Jeff and Tracy

Jeff and Tracy Speaking at Seattle Hempfest

On June 28th, 2001 Jeff and I published a full-page ad in Portland, Oregon’s alternative news-weekly, Willamette Week, brandishing the outrageous headline: We’re Jeff and Tracy. We’re Your Good Neighbors. We Smoke Pot. You can read the text and VIEW OUR ORIGINAL AD HERE.

We subsequently published the same ad in Seattle’s The Stranger and San Francisco’s Bay Guardian. Our marijuana drug war activism resulted in invitations to appear as guests on television, rock, and AM talk radio stations all across the country, as well as articles being written about us in notable magazines and newspapers.

Jeff and Tracy Speaking at 2001 Seattle Hempfest

Jeff and Tracy Speaking at Seattle Hempfest 2001

WHY DID WE BECOME JEFF AND TRACY MARIJUANA ACTIVISTS?

That’s a really good question.

Why in the world would a couple of law-abiding, ex-Mormon, small business owners, who had lived otherwise quiet and peaceful lives, paint such a big target on our backs?

In a word: Justice.

Well, two words, actually. Truth and Justice.

Let me just clear something up, though. I’m not really a pot smoker. Yes, I’ve tried it…many times. But it just didn’t take for me. I tried cigarettes, too. Ya, no. Not so much. I’m just not really into drugs of any kind. Well, ok, alcohol. Mostly wine. But that’s about it for me. And even that, I consume in moderation. I’m too much of a control freak. About my own body, that is. I prefer to be in complete control of my mental and physical faculties. And drugs just make me feel out of touch with reality. Which I don’t like.

BUT…I’d consumed cannabis enough times to know that it wasn’t the horrific, evil drug the propagandists and Drug War overlords were making it out to be.

Normally, I wouldn’t feel the need to take such a stand on a public policy issue. But this one threatened my loved ones, and that scared me.

We were living in Bend, Oregon at the time and we were hearing lots of (tax-payer-funded) ads on the radio by the ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy) portraying pot smokers as, not only stupid, but also a threat to teens, and the cause of the erosion of civil society. And we knew all of that was a lie. We decided there needed to be an opposing voice.

SO WE WROTE OUR FIRST JEFF AND TRACY PSA

Our initial idea was to create a little 60-second radio spot and pay to put it on the radio in the Portland Metro market.

We figured we’d go to the same station that aired the Howard Stern show, trusting that if they were willing to play that content, surely they wouldn’t be offended by our friendly little Public Service Announcement.

Boy, were we wrong!

And that’s where the story began. We never intended to publish a full-page Jeff and Tracy ad in the newspaper. But our experience trying to find someone to take our money and play our ad is what led to that eventual outcome. Click here to read the full-page ad

THE BACK STORY

But, like I said, I was never a big marijuana consumer. In fact, I was seriously opposed to the activity because my first husband smoked it, and that was a cause of some major contention in our relationship. It wasn’t until after I met Jeff and was head-over-heels in love with him that I learned that he was a weed smoker. And it freaked me out. Not only because of the problems in my previous marriage, but the legal implications scared the crap out of me. And that was what turned me around.

Jeff exposed me to the truth of what the Drug War was doing to young kids who were being arrested and thrown in prison for nothing more than possessing and/or consuming a harmless plant. I began reading stories about how otherwise peaceful, law-abiding, contributing members of society were having their lives torn apart by this evil legislation. And my eyes were opened to the fact that far more harm was being done by enforcing these arcane laws than by the drug the “offenders” were consuming.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

It’s no surprise to find out that there is BIG MONEY in drug-law reform. Not only in the form of fines and impounded belongings such as houses, cars, cash, and more. But there is a HUGE financial incentive in mandatory rehabilitation, legal representation, and substance abuse pharmaceuticals, just to name a few. When you follow the rabbit hole a little further, you discover there is also a LOT of money to be made in the drug-testing for employment segment. Just think about all the lab facilities, employees, equipment, and materials required to make that whole testing machine run. Something I didn’t know until we were knee-deep in this world is that the federal government offers tax incentives to business owners who implement a drug-testing for employment program at their workplace.

And since we were self-employed, with less potential risk than many who work in an environment where they could lose their job if they spoke out openly on the marijuana drug law reform issue, we decided to step up. We invested a ton of personal money, time, and energy promoting our Jeff and Tracy cannabis activism endeavors. But we believed it was for a good cause.

In the end…we like to believe we made a dent in the Drug War, where marijuana consumption is concerned.

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