A cannabis legalization rally in Denver, Colorado.

Cannabis Destiny

Lessons from a Legalized State: The Prohibitionists Were Lying

Are you a fan of cannabis? I am! At this point, I have attended just as many cannabis related events as alcohol events. Consider that now, in the state of Washington, more than four million dollars worth of cannabis is sold every day. Yet, I have never seen the issues that prohibition pushers would like you all to think about.

So where are they?

If you’ve never seen the movie Reefer Madness, it is an infamous piece of propaganda (available on YouTube) that was produced during the initial stages of federal cannabis prohibition. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 criminalized the plant by requiring any cannabis — or “marijuana,” as the federal government refers to it as part of their rebranding scheme — to have a stamp. This stamp was produced by the government, not yet released in mass, so it created criminals out of people who were not before. To justify this behavior, the government released massive amounts of propaganda. Sound familiar?

Today, we are seeing a shift after more than 80 years of prohibition. In more than 29 states, including Washington DC, there is some form of cannabis legalization underway. This legalization is not cookie cutter, nor is it perfect by any means. What is missing? Well, I think that true legalization is missing. Consider that in Washington State we are not supposed to grow our own cannabis — unless of course you are a qualified patient, but even then you have to get on a registry in order to grow only close to what was legal to prior to 2015 — nor are we allowed to share our cannabis with anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that we are better off today than before, when people went to jail for possession of just small amounts. However, this is not legalization. This is a new form of prohibition. We call this Prohibition 2.0. These new laws are supposed to satiate the citizens. Yet I am not satisfied, are you?

In my view, people are still in jail for things that we do today. For example, my brother has a license that allows me to sell weed for him. I sell legal weed! Trust me it is not as cool as it sounds. There is a ton of red tape, and the regulations kill most common sense marketing maneuvers. However, there are people still in jail in Washington State for things that I do on a daily basis.

Over this last week, I attended a bunch of cannabis events. And I consumed a ton of cannabis at each event, so did my friends. But I did not see one incident of violence or negative behavior. In fact, everyone was very nice. The funny things here is that none of these events were truly legal. In our “legalized” state, we are still not supposed to consume our legal cannabis anywhere but in our homes. However, we are the cannabis community, and we have been bending the laws for a while now, and we will continue to do so.

The stories of the prohibitionists always try to make it out that cannabis will make you lose your senses, it will make you out of control. Yet all I have ever witnessed is good people having a good time. I consume cannabis every day and it doesn’t make me any less of a human, so then why are there still people in jail for what I do?

If the federal government doesn’t want anything to do with our experiment, then they should keep their hands out of our business. We need to repeal the federal prohibition, but until then we must make the experiments we already have better — we must not settle for Prohibition 2.0.

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