Past prognostications

In a 1990 High Times interview you said that marijuana will be legal by the year 2004. How close are we today? Are we on schedule?
Cleveland, Ohio

In the interview I said that the US would be in the hands of a reactionary robber-baron clique during the late 90’s through 2004 when public revulsion of the reactionary policies would lead to the election of a progressive reform candidate. One of the policies that will be enacted will be a reform of all the drug laws including cannabis. To flesh this out, the policy will change from “zero tolerance” to harm reduction and a new paradigm will emerge regarding drugs. “Soft drugs,” which include cannabis and some psychedelics, will eventually be legalized, while hard drugs will remain illegal or regulated, at least as far as sale.

The first bricks were removed from the bottom of the impregnable wall in 1996, with the enactment of California’s Prop. 215, the Medical Marijuana Initiative. Meanwhile, Jack Herer’s hemp campaign has been chipping away at the logic of pothibition and the outlawing of hemp. Since 1996 every marijuana initiative has passed with the voters. Most politicians are like cartoon characters who don’t realize they are over the cliff. They thought drugs were a safe issue, but the crowd is marching the other way.

Public revulsion of the Bush administration will peak as the economy tanks under the pressure of special economic interests and inept management. As far as the marijuana laws are concerned, by 2005 the US will stand alone, as it has on landmines, the Kyoto Accords and capital punishment. Hopefully the next president will restore sanity to government.

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