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Marijuana Legalization: Where’s the Buzz About Freedom?

Marijuana Legalization: Where’s the Buzz About Freedom?
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Marijuana Legalization: Where’s the Buzz About Freedom?

All adults should have the right to possess and enjoy cannabis.

If there is one aspect of the marijuana legalization debate that doesn’t get as much talk time as it should, it is the idea that adults should have the freedom to use the herb without the risk of John Law trying to put them in a cage. Instead, the modern language of the pot reform spiel is more about how weed should be legal because it might be useful in the treatment of a variety of health conditions. There is also a lot of discussion, these days, about how the new world pot laws must come complete with reparations to make up for decades of racial bias concerning marijuana-related arrests. And then, of course, there is the money — the sales pitch about how legal weed brings about economic growth for struggling communities. But very rarely in the “why legalize marijuana” argument do we hear the average cannabis advocate stand up and proclaim the need to take this action because, “Look, I’m a fully grown human who pays his or her taxes, and if I want to smoke some of that loud from time to time, I should have the right to do so without getting harassed.”

But I suppose after decades spent battling it out with the dark forces of the governmental grind, it has been easy for the cannabis advocacy team to reach for every possible argument known to man to push its agenda just a little further. And this “whatever it takes” approach is apparently working to some degree. There are now 11 states in the Land of the Free (Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington) that have legalized the leaf in a manner that gives adults the freedom to purchase pot products in a way that they have done for decades when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia ( the spot where that dastardly bastard Uncle Sam calls home) but there is not yet a retail market. There is hope, though, that this could change in the near future.

The most crucial development in the push for marijuana legalization in the United States has been the concept of it happening through the state legislature. Just last month, Illinois became the first state in the nation to establish a taxed and regulated pot market through the legislative process. This might not sound like a big deal — I mean, our laws are supposed to be made this way, right? But states have proven time and again, especially over the past year or so, that this is not an easy task. In fact, New York and New Jersey are two prime examples of jurisdictions that were hellbent on legalizing marijuana, only to end up completely screwing the pooch at the last minute.

The lawmakers in this part of the country are more concerned about the allocation of tax revenue and establishing reparations for minority communities than they are about giving ALL adult residents the freedom to possess and use marijuana. But Illinois figured out how to come to terms on all of these issues. Not only is the state giving adults access to legal weed, but it is also forgiving criminal records for past pot offenses, and it has even set aside a substantial chunk of change to invest in those communities most devastated by drug war tactics. This is important because these combined policies have now become a model for all of those confused states that can’t seem to decide how to legalize the leaf. It is even possible that the Illinois pot law could become the template for legalizing at the national level. That’s something that lawmakers there hoped to do.

It is difficult to predict which states will be the next to legalize marijuana. As we’ve seen, more often than not, some of the sure things can easily end up finishing last. Yet, with that said, it is conceivable that New York and New Jersey will rise above their incompetence, stop being dorks and legalize for recreational use in 2020. Lawmakers in New York will undoubtedly head back to the drawing board in the next session, while New Jersey plans to put the question of legalization up to the voters in next year’s election. Will either have a better outcome? That is difficult to say.

New Mexico might beat them to it.

There is also an unsung push in Florida to legalize for recreational use. A couple of advocacy groups (Regulate Florida and Floridians for Freedom) believe they can get this done in 2020 through the ballot measure process. This in spite of the state’s recent move to outlaw the voice of the voters on issues such as these. Arizona, too, is hoping to get a recreational marijuana initiative on the ballot next year. There has also been some action to fully legalize in Ohio, but advocates there seem to have given up on that possibility. At least there are no definitive plans to go for it within the next 12 months.

But what about federal legalization? Well, we’re glad you asked. There is a near perfect storm that could transpire in the next year that could set the country up for the BIG win. It is one that involves the dethroning of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Democrats gaining control of the Senate (they have the upper hand in the House now) and eliminating the lunacy that is President Trump. All of this is possible in the 2020 election. There are several Senate seats up for grabs in the upcoming election, including McConnell’s, and most of the Democratic presidential candidates support the legalization of marijuana at the national level. If all goes a certain way, we could be inching toward a time when we finally have the freedom to use marijuana without conflicting laws to jam us up. There is even a possibility that Trump could band together with McConnell to take the glory of marijuana legalization out of the hands of Democrats. However unlikely this scenario might be, it is definitely one that some federal lawmakers focused on cannabis reform have been concerned about since last year’s election. But how it will all pan out, well, for that, my dear friends and enemies, we will just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, let’s use this Independence Day to think about how we’re not exactly free in this country, especially when it comes to some of the things we’re allowed to possess, ingest or do with our bodies. Consider how ridiculous it is that we, in this day and age, continue to be bound by the religion of old, saggy politicians that are scared sh*tless of giving society too much room to roam. Chew on that today while you are hanging out with friends and family, grilling meats, drinking booze and firing off explosives. Perhaps the first spark of the day should be one dedicated to the new freedoms to come. And if that spark just so happens to lead to you getting stoned, well, all the better.

TELL US, do you support the freedom for all adults to choose cannabis?

