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If you think about the fact that we spend more than one third of our lives asleep, it seems funny that we don’t spend a larger majority of our income on things related to sleep.
People have no problem dropping absurd amounts of money on appliances or cars but scrimp too much when it comes to their beds and as it pertains to today’s article, their pillows.
You may be better off cutting a little out of your bedroom decorating budget and invest in a top notch mattress and the best pillows you can find. You’ll get the good back support with the mattress but your pillow can be crucial between getting a good nights sleep or not.
How does your pillow affect sleep quality?
Besides giving you comfort, a pillow is important for supporting your neck and spine. With an uncomfortable and unsupportive pillow you can throw off your lying posture which can result in you tossing and turning all night.
If you’ve been using the same pillow since Knight Rider was on TV, it will have become less supportive over time. You then can be losing a lot of neck and spine support resulting in agravation and pain. This can even affect your breathing and result in a really bad nights sleep.
How the way you sleep determines pillow type
You first need to look at what type of sleeper you are. Some sleep on their sides, some on their back, some on their stomach or if you’re like me, curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb.
If you sleep on your side you will need a firmer pillow as there becomes a larger distance in your head and you shoulder that can cause neck problems.
If you sleep on your back you can get by with a thinner pillow as you don’t want your head pushed too far forward. Pillows that have a larger loft in the bottom third of the pillow can be great for better neck and spine support.
If you sleep on your stomach you want a very thin pillow as to not push your head out of position too much.
What makes a good pillow?
A feather pillow is the classic pillow and can actually last the longest up to eight years. A down pillow is also great and can last for up to five. The pillows that have “man made” type fillings are the most inferior and can only last around six months to two years. Sleep experts say it’s a good idea to change your pillow at least every 12-14 months if it’s one of the more inferior type pillows. Even a good feather pillow might have to be changed sooner if it starts to get out of shape and lose it’s support.
A good test to see if your pillow is still supportive is to lay it down on a hard surface and fold it in half and squeeze out all the air. If the pillow returns to it’s normal shape after you release it it means it is still supportive. An overused pillow will stay folded up.
How many pillows do you need?
Depending on your sleep position, one should still be all you need if it’s a quality one. Using two pillows can put your head into an unnatural position and result in that neck and spine discomfort that can cause pain and aggravation. It’s also important to be aware of you having your head in a bad position can affect your breathing causing disrupted sleep and even headaches the following day. A second pillow can be useful however to use between your legs in order to take pressure off the lower back.
A pillow is just one of those things people take for granted. People are more aware now of how important a good mattress is for sleep but just as much research and education on the best pillows needs to become part of the equation.
Hopefully now you can see how important pillow choice is to you getting the best sleep possible along with what to look for in a pillow and which type should work best for you.
When it comes to the design of a room, everything counts – even the simple pillow, and sometimes, especially the pillow. I sometimes have clients questioning why they should spend $200 on a custom pillow. And I agree that it’s not a small investment. But sometimes that one pillow can change the whole room.
Try to imagine this room without these bold, teal pillows. Without them, this room, although still beautiful, would feel a little boring. Pillows are the perfect way to bring in some much needed color. It can often be that one design element that brings the whole space together. This family room, designed by The Sisters & Co in Georgia, is a beautiful example of the power of the pillow.
AND MORE COLOR!
This master bedroom is from one my clients here in Fort Mill. I remember we waited over 3 months for the coral pillow on the bed to come in as the fabric was backordered. We searched for alternative fabrics but none were quite right. The little bit of coral in the pillow on the chair, and the one on the bed make the design of this room.
“JEWELRY” OF THE ROOM
Accessories are often described as the jewelry of the room. Just as the perfect outfit needs some jewelry, so does your room. Remember that the selection of the small stuff can be just as, if not more important, than the big stuff.
