As America Recovers from 80 Years of Reefer Madness, So Does the World
As 2018 comes to a close and 2019 looms, Americans, according to most pundits, are as divided and polarized as they have ever been going all the way back to the times of the Civil War. One of the very few issues that is enjoying bipartisan support across the political and cultural spectrum is the end of marijuana prohibition and the beginnings of various state sanctioned legalization programs.
Polls universally show the majority of Americans support marijuana legalization. A June 2018 poll conducted by GBA Strategies for The Center for American Progress found 68% of voters support marijuana legalization. This support cuts across party lines with 77 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of independents supporting legalization.
Support for legalization also cuts across racial lines with 72 percent of African-Americans, 69 percent of whites and 64 percent of Latinos in favor. There use to be a major gender gap with women opposing legalization, but now the sexes see marijuana almost identically with 69 percent of women and 66 percent of men supporting the legalization of cannabis.
With Michigan legalizing the recreational sales of marijuana in 2018, nearly 80 million Americans — 25 percent of the total U.S. population — live in a state or jurisdiction that has legalized recreational marijuana. What began with California’s passage of Prop 215 legalizing the medical use of marijuana has morphed into a nationwide push for ending marijuana prohibition that appears unstoppable. The genie is definitely out of the bottle.
As America recovers from eight decades of reefer madness, it should be expected that there will be bumps in the road as states implement their own legalization programs with varying degrees of success. The predictions by marijuana opponents of rampant crime, addicted children, carnage on the highways and the end of civilization have not materialized.
With over $8 billion in sales in 2018, which are expected to reach over $23 billion in just four years, marijuana businesses are springing up like flowers in spring. Overcoming the byzantine regulations and licensing systems enacted by nervous-Nellie legislators and government agencies, these newly enfranchised businesses are a remarkably diverse lot notably giving the lie to the predictions of the "nattering nabobs of negativism" who claimed that legalization will lead to the take-over of the marijuana trade by Monsanto and Marlboro.
As noted in a previous newsletter, with the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, there is a real possibility that federal marijuana prohibition may end in 2019. As proof of their commitment to allowing states to move forward with legalization programs, the Democratic staff of the congressional Joint Economic Committee published The National Cannabis Economy highlighting the “economic benefits of legalized cannabis at the state and national levels.” To read the full report CLICK HERE.
Since it was the United States that spread reefer madness throughout the world, it is incumbent upon the United States to spread reefer sanity. Fortunately other countries are not waiting for the United States to start the process before they legalize cannabis. Canada legalized cannabis sales throughout the country in July 2018 and Mexico, whose Supreme Court already declared that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by individuals, has a new president who is committed to not just legalizing marijuana but upending America’s War on Drugs.
It is not just Western industrialized nations that are changing their attitudes on marijuana. In the African continent Lesotho and Zimbabwe have legalized marijuana for medical use and the South African Supreme Court unanimously legalized the private use of cannabis ruling that it was “unconstitutional and therefore invalid” to criminalize the drug.
Most significantly as reported by Newsweek Magazine, a number of Asian nations, with some of the most severe and repressive laws “have taken note of cannabis legalization movements in North America and other countries, with several moving to chart a similar path.” Citing progress in Asian countries as diverse as Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea, the magazine noted that “India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan also becoming interested in looking at medical cannabis in part because they see how much money the rest of the world’s companies and countries are getting out of it.”
Hmmmm – “how much money” they “are getting out of it.” No matter how much we might wish it was otherwise, the bottom line of marijuana legalization, like just about everything else, is that it’s all about money. We may very well have “freed the weed,” but weed still has its price.
A 4,000 Year Herstory of Women and Marijuana
Be dazzled and inspired by the newest edition of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense when you learn about Tokin' Women, a must-read book that delivers amazing descriptions of amazing women who over the last 4,000 years have been been consumers and purveyors of cannabis from the ancient goddesses of milleniums past right up to the film goddesses of today.
Elaborately researched, delightfully written and colorfully illustrated, author Nola Evangelista, seeks to counter today's male dominated marijuana culture by infusing the spirit of women along with the freedom to enjoy this most celebrated herb. Tokin' Women reveals the story of over 50 remarkable women and their intimate connection to the world of cannabis.
Our interview is with Ellen Komp, Assistant Executive Director of California NORML, who has chosen the pseudonym Nola Evangelista to be the listed author of the book. Discussing why she wrote the book, the work that went into research and its relevance to the current age where marijuana is once again reclaiming its rightful place alongside humanity, Ellen will explain why the subjugation of women in human culture has conincided with the supression of healing herbs and plants like cannabis.
CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF CANNABIS AT MAPP MEETINGS
IMPORTANT: Riverside County has received the report from HdL on how to implement the absurd and obscene Developer's Agreement for the proposed Cannabis Business ordinance. The Planning Dept. is refusing to release it to the public - I am working on getting it. The Board of Supervisors will be discussing the ordinance and the HdL plan at their Jan. 29 Board meeting. I will present at the January MAPP meetings what I have learned about this.
In addition there will be a free-wheeling and open-ended discussion of marijuana in 2018 and what needs to happen and will happen in 2019. We have come a long way so recount some of your stories of how you got to where you and we are with marijuana. Please see the special note about the Moreno Valley meeting.
Network, socialize, get informed, enjoy a delicious assortment of cookies, milk and punch and win a genuine silicon pipe.
Moreno Valley/Western IE MAPP meeting - Wednesday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m. -. This will be the last meeting of MAPP at Greenview Medical as the office is closing mid-January. Locating a new meeting place will be discussed. Meeting takes place at Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley CA 92553
Palm Springs/Coachella Valley MAPP meeting – Saturday, January 5 at 12 noon - Meeting to take place at Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon, downtown Palm Springs 92262.
Joshua Tree/Morongo Basin MAPP meeting - Saturday, January 5 at 3 p.m. -. Meeting takes place at the fabulous Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree CA 92252.
Just before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, raise your left leg so that you will start off the year on the right foot.
Then continue 2019 on the right foot by joining MAPP’s 420 Club and donating $4.20 every month to keep us going throughout 2019.
From working with Riverside County to establish reasonable and workable regulations for cannabis businesses to protecting cannabis consumers from losing their jobs for using legal cannabis, MAPP is there. Please help us be there for you.
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