This week marked the 80th anniversary of the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which essentially criminalized cannabis. Cannabis prohibition has now lasted longer than the average American’s lifespan. That means that the United States’ war on weed is going to die soon, right? Personally, I think the clock is running out on cannabis prohibition. I don’t think that this is wishful thinking either. Look at all that has happened recently.
Cannabis is more popular than ever, first of all. A recent poll showed that only 14% of people living in the US think that cannabis should remain illegal. I’m willing to bet that a good portion of that 14% work in industries that are not friendly towards cannabis, such as the pharmaceutical, alcohol, or private prison industries. Cannabis prohibition is extremely unpopular, as backlash against notorious canna-hater AG Jeff Sessions shows.
Speaking of Jeff Sessions, it seems his desire to kill the cannabis industry is backfiring on him. His task force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which he created to “look into” the industry isn’t exactly echoing his sentiments. The task force, which was expected to link legalization to violent crime, instead recommended that the Justice Department adopt a “wait and see” approach to legal weed. The Senate Appropriations Committee also renewed the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prevents the feds from going after medical cannabis patients, growers, dispensaries, etc., as long as they are compliant with their state’s laws.
Cannabis culture has changed too. It’s gone from being a niche underground world to a socially acceptable lifestyle. Articles about how to use cannabis to improve your workout routine or your sex life now populate the internet. People are even having weed themed weddings now. The NFL, who has always had an unreasonably harsh attitude towards cannabis use, has now offered to research cannabis and its use in treating injuries.
I don’t think Senator Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act stands an ice cube’s chance in hell of passing, not this time around with this Congress. It’s nice that he’s trying, despite what his motives for introducing this legislation might be. There is bipartisan support for ending cannabis prohibition, which is something that we haven’t had too much of in the past.
Cannabis prohibition is on its last legs, inhaling its last breaths, on its deathbed, (or whatever metaphor you prefer) and it’s about damn time. Prohibition has ruined far more lives than it has saved (has prohibition saved any lives in fact?) I don’t need to tell you how wrong it is that wealthy couples are planning the weed wedding of their dreams while poor minorities continue to rot in prison for possession charges. Our fight will not be over as long as there are still people incarcerated for cannabis related offenses. Most of us are lucky enough to live in a state where cannabis is legal in some form. When you live in a legal weed state it’s easy to become complacent and forget that there are still some places where a joint will earn you half a decade in the pokey.
Cannabis prohibition is old and dying. It’s time to put it out of its misery.
Image Source: Mashable
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