HOW TO SELECT YOUR PILLOWS
Probably the most important consideration is color. What is going to work with your color palette? Do you want the pillow to be a bold accent, or just enhance the design? Texture is also key and more so if you’re going with a monochromatic color palette. Nubby, furry, leather, fringed pillows can bring in some additional texture. Selecting the right size is also important. For sofas, the standard size ranges from 18″ to 22″. If you’re not sure, go bigger. A tiny pillow on a huge sofa just doesn’t work. Rectangular, square, round or cylindrical, any shape can look good. Stick with the basic square or mix and match. And finally consider the fill. The more luxurious pillows use a high quality down fill. If you’re not a fan of down, go with a down alternative which has the feel but none of the feathers. Or if budget is an issue, use a poly fill.
Never underestimate the power of the pillow! Have fun decorating.
Last Updated: November 18, 2020
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Finding The Perfect Pillow For You
Pillows are about as personal as a pair of shoes, and there’s usually no one-size-fits-all option unless it has an adjustable fill option (we’ll get into that later).
The perfect pillow largely depends on your sleeping position, body type, and personal comfort preferences. Sorting through the many options on the market can be daunting, but many online options like Nectar come with trial periods or warranties so you can find the best fit. You also have helpful review sites like ourselves, who strive to deliver honest, and authentic content about bedding products.
How To Pick A Pillow For Side Sleepers
If you are a side sleeper, it is important to have a pillow that keeps your spine in alignment by properly supporting your neck. When laying on your side, you should be able to draw a straight line from your nose to your belly button. Pillows on the taller side are ideal for side sleepers because they support the head and prevent your shoulder from bearing all of your weight.
- Side sleepers under 230 lbs: A lofty pillow with at least a medium-firm profile is recommended. Anything firmer might be too tall and cause you to strain your neck. Look for lofts within the 4-5” range.
- Side sleepers over 230 lbs: If you are over 230 pounds and sleep on your side, a taller, firmer pillow will ensure that your head is supported enough. Look for lofts within the 5-6+” range.
The Purple Pillow is great for Side Sleepers
For a few of our suggestions on the best pillows for side sleepers, check out our best list. A highly recommended pillow for side sleepers is the Purple Pillow you can see above.
How To Pick A Pillow For Back Sleepers
Back sleepers should look for pillows using the C-curve rule. When sleeping on your back, your neck should form a slight “C” so that your gaze is more toward the ceiling than the wall in front of you when laying down.
- Back sleepers under 230 lbs: Look for a medium-loft pillow with a medium firmness so that your neck is supported but not overextended.
- Back sleepers over 230 lbs: A medium-loft pillow with a medium firm profile is also ideal for people over 230 pounds for the right amount of head support.
How To Pick A Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers are advised to try out pillows with varying lofts and firmness levels to find what is best for them. Finding a pillow that doesn’t cause neck kinks and doesn’t lift the head too high is key.
- Stomach sleepers under 230 lbs: Opt for a pillow with a low loft and soft firmness. This will ensure that your head is not raised too high, but you’re still receiving proper support.
- Stomach sleepers over 230 lbs: A pillow with soft to medium firmness and a low loft is recommended so that your head does not hang too low and cause tension on your neck.
For a head start on great stomach sleeping pillows, read our Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers list.
Other Considerations For Pillows
Along with loft and firmness, there are other factors that should be weighed when choosing a pillow. Here are other things to consider:
Memory Foam – Pillows made out of memory foam mold to the curvature of your body and provide resistance that many down pillows don’t, which is why some sleepers don’t choose them.
Some memory foam pillows, like the Layla pillow, are also designed with heat dispersing technology to keep you cool while you sleep, and retain less heat than traditional memory foam.
Latex Foam – Latex foam pillows are a popular choice because of their hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties. This is a good option for people who are prone to household allergens like dust mites and pet dander, or those who like a firm, responsive pillow like the Brooklyn Bedding Pillow.
Polyurethane Foam – Few pillows are truly neutral in firmness, but polyurethane foam pillows are suitable for all sleep positions. These types of pillows are responsive without having the viscous feel of memory foam pillows. Though, they still have the pressure relieving quality that memory foam pillows have.
