The Marijuana Policy Project recently graded all the presidential candidates, awarding an “F-” to Newt, Rick and Mitt each earned a well deserved “F,” and Ron Paul got an “A+.” The only grade I had any question about was the “C” awarded to President Obama. If the President got a passing grade someone got paid.
Back when he was just candidate Obama the next-President lured many of us in with talk of leaving decisions to the states when it came to medical marijuana. He made noises about “appropriate use of resources” and such. Something has happened to him since those days. From where I sit the changes are not good.
In states with legal medical marijuana access the federal government has ramped up the pressure to close mmj down, claiming it is a front for drug trafficking. Raids conducted in California included federal, state and local officials, and, of course, the tax collector. If access is legal in Cali, why are local officials helping in these raids? Why not tell the feds, “no?”
Here’s my theory on what happened to the President, assuming his implications as a candidate were ever honest. The cannabis culture, which includes those whose toking is recreational, those whose cannabis use is medical, those for whom cannabis is a sacrament, and those who wish to use industrial hemp are not perceived as being able to do anything for the President. He could help us but does not perceive that we can help him. We spend our money (on what?) rather than donate to political campaigns. Our individual endorsements don’t carry a lot of weight. Most of us don’t have powerful friends. Plus, at some level we are asking the federal government to right an old wrong WHICH THEY CREATED.
On the other hand, those who make and sell drug testing kits, those who build and staff private prisons, those who think we don’t have enough policemen on the street or surveillance cameras watching, and those who still buy into the old reefer madness nonsense (I’m looking at you Mr. Romney) can do, and do do, things for politicians. They give money. They vote. That may be where and how we lost candidate Obama. We are asking for what is right, and we are not offering to pay for what should be ours. No quid pro quo.
But there are more of us than anyone realizes. Lots and lots of us, if we’d quit hiding. Stoners are going to have to get more visible. Seventy-plus years of lies, fear and abuse has taught us to keep our heads down. This is hamstringing efforts towards legalization. We need more troops, more people to acknowledge that it’s time to re-legalize. Here’s where we might find them.
A large number of people have smoked cannabis in the past. For reasons of their own they no longer toke up. But personal experience has shown them that cannabis can be used responsibly. The plant is not a danger to society. The hemp plant has provided fiber for almost 10,000 years, medicine for 5,000 years, if used for recreation altering of consciousness, i.e.as an intoxicant, is less harmful than alcohol, which is available in a regulated market. There was no valid reason for ever making the hemp plant illegal. There is no valid reason for cannabis to remain illegal.
You know some of these not-against-responsible-use people. We need them. We need to add their voices to ours. We are close and must not miss the chance for change that comes with an election cycle. Don’t lose heart. Come out for cannabis. We will change the world.
[image: google images Obama]
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