2020 finds the cannabis legalization lobby in an interesting spot. For all the triumphs at the ballot box, many observers feel the movement has been hobbled by a lack of experience and coordination among grassroots organizers.
Now, a new educational program aims to close the education gap. A collaboration between Green Flower and NORML, the Cannabis Advocacy Program aims to empower the next generation of advocates to take cannabis over the finish line.
The Cannabis Advocacy Program: A Course In Marijuana Advocacy
The Cannabis Advocacy Program stems in part from the recognition that—despite strong economic prospects—the cannabis industry is very much in limbo. Though the industry as a whole currently serves roughly 3 million medical cannabis patients and earns nearly $2 billion in annual tax revenue, the path to full federal legalization won’t come without experienced and knowledgeable advocates to help lead the way.
To cite just one example, NORML points out that even in cannabis-legal California, roughly two-thirds of municipalities still bar the sale of legal cannabis products. This patchwork approach hampers efforts to attain longtime NORML’s goals such as eliminating criminal penalties for the responsible adult possession and use of cannabis, as well as blunting the positive impacts of legalization on tax revenues and complicating efforts to build a safe and regulated universal cannabis market. Built into this is a recognition that true cannabis reform will involve justice system reforms such as the automatic expungement of records and sentences for prior cannabis-related criminal offenses. Given the current and historic surge of worldwide protests for police reform, it appears the Cannabis Advocacy Program’s message arrives right on time.
The Cannabis Advocacy Program: An Education in Grassroots Organizing
The Cannabis Advocacy Program is a collaboration between two giants of the cannabis education sphere. In producing the program material, Green Flower—self-described as the global leader in cannabis education and training—partnered with NORML, a widely respected force in the cannabis legalization movement since 1970. A set of ten remote learning/video modules, the Cannabis Advocacy Program draws on NORML’s decades of experience in cannabis advocacy. Since its inception, the organization has built a formidable toolkit when it comes to cannabis advocacy, lobbying on the local, state, national, and global levels to help bring cannabis both to the forefront ballot box and the top of the public’s consciousness. Module topics include:
- Why advocacy matters
- How to build alliances
- The history of cannabis advocacy
- Bolstering voter engagement
- Effecting cannabis policy
- Nonprofit management
- Ways to get your community involved
- Framing your message
- Working with the media
- Partnering with legislators
- Implementing initiatives
- Techniques for defending progress
Though the video course is aimed squarely at rising young voices for cannabis advocacy, it’s not limited to those just entering the arena. Billed as an essential tool for cannabis industry professionals as well as nonprofit employees and members, completion of the Cannabis Advocacy Program earns students a Cannabis Advocacy Certificate.
Following Green Flower’s time-tested approaches to remote learning and cannabis education, the online courses are comprised of engaging videos and written materials, knowledge checks at the end of every module for students to assimilate their learning, a private forum for students to connect and provide support to each other, and downloadable references for them to keep and access later.
The course is estimated to require 5 – 10 hours to complete. Full information on the course—including synopses of each module—are available here.
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