A look at Casper’s Innovative Down Pillow
Down or Down Alternatives – For those of you who love a traditional fluffy feel and are looking for a down or down alternative pillow, we suggest looking at the Casper Pillow — or another option with a new-age down design. Down pillows are infamous for falling flat, but some brands have taken it upon themselves to give their down pillows more structure and support.
High-quality pillows often come with a higher price tag. When purchasing a new pillow, expect to spend $40-$50 on the budget end, to $200 or more for a more premium pillow. We suggest you figure out your budget before exploring your options, so you can narrow down your options a bit more.
If you tend to run warm when you sleep, consider getting a cooling pillow. Cooling technology in the form of specialty foam, gel, and cool-to-the-touch fabrics can help keep you from overheating during the night. Pillows like GhostPillow actually feel cold when you touch the cover, and can make a big difference in a hot sleeper’s quality of rest.
Some pillows like the Leesa Hybrid Pillow are designed with removable inserts or stuffing so that you can adjust the firmness level, and customize your pillow loft when you want.
Identifying the best pillow for yourself requires time and research, but it’s worth it to have the best sleep possible. The pillow you sleep on can be the difference between feeling well-rested or waking up groggy and uncomfortable.
I had some friends visit my gardens last week. When we were inside sitting at the table she asked me about my blueberries. She said she had heard me mention that I put up enough blueberries to take me through the winter and she wondered where all the blueberry bushes were. She had counted 6 bushes.
Actually I have 8 – but the ones on either side of the row don’t like it (probably too much foot traffic on their roots) — and I don’t get many berries from them. But I leave them to possibly protect the others.
And the new bushes recently planted you can’t count yet because they’re too young.
I couldn’t help but smile when she asked me since I’ve heard this same question posed many times about various things I have and do.
The secret involved is to never underestimate the Power of a Little. (I feel most people do.)
Yes, in season my blueberry bushes are filled with berries but not filled with ripe berries. I pick every day. When I start picking in June I only get a cup and it builds to a quart or more each day and wanes again after about 6 weeks. I wouldn’t dare miss a day because then I would loose berries. It’s just the way it is.
I might not notice so much during harvest season when I’m eating all I want — but the final amount of packages in the freezer would be a lot less if I didn’t harvest as often as I do. Also I can’t bear the thought of missing out on the blueberry tarts each cup would make in the winter.
It’s the same with anything you grow. If you don’t harvest often — you won’t get much.
And if you don’t make the effort to put things up little but little — then you won’t have anything for winter. It’s not a question of not having the time; it’s more a question of timing and priorities. You would be just as amazed at what you can put up in a few minutes here and there — as you would be at what kind of production you can get from plants that are harvested daily — whether it’s tomatoes, cukes, beans, lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, greens, or peppers.
I strongly encourage you to never underestimate the Power of a Little — whether it’s your produce, your time, your money, or opportunities. There can be power in a little. It’s up to you.
Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.
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Do you wake up wondering when that magical day will come when your to-do list is shorter at the end of the day than when you began? Or the overwhelm of being an online business owner gets too much, and the excitement of starting your own business and being in control of your income is slowly dying? Those ideas that are lying around in the dozens of notebooks on your desk, unused, because you can’t keep up with all the ideas, and you don’t really know what to focus on, a.k.a shiny object syndrome?
I’ve been there, and I totally can relate to how you are feeling. In one way, this is probably what led me to close my first online business, an online boutique. I don’t want you to get to that point because I know that you can build a business without overwhelm. You can scale it without getting stressed out or self sabotaging because you now resent what it has become.
The method I am about to share has been a game-changer in my business and life. I call it the Power of 3. Which came up after realizing how easy it is for us busy moms to get into the habit of being busy, and not necessarily productive. I realized that the fewer things I had going on, the faster I could get them done. And move on to the next thing on my goal list.
The Power of 3 method is simply restricting yourself to just 3 things that you want to accomplish each day, week and quarter.
