Yesterday, US Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about the administration’s position on the weed laws passed in Colorado and Washington by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). I thought his response, or lack there of, was most interesting. Here is what he said:
“We are in the administration at this point considering what the federal government’s response to those new statutes will be. I expect that we will have an ability to announce what our policy will be relatively soon.” -Attorney General Eric Holder
Now on the surface this, and other non-committing responses from the administration thus far, have been virtually meaningless. But I am a tea leaf reader, so I like to look for the meaning behind the meaning for a deeper view. To me, it would seem that if the administration’s response was going to be “business as usual because weed is illegal” like we have seen in the past, then that response would likely have been easy to make, and would have been made already, no? I mean what is there to “consider” if nothing is going to change?
Maybe I am an eternal optimist, and willing to give the universe the benefit of the doubt, even though it has disappointed me in the past. It is possible that my glass is really half empty, but I will choose to believe it is more than half full. I believe in manifesting one’s destiny in spite of the odds being against you.
But I am apparently not alone, as it seems the drug warriors are also out in full force, kicking, screaming, and demanding that the administration take a hard stance against weedheads. In a letter from nine former heads of the Drug Enforcement Agency to US Attorney Holder, these ex-drug warriors looking to promote their own legacies stated, “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.”
It is obvious that these guys also see the writing on the wall and are working diligently to hang on to these failed drug war policies. It has got to be difficult to have worked so long for so hard on something that has by all measures been an absolute failure and disaster. I imagine there is a lot of law enforcement that is confused by the changing landscape of weed acceptance that is happening.
These folks who have been charged with doing the dirty work of big businesses and lobbying groups under the guise of public safety and honor have got to be pissed to see their life’s work crumbling before their eyes. I am sure there is a concern that society will turn their back on them and accuse them of the war crimes they have committed under the “just following orders- chain of command” bullshit.
That has gotta be a tough position to be in. I do not blame them for being pissed, and working to maintain their legacy. It is only natural to resist social change that is going to make you look like a real asshole.
So let me assure you right now that “It is going to be okay.”
Just like I teach my kids, “it is okay to be wrong, as long as you can admit you were wrong and make things right.”
Now you may never be able to make right the innumerable amount of lives that these policies have ruined. You will not be able to give back the 10 and 20 years of people’s lives you have taken away from them, or change the course of history on people who were raised without a parent in the home because of what you have done. It is sad to think of how many folks have been oppressed and held down by these drug laws, and it must be difficult to look at the reality of the situation and understand that your actions contributed to one of the most wasteful failures of our lifetimes.
No…we cannot re-write history. But what we can do is change tomorrow and make sure that this never happens again in our name.
I cannot speak for every weedhead who has had their doors kicked in and who have been tried in a court of law as a criminal for weed, but I can speak for myself. I WILL FORGIVE YOU.
All I have ever wanted was an apology. Most people who use and deal in cannabis are good people with good intentions, and most are forgiving to a fault. How do you think we have gone this long without a violent revolution, while your armed gunmen have raped and pillaged our village for the past 40+ years? If the drug warriors can come back to earth and realize that these actions have been wrong, and are willing to acknowledge their offense and make amends, then we can figure out how to forgive you.
Continuing to hold firm to your ill-fated beliefs that it is our duty to somehow rid the world of the evils of drugs will only result in you looking like a much bigger asshole as this thing unfolds. My advice would be to use the political cover of public sentiment to shift your position and to quit trying to convince us all that prohibition is somehow working. It is not. Not by a longshot.
Just step back, admit that you were wrong for whatever reason, and promise not to take people to jail for weed anymore. Let’s start there.
We all know that you were fed a line of bullshit too, and that you thought you were doing the right thing…at least most of you. I feel bad for the position law enforcement has been put in enforcing these archaic laws based in lies and deceit. Law enforcement used to be more well respected before we charged them with the duty of being the freedom of choice police, and instructed them to search everyone and drag them off to prison if they find some weed.
We have pitted these men and women who signed up to “protect and serve” against their entire community in some strange game of cat and mouse. What has resulted is a lack of trust and good faith between law enforcement and those in the communities they serve. Instead of being the heroes they once were, they are now seen more as vigilante drug warriors who abuse their authority and use drug laws to invade the privacy and destroy the lives of their neighbors. That sucks.
Let’s stop this shit. I would like to live in a world where I knew my local officers were not our rifling through some guy’s car because they think they smell weed in it, and were maybe out looking for the guy who wants to jump my fence and steal my television instead. I would like to believe that most of law enforcement understand that these policies are a disaster and in their own private beliefs really wish this bullshit would stop too.
It can be okay. We can make things better for both sides of the issue. Weedheads can be happy knowing that they are no longer criminals, and law enforcement can be satisfied knowing they are not being used as pawns in a game to increase the profits of the booze, tobacco, and private prison companies. That sounds like a good deal, right?
I can say for certain that IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Why? Because it has to be.
We must all figure out how to change these policies and then move on to a world where people can co-exist more easily, and where people have more faith in those who enforce their laws. I am ready to make that commitment. I am ready to turn the page on history and begin discussing the “remember when” aspects of prohibition.
WE CAN AND WIL END THE DRUG WAR; AND IT IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE WHEN WE DO.