When historians chronicled the end of the war on drugs they asked whether it was possible to identify the moment the scales tipped and a more rational drug policy emerged. My thought was always that it happened July 4, 2012. That was the Day of Intention when cannabis users stood up — publicly — and said, “Look how many of us there really are!” That was the day the cannabis culture set its’ intention to accept nothing less than legalization.
That Independence Day in 2012 was about four months out from election day. The race was shaping up to be a very close presidential election. Two months out from that election day and people were saying the 2012 results will be so close that they would make the 2000 Bush / Gore election, the one decided in courts not polling places, look like a landslide. It was thirty days out from election day when the first candidate dropped the hint that maybe it was time to rethink the war on drugs.
There was a sharp and immediate uptick in donations and poll numbers. The media called it the Stoner Vote. It was twenty days out and the candidate who had discovered the stoner vote looked like a winner. It was fifteen days from election day when the opposing candidate said he though the old “dutch system” would be a way to go. And, failing that, why wasn’t this a state decision in the first place?
Money and polls found equilibrium, again. Ten days out and one said “tax and regulate.” Eight days out and the other agreed. The first one to use the word “legalize” won the election. Everyone held their breath.
The president was obviously in a sour mood, but the promise was kept. In one form or fashion we now treat cannabis like alcohol. I’ve written about that first day earlier, if you are curious.
With the re-legalization of the cannabis plant the world did not come to a calamitous end. Neither did nirvana suddenly encompass each persons heart. No one who was not already cool suddenly became cool because of re-legalization But, I can say that I like where we are with cannabis better than where we were without it.
Not that I was ever without it, you understand.