There is a lot of science and psychology behind prioritizing and selecting just 3 things to focus on. This is why I hate to-do lists and multi-tasking. The evidence is already out there that these habits inhibit your productivity and keep you distracted and unfocused, making it even harder to hit your goals.
So instead, here are 7 steps to using the Power of 3. This will help you start hitting your side hustle goals without overwhelm or trading family time for business…again:
Step 1: Brainstorm all the ideas in your head about your business and what you want to do to hit your goals, starting with your quarterly Power of 3
Pick 3 of those ideas that you think will give you the best outcome for the effort you will put into them. You also want to list them in order of their priority.
Why 3? The brain easily grasps and remembers things in 3. Once you start adding more to 3 things, it can be easily overwhelming and difficult to remember.
Instead, we want you to have bite-size results and success every week. And the Power of 3 is a super-effective way of achieving that.
PRO TIP: Write out your power of 3 before the week starts. I like to do this on a Sunday evening. Before the noise and clutter of Monday comes and hijacks my list. This way you are putting down things that are actually moving you ahead instead of things that have suddenly become extremely urgent. Such as checking mails, replying to comments on Facebook groups.
How do you know what you should prioritize? Ask yourself “what 3 things can I focus on this week to get me closer to my overall goal for the month”? Most often, these 3 things are income-generating activities like marketing or content creation or working on a new product.
Always keep in mind that your 3 activities are the 3 things that will get you 80% of the result you are looking for.
Step 2: Turn your big 3 for the quarter into your power of 3 on a weekly basis.
I typically go from 3 main things each quarter to selecting one of those 3 main things each month.
I will then have 3 priorities each week to help me achieve the 1 main thing I am focusing on for the month.
Ask yourself: What can you do to prepare for the 3 items that you must complete this week that are non negotiable?
Step 3: Turn your Power of 3 into result-based activities.
So instead of saying “5 Customers next month”, say “Pitch & convert 5 leads into paying customers”.
Instead of “I want to learn more about Trello”, say that “I want to have created 1 new board in Trello to organize my business”. This will register in your brain more clearly as to what the next point of action should be. As opposed to keeping it vague.
A result list is way more effective than a to-do list. Because at the end of the day, being busy does not translate into success. Doing the right things that will get you the results you want, is what we want to focus on.
Step 4: Time block your Power of 3 RESULTS for the week into your schedule
After doing the time block exercise, do you have enough time to work on your Power of 3? And you can get your free time blocking template here. Have you overscheduled yourself? Do you need to reduce your Power of 3 to maybe 2 or 1 result-based activity? This is based on how busy you are with other areas of your life in the upcoming week.
Check out this post or this post for more tips on time blocking. And some of my best time management tips.
On a daily basis, you will break down your weekly 3 into action steps that you can work on and chip away with as little as 20-minute time blocks.
Step 5: Check if you are time-good or time-bad
Once you have time blocked out for these activities, you can then assess if you have any spare time left to work on your wishlist, aka to-do list.
First, leave a buffer for any overspills. We tend to underestimate how long it will take for us to work on these result-based activities, so I would always
- Leave buffer time
- Block out twice the time you think it will take to complete the activities
Step 6: Review the past week + Adjust/Learn
At the end of the week, don’t just go into the next week without
Reviewing what went well, and what didn’t
What could you do better?
Which distractions came in the way of achieving your top 4
Doing a time audit to see how your time was spent, and whether there were any distractions that stopped you from achieving the results you wanted to see
Adjust as necessary for the next week
Step 7: Always practice gratitude.
It may sound like a woowoo thing to do, but trust me, you will be so glad you did it! It keeps you motivated and gives you even more confidence that you can totally achieve the results you want. Both for your business and even your personal life, the more you get those wins
Never underestimate the power of completing just 3 result-based activities. If you do this consistently for one year, you will get to over 1,000 activities done and dusted. Imagine how that would feel and where that would take you in terms of your big goals?
