Yo… what you know about turtles? You ever heard of the World Turtle? Nah… not the word turtle, the World Turtle! No? Ok take a hit of this and listen up. The Earth is actually flat, man. Not only that, it’s sittin’ on the back of a giant turtle! And that giant turtle…. is on the back of an even bigger turtle!! On and on it goes man! It’s just turtles all the way down!!!!!
Are you still reading this? Good. Clearly, we don’t believe that. Clearly, you can’t just have turtles all the way down, man.
Just like how, in our opinion, there is no such thing as democracy all the way down. It’s a myth and cannabis offers the perfect proof.
New Jersey is one of the latest states to pass laws establishing a taxed and regulated adult-use recreational cannabis marketplace, legalizing the possession and consumption of the plant for most people ages 21 and up.
We say ‘most’ because prisoners can’t have it. Cops can’t smoke it. You get the drift.
AIN’T NO TURTLES, MAN
Cannabis legalization enjoyed an extremely high level of public support in New Jersey, making it a safe and lucrative decision for the state’s lawmakers.
As is the case here in California, however, local municipalities (cities and counties) were given the power to opt-out of allowing commercial cannabis activity within their jurisdiction… and boy are they flexing that power…
Even before the state has officially launched the newly approved recreational cannabis market, dozens of munis are slammin’ the ban hammer down, disallowing legal grows, manufacturing, retail, or all of the above.
The rush to re-prohibit cannabis stems from a provision in the new law that says municipalities only have until August 21st to “opt-out” of commercial cannabis. So, many munis are saying that their “ban” is more of a “pause” that can be lifted anytime after August 21st if they choose to.
Meanwhile, no plants will be growing to meet the demand that will exist if they ever do get on the right side of history.
To add insult to injury, the new state law does not allow for legal home grows.
So, theoretically, 60-70% of the adults in a community could be in favor of legalizing recreational adult-use cannabis. The state can follow that demand and enact such a law. Then a slim majority in some dusty old city council can override all of that and enact a ban leaving that 60-70% back at square one with no dispensaries and no right to grow their own.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy still has the nerve to tell the press recently, “Most importantly, [legalization] is allowing us to address enormous social and racial injustices that have existed for far too long.”
All the ingredients are in place to refuel whatever street market there in for cannabis in NJ as consumers will be unwilling or unable to drive across the county to buy overpriced legal weed.
These street deals, and the growers that supply them, will be low-hanging fruit for law enforcement to continue to pick on and history shows that people of color get picked on more than Caucasians.
What good is “social equity” when your city has banned legal cannabis? Or when the state tells you that you cannot even grow your own?
Imagine watching your community be decimated by the state’s failed war on drugs, and now you’re being told to pay them taxes on the plant while they are STILL locking people up. For way too many Americans, they don’t have to imagine it. They are witnessing it firsthand.
Is this supposed to be “legalization”?
Is this supposed to be “democracy”?
Ain’t no turtles all the way down, man…