Let the partying begin. Its 420 and Coachella is on. It is a surreal time for those of us who remember the days of “Reefer Madness”. I am so old, I recall a time when things were not so overtly capitalist and one would purchase a “lid”. A “lid” was simply that amount of grass that would fit in the lid of a mayonnaise jar, or similar container. The hippies were not weighing out their buds. It was a much different time. However, I am not here for nostalgia’s sake, but to remind you all that it is still illegal. This plant is STILL illegal according to the federal government.
When California first decriminalized marijuana in the 1970s, a reporter was on the evening news smoking a joint and a police officer came out on camera and wrote him a ticket. It seemed we were on our way to legalization, but fast forward just a few years and the War on Drugs is ramped up under Reagan. It continues unabated under Bush and Clinton. I learned that the federal government could come in and do as they pleased no matter what the state law was. Beyond the federal actions, California state law evolved to allow for the confiscation of people’s property even if they were found with just a seed. It effectively repealed any decriminalization that had previously passed.
Our jails became full of marijuana smokers. All across the country corporate prisons made huge profits and continue to do so by keeping WEED illegal. However, more than half the nation and a huge majority in states that have recreational cannabis understand the plant is relatively benign. Nonetheless, there are people rotting in prison cells for no other reason than the possession of a small amount of pot. There are people whose lives were utterly destroyed by overzealous police enforcement of “Reefer Madness”.
Not only that, imagine the mindsets of the people that have pushed this Drug War and the incredible human cost of their misguided morality. People were beaten and even killed enforcing the unjust laws. Who are these people that pushed so hard to punish pot users for having a plant? Will there be no consequences for people that have been enforcing so ENTHUSIASTICALLY these unjust laws? These people apparently have no conscience and only the citizenry can force a conscience upon them. These people have demonstrated incredibly flawed judgment and an incredible lack of compassion. There MUST be consequences for these “Reefer Maniacs”. They were and ARE obviously sociopaths and need to be locked up to protect the rest of society.
However, first and foremost, on this 4/20, please take a moment and consider how you can help the people that have suffered SO MUCH for your freedom to indulge in cannabis. Don’t forget the victims of these unjust laws. Don’t forget that all across the country there are people languishing in prison for doing just what you are doing joyfully. Don’t forget the mindset of those that have enforced these draconian drug laws. They are not fit to lead or make judgments on the human condition as they lack compassion. Many are nothing more than moral monsters or robots that do whatever they are told, no matter the cost to the humans “underfoot”.
There should be consequences for those ruined so many lives. Take a moment and remember the victims of the Drug Wars. There is a move afoot to attack opioid abuse in the same way, with a ferocious drug war. Please Just Say No to the new Drug War and help free the victims of the current one.