With Election Day (and California’s historic vote on the legalization of marijuana) just around the corner, the usually quiet (thus easily ignored) rumble of citizens demanding for legalization of marijuana has grow quite loud.
A poll conducted by the Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll (taken in late July) found that a majority of Americans (52 %!!!) either strongly or moderately support the legalization of marijuana.
52% is the exact same percentage of the American people that voted President Obama into Office, and it was said that percentage gave him a strong mandate from the American people! (It is also larger percentage of Americans than the percentages that elected every American President since H.W. Bush.)
One would think that such support would be enough for a very unpopular Congress (ahem.. and White House) eager to show the American people the kind of "out of the box" thinking that many in the voting public believe will be necessary to guide America out of its current economic malaise.
But perhaps that every so thin majority is not enough to make cowardly elected officials do the right thing...
God knows the last thing these cheap pimps want to do is stick their neck out on such a controversial limb as the legalization of marijuana.
Maybe a higher percentage of people might be enough to make these people take some much needed looks at how we are doing things...
Just Say No...
The same poll found that 65% of Americans believe that the American War on Drugs has been an utter failure.
In truth though, the shock should not be that 65% of Americans believe that the War on Drugs failed but that 35% of our kool-aid drinking brothers don't see the failures of the Drug War (and the misguided policies that demand it).
Over a trillion dollars has been spent in the forty plus year war that America has placed itself on the front lines of.
And even with all that money spent...
...Latin America remains poor and mired in bloody civil wars, either with drug cartels (of which a majority of their income comes from marijuana) fighting among each other (as well as the government) for control of smuggling routes and territorial power, leftist guerillas (funded partially by illegal drugs), and in many countries both.
... American criminal justice systems (courts, prisons, and probations) are clogged with people (many of whom if not for the whole marijuana misunderstanding would be upstanding citizens) who have been arrested for non-violent drug crimes (the vast majority being charged with simple possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia).
... Countless lives -both American and foreign- are lost yearly in pointless criminal wars over the black-market distribution of illegal drugs (including marijuana, the number one selling illegal drug in the United States).
And perhaps the most glaring failure by the American War on Drugs is that despite the trillions of tax dollars and thousands of lives wasted in conducting it, anyone who has ever wanted to buy and use illegal drugs (especially marijuana) has been able to find it fairly easily.
Times, they are a-changin'...
These poll numbers are not the only indication that a changing wind may be blowing on the crumbled pile of rubble that the American Drug Policy has become.
Not five days after President Obama signed a bill narrowing the disparity between powder cocaine sentencing guidelines and the ones for crack cocaine (only furthering the case for a total reexamination of American Drug Policy), Mexican president Calderon has called for President Obama to join in the debate on the legalization of marijuana. President Calderon claims that the American Drug policies created a "black market" allowing for the Cartels to collect the billions of dollars they have been using to conduct their turf wars (instead, I imagine, of the billions in taxable revenue the exportation of a highly demanded cash crop might bring to a Nation's coffers).
And the current Mexican's President' cries are not the only ones...
Three former Latin American presidents — Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Fernando Cardoso of Brazil — wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, urging the legalization of marijuana as a way to undermine a major source of income for cartels, which threaten to destabilize many Latin American governments including Mexico.
Hell, shit has gotten so nasty in Mexico (and other Latin American countries) that following President Calderon’s statement, two Mexican Catholic Cardinals have endorsed his call to open a debate on the merits of legalization.
Hooooope on the Waaaaater...
Soon things will change...
Mark these words people... Marijuana will be legalized in our lifetimes.
There is already a majority of Americans in favor of legalization, with no signs of the cause losing support.
Hopefully the passage of Prop 19 in California this November (it's all on you Cali...) will force other states to take similar steps, ultimately making the Federal Government- their hands forced by the undeniable will of FREE PEOPLE- to have to reshape their misguided marijuana laws.
But for all of this to happen, it has to start with you...
Support NORML and other anti-prohibition groups (both state and national). Get out there and spread the word!
Harass your elected officials (with hand written letters, as those are the only ones they really ever see themselves), politely letting them know that you want them to end the prohibition of marijuana.
And perhaps the most important step of them all...
Make sure that you not only get out there and vote, but make sure that you are not wasting your votes on candidates that do not favor the ending of the American prohibition of marijuana.
Hasta victoria siempre people!!!