This whole election has got me incredibly depressed, and I cannot wait for it to be over. It is a series of incredibly bad choices that make wonder what we are doing as a nation, and as a society. It is certainly a two steps back election filled with fear and disgust. I do not care what you think about President Obama, but I would take a little hope and change right now over this chaotic argument between yesterday’s news and tomorrow’s nightmare. It is hard for me to stomach that we are here, and that there is literally nothing I can do about any of it. It is enough to make me want to sit this whole election out and just pretend I am Canadian for at least another four years.
I have heard a lot of people in the cannabis spectrum be critical of President Obama over the years for what he has not done to make cannabis legal. Now, looking at the choices we have for his replacement, and the looming questions surrounding how a Trump or Clinton Presidency will affect the rights of people to use weed, I for one would take another four years of Obama over this crap any day. If you think Obama’s inability to legalize weed at the federal level is a reason to be upset, just wait until Donald Trump appoints Chris Christie as Attorney General and he unleashes an army of prohibition warriors to immediately roll back any progress that we have seen. It is unclear what Hillary might do regarding cannabis, but I can almost assure you that it will not be seen as progress. If we are lucky enough to keep the status quo of non-enforcement in states where cannabis is legal I will be happy. Chances are what we could see is a lateral move where cannabis is legalized as a Schedule 2, and put into the hands of special interests that have influenced the Clintons decision making process for decades. Regardless, it is clear that unless there is a miracle by Obama before January 20th of next year that we will likely not see much progress in the way of cannabis reform for years. I will take my chances with Clinton, but it makes me ill to think that this is the best we could come up with as a nation for someone to lead our country. How depressing.
For those who have chosen to criticize Obama, just remember that his non-enforcement priority policies have allowed for the industry to evolve in dozens of states with limited issue. It has certainly not been an ideal policy that made weed legal for adults to use as they please, but it has given rise to the most progress that cannabis reform has seen in the history of our great nation. There are thousands of cannabis retail stores where consumers can purchase weed in a safe and clean environment. Millions of Americans live in states where they have to worry very little about going to jail for their weed, and in a lot of places people are free to grow a small garden for their cannabis needs. As a person who had his doors kicked in by the Feds at the end of the Bush administration, and who served his sentence under the beginnings of the Obama regime, I can assure you that where we are now is light years ahead of where we were then.
It amazes me that people actually believed that Obama, the nation’s first black President, was going to come into office and magically erase decades of cannabis prohibition with one stroke of his pen. Are you really naïve enough to think that he was going to use up any political capital that he had so that people could smoke weed? Have you paid attention to the way that he has been fundamentally undermined at every step by Republicans, who spent most of his Presidency challenging that he was even born in America? But yeah… I am sure he is going to jump right on the weed thing for you. For me, his inaction and lack of enforcement has been more than enough and has enabled us to open doors that many believed we would not see in this lifetime. I, for one, can appreciate what doing nothing has actually done to make the world a better place for weedheads.
Like everything else, it seems we are finding ways of screwing up the weed game too. I look around at the laws that have been passed, and those that are on the ballot this election cycle, and I am dumbfounded that those who claim to fight for cannabis freedom continue to make decisions that make cannabis more restricted and limited than it ever needed to be. The initiatives that are being put forth make limited progress, while ensuring that cannabis users and producers are still discriminated against for years to come. It is mind-boggling that people who have fought their whole lives to make the world understand that cannabis is safer than booze would write laws that make cannabis ten times more restrictive than alcohol and tobacco ever have been. What the fuck are we thinking? I really have no idea.
To me, it seems like the whole world has lost its mind, and have chosen to make one bad decision after another to ensure that progress is limited and measured in such a way that we will continue to see prohibition light for decades to come. This is not a revolution. It is a negotiated settlement with those who have used prohibition to terrorize our community for decades. We have chosen to give into the extreme in our community who would have us believe that cannabis is as dangerous as heroin and we have bartered away real freedom for limited freedoms, that in the long run may do more harm than good.
I am not sure what the answer is anymore. I wake up every day wondering what this altered reality is and how the fuck we got here. I can assure you that I am not an idealist who believes that there would be no limitations after decades of prohibition; but this shit is ridiculous. I cannot stomach those who I have spent years fighting with in the trenches who now tell me that these new regime of legal limitations are a good idea, and that I should be stoked somehow to bargain away reality for these limited freedoms. I am not falling for it. I will not join your campaign of misconception that tries to fool us into believing that these steps are necessary and incremental. You can be sure that the bullshit laws, such as Prop. 64 in California, will result in many years of cannabis users still being discriminated against and enforced upon. While the law will allow for some new freedoms, it will also create a web of new regulations that will entrap many and leave a lot of folks out in the cold. Many say it is inevitable, and a good first step; but I just disagree. It did not have to be like this.
It would be nice if people at least were honest enough to say that the law sucks and that they were going to vote for it anyways because it was better than losing another election. That I could live with. But blowing smoke up my ass about how great it is, and how I should feel lucky to be able to vote for it simply insults my intelligence and makes me think less of you. You know that I know that you know that the law sucks, and was written way too strictly for anyone’s good. The point of making progress is to create less burdensome laws… not more burdensome. Yet Prop 64 is far more restrictive than other states who have legalized. I have no idea what these people were thinking when they wrote it.
Yet chances are bad weed laws will pass, and either Trump or Hillary will be our President barring a miracle. This is a new reality I will have to learn to live with. It makes me sad and it makes me angry. I question what the fuck we are doing and what we are thinking on a daily basis. I can hardly even talk to anyone anymore without just feeling helpless and confused as to why. Why are we making such bad decisions as a society, and why is everyone okay with it? I do not get it. I will never get it. I do not even want to try to get it. No. America… You have lost your fucking mind and I will never figure out what you are thinking. At least I have weed though, so there is that. Selah.