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Dominick Anthony Ziehme

    July 16, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I am a SWM who has an Honarable Discharge from the Army and I have and am currently, a single (male) parent to my now 3 teenaged kids, 18, 17, and 15. My 18yr old is Autistic. I have and am a daily smoker using multiple times a day. I have been smoking pot for 34.5yrs and dont ever plan on stopping with legalization FINALLY happening! I live in Wisconsin and we dont even have a Medical marijuana program here. Wisconsin is surrounded by States with legal pot. I am VERY MUCH and advocate and an activist. I donate and volunteer for NorthernWisconsin NORML. I have never been in a car accident, have no speeding tickets, and 1 OWI from 2015. I am 47. I have watched the Doctors stumble around when “treating” my sons disability. They have no clue and its obvious. Their solution to everything is to throw another pill at it! My son WAS up to 8 different prescriptions a day, ALL paid for by the tax payer. Not a dime out of my pocket. We tried CBD and were able to knock out 3/8 prescriptions! Problem with CBD is it is NOT covered under ANY insurance, not even SSI. At the end of the month, CBD is expensive! Medical marijuana would be regulated and monitored by a doctor AND ME! I know MANY people would greatly benifit from THC in ANY form. I am NOT looking to get my kid stoned as some may think. Or, steal his meds! Im looking and am DESPERATE for my son to find some source of serenity in his life! What better way then with A God giving, organic, SAFE medicine! What cant the marijuana plant do is the question?

  2. YearofAction

    July 5, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    When the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1787, people were already growing and using cannabis. In 1791, the 9th Amendment established the freedom rights of people to continue to grow and carefully use cannabis, and the 10th Amendment established the freedom rights of people to continue to grow and use cannabis according to state law. In 1868, Section 1 of the 14th Amendment established the exclusive privileges and immunities of freeborn and newly emancipated citizens to continue to grow cannabis, which shall not be abridged by state law. In the context of these amendments, corporations are neither people nor citizens, so no rights, privileges, or immunities were established for corporations to grow cannabis.

    The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 somehow negated these constitutional rights, privileges and immunities of citizens to grow and use cannabis, by introducing the original malformed definition of marijuana. The definition was malformed because it adumbrated the actual meaning of marijuana, with this riddle embedded within its circumlocutory text: What is “all parts of the plant”, and simultaneously “does not include the mature stalks”?

    The adumbration within the circumlocutory text of the definition allowed the federal agency that was charged with enforcing the definition to also misconstrue its meaning. The agency self-servingly misconstrued its meaning to conflate marijuana with cannabis, so the prohibition of marijuana was thereby conflated to mean the prohibition of cannabis. This eliminated the competition from cannabis of the people, by the people, and for the people, to the benefit of corporations.

    Marijuana prohibition does not require cannabis prohibition. Marijuana prohibition may be the law, but cannabis prohibition was the subversive choice of the federal agency, to which the federal courts subtly acquiesced.

    Each of the three federal definitions of marijuana have retained the malformed text that adumbrates the actual meaning of marijuana with the same embedded riddle. A malformed definition that adumbrates its meaning with a riddle is an oxymoron, and cannot be a necessary and proper federal law.

    The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was similarly malformed, and it introduced the constraint that marijuana is a Schedule 1 “drug or other substance”. The definition has never mentioned THC, and it does not describe a drug, but it does describe an “other substance”.

    The Farm Bill of 2018 is similarly malformed, but it descheduled hemp by exempting hemp from being considered to be marijuana. It is a clear violation of the 10th Amendment for the federal government to segment cannabis into prohibited-by-misconstruction marijuana and legal-by-exemption hemp, when the amendment already reserved control of cannabis to the states or to the people.

    At this point, marijuana is “all parts of the plant” and simultaneously “does not include the mature stalks”, it is an “other substance” regardless of its THC content, and it is not “hemp”, which does have THC. The definition of marijuana must be reconstructed to end the adumbration, by actually stating its meaning.

    Simply reconstructing the current malformed federal definition of marijuana will carefully deschedule cannabis to restore and protect the constitutional rights, privileges and immunities of citizens to grow cannabis, while obliging corporations to outsource their supplies of cannabis from citizens competing in the supply-side of the cannabis market, so that corporations can develop quality cannabis products.

    Reconstructing the malformed definition to reveal the adumbrated meaning of marijuana by clearly describing how marijuana is actually derived from cannabis, while explicitly preserving the legitimate federal prohibitions that control the undesired proliferation of marijuana, will carefully deschedule cannabis while retaining the prohibited status of marijuana itself. This will allow for the separate consideration of the adulterated medical value that marijuana derives from cannabis, to determine whether to also deschedule marijuana, or to merely reschedule it.

    Congress can invoke Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to specifically reconstruct the definition of marijuana to have the necessary and proper format that upholds the U.S. Constitution, thereby restoring and protecting the exclusive Section 1 privileges and immunities of citizens to grow cannabis.

    The House Judiciary Committee will have a hearing next week about reforming marijuana law, so people should contact their members of Congress about reconstructing the current malformed federal definition of marijuana this way:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is the intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

    Let’s do this to enjoy our constitutional freedom regarding cannabis.

    Compare the reconstructed definition to the malformed definition from the Farm Bill of 2018:

    (16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
    (B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

    • Maxcatski

      September 14, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Wow, I stopped reading way up there. “Adumbrate”? Give me a break.

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