The epic battle for cannabis freedom was waged many years ago. Over the decades of cannabis prohibition, those charged with defending the honor of the cannabis plant have failed to win the war, and to return cannabis to its rightful place as a safe, enjoyable, and helpful resource. We have failed to stop the militarization of our police forces and the mass incarceration of our fellow man. We have allowed the propaganda of those who profit off of the drug war to overcome the sensibility of a nation and the world. To this point, we have ultimately failed.
That can be a tough pill to swallow. For those of us that have been standing around the cannabis reform water-cooler for many many years, it is difficult to understand that we have FAILED to make a real difference, and that we continue to see record number of arrests and people losing their standing in the community for weed. It is a terrible injustice that we have failed to put an end to before hundreds of thousands of lives have been destroyed.
Let that sit with you a minute. Let that resonate in that big brain of yours. Even the latest tracking polls that show 50% or more of Americans now support cannabis freedom still means we have failed to reach half of the people with a message that is really a no-brainer.
Cannabis prohibition is not working. There is more cannabis available than ever. We lock up 5x more people than the rest of the world, many for weed. We have wasted a trillion dollars. We have ruined the lives of innumerable good people. We have created a very dangerous black market for weed. We have enslaved mostly poor people in prison work camps with draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws for weed. Cannabis prohibition is EVIL.
That is a pretty easy argument to make that should convince MOST (like 80-90%) sensible-minded people that it is time to take a new direction. But we have failed to deliver that message apparently, as we can barely scrape the 50% mark.
So what has gone wrong? Why can our message get no traction? Where have WE gone wrong in making our case to the masses? Why can’t we figure out how to end this madness by making a clear and concise case for reform? How do we continue to let evil policies undercut the fabric of our society and bankrupt our communities?
If we can begin to understand where we have failed in the past, chances are we can right the ship and make REAL and MEANINGFUL progress in the future. We have the opportunity to make things right. We CAN do this. But it will take a good dose of truth and self-examination for us to understand where we have failed, so that we can not fail in the future. We could use a moment of self-purification in the cannabis movement. We need to take a moment to step back and acknowledge that we have messed some things up, and to develop sound strategies for not making those same mistakes going forward.
We CAN be better today than we were yesterday. It is possible; but if we continue to do the same shit for another few decades we should not wonder why it is not working. It will not work because we did not take the time to make it work. It will be us who are to blame for allowing ego and bravado to overcome justice and morality. It will be us who did not give enough, or dedicate ourselves enough, to make the difference.
We are better than this. The cannabis plant deserves better than the current situation will allow. If we are truly committed to making cannabis legal for adults to use as they please, then we have a lot of hard work to do. The task is far from impossible, but it will take great sacrifice and compromise within the community.
Yesterday is gone and there is no bringing that back. But today is here and we owe it to ourselves to take a closer look at what we MUST do to finally end this thing once and for all. I am open for that discussion, hopefully sooner than later. There is no “I” in freedom…..