A History of Cannabis Prohibition by Thomas E Young
President Barack Obama. This president more than any other before him truly offered hope to the people of the cannabis community. Of course (as many of President Obama’s slogans would attest)President Obama was offering change to so many varied groups it seemed across the nation. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the guy. I think he is a decent guy that got handed a really bad deal with all of the obstructionism from congress(never mind the crazy world just getting even more crazy).
Obama At War With Himself?
Yet to say that he is the most incredible example of an individual seeming to be at war within himself regarding cannabis is the epitome of a repressed trait. He has written about and has openly talked about his cannabis use during his youth. Yet the incarceration rate for non violent drug offenders increased under the Obama Presidency. This includes the alarmingly continuing growing number of young African-Americans (and other people of color) being sent to prison for lengthy terms (this is mostly due to the help of the 3 strikes law; remember mentioning that with President Bill Clinton?
Amazing when you step back and see the impact all of their actions have had!?). Focusing back to President Obama; he had openly run for president for the 2008 election saying that he “… would use science..” as a lens when looking at marijuana and any possible reforms. Yet he seemed to give a blank check to the D.E.A. when it came to giving them the ability to aggressively pursue and prosecute cannabis related cases. Letting Michele Leonhart run a personal crusade against cannabis (remember her from the George W. administration? Again those twisted connections).
Marijuana No More Dangerous Than Alcohol
Once more though he would be found on the opposite side. In January of 2014 in an interview with the New Yorker, President Obama rather famously said, “marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol”. Again turn the page and he would be on record for supporting the DC voter-approved legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in December of 2014. He would go so far as to state that any states that had passed any laws regarding medical marijuana that were abiding correctly would be basically left alone. The attorney general at the time; Eric Holder, would put forth and have others put forth memos outlining these policies.
Yet the D.E.A. along with certain attorney generals would ignore this and attack with incredibly frivolous yet aggressive lawsuits against cannabis dispensaries such as Harborside Health Centers in California. The Obama administration it seems would just ignore these actions. The dichotomy of the Obamas administrations actions on cannabis can just go on and on. The ultimate culmination being that he has and is now issuing many presidential pardons for non-violent drug offenders. All of this while he continues to answer reporters questions if he will legalize (de-schedule) marijuana before he leaves office simply as “No”.
Now the future, it actually is in sight. November 8th, 2016 is just a few weeks away now. The two presidential contenders are very different in their views about cannabis. Right now the favorite in regards to who may be on the side of the cannabis community would be Secretary Clinton. The democratic party moved the platform greatly due to the movement of Senator Bernie Sanders who greatly favored cannabis reform. But even more important than just what Clintons current possible lenient view point on cannabis currently is would be the five states that are voting for ‘recreational or adult use of cannabis’. While they are all equally important it is one that stands out and that is California. When California passes the ballot initiative that they have this will have an incredible impact on the cannabis industry! California is the 8th largest economy in the world. This much money and power now getting behind the cannabis industry will force the Federal government to look to de-scheduling marijuana in order for everything to work (from banks to companies, interstate commerce, etc.). Everything is about to change. Get out to VOTE and be a part of it!