It's Time for Unity in the Marijuana Reform Movement

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by oltex, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. #1 oltex, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2010
    It's Time for Unity in the Marijuana Reform Movement
    Alternet / Morgan Fox / 09,15,2010

    It appears that there is a growing contingent of marijuana users and people associated with the industry who are fighting against efforts to make it legal for all adults.

    Marijuana users are an extremely diverse group. Whether it be medical or recreational use, they can be found in almost every demographic imaginable in America. As such, there are a wide variety of opinions on how marijuana should be treated by society at large, as well as how to achieve such goals. This shouldn't be surprising, and there is always room for debate on what the best models and methods for reform should be. Recently, however, a disturbing trend has emerged.

    It appears that there is a growing contingent of marijuana users and people associated with the industry, both legal and illicit, who are actively fighting against efforts to make marijuana legal for all adults. There are several arguments being thrown around to defend the status quo of marijuana prohibition. Some of those arguments are well intentioned but shortsighted. Some are downright malicious. The one commonality they have is their divisive effect on the movement at a time when unity is crucial to finally end the government's war on marijuana users.

    A common complaint is that, in a regulated marijuana market, big corporations will push out small businesses. This is an understandable fear, especially to someone who has spent his or her life, and risked imprisonment and persecution, trying to run a marijuana-related business. These people surely do not want to see a culture and industry that they love taken over by corporate interests and diluted. But corporations already control marijuana.

    They are the cartels that heavily influence the market and bring death to our borders and our inner cities. They are the prison-builders that lobby for harsher sentencing so they can keep the cells full and the cash flowing. They are the pharmaceutical companies that stonewall cannabinoid research so they can keep pushing expensive pills.

    Of course some big businesses are going to see opportunity in a newly legal and regulated marijuana market and will try to take advantage of it. And surely some of their practices will be detestable. Marijuana consumers have a right to choose, though. Big businesses cannot "ruin marijuana" any more than Coors has ruined beer. As with alcohol, with its thriving microbrew industry, there will inevitably be a large market for higher-quality, locally grown marijuana.

    Another popular attack against potential reforms is that they do not go far enough. There are many people who feel very strongly about securing certain protections, whether they be the right to grow at home, amnesty for marijuana prisoners, personal possession limits, and so on. The most vocal among them feel so strongly that they would rather see a decent bill fail than pass without their inclusion.

    While we can sit around dreaming about what the country would be like with "perfect" marijuana laws, the political reality is that we cannot get anywhere near there without taking incremental steps. We are fighting against more than seventy years of lies and propaganda, as well as entrenched corporate and government interests. By building on small victories, we can more easily pass improved laws and overturn bad portions of otherwise good laws. We cannot build on zero victories. While we sit around arguing about minor concessions and principles, people are going to jail or dying. We cannot afford to wait for the rest of the country to come around to the way of thinking of the more radical among us, even if we might agree with them.

  2. troof dood. troof
  3. Are you saying that ending the persecution of millions of people years sooner is more important than making the legal age 18 instead of 21? Well, that would imply that a lot of 18-20 year olds need to just grow the hell up and vote yes. That can't be right.

    And what about the big bad corporations? Are you really saying that ending the clusterfuck of civil rights abuses, murders, prosecutions, property theft (by police), and the destruction of families is worth letting legitimate business sell weed?

    Are you saying that the law doesn't have to be perfect for it to mean amazing progress in the fight to legalize cannabis?

    I think that's what you're saying, but I'm not sure because, like many americans, I'm not capable of rational thought. I only act according to what people tell me do to and to think. I don't make any effort to learn the facts for myself. I just respond with ignorance and hatred to anything that's different from my daily routine.

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