Call and make your voice heard! But first, before you pick up the phone, know what you want to say.
Write down some talking points that you want to relay. For example, you can include asking the elected official to cosponsor a specific bill, tell your personal story about your cannabis business, or simply just share your views on cannabis policy.
Nicely introduce yourself.
State your name, address and telephone number so they can submit your comments into the congressional system.
Introduce yourself as a concerned voter.
Make sure that the office understands that you are a concerned voter and tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, for example: “Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I support/oppose (S.___/H.R.___).”
Schedule a meeting with your elected official.
Sometimes, meeting in person can have a more lasting effect than a phone call. You don’t even have to be in Washington, DC– every Member of Congress’ website lists the physical addresses of their district offices, which will be nearby. If you can’t find it, just give them a call and ask—the staff will be happy to tell you locations and hours. Once you find the district office location, pick a day and time and schedule a meeting to talk about the issues that affect you the most.
Be prepared, timely and concise.
Whether you’re simply making a phone call, writing a letter, or visiting your Member of Congress’ office, always remember to be prepared, be timely and concise, be professional, be on-message, and most importantly, be polite.
Don’t politicize the issue.
When meeting, remember to focus on cannabis policy. It can also be helpful to relate cannabis to your state and district. Remember to always come back to why this affects you and your state.
Don’t get off topic.
Understand that when you call, you will be talking to a staffer. Make clear your position and the action you think your member should take. Feel free to ask questions and share information about your issue, but be concise and considerate.
Don’t be rude.
Like the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar! Plus, being rude does not make you any more likely to get your point across, in fact, just the opposite!