The Fringe Editor
America’s policy of marijuana prohibition has always been shameful. The prohibition began because a handful of politicos needed an issue. Its roots are deep in racism. A simple, relatively safe and extremely useful plant, it has been demonized because of its association with the underclass. America continues a prohibition against cannabis even as hundreds of thousands are made slaves to legal drugs every year.
The powerful have benefited from cannabis and hemp prohibition: politicians, jailers; Dupont disfavored the hemp for fiber, Jack Daniels disfavored marijuana as a cheap, home grown high.
The assault on cannabis is essentially cultural. It isn’t about the plant, and never has been, it’s about those who use it. Cannabis use has been a kind of "loyalty test." Decent people don’t use it; deviants do. Ignorant.
Those who stand against its legalization are essentially those who favor government control: cops, prison guards, other feeders at the public trough. Most of these people shouldn’t even have an opinion, they’re cops, not pharmacists, not legislators. Yet they often use public funds in this cultural and political war. Shameful, anti-American. Forcing others to bend themselves to the limitations of your horizon is shameful.
Indeed, this entire chapter of American history, like the long periods of institutionalized racism, and the finally waning institutional bias against women, and the weakening codification of gender issues, is shameful. No free people would have endured such a blatantly bigoted prohibition for so long.
Finally, the resolve against cannabis is starting to crack. This is for several reasons: foremost is the turning of the wheel of time. Those who were formed by World War II were perennially obstructive, and they are passing now. The next reason is the tireless work of those civil rights leaders who have battled our societal bigotry on cannabis. They were motivated on several grounds, but the greatest is a moral indignation at institutionalized hubris and oppression, indeed, the hypocrisy, of cannabis prohibition in the "land of the free."
And, so, at long last, polls indicate that California is very close to having the social will to free the plant and the millions who use it for medicine and recreation.
Shall we celebrate a nation at last coming to grips with its myopia? Are Americans suddenly aware of their hypocrisy, and are returning shamefaced to the ideals of liberty? No! California is now considering legalization because the state is broke. It needs the money. The prisons are over full and prisoners are being released even as unemployment continues to rise. Instead of being motivated by reason and a deep value of freedom, the state is motivated by cash.
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