When you are considering a move to a new town, do you ever do any research on the local city councilmembers regarding how they feel about personal liberties? No? Don’t feel bad, who would? At least, that’s how we used to feel. But these days, as the federal government fails at pretty much everything, politics are becoming more and more local.
Proposition 64 here in California is a perfect example of this. By now we all know that a vast majority of municipalities in the state voted in favor of recreational weed for adults, but now less than half of those cities and counties will actually permit commercial cannabis operations.
This is because the law allowed for an overabundance of local control by letting the few in power in each municipality override the votes and the will of a majority of their constituents. While they will spew easily debunked talking points in defense of their localized prohibition, the one indisputable fact that they have on their side is that the federal government still considers cannabis to be highly illegal.
So, since the Feds won’t fuck with it, that duty to meet (or neglect) the will of the people trickles down to lower and lower levels of government until, before you know it, some moron-laced city council is standing between your right to grow your own cannabis, or to go buy it with any sort of convenience or safe access, usually citing Uncle Sam and a regurgitated mix of Reefer Madness-level anti-pot propaganda.
We are seeing the same thing happen with the Coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S., as the federal government neglected to put forth a national strategy to combat the spread, state and local governments were forced to make their own decisions on how or how not to handle the pandemic.
The problem with that strategy is that much like unregulated weed, pandemics know no state lines or borders.
We’re not going to pretend to be experts on respiratory diseases – especially ones that the respiratory disease experts apparently still know next to nothing about – but we do know a thing or two about cannabis so our fuse is burning pretty short with politicians from both parties who not only refuse to embrace or accept cannabis reform, but who continue to peddle lies in the hope of preventing it from happening.
LIES & THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM
This is a topic we discuss frequently in house here at Beard Bros. Pharms, but an excellent article by Marijuana Moment that came out this week about the movement for recreational cannabis in Arizona caught our eyes and accelerated the burning of that fuse a bit.
Hundreds of thousands of signatures in favor of a legalization measure named Smart & Safe Arizona were gathered and submitted for review last month. By the end of this week, state and county-level officials will finish validating those signatures to determine if the proposed legislation will be on the ballot for voters to decide upon this November.
Assuming it does make it onto the ballot, public polling on the idea would indicate that Arizona could very well become the 12th state to establish a recreational cannabis market for adults.
As we’ve already laid out, however, public polling doesn’t matter to politicians these days once they are already in power, and for yet another example you need look no further than Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey.
Not a fan of cannabis, Gov. Ducey submitted his own opinion on the thought of consenting adults consuming a harmless plant by saying, “We know from states that have fully legalized marijuana that it has real consequences: more deaths on highways caused by high drivers, dramatic increases in teen drug use, and more newborns exposed to marijuana.”
Let’s unpack the Republican governor’s dumbass statement one lie at a time.
First is the MYTH that cannabis consumers are inherently more dangerous drivers. This line of bullshit is fueled by traffic accident reports that reveal cannabis in the system of X% of the victims. Rarely will you see the crucial caveat that cannabis stays in that victim’s system for 3-5 weeks after the last time they took a toke or nibbled on an edible.
For a more accurate study, researchers will give participants either a dose of cannabis or a placebo and then have them actually drive test courses at certain time intervals immediately following their consumption. These studies routinely show cannabis users to be, if anything, a bit more cautious and defensive with their driving. Flying down the freeway trying to rip the bong while steering with your knees might not be the best idea, but LOTS of people find that having an ideal dose of cannabinoids flowing through their system helps take the edge off of rush hour traffic or long drives – much like a cup of coffee, not a shot of whiskey.
The argument that establishing a taxed and REGULATED market leads to increased cannabis use by teens is so illogical, and so unmoored to reality, that it is hardly worth even debating anymore. Using the What About the Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiids shield is so boring and weak so it comes as no surprise that Arizona state senator Sine Kerr, another Republican, also came out against legalization recently, saying, “Kids would become easy prey for an industry hungry to create a new generation of users.”
Again, the truth is a simple google search away, Sine. Fear-mongering might be the senator’s signature move, but the fact is that even the federal government’s own High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program found that teen cannabis use rates have steadily gone down in states that have established regulated adult-use markets. A study in Colorado, often the canary in the coal mine for cannabis research, found similar results.
It only makes sense that if you properly incentivize people to use a legal market, they will do that rather than risk their freedom. If enough of them do that, it becomes a lucrative industry. So lucrative in fact, that companies would be foolish to risk their role in that money-heavy market in order to slang vape carts to kids.
The whole “Stoned Infant Theory” is just another tug at soccer moms’ heartstrings – emotional sabotage in place of the science and facts that they lack.
These studies are not being done by cannabis advocacy groups. These are our OPPONENTS spending time and resources only to find that their whole mission is backwards and that we’ve been right all along!
Unfortunately, this ignorance is not confined to Arizona, and it is not confined to the Republican party.
When voters in Arizona fill out their ballots in November, they will not only decide on the fate of rec weed in their state, but they and the rest of the country will pick the next President of the United States.
Since every four years we get exactly ONE more choice than your average 3rd world dictatorship, this fall we will need to choose between two old ass dudes who waver between not understanding the big picture of cannabis reform or just not giving a shit about it.
And so the trickle-down of responsibility will begin again.
Will the Senate do its job?
Will Governors respect the will of their voters?
Will your city council strip you of your sovereign rights, or honor them?
These questions, and so many other big, big questions are up in the air in November. This year, perhaps more than ever, voting is crucial and it has become clear that it is in your best interests to not only make sure that you do it but that you are informed on your decisions all the way down the ballot