The genie is out of the bottle. The cannabis genie.
First North American courts began forcing governments in the U.S. and Canada to provide medicinal access to cannabis for medical patients in need.
As people gained legal access to cannabis for the first time – and fully discovered its benign, health-promoting properties – the clamor began to grow for full cannabis legalization.
As cannabis has been fully legalized in some U.S. states and nationally in Canada, a new realization dawned on our populations. Legalizing this (supposedly) “dangerous drug” did not cause the sky to fall on our societies, contrary to all of the hysterical shrieking from the anti-cannabis Chicken Littles.
As Americans and Canadians now realized the gross injustice of cannabis Prohibition, pressure has increased on governments to expunge any criminal convictions related to cannabis usage. And as this movement gains steam, yet another realization is dawning on the majority of people.
Drug Prohibition is failed policy. Period.
The U.S.-driven “War on Drugs” has been perhaps the most catastrophic law enforcement failure in human history. And (for the first time) a majority of the American people want an end to the War on Drugs.
That stunning headline was published by Marijuana Moment. And yet what is really “stunning” is that it took people this long to reach such a conclusion.
When the Reagan administration launched its self-declared “War on Drugs”, we already knew how this would end: badly. We knew this with 100% certainty due to two words: alcohol Prohibition.
The United States already tried once – and failed badly – when it chose to criminalize the social problem of drug (ab)use.
Why did the United States end alcohol Prohibition?
Did Prohibition-era science suddenly discover that alcohol was safe? No.
Alcohol is toxic and addictive. It is responsible for more than 88,000 American deaths per year. One of the reasons why cannabis is gaining in popularity so quickly is that it is a safe alternative to alcohol.
Did Americans suddenly start liking alcohol a lot more after the start of Prohibition? No.
They were just sickened and appalled by all the organized crime that was a direct consequence of alcohol Prohibition.
Were Ronald Reagan and his entourage of advisors not aware of the history of alcohol Prohibition? Were they incapable of understanding it? How else do we explain choosing to repeat a law-and-order crusade that had already been a catastrophic failure once?
– George Santayana 1863 – 1952
That question will probably never be fully answered. Today, what is relevant is that Americans have (finally) removed their blinders with respect to the entire travesty of the War on Drugs.
Decades of hardcore War on Drugs propaganda in the United States (and around the world) is finally losing its capacity to brainwash people. (Criminal) drug Prohibition wasn’t a necessary government policy. It was the worst possible approach to deal with a serious social problem.
This isn’t a revelation. The United Nations released its own policy paper earlier this year calling for widespread drug decriminalization.
Note that “decriminalization” doesn’t mean that we should legalize all of these other drugs – as we have done with cannabis.
Cannabis is safe. Cannabinoids are produced naturally within the human body and are essential to human health.
Conversely, with these other criminalized drugs there are important safety reasons to discourage their usage (as we do with legal tobacco and alcohol products). Decriminalization is all about taking drug abuse out of the shadows so that we can treat the abuse problem itself – not simply incarcerate the users.
It was always the rational policy with respect to drug use. Now the People understand this.
The U.S. government (and other governments) had better listen. Political dinosaurs who continue to endorse the War on Drugs will soon be looking for new employment.
For many years, anti-cannabis propaganda demonized cannabis as “a Gateway Drug”. Now, ironically, cannabis is becoming a Gateway Drug.
Cannabis is a gateway to political sanity with respect to drug laws. It is a gateway to social justice. And for millions of users of (legal) medicinal cannabis, it is a gateway to better health.
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