There is much more potential for the mainstream to find the harms-of-prohibition message more relevant to their lives than a "pro pot" message.
Keeping the message on prohibition helps keep the conversation from getting bogged down in the "is pot harmful/addictive/stronger/gateway-drug" arguments that continue to used as reasons why cannabis prohibition should continue.
We need our message to focus at the heart of the problem... prohibition. The harms, failure and costs of prohibition are reason enough to end it. Touting the safety or benefits of cannabis, as a reason why prohibition should end, will "convince" only a small percentage of population.
The "unintended consequences" of prohibition are degrading and corrupting Canadian society. That is what we need to educate the public about. Whether or not cannabis is addictive, stronger or is a gateway drug are secondary issues.
We really need a lot of informed public on our side to make gains politically. For that, our messages need to address how prohibition affects THEM.
A key goal should be finding comfortable ways for the general public to acknowledge their support for cannabis law reform. Getting our message about cannabis prohibition to the public is possible if we come up with interesting and creative ways to get our message across.
As always, I refer back to what I think is the most important Senate Report quote for the general public to hear:
"The continued PROHIBITION of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians MUCH MORE than does the substance itself."
- Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, 2002
"Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy"
Public opinion polls show there is considerable support for reducing penalties for cannabis possession, and a slight majority of Canadian (53% in 2008) already want cannabis legalized. And this level of support is without the majority of Canadians understanding the ways cannabis prohibition is causing harm to society. The more informed the public becomes the higher those support levels will be.