Regular readers of my blog know that one of the problems that the U.S. and the world are facing is Obama’s severe case of Marijuana Deficiency Syndrome (MDS).
Symptoms of this condition, are loss of grounding and acceptance of facts that are “generally regarded as true” without thorough examination. One example: dithering over whether to just continue the war, obliterate Afghanistan, or give them war reparations in the form of a trade agreement allowing the import of Afghani hash. Which would you choose?
Another symptom is Obama taking advice from the pinstripe bankers and speculators, rather than outfitting them in horizontal black and whites with the occasional orange or spring green jumpsuit for variety (or as Maricopa County, Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio – pink underwear).
However, his handling of the health care bill wending its way through Congress has been astute. Marijuana activists can gain insight by looking at this struggle for health care. It has a lot of parallels with our efforts to reform marijuana laws.
Obama was in favor of both marijuana and single-payer health care in the past. When he took office he started working on health care but single-payer wasn’t part of his original proposal. There was outrage among his supporters who started a campaign to energize the public and pressure recalcitrant legislators.
This is exactly how Roosevelt moved some of his most important programs including Social Security. He created expectations. Then when the proposals didn’t deliver what people had expected, public pressure eventually pushed the programs forward.
Attorney General Holder’s recent half-hearted memorandum calling off the DEA from enforcement of federal laws in medical states has changed the paradigm and increased the distance between expectations and the reality of enforcement. Most people see “A Great Awakening” or “A New Opening” and have believed the headline version of Holder’s story.
A closer reading of his statement doesn’t leave me as optimistic about federal policy. It can be easily summed up- “DEA Agents: our policy is not to bust medical marijuana suppliers and users… But if you do, no harm done, and don’t worry, defendants can’t use government policy as a defense in court.” You can see how far apart expectations are from reality.
Expectations presuppose future action. You know, WE WANT POT LEGAL NOW rather than “Please Mr. Legislator, would you pretty please consider changing the marijuana laws?” A slight difference in inflection says it all.
Will you just accept Holder’s statement with a hearty thank you? Or will this slight concession create a demand for more?
I think the answer can be seen in the California marijuana movement. Tom Ammiano’s bill (A.B. 390), which would legalize marijuana, is being discussed in the state legislature today.
Along with A.B. 390, two competing initiatives are gathering signatures and are likely to be on the ballot. Both will make marijuana legal. The legalization movement is flexing its muscles. It can smell the smoke of legalization coming from the dispensaries and can taste the future without having cops in the marijuana equation.
So what can you do to help? There are two ways.
First, GET ACTIVE: participate in demonstrations, write letters, join organizations, and pass on the information to your friends and family.
Second, – JOINTS FOR OBAMA. Barack is still suffering from MDS! Ever since he won last November he hasn’t been able to get any good stuff and has to sneak cigarettes. Send him a joint. Maybe one will get through, he’ll get high and get more grounded- even though he’ll be flying.