Matt Kumin, a San Francisco attorney who personally raised over $100,000 to fund two different lawsuits challenging the federal government's restrictions on cannabis patients, expertly outlined what he coined as the three waves of pot legalization. The First Wave, he points out, was led by Dennis Peron, who launched a grassroots effort that resulted in California's historic vote to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 with Proposition 215. The Second Wave was manned by marijuana dispensary owners whose efforts on SB 420 (an initiative that attacked the limited amounts of weed end users were allowed to grow and carry) ensured its passage. And, as with any war, Kumin sees a Third Wave happening right now as billionaire Napster founder Sean Parker makes ready to submit his own financially backed piece of legislation, THE CONTROL, REGULATE, AND TAX CANNABIS ACT OF 2016. And this is important because, in light of this opening salvo, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) withdrew its own petition for fear that having competing proposals on the same ballot would cause both to fail. CCPR elected, instead, to merge their proposal with Parker's, so that they could "storm the beaches" together.
Now, it's important for me to say that I agree with the pot-head fanatics in that no one should go to jail at all for possession of marijuana; and, in that respect, we're all talking the same language.
But, in my world, you've got to make it as if it were a speeding ticket: Speeding is dangerous; it's against the law. Marijuana is dangerous - I smoked it for five years - I was addicted to it! - it was my gateway drug to shooting heroin. So, I've got to say that Marijuana is Addictive. I've been there, done that. I've treated thousands of people and almost everyone I've treated who have used harder drugs had started with marijuana.
The argument is that not everyone has an addictive personality, but it still begs the question, why do we need to make a drug legal in order to help people get loaded? I mean, we already have major issues in our country with our youth getting loaded; why would we want to exacerbate the problem? We have so many kids who are not motivated, who have underlying issues with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders - you name it! Why throw gas on that fire and make it a hundred times easier for them to get loaded, or smoke weed and medicate themselves, or harm the development of their brains? Because, of all the clients that I've dealt with who have had addiction issues with marijuana - and again, I've been doing this for decades - not one has had an easy detox; they can't sleep coming off of it, they're living unproductive lives, they have no motivation... why are we so desperate to add to that? Just so people can get high legally? It's crazy to set that kind of precedent and create another industry. What has the Alcohol Industry done that is good for our country? Or the Tobacco Industry, what have they ever done that has been good for America? And what is the Marijuana Industry going to do that will be good for us? What positives do they bring to the table that helps our kids, that helps people? The answer is NOTHING.
So, why are they fighting to legalize it? Because people want to get loaded. And the thing that makes me so angry and disgusted by Sean Parker's initiative is how he couches his calamity in some idiotic rhetoric about how he's taking measures to protect the children. Have you seen this proposal? Because, if you haven't, I'd love to walk this dog for you: section 26004 (article 2) states that anyone 21 years of age or older who is busted with marijuana on the grounds of, or within, any school kindergarten through grade 12 during regular school hours will have to pay an [expletive] fine of no more than $500! Now, I don't know about you, but, if I'm a drug dealer making thousands a day off your kids, I am absolutely ready to pay the measly 500 [expletive] dollars!
How is that protecting our children? How is instituting a toothless law going to act as a deterrent to crime? And we need to bear in mind that, when we are talking about Americans, we are talking about good, law-abiding citizens. People, by and large, don't speed because it is illegal. And they don't smoke drugs - or even go near them -- because it is illegal.
We need to focus on what passing the law will communicate to our children. If we open this Pandora's Box by legalizing Marijuana, we will be inadvertently sending the message that marijuana is safe and harmless because the reality would be that, because it is legal, it is harmless; we'd be giving them the rationalization that if it's legal, then it must be okay to use.
There's an organization out there called SMART APPORACHES TO MARIJUANA (S.A.M.) that believes that there is more than just the one extreme (make it illegal and send everyone to jail) and the other (make it legal and mass-produce it). S.A.M. is run by Kevin Sabat and Patrick Kennedy, both of whom believe there's a middle ground here, and that this middle ground is occupied by decriminalization. They are on the frontlines of this fight against the insanity of legalizing marijuana and, by legalizing it, creating a third destructive industry in our country (Google that before you go out and vote!).
When the NAACP stepped up to the plate and took a shot at legalizing pot, Bishop Dr. Ron Allen shouted his outrage at the top of his lungs, stating Martin Luther King Jr. would be aghast at the NAACP's position that dumbing down and destroying the brains of our youth was a civil right - and I agree! We cannot legislate this blatant attack on our communities, no matter how many billionaires tell us it's okay, because they aren't us.
They aren't in our homes trying to raise children. They aren't at our school watching drug dealers pacing back and forth outside the fences that surround our playgrounds. They aren't driving down the streets of our neighborhoods watching our young people get approached by dealers who are looking for new salesmen and women (with access to hallways and locker rooms and cafeterias where their wares can thrive).
No, these men - men like Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, George Soros and even "Snoop Dogg" -- are in multi-million-dollar mansions getting high and thinking, "I wish I could walk down the street and smoke a joint and not get in trouble for it". These aren't people with real ailments who need the marijuana that's rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, of which only a minute percentage of marijuana crops are bred for (the others are rich in delta9 -tetrahydrocannabinol, which is only good for getting high); these aren't people who need medical marijuana - they are just people with money who want to get high and are willing to pony up millions of dollars to that end; and not only is it arrogant, it's reckless, because it sets it up for marijuana to be mass-produced and mass- promoted! This means that, not only is more marijuana is going to be produced than ever before, but this toothless law (read: TOOTHLESS LAW) is going to guarantee that no one will be able to regulate it! Did you know that also in this bill is a clause that states that, if someone commits an infraction of the law, they will get a 30-DAY NOTICE that we are coming for them? "Hey, we know you're breaking the law - but, instead of breaking the door down and arresting you, let's give you thirty days to clean it all up so that, when we do come knockin', everything is going to look like it's on the up-and-up."
It's insanity. And many Americans don't know that this is not a done deal. There are millions and millions of us who are against legalization, but the media isn't spending any time with us - the legalization people are the ones holding the microphone and taking center stage in the debate. It's no wonder the Gallop Polls are trending upwards toward the legalization of marijuana - it's because no one is talking about this!
Which brings me to the Fourth Wave in this fight; a wave comprised entirely of the rest of US. We cannot fight these guys with our money because we'd go bankrupt trying.
But we can use our voices, because our voices - and our votes - have power. Avail yourself of the resources at your disposal and get informed before they Trojan Horse legislation that really isn't going to help anyone other than the people who just want to get high.
Money has always been used to shape opinion. Don't let it shape yours.
It's time we formed our own wave of change so that we can use it to drown these people in common sense!