Use the time blocking template in this free guide to put your Power of 3 into action for the upcoming week. Let me know in the comments how you feel after completing this exercise!
How important is it to teach my child good manners?
These are the years when your child needs to learn the true meaning of good manners: that if she conducts herself considerately in all sorts of different situations, from visits with relatives to overnights with friends, people will enjoy — and even seek out — her company. Even a 6-year-old can grasp the idea that different scenarios call for specific sorts of behavior: A visit to a great-aunt requires a handshake, an appreciative taste of the homemade apple cake, and an audible “hello” and “goodbye”; a sleep-over demands respect for her friend’s doll collection, help picking up the debris after the pillow fight, and an audible “thank you” to the host’s mom. This is really important stuff for learning to get along in the world, around adults as well as the all-important kid friends.
How do I convince my child that good manners matter?
You don’t have to. They’re part of the rules for growing up: This is what’s acceptable, this isn’t. (You don’t have to explain to your 8-year-old why she can’t go to the supermarket naked, do you? Same deal.) As kids get older, they may question certain points of etiquette: Why am I supposed to shake hands? Why do I have to take my hat off in church? You can decide which customs you want to defend with situation-specific logic: We shake hands to make contact with someone we’re meeting; we take our hats off to show respect for God. But the truth is that we observe most civilities because having a set of rules makes people feel more comfortable together. That’s about as logical as the whole enterprise needs to get. You start adding some specifics later.
Also, never underestimate the power of your example. If you seem to place a high degree of importance on politeness yourself, your child will pick up that this is important. It may sound ridiculously simple, but polite parents have polite kids.
What table manners are realistic to expect at this age?
That depends to some extent on how formal your dinner table is. By the time they’re 6 or 7 years old, kids should be following the same house rules their parents do — not all the time, since the parents probably never surreptitiously drop peas in each other’s milk glasses or stab each other with forks under the table. But you’re doing your child no favor if you shirk from laying out Table Manners 101: Wash your hands and take your hat off (and put your shirt on) before you sit down. Put your napkin on your lap. If you don’t like what’s being served, learn to eat it without complaint or decline politely: “I don’t care for any eggplant, thanks.” Don’t talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed. Don’t interrupt when somebody else is mid-sentence. Ask for the saltshaker and bread basket; don’t lunge across somebody else’s plate. Use your cutlery unless the meal includes designated finger food. Don’t leave the table without asking to be excused. Repeating and enforcing these rules at dinner may seem like a hassle, but if your child doesn’t get them down at home she’s going to make a fool of herself at somebody else’s house, and then she’ll come home and say it’s all your fault. For once she’ll be right.
In other social situations, the level of formality you want is also key. If it’s important to you that your child greets people with “Pleased to meet you,” then, by all means, teach her to do so. A 6 or 7-year-old is perfectly capable of a few social graces. If what matters to you is that your child meets people’s eyes and responds pleasantly to questions, make sure she understands that you expect her to do so. It may help to explain, “You know how it makes you feel good when Grandma asks about your dance class? Well, it makes her feel good if you smile and look at her while you answer.”
What’s the most effective way to discipline a kid who acts up at dinner?
Try not to blow your top, even if the bad manners look to you like deliberate provocation rather than absentmindedness. You can often straighten out forgetfulness with a prompt so brief and light that it barely qualifies as nagging: “Hey, napkin on lap.” “Yo, ask first, please.” Provocation is of course intended to provoke, so the important thing is not to launch into a satisfying parental tantrum, but instead to say in a flat, disinterested voice, “I need to talk to you for a minute, please,” indicating with a tilt of the head that the conversation will take place in the next room, in private. (Busting kids for bad manners should always be done one-on-one so it doesn’t turn into a humiliation session.) Then, in the same disinterested voice: “That needs to stop, or you’ll have to leave the table.” If it keeps up, she leaves the table — without her plate, without going to the refrigerator for alternative food, and, needless to say, without being allowed to go turn on the TV or her iPod. A few minutes of downtime may be all she needs, or it may be that she misses that meal completely and tries again next time.
