April 20 is considered, in America and worldwide, as the ‘stoners’ holiday, the day to celebrate all things cannabis. How this particular date has come to be a holiday is murky at best. It’s something about meeting up after school around 4:20 pm to relax and enjoy marijuana with friends.
This year has witnessed a 420 holiday the likes of which we haven’t seen before. The feeling that legalization is winning and that the facts of marijuana use are finally out weighing the lies and propaganda that has kept this originally racist policy in place for 80 years.
In all this celebrating of the benefits, both medical and economic, of marijuana, one thing stands out. The Federal Government still classifies marijuana under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act as schedule1, dangerous and having no medical value.
The current Attorney General, Mr. Sessions, would take us back to the days of Jim Crow when marijuana prohibition was used to suppress African Americans. Nixon and his boys used it to go after his political enemies as attested to by Nixon Aide John Ehrlichman in a 1994 interview. Indeed the only drugs listed as schedule 1 in 1970 were those the Administration had associated with Nixon’s political enemies, African Americans and Anti-War Protesters.
One wonders if our Legislators are blind to the wishes of the citizens who favor legalization. Medical use polls at 80% favorability and recreational at 60%. 2017’s 420 holiday saw parades and protests against prohibition and not only did the National news cover it as in past years, but 3 of the 4 local channels, with newscasters giggling and making gestures like they were smoking joints, covered it too!
Seeing all the hoopla, especially by the local stations, made me think that, except for our Legislators, marijuana use has become acceptable in current society. This notion was confirmed on Sunday with the morning paper. There, with the paper was the 23 April, 2017 edition of Parade Magazine with its cover story, ‘What People Earn, Our Annual Report’. On the cover are listed some of the jobs in the article and right there next to Day Laborer, $10,400, News Anchor, $10 – $12 million and Detective/Deputy Sheriff, $69,000 was Marijuana Retail Exec, $65,000!
Maybe it’s time for our Legislators to catch up. Twenty years of use in California has proven that the claims of those who would continue prohibition are not going to happen. The citizens know it. Anybody with any knowledge of the issue both pro and con know it and our leaders should acknowledge it too. Time has come to end the failed policy of prohibition once and for all both on the State and Federal levels. Nothing less will suffice!