Every Day That Passes Full Legalization Gets Nearer
Hop into my DeLorean and take a journey with me. I’ve got the flux capacitor all set, and the needed 1.21 gigawatts. We’re gonna travel back to the year 1992. I was a junior in high school and Dr. Dre had just released his album “The Chronic” which went triple platinum. It was this year that the perception of marijuana use really went from being something taboo, to being something more mainstream. From being something with a strong negative association, to being something celebrated by just about everyone you knew. It is my belief that the modern day marijuana legalization movement really began with the release of that album and in that year. Of course it had been brewing for years, but this was the year it all started to boil over. It is that particular album in my opinion that brought the use of marijuana to the mainstream in a way no other piece of media or literature ever had before and made it more publicly accepted thus paving the way.
Legalizing was all everybody seemed to talk about. The marijuana leaf had become a symbol for the movement and you saw it everywhere. My friends and I would sit around and talk about the day we could afford to take a trip to Amsterdam to see what it would be like to actually just walk into a store and buy a sack of herb. To smoke out in the open. We would joke about it one day being legal here in the states, but no one ever really thought that would happen in our lifetime. Flash forward 22 years to present day and it is fully legal in 2 states, with many more to soon come, even getting a public endorsement of sorts from the POTUS himself!
Just How Did We Get To This Point?
For marijuana to become legal, it had to first become mainstream and popular. We’re not just talking about a small group of people, but to a massive group of people. That happened when these kids from the late 80’s and early 90’s, who have had this sort of exposure, are all grown up but still maintain the acceptance they had of it as teenages. Acceptance of using it and acceptance of people who used it. This led to the strong modern day pushes towards legalization and looking at the legalization efforts, it branched into two different areas, medicinal use and recreational use.
The medical marijuana movement really started in 1978, when a gentleman named Robert Randall sued the federal government for arresting him for using weed to treat his glaucoma. He won and a program was started to supply him with marijuana. It turned into a small and organized federal program that never really saw more than a handful of people receiving it in the form of pre-rolled joints from a federally funded pot farm at the University of Mississippi. The state level MMJ (medical marijuana) efforts really got going though in 1996 when California passed the first legal MMJ program. This is 4 years after “The Chronic“. By this time, your average suburban kids are literally surrounded by weed. Music, clothing, culture, it is everywhere. For me personally, it was always WAY easier to get a bag of nugs then it was to get beer and thats what we did. While growing up, none, and I mean zero of my friends ever had any sort of alcohol induced problems. We all just got stoned and played video games, gave each other homemade tattoos, played in bands, and hung out.
By Now The Dominos Are Doing Their Thing
So once California legalizes the medical use the states started to fall one by one. In some states, (cough cough Colorado & California) it almost became a joke on how easy it was to obtain a prescription or card to buy. As of this writing, 22 states have medical cannabis programs in place, with 10 more voting on it this next election. If only 3 of those pass, that is half the country. It was only a matter of time before one of the states took it to that next inevitable level of fully legal recreational use. Enter Washington and Colorado stage left.
A few things all had to come together for this full legalization to become a reality for the masses. There had to be a reason for the states to be running low or out of money and wanting to use the sale of marijuana to raise tax money. The economic downfall of the US economy supplied those conditions. The culture had to become ok with a reality of regular marijuana use by the mainstream public. This was supplied in the form of my generation on the verge of our 40’s who have been ok with it from the time we were kids. Besides that, people were sick of seeing other people rotting in prisons for it. They wanted these people released, and that money freed up to be used for something important. That leaves us with a nation that is primed and ready for major change. We’re talking about blowing the doors off of Amsterdam sort of change.
Welcome To The Precipice!
Well here we are, back in current day. Two down, forty-eight to go. It is my belief we are going to see the feds fully repeal the marijuana prohibition laws in the next few years. They are going to look pretty stupid as states continue to fully legalize recreational use and reap the benefits of the new tax money and jobs while the federal government just stands by with it’s thumb up its ass trying to arrest people who are breaking federal law but obeying state law. Once that happens, states that are holding out, the ones that teach creationism in the classrooms (you know who you are) will be forced into abandoning their ridiculous prohibition.
If you had told me this back when I was 15 and listening to The $20 Sack Pyramid while tokin on an aluminum bowl that I would one day be able to walk into a store here in the good ol USA and buy some weed I would have thought you were high (no pun intended). Maybe, just perhaps, you jumped out of the DeLorean to say hi, and you were, but legally. Regardless, this will be a good thing for this country. It will create new jobs, raise tax money, and free innocent people from prison adding a bit of needed release to an already overcrowded prison system. More on that in another article however. But most importantly, good people won’t have to stress being punished and having their lives ruined for simply coming home from a hard day of work and unwinding with a joint. And that my friends is progress.
These polls are not scientific, but give a pretty fuckin clear idea what readers are thinking…
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