What about telephone etiquette?
A child as young as six can manage the basic rules: Answer the phone courteously. Don’t scream down the hall so your voice blasts the caller’s ear; put the phone down and go look for the person being called. Or say, “May I take a message, please?” and write it on a piece of paper somewhere in the vicinity of the telephone. (There is anecdotal evidence that in some households this results in adults actually receiving correct phone messages taken by their kids.) When calling a friend, identify yourself and ask politely for her by name.
Unless she’s stunningly self-possessed, your child isn’t going to do this right every time. At some point you’ll hear her grunting monosyllabically into the phone. Resist the urge to tell her her phone manners stink. Instead, pick one or two things she forgot to do — say “hello” when her friend’s mother picked up on the other end, for instance — and focus on how she might remember next time.
Is it important for my child to have good manners around her friends?
Exquisitely important, although you may not understand the fine points of the rules. Kids follow elaborate social codes and know exactly who has violated them and how — which kid didn’t handle the video game controls properly, which kid was incredibly rude at the birthday party, which kid acts like a jerk on the playground. And kids can be much harsher than adults about doling out punishment. That’s why it’s vital to keep teaching your child that being well-mannered doesn’t make you prissy or stuck-up — it makes you a person other people like to be around.
Pantley, Elizabeth. Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate. 1996. New Harbinger Publications.
Sears, William and Martha. The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten. 1995. Little, Brown and Company.
When I first quit drinking there were two main new habits (or tools) that I embraced early on to help with my recovery. These were habits I specificially adopted to help me deal with my new alcohol-free life. A life quite unlike the boozy one I’d been leading – a life that had me learning how to cope with being open to my raw emotions 100% of the time.
The first big and important habit had me connecting regularly with like-minded people who knew exactly what I was going through because they were going through it too. Being able to describe the ups and downs of my days and get understanding and empathy back was so helpful. The warmth and wisdom and feeling of belonging that I got from my tribe of fellow soberites was priceless.
The second big and important habit had me embracing the concept of ‘Sober Treats’. This concept is one that gets bandied around a lot in the sobersphere. It involves you treating yourself to little gifts that make you feel special and good.
In the early phases of sobriety often my Sober Treats were simply alcohol replacements – i.e. special non-alcoholic drinks or foods that I could consume at a time when I’d normally be necking wine. I went through all manner of fancy-schmancy fizzy and fruity drinks not to mention cakes, slices, chips, dip, crackers, cheese, nuts etc, etc at 5pm most days.
But I’ve always been into other non-consumable Sober Treats such as fresh flowers, glossy magazines, fancy bath bombs, books, cosmetics, herbal teas, tea cups, new slippers or pyjamas or even pillows! These are the things that appeal to me and my personality. You will know what suits you best.. maybe it’s new equipment for your bike or running shoes or plants for the garden or materials for crafting.
Really there is no limit to the Sober Treat concept. You could buy yourself a new bed and call it a sober treat! Or a lush winter coat! Or even a puppy! Or maybe even just your favourite chewing gum or beautiful ripe piece of fruit from the local farmers market.
Because the thing about Sober Treats is that it’s not only about the material object you are obtaining and the pleasure you’re going to derive from that object. It’s the power and meaning behind the act of selecting and obtaining the object. That movement towards getting something for yourself is as important as the consumption or use of the object itself.
With every Sober Treat you’re sending yourself a very important message – that is that you are worth treating.
With every Sober Treat You are recognising and rewarding yourself for all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that you are pouring into turning your life around. You are acknowledging that it takes a big effort not just in giving up the booze but in facing life every single day without numbing or avoiding.
You are telling yourself; “I deserve this. I have earned this. I care about myself. I’m proud of myself.” That’s the message you are sending to yourself. That’s what Sober Treats say. And it’s a very important message to hear.
You. Are. Worth. Treating.
Sober Treats are as important for me now – 7 1/2 years after my last ever drink – as they were 6 days after. With every bunch of fresh flowers I buy for myself I am sending myself a little love and respect message. Just today I bought myself two new types of tea (even though I have many already at home!). One is a blueberry tea to enjoy chilled and the other a spicy chai to have in the late afternoon when I need a pick-me-up. Delicious. I was very clear in my mind when I bought these. I thought to myself; “I deserve these treats.”
Don’t underestimate the power of a good Sober Treat and don’t short change yourself by not getting them. You ARE worthy of treating. You ARE brave and amazing for quitting booze. You ARE a bloody legend for digging deep and swimming against the boozy tide to live sober.
Treat yourself. Do it today. Do it next week and do it the week after. Because you are worthy.
And there’s a bonus positive flow-on from embracing Sober Treats too. That is, if we treat ourselves kindly and with respect we’re more likely to treat those around us with kindness and respect too. So everyone benefits.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is following through on his 2015 pledge to legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis. Presently, Liberal Party backed legalization legislation is making its way through Parliament, which hopes to implement the new public policy by mid-2018.
But, as Toronto Star reporter Susan Delacourt writes, Trudeau was not always a supporter of marijuana policy reform. In fact, it wasn’t until he met face to face with NORML representatives that the Canadian Premiere ultimately changed his mind for good.
[Excerpt] When marijuana becomes legal in Canada next year, it will be mainly because Justin Trudeau had a change of mind in 2012.
… Five short years ago, Trudeau was not a fan of legalized pot. As he wandered around the 2012 Liberal policy convention in Ottawa — the same one in which a majority of party members voted in favour of legalization — Trudeau was a dissenting voice.
He told one interviewer that marijuana “disconnects you a little bit from the world” and that it was “not good for your health.” For those reasons alone, Trudeau said he wasn’t in favour of any measures that could make pot use more widespread.
“I don’t know that it’s entirely consistent with the society we’re trying to build,” Trudeau said in an interview that still lives on YouTube, where it’s immediately clear he hasn’t had his run-for-leadership makeover: he still sports a moustache and the long, unruly hair.
By the end of 2012, a lot of things had changed for Trudeau — beyond his appearance. He had changed his mind about running for Liberal leader, officially launching his campaign in October, and he was also starting to see that legalization was better than the decriminalization option he’d long favoured.
Today, Trudeau and his advisers trace the shift to a meeting with two women in his office in November of that year, who armed him with some of the pro-legalization arguments that he’s still using today — now, as prime minister. The two women were Kelly Coulter and Andrea Matrosovs, then representing what was known as the women’s alliance of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Coulter, who now lives in Victoria, remembers the meeting well, and is heartened to hear that Trudeau traces his conversion to this encounter.
“I actually saw the ‘aha’ moment,” Coulter says. It had been an emotional meeting in Trudeau’s tiny Parliament Hill office; the three of them talked about their own personal experience with marijuana. Trudeau talked about his mother using pot, and his brother, Michel, who had been charged with possession not long before he died. (Trudeau has subsequently told the story publicly of how his father used connections to get the charges dropped so that his son didn’t have a criminal record.)
Coulter told Trudeau flatly that decriminalization would not keep gangs and organized crime out of the marijuana business. “Al Capone would have loved it if alcohol had only been decriminalized,” she said — a line she often used when talking to politicians.
“I saw the light go on in his eyes,” Coulter said. “He was seeing this as a politician, realizing ‘I can sell this,’ ” she recalled.
Trudeau could see how this argument would blunt Conservative attacks on him as being soft on crime; with legalization, he could simultaneously seem liberal about marijuana but conservative about gangs and criminals. It helped persuade Trudeau that legalization, would be the best way for the government to regulate its use and keep it safe, especially for kids.
As we approach NORML’s upcoming National Conference and Lobby Day — taking place September 10-12 in Washington, DC — it is important to emphasize how influential a single face to face meeting with your elected officials can be. NORML’s interactions with lawmakers, whether its at town meetings or in the halls of Congress, are changing minds and shaping public policy.
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