Politics affects all of us. The decisions our government makes about taxes, alcohol limits and thousands of other things affects our daily lives. Recently I was invited to a barbeque hosted by Seattle City Attorney, Pete Holmes. At first I was a little apprehensive about attending; I knew very little, if anything, about his political platform. But it became a personal mission for me. I wanted a new perspective, a new insight into one of the many aspects of politics.
I shook hands with future candidates, judges, architects, doctors and countless of other people. On a casual Sunday, close to 40 people showed up to show their support for Holmes. Everyone had one reason or another for supporting Holmes. A popular reason was Washington Initiative 502.
Although I personally did not vote in support of medical marijuana, Washington Initiative 502 was a popular conversation topic. Pete Holmes was among some of the first people to outwardly support the initiative. For the longest time I imagined people who smoked marijuana as loser teenagers or unemployed deadbeats. It was an eye opening to hear people share their stories and why they used medical marijuana.
The last time I checked smoking had no health benefits.
This barbeque made me realize though I don’t particularly like politics, the resources I have available to me make it almost criminal to vote without understanding what I stand for and what I stand against. Politics literally affects everything. People often say that their vote does not matter and therefore they choose not to vote. That is ridiculous. Sometimes people vote without really knowing what they are voting for. That, too, is ridiculous.
I still have not changed my mind about marijuana. I choose not to use it. But in meeting our representatives I now know I have an obligation to voice my opinions, to ask questions, and to really understand the choices we each have to make. As one person, I might not be able to change the majority, but I can at least add insight to concern or add a perspective. No one will ever overcome your objections if you do not voice them.