“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
When the history of Cannabis legalization comes to be written, there is one figure who will have a chapter of his own. If you are involved in the movement, even at a peripheral level, chances are that you will have heard of such warriors as activist Jack Herer, writer Jorge Cervantes and strain hunter Franco Loja. You may never however have heard of Rob Griffin.
Yet few have done more to generate awareness of Cannabis as a medicinal, healing herb. Few have reached quite so many people with knowledge and information. He is part of the groundswell, the slow but relentless cultural shift in opinion, which is the fuel powering the fundamental attitude change that’s in progress, not only in North America, but across the world.
Just over the last 12 months, as Canada introduces medical legalization, when conservative Greece plans medical legislation, when right wing, senior politicians in the UK start to call for a change in the law, you can witness the results of Rob Griffin’s work – it’s a part of the invisible iceberg which sits below the public pronouncements. Who is he and why has his influence been so pervasive?
In 1993 a regular Cannabis bust on a medical user kick-started the movement which now cannot be resisted. Little did the SWAT team realize when they held machine guns to the head of a prone figure and his family on the floor of his apartment, that what they were actually doing was starting something which would fundamentally change not only his life but change for the better the lives of millions across the world.
When he walked out after a month in jail, Rob knew that things were going to change. The fierce passion and intelligence that he’d been blessed with had found its focus. Like a secular Billy Graham, with the same inner power and the same eloquence, Rob had found his own mission in life. And so 420 Magazine was born.
The magazine, initially a print publication but soon to move to the nascent web, began with the same Mission Statement that even today, 25 years later, remains unchanged. It is worth quoting in full as it embodies the purpose, the focus and the character of Rob Griffin. These are not words crafted by a consultant or branding agency. These are Rob’s words. These are Rob’s beliefs.
420 Magazine exists to support the repeal of all Cannabis prohibition laws and penalties throughout the world. Not another person should suffer incarceration or stigma because of these unjust laws.
420 Magazine believes Cannabis prohibition will end as more people become aware of the true benefits of the plant. 420 Magazine is the vehicle that provides you with the scientific and anecdotal advice of Cannabis experts in the areas of cultivation, medical, social and legal matters. Our community provides support to those bringing Cannabis awareness to the world.
We believe each human has the right to consume a plant in his or her own body, government should repeal all laws violating this right and those incarcerated for Cannabis offenses should be set free.
Cannabis is a medically wondrous plant. It provides a safe alternative for pain relief, anti-nausea, appetite-inducement, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammation medication. Its properties have been demonstrated to fight cancer, and provide relief to the seriously ill and dying as well as those challenged with anxiety and depression. Millions of people have shared the medical benefits of Cannabis throughout the centuries.
420 Magazine believes farmers shall have the right to grow and profit from Industrial Hemp–one of the strongest, environmentally friendly substances on the planet. Industrial Hemp is a natural fiber found in everything from rope to the finest clothing designs. It shows benefit as both a food form and as a health and beauty aid. Hemp is the environmental answer to the elimination of our dependence on earth-destroying fossil fuels. The Hemp bounty will end oil wars, deforestation, pollution, acid rain and global warming.
The Mission of 420 Magazine is to repeal Cannabis prohibition by promoting international Cannabis awareness to the masses.
This is no fly-by-night statement, and Rob is no fly-by-night individual. Over 25 years he has built 420 Magazine into one of the most well-known and respected Cannabis Hemp organizations in the world. Cannabis websites have come and gone. Copy-cat ventures have sprung up overnight and disappeared just as quickly. Why has 420 Magazine survived?
On a practical level, Rob has always stayed strictly within the law, allowing no trading, selling or swopping of Cannabis related items. He has wisely stayed just behind legislation, whilst at the same time the content of 420 Magazine has been a leader in generating knowledge and awareness. It’s an incredibly deft trick, and it has served him and the world well.
Having first mover advantage on the internet got 420 Magazine off to a great start. Activists and growers in the 1990’s flocked to this new and unique resource for news, for medical and scientific information, for grow support and for a community of like-minded individuals. The switch from print to digital was an early indicator of the prescience of the magazine’s founder and CEO. This was a medium which could reach millions more, at far lower cost, than any print publication. Then, as now, Rob worked day and night, building his international organization.
However this practical approach would have been of little value had it not had the force of Rob’s personality behind it. “80 percent of success is just showing up” said Woody Allen. Rob has been showing up every single day for 25 years. This dedication to his cause is reminiscent of such business Titans as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. And like them, his attention to detail never fails.
Working on the internet for 25 years takes some doing. Building and maintaining one of the world’s most respected, positive and friendly Cannabis Hemp magazines takes even more. Yet, despite the trolls, the shills and sock puppets out to steal the reputation that Rob has built, the man himself remains astonishingly open and positive. There is no hint of wear-out or bitterness to those who try and take his reputation. And there have been many, both individuals and groups, attempting, just because they can, or because of some perceived and mis-aligned personal grudge against success, to destroy the magazine or the reputation of its owner. Rob is clear in all his dealings, whether it be with members, partners or sponsors. Those among them who do not hold honesty in the same high esteem as he does will not last. Which is why he and 420 Magazine have. It’s why 420 Magazine members come and why the right ones stay – for its reputation for honesty, its constant positive vibe and its lack of trolls. They can trust 420 Magazine, and they can trust Rob Griffin. They trust him with their security and they trust him and the website for information and support. It has become a self-perpetuating, social networking community of activists, medical experts and growers where everyone is welcomed with positivity and open arms.
Rob’s attitude extends through his website to his members and his staff. He is fiercely protective of the worldwide, mature team of professionals who work for and with him. In his house, as long as you stick to his guidelines – professionalism and politeness – then, as his staff say, you will find no better or more supportive CEO anywhere. Cross him, with dishonesty in any form, and whether you are staff, sponsor or member, then you won’t last. Truth drives Rob, whether it’s in personal relationships, business dealings or in the virtual world. It is the truth about Cannabis and Hemp which drives his mission.
In a world with its head on straight, Rob Griffin would be lauded as a great humanitarian. By creating, populating and maintaining 420 Magazine for 25 years, he has spread Cannabis Hemp awareness and knowledge to millions, and in the process has brought more physical and mental relief from pain than any single doctor could in a lifetime.
A chapter in the history of Cannabis legalization dedicated to Rob Griffin?
Scratch that. The man deserves a book.