Cannabis is a plant, better described as an herbal supplement than a drug. Yet for years it’s use has been outlawed, and research has been tightly restricted, even suppressed, by governmental bodies and oppressive, authoritarian agencies that enforce unjust and arbitrarily prohibitive laws in the name of public safety. However, it is now clear, that science and public opinion are converging and demands for decriminalization are surging. And as lives continue to be disrupted and destroyed due to minor offense of use and possession, we can no longer deny or ignore the fact that tremendous change must occur.
If our government will not do so willingly, the people must rise up and take hold the task of wresting power back from the effete power brokers and elite war mongers who profit from prohibition. The DEA must deschedule cannabis now, or be dissolved to make way for the formation of a new national drug policy. The drug war is a travesty and law enforcement must admit defeat. The people will alter consciousness how we see fit and will continue to eat, smoke and otherwise ingest the good herbal and fungal gifts we’ve coexisted with in symbiosis for centuries.
This is all very important for attaining any sort of sensible approach to drug policy, law enforcement, and even financial stability. If the people perceive these Draconian policies and legal procedures as a threat to citizen sovereignty, then mistrust and disdain will inevitably give way to clandestine attempts to take back freedom in spite of any laws that might be in place. As it is, it seems that both lawmakers and the court systems have little regard for the facts and continue to allow these injustices against the people to perpetuate. This can lead to cannabis being grown and sold amidst questionable situations with little to no quality control, economic regulation, or other provisions in place.
Obviously, we’ve been seeing this for many years now with basement grows, plants grown on public lands, and imported cannabis that get sold on the black market. The problem is that your average person probably doesn’t want to contribute to the violence and nefarious activities involved in smuggling cannabis into our country. But when an amateur grower just puts some plants out in a corn field, or has them growing in a dirty, musty basement, the end user can never really be certain exactly what they’re getting.
However, if a market were created where growers could bring cannabis that was grown in clean conditions to anyone interested, potential customers could ask questions, compare and contrast products, and have peace of mind that they’re making informed decisions. In this situation, growers could also be held to some measure of accountability for the safety and quality of their products, much like it is in the cottage food industry. Even if homegrown or homemade product is largely unregulated, it can be labeled to reflect the truth about its production and give the consumer a way to give feedback or report any unexpected outcomes such as side effects, illness, or quality concerns.
The medical marijuana industry has been instrumental in helping to curb illegitimate and dangerous cannabis operations, but for those who choose to use cannabis recreationally or spiritually, or for other practical yet unprotected applications, there are no provisions in place for the majority of the United States. And even though several states have legalized recreational cannabis, there is still the possibility that the Drug Enforcement Agency could decide to go after cannabis operations and users, since they still consider it a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of how the states want to regulate cannabis, the plant won’t truly be free until the federal government and DEA change their approach. With the present acting director of the DEA being dismissive of science and the proven efficacy of medical marijuana, this may be a change that the people really have to push hard for in order to get anywhere.
Even though the current Presidential administration has encouraged a hands off approach to drug law enforcement in states that have legalized, there is no promise that this trend will continue when a new President takes office in 2016. It seems like it would be more likely if one of the more progressively minded candidates were to become President, but it’s still no guarantee, and we can’t count on our leaders to make these decisions for us. Our systems are so entrenched in the prohibitive and punitive approach of speculation, mass incarceration and indoctrination, that law enforcement can’t even let medical marijuana patients just be. Even when the people enact other ways of doing things, police and drug enforcement agents often don’t recognize the change.
We need a paradigm shift, and whole new way of thinking and talking about cannabis and its purposes. Before it was outlawed, cannabis tinctures, oils, and extracts were commonly used medicines in our country. Then xenophobic propaganda began conflating the use of the herb with the threat of violence from feared immigrants and other brown skinned people in America. It’s not difficult to determine how the racist policies of cannabis prohibition have echoed down to the present day where minorities are still unduly targeted and disproportionately incarcerated for possession of this very useful, healing, and naturally occurring plant. Cannabis is not a drug. Let’s all fight to help free the weed.