Politics of Pot 2017

State of MMJ 2017

MMJ reform is mostly seen on the West Coast,  parts of South West and North Eastern states, the “blue” states in political terms. Of the 8 ballet issues in November elections, only one (full legalization) failed in AZ; which already has a functional MMJ program. Yes! we progressives cheer, but as always, the devil is in the details.

Why is that?

In FL, for example, where the State constitutional amendment passed with 70% support, some smaller cities like Miami Beach, Boca Raton and Delrey Beach have placed moratoriums on any actions to support the new law. This tactic results in delays for licencing  dispensaries or otherwise begin the process of letting the 1 Meg of eligible MMJ users gain access to their medicine.

There is always a time delay as legislatures and regulators seek to develop the necessary rules. It seems to me that these delays are partly related to our general Urban-Rural political divide. There are prohibitionists everywhere in-spite of overwhelming evidence in favor of the benefits of a legalized cannabis marketplace for both MMJ and adult recreational users.

In Oregon (legal MMJ and recreational Cannabis) farmers are disputing cannabis grow bans made by rural counties, asserting their “right to grow”. In other legal states, like CO, some cities opt out of Cannabis dispensaries only to find a Green Mile in a small town next store. It seems that folks in rural areas are not comfortable with the coming changes and seek to make a “not in my backyard” statement to that effect.  As with “Dry” alcohol counties, the hypocrisy is absurd. In general, a more liberal county next door has a line of sprits vendors on the country line as it is in Fayetteville AR which is next to Bentonvill, the home of Wal-Mart.

New DEA Rule: recent mischief?

If you read this blog than you know that we are very positive on Hemp CBD supplements. The recent DEA new MJ code 7060 sent some shock waves through the CBD community recently after its casual announcement. A more careful reading suggests that it does not apply to Hemp CBDs at all, but rather to new single cannabinoid extracts. or isolates. Oddly, this new code would help DEA track anything that big pharma develops down the line. After all there are over 80 cannabinoids in the plant with many still unstudied.

Special Interests Resistance

Since the mid ’30s special interests have aligned to increase Cannabis prohibition. Beginning with alcohol and tobacco interests plus the Hearst empire over paper the seeds of resistance have sprouted anew with each generation. More recently Big Pharma and the private prison industry have joined the team. Misinformation is still a prime tactic. The good news is that the overwhelming benefits of Medical Cannabis for many chronic illnesses seems to be turning the tide.

Psychological Resistance

Folks with closed belief systems are inherently resistant to change in general. Think “flat earthers” as the extreme case. Fear of losing control is common in certain personality types, control freaks and authoritarians to name a few. What hippies called being “up tight” in the ’60s. Prohibitionists focus on this and other fears about “the other” to defend their positions. As in other political issues, one side seems immune to the facts of the matter, hence my notion of psychological resistance, or as Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance. The more one is invested in a position, the easier it is to ignore discrepant facts.

Sociological Resistance

Before the emergence of the counterculture in the ’60s. Smoking Cannabis was confined to some “undesirable groups’ like Jazz musicians (mainly African-American), Mexican migrant farm workers and Sikes on the West coast. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sen Sessions sounds like a throw back to the ’50s. Little scary that he MAY become the new AG. Considering that well over 50% of the population believes in Cannabis reform, and growing, these arguments are out of step with the times. 

Next Steps

Cannabis activists must step up and continue to explain our positions. Simply said we believe that Marijuana is Medicine and that we can all benefit by learning to use Weed for Wellness. Share your MMJ stories with others and help them understand that this plant is much more than an intoxicant, it’s more like a Pharmacy in a Bud.