you gave it away. Take it back!

While in Montana I saw wild rivers carrying fish who only know freedom, but the water was owned by someone. When I got thirsty, I had to go to a store and buy water- something that keeps me alive. I would notice a tree growing perfectly out of the ground and I’d want to play in it, but the land and therefore the tree would be owned by someone. I walked the streets of Missoula and saw grips of homeless people followed mere blocks later by scores of abandoned buildings. This could be perfect – pair people who need houses with houses who need people – but, alas, someone owned these abandoned buildings and therefore have the right to let them rot. If only people would realize that they – despite what their representatives or some law tells them – have a human right to take over those buildings.

Don’t be discouraged though- people are realizing their rights all over the world. Read this article about people in Wisconsin (as is happening all over the country) putting two and two together to make four. A growing number of residents didn’t have food. A growing amount of land was becoming vacant. Food comes out of the ground- viola! They grew food. Not only does that provide these people with free food (something that should not seem crazy), but it also gives them a skill they can take with them for the rest of their lives. One little thing – as tiny as growing enough lettuce to fill a bowl – is enough to spark revolution inside of someone. When that realization – that we have the ability within us to represent ourselves – strikes, there is no turning back.

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