Oh, election year in America. It makes my heart pound with adrenaline. Nobody does politics like the Americans, and I love you for it. There's that sense of hope tinged with fear tinged with 'will he won't he' tinged with 'did she can she' and that whole 'is it really gonna happen this time' feeling in the air. Fabulous. And yet, I'm worried. What if the well meaning guy doesn't get in and we're stuck with a federal government that can't hear the little people over scratching pens on super PAC checks? Who will save the leaf from the tumultuous tangle of outdated legislation? If we only have a few months before we enter four years of anti-cannabis fear mongering, we need to act fast. Here are just five ways the federal government can get its shit together.
1. Get the hell out of my state. At least six states are hoping to put marijuana on the ballot this November. If voters look across the state line and see prosperity, employment, reduced crime, less car accidents and healthy state coffers why shouldn't they want the same? Why do the Feds get to override that and spread propaganda? Why do they ignore the state's rights to make a decision? There was a reason they set up “states” in the first place. Just ask James Madison. So back off and realize your federal law should not go against the state's right to be healthy and prosperous. Why, its unconstitutional.
2. Decriminalize marijuana. The sky will not fall, the cartels will not grow exponentially in size and our children will not be corrupted to the core. In fact, drug related crime will decrease immediately, law enforcement resources would be budgeted more effectively and guess what? The prison population would fall back to normal levels and the profit potential in locking up teenagers would no longer exist. Doesn't it just seem so bloody obvious? You know, like getting off your ass and voting?
3. Grant research licenses to independent scientists. I for one do not like the idea that the only weed you can research has to come from the DEA and the FDA has to approve all trials. They provide grant funding for a lot of projects but very, very little for independent study. I don't want the folks that approved parabens in baby shampoo to have the final say on what strains of marijuana will dominate the medical market. Independent private study will speed up research. They could be delaying the cure for cancer. There's my tax dollars at work.
4. Remove marijuana from the controlled substance list. Now we all know some synthetic strains are in the realm of controlled substances (you know, 'one hit what day is it') but to dump all weed under this heading is not only illogical but damaging. You could prevent someone access to life changing medicine. If they want to keep strains containing uber high percentages of THC in the controlled substances list, prescription only, okay. But how the hell do you justify a recreation level natural strain or a non THC derivative or even hemp as a controlled substance? Bring it down a notch and Google “discernment.”
5. Revisit the medical marijuana raid exemption. So in 2014, the Feds passed a bill saying they would stop raids on retail outlets, medical growers and their patients in states where cannabis was legal. Oh that sounds awesome doesn't it? A great step forward? Despite justifying the move as a matter of budget cuts and better use of resources, federal agents continue to harass, persecute and arrest licensed medical marijuana growers. This needs to get back to the Hill ASAP or its just more empty words from a government that seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel.
The world is changing fast, Big Brother. It's time to wake up and catch up.