My name is Crystal Guess. I am 31 years old and have been smoking marijuana for more than a decade. Over the past six years, I was the Director of one of the largest, most successful trade schools in the country. I worked 9-5, helped generate hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and even helped change a few lives while I was at it. I've also been a part-time bartender for eight years (which is funny because I don't even like alcohol). I have been a successful, hard-working professional throughout my time as a marijuana user. I am definitely NOT your mother's definition of "pothead."
While my use of marijuana never interfered with my career, I recently developed a passion for marijuana policy reform that has. Accordingly, I made the conscious decision to seek “greener” pastures in order to join the fight for legalization. I do not know where this journey will end up, but I do not for a second regret my decision.
I came clean to all my friends and family about a month ago because I was sick of hiding and feeling ashamed for something I knew wasn't wrong. I began talking to my staff, my employer, and everyone else who knew me but had no idea I was a closet smoker. The idea was to put a new face to this movement by getting people to see that it isn’t just stoner hippies smoking marijuana, but responsible adults that have careers and families, too. I took a huge risk by exposing myself like that, but in the end, everyone was totally cool with it and respected where I was coming from.
Seeking to provide a platform for others to join me in coming out and speaking up, I started a social movement called ALRM (Act to Legalize & Regulate Marijuana, which you can find on Facebook until the website is done). ALRM’s mission is to get people to start TALKING about this by sharing stories, posting pictures (thereby putting a new face to its users and supporters) and having conversations about a subject that has been taboo for far too long.
Just like millions of other women out there, I grew up with the simple truth of marijuana being illegal. I believed it was bad because I fell for the lies, too. I was tricked, just like everyone else, into believing it killed brain cells and caused cancer and did all these other horrible things. When I began educating myself, however, and asking questions like, “Why is this drug illegal? Why is no one talking about this?,” a very clear picture began to emerge: The stigma associated with its users and supporters is negative, and the lack of education is evident. People are still afraid to either admit they smoke or admit they support. Either way, no laws are being broken by standing up for what you believe in, and people need to understand that concept if they’re ever going to start talking about this and getting the laws that negatively affect our lives changed.
Enough is enough. You’re on this site for a reason. The only thing left to do now is to start talking about this issue with people that will listen. If you smoke and you’re still hesitant about letting people know, fine. It’ll come. But what you can do in the meantime is tell yourself that there is nothing wrong with supporting an issue that, if legalized, will change the face of politics and the world as we know it.
The path to legalization begins with you and me. There is nothing to be afraid of, and I encourage you to start opening up more. Who will listen to us if we stay silent? Who will hear us if we say nothing? Help me support the WMM by Sounding the ALRM and getting rid of the lies and stigma associated with this issue. I hope to hear you all soon. :)