Five Most Important Issues in Cannabis Reform

Written by Mark Pedersen

Written by Mark Pedersen

October 29, 2021

If you’re discussing Cannabis legalization, these five topics should be paramount.

1Why Removal from the Controlled Substance List is so important

2.  The Fallacy of Baby Steps in Cannabis Reform

3.  What about our Children?

4.  Cannabis and DUI

5. Amnesty and Cannabis

Discussions regarding Cannabis have splintered in many ways, these days. Rarely do you hear conversations regarding the root elements of prohibition, or perhaps more clearly, the issues that seem to keep Cannabis illegal – much as it is here in the Midwest.

Amid all the hype regarding dispensary and overall “pot” industry sales, there’s really very little being said about how Cannabis reform actually effects the average American. Most certainly, no one is realistically considering how we will all exist in a world where Cannabis is truly legal, what that will be like, or what it will take to get us there.

In my five topics, I explore the issue of REAL legalization, addressing the tough questions. This is the only way that we will push past the propaganda that has tainted our consciousness for over a hundred years.

Why Removal from the CSL is so important

Completely removing Cannabis from a state’s CSL changes everything. Literally. And it would be the right thing to do. Once beyond the ignorance and propaganda that has revolved around Cannabis for almost a century, a new sense of freedom and responsibility will hopefully emerge.  Cannabis will no longer be considered a “harmful, dangerous drug”, but now a food. A very special food. A food with purpose beyond virtually any other food that has been known.

Hippocrates said so very long ago, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

But only by completely removing Cannabis from the drug list will we have the profound effect required to bring about true legalization and an end to prohibition.

Heroin is a Schedule I drug. So is Cannabis. The very thought of a “budtender” dispensing something that is considered as dangerous as heroin screams hypocrisy.  It is widely known that Cannabis is nontoxic. It has never belonged on this list.
What is even more troubling is that anything short of COMPLETE removal from the CSL would be far more catastrophic for those who need it, as well as for those who produce and sell it.
Checkout my full article at Why Removal from the CSL is so Important.

The Fallacy of Baby Steps in Cannabis Reform

Incremental changes implemented over time, often years – that’s what “baby steps” usually are, when you’re talking state policy. A ready tool for lawmakers spending tens of thousands of our tax dollars, but profoundly useless to citizens working against the clock with limited, donated funds and a volunteer workforce. 
The initiative process requires months of collecting signatures (usually a set quantity from each county), organization, advertising, literature, transportation – the list goes on. As well, opportunities only come round every two years with general elections. Each time, you’re largely starting over. Consequently, it’s important that it’s done right, since mistakes could equate to thousands of dollars lost and decades of more senseless prohibition.

For states that have taken the seemingly easy way with “baby steps”, the path to REAL legalization continues to grow (and grow, and grow).  In researching Colorado law, I identified over 150 statutