Just like the younger Barack Obama, I also smoked marijuana back in the day.
Unlike the cigar aficionado a President before him, however, I absolutely and unapologetically inhaled… as deeply and as frequently as possible.
From the perspective of an ardent supporter of legalization way back in the days of sit-is and smoke-outs and free-love (I was especially fond of that part), I can say with confidence that I was wrong and – given what I have come to know about the way this government and this culture truly work – I am quite sure there is a day not far off when a lot of tokers will come face to face with the greatest buzz kill there is: government.
Sure, the story isn’t new-we’ve all heard about Colorado and California and Alaska and Washington DC-but the real story here has very little to do with whether or not you can smoke pot without getting arrested and everything to do with the additional freedoms that will necessarily be handed over in exchange. Consider the piece at Time Magazine for a taste of the tokers’ future, consider the wording of this:
California: Groups like MPP and the Drug Policy Alliance are hard at work crafting the language for a ballot initiative in the Golden State. Issues like production limits and whether home-growing is allowed can divide voters and established medical marijuana businesses. For advocates, framing the initiative for success is particularly important given California’s influence as a regulatory laboratory.
Production limits? Whether home-grown is allowed? Divisive for established medical marijuana businesses?
Not mentioned in these stories is the longer, more complex list of issues such as what to do with all the people that are incarcerated (or have been( for what will no longer be a crime; do we just cut them all loose? Do we give them money and apologize for how much of their lives we took away from them? And what about all the people who can’t get a job (or lost one) because they can’t pass the whiz quiz? Hell…the guys that write the laws can’t pass them which explains why they aren’t required to take then…but I digress.
With all the stuff that was considered wrong or bad or potentially harmful to the greater good of the ‘Great American Experiment’ back in the 60’s when this movement started to pick up steam, we’d be far better off allowing marijuana alone… to do with whatever we choose “behind closed doors and in the privacy of our own homes” and worry about the important stuff.
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