Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy 4/20, My Dear Lefties

Once upon a time…

The use of marijuana was something that was a passé element of pop culture and music. Somewhere along the line, tougher drug policies were enforced, the average potency of the drug increased, and the cultural associations shifted toward a more distinct demographic. No longer was smoking marijuana a fleeting teenage escapade, but instead it became a more risky activity. This doesn’t mean that its use decreased drastically, but that using it was inherently more of a big deal. A separate culture emerged as a reaction to the broad drug culture that objected to its use on principled grounds. This reactionary culture dominated our society for decades. Though this may be presumptuous, I believe we are witnessing a new horizon in the journey of marijuana use.

In some ways, I’ve thought about the topic perhaps more than a person really should. In trying to remain objective, I’ve looked into the historical trends and where they are taking us. At the same time, I have been cautious in asserting any bold claims in avoidance of projecting my own personal preferences upon society. This is not about what I would like America to do, but rather, what I sincerely feel it is trending toward.

The 21st century is different. The day has come that legalization advocates have felt empowered and optimistic. The policies of medical marijuana have helped tremendously. And even if legalization is a stretch, the progress toward decriminalization is undeniable.

The following articles support the claim that the tide is changing:

Marijuana Advocates See "Tipping Point"
National Weed Day fuels marijuana legalization debate
This 4-20 - Many Are Calling For The Legalization Of Marijuana
In Calif., Medical Marijuana Laws Are Moving Pot Into the Mainstream
Is marijuana legalization on the horizon?

This debate has been going on for years, but the voices have become louder and more diverse. As people begin to shift toward a more pragmatic approach, the debate no longer falls along strictly ideological lines. The coalition of supporters now includes Libertarians, former/current hippies, social liberals, economic conservatives, and the classic (music scene) youth.

So on Adolf Hitler’s 120th birthday, I reflect upon the influence that the great green herb has had upon American culture. In many ways, it continues to drive our world—economically, politically, and culturally. And as the old die and the newborns cry, perhaps some day, America will come to terms with its love affair and give old Mary Jane a call.