Legalization. Can it happen? How? Forty years ago i never would have thought we could be this far down the line and legalization is still something we are trying to make happen. I thought, in the early years, that once people came to understand the truth about cannabis that the laws would change. Boy, was i naive. I thought by now civilized people could sit around after a heavy meal and pass the hash pipe. I never saw the trillion dollars worth of drug war propaganda that was coming down the road.
For the first time ever polls are showing 50% support for legalization. Some groups poll very high in their support, others poll lower. Education is key. We need overwhelming numbers to gain complete control and regulation of cannabis/hemp. Medical marijuana across the United States, utilized, researched and understood would be wonderful but it is not enough. There is no good reason why otherwise responsible adults shouldn’t use cannabis if that’s what they choose. It is demonstrably safer than alcohol or tobacco. Barring harm to others, it is none of the government’s business what we put into our body. And then there is hemp and the agricultural uses to which it can be put. Legalization is what we need, right across the board. No more prohibition of the cannabis plant for any reason.
We’ve come a long way since polling first started keeping track of who is for and who is against. I think the various reform groups big and small, the people that write letters to newspapers, the ones that talk to other people, and especially the reformers who speak to groups, are collectively responsible for how we got to where we are.
I first got involved with drug law reform around 15 years ago and the first speaker i ever heard was Peter Christ, ryhmes with wrist. Mr Christ is a retired police captain from western New York and one of the originators of the early New York reform group, reconsiDer. He later co founded Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. In his role with these organizations Mr Christ spoke with many, many, many civic groups and in no case was he speaking to the choir. He pleaded ending prohibition to Lions and Rotarians and Kiwanis and more.
The reason i bring up Peter Christ and his role in reform is because i believe the direction reform needs to take in order to change 50% for legalization to 60% is we need to talk and educate the folks who are not part of the choir. Two groups that deserve our focus are women and seniors. We need the seniors because they vote and we need the women because there are a lot of them. If we can get the ear of these groups to push us over the tipping point we can make change. If you are a member of a women’s organization such as Emily’s List or Code Pink let your concerns be known, assuage their fears and educate them. The same tactic can be used if you are a senior or a member of any group. You can also come out of the closet, write a letter to the editor, donate money, tell a friend.