Sorry brick50 but I just don't agree. Living in the closet is a choice, yes, but you can choose to come out. I've openly talked about my cannabis use to my family, friends, co-workers, employers, the public... for many years now. Nothing but good has come of it.
Just how do we convince them from inside the closet? The only way the public will realise that we are not dropout deadbeats is if we are open about our use of cannabis and demonstrate that we are good, otherwise law abiding members of society. We need to break these stereotypes by example. Your scenario is a catch 22, and this is exactly what the prohibitionists want - we are stygmatised, ridiculed, ignored, rejected... and we have no voice politically or legislatively.
They rarely are from what I'm told - they spend 99% of their time outside of the town dealing with callouts, Nimbin isn't a policing priority. I don't know if they're making a regular appearance at the pub's closing time yet, but that's about the only time they're needed apparently. The locals say that once the Police have been there a while they realise that the majority of the town's residents, and cannabis users in particular, are not a problem and they loosen up significantly. The misconceptions are coming from the Media and their non-local superiors - exactly the problem above of perception and stereotypes.
I used to think that we could do this politically - I no longer do, not in this climate. What I believe we need to change is popular opinion and widespread experience of cannabis and cannabis users. That's a generational change and it's well underway, but we need to push harder if we want to see change in our lifetime and leave a positive legacy for our children and our community.
Blah blah, I'm ranting again pipeman
Change is coming,
We are getting there