The fight against marijuana prohibition begins and ends in the United States of America. In Canada the subject of decriminalization came up for about thirty seconds when the Liberal Party was in power
; one quick phone call from the U.S. Ambassador put a swift end to all debate. Individual nation states do not have the freedom to legalize so long as the iron thumb of US Foreign Policy is thrust upon our collective head. That’s the way it is. You can argue otherwise, but I would bet you would have a hard time doing it without coming across as naive.
Since the fight is in the United States we have to look at what tools are available in that forum that we might turn to our advantage. Attempts have been made in the courts to wage a sort of “staged legalization” process by pushing medical cannabis in the back door. This has led to wide spread confusion about what is and is not an acceptable use of medical cannabis. Depending on what jurisdiction you are in it is either legal for chronic pain, various disorders or absolutely nothing at all. There is neither rhyme nor reason to the way this has been approached. Ultimately it has relied on what a silver-tongued lawyer can talk a bunch of slack-jawed Representatives in the State Congress to agree to.
Medical marijuana has made some headway, but it is now hitting the wall. I don’t think the whole public is ever going to accept that smoking something is medicinal; especially after hearing about the dangers of inhaling smoke in anti-tobacco campaigns. The fact is that, for most people who use it, marijuana is a vice. The vast majority of activists use it as a vice, including many who have licenses to smoke for medical reasons. Let’s stop bullshitting ourselves here: People like to get high. We want to get high, sooooo high.
There is a medical argument to be made that cannabis products reduce the effects of stress. Since stress is the leading cause of just about every ailment that is knocking off Americans wholesale, we might be able to make some headway there. We indulge in vice to relieve the pressure of stress. It’s that simple. Got stress? Got vice! This is why loud-mouthed politicians and preachers are always getting caught with drugs, hookers, embezzlement schemes, or just a good old-fashioned whiskey bottle. Being a raving hypocrite is pretty stressful and they have to blow off the steam somehow. The problem with this is that raving hypocrites don’t stop being raving hypocrites just because they get caught in this era. They just keep talking shit, and even if nobody is really listening, their shit leaks in through the seams and we end up covered in it anyway.
There is, in the US Constitution, a phrase that comes to mind. All American citizens have the inalienable right to “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. What specifically does that mean in a legal context? Nothing! It remains totally undefined in the history of Common Law. It enjoys no specific definition, and it does not suffer from any restrictions that might be imposed by such. The same right-wing forces that fight against the legalization of marijuana speak about the Constitution as though it were handed down to Moses on stone tablets. They worship the document itself, ironically written on hemp paper. This could be the key to winning a court battle over legalization.
In the last segment I discussed a general boycott. A consumer starvation diet of sorts. This would be required in advance of the Constitutional challenge in order to soften the opposition. I am taking an approach to this battle as though it were just that – a battle. Before you attempt to occupy enemy territory you must first soften up their defenses with long range munitions. This could be artillery, sea-based fire support, or even the modern fix-all of air power. In this case we take a little money out of their pockets to weaken their resolve. It’s not quite as spectacular as Shock and Awe, but it will have the same effect. Nothing scares conservatives like red arrows on CNBC.
After a few weeks of nobody buying anything essentially useless, there should be less phone calls to the local representatives and members of the judiciary from lobbyists who seek to keep marijuana under wraps. They don’t like going broke. The legal challenge must be prepared in advance of any such efforts though, so as to make sure all the ducks are in a row and things time out nicely. The legal challenge is really the easier part of the two. The argument is simple. Will it work for sure? No. The D-Day invasion wasn’t an easy victory either. I think everyone in Europe is pretty happy they took the chance.
Since this “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” thing is totally esoteric and undefined, we should turn it to our advantage. I am arguing that stress reduces happiness. It does. We could march a thousand doctors through a courtroom and never once raise the issue of marijuana consumption. Is stress bad Doctor Bob? I remind you that you are under oath. There are a growing number of studies that show cannabis has a prophylactic effect against the damage wrought on the human brain by stress. The combination of information is legal artillery in the right hands.
You, me, and everyone else all have the right to pursue happiness. How can I be happy if I am stressed? The fact that stress is the leading killer of Americans would suggest that they are being systematically robbed of the right to that pursuit. How unconstitutional is that? How fair is it that our society is structured in such a way that it is slowly killing a majority of the population? What the hell can we do about it?
We’re not going to abandon all measure of free-market economics. We are not going to eliminate competition. We aren’t going to turn the world into Utopia. It wasn’t meant to be. If it was going to happen, it would have already. We can give ourselves better tools to deal with our own stress though. I like a bit of pressure. I like to be driven. I like to chance falling into the sea because I have flied towards the sun. A little toke after the inevitable crash is nice though.
You can’t beat the beast with the death of a thousand cuts. We’ve tried that. The beast lingers on and we still don’t have our weed. A single concerted push under the right conditions could bring that change. Once it gets through the door it will never go back. Either the forces of good need to get their shit together in one direction or we can just all pack it up and let the great American Coroporatocracy take the reins for good.
More from J.J McDubie at www.myspace.com/smokeandmoonbeams