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With just a few weeks left of summer, Congress is taking its annual August Recess break. Often when advocates think of meeting their representatives they imagine needing to travel to Washington, DC and meet with them in the halls of Congress. The August Recess break is the perfect opportunity for cannabis advocates, like you, to schedule meetings with your representatives and senators in their home office. Your representatives and senators will be working at their district offices throughout the month so it is the perfect opportunity to have your voice heard without needing to travel to DC.
Why does this matter?
It is important to remember that your elected officials work for you! They are your voice in Congress and advocates can help keep them accountable and influence their votes based on constituent needs. The more your representative hears about a certain topic, the more likely they are to pay close attention to it. Congressional offices deal with hundreds of policy issues on a yearly basis, so checking in with the office frequently, and scheduling meetings to discuss your concerns, help offices as they work through these big policy decisions.
How can I help?
Schedule district office meeting during August Recess to talk about medical cannabis! Here’s how:
- Enter your address in our Find your representative page
- Select “More Details” for the representative
- Scroll down to “Other Offices” to find the office closest to you
- Call the number for the representative’s district office
- Introduce yourself as a constituent and cannabis advocate and/or patient and request a meeting with the representative while he or she is home for recess
- Mark your calendar!
Anything else I should know?
- You may need to leave a message with the office
- Be sure to state your name, that you are a constituent requesting an August meeting, and give your contact information so they can reach you.
- If you have not heard back from the office in a few days, it is ok to call again and request!
- Sometimes things get lost in the shuffle or offices are busy and haven’t gotten to your request yet. It is absolutely ok to call and request again!
- Many representatives have a “Request a Meeting” option on their website. ASA recommends calling the office instead.
- Staffers may not be able to confirm that the representative will be able to attend the meeting - THIS IS OK!
- Often schedules are still being formed until the last minute and it is hard for staffers to know where the member will be.
- Whether the representative themselves are available or not, you will be able to meet with a member of his or her staff
Scheduling a meeting is just the first step in advocating to your representatives! Check back here next week for advice on how to talk to your representative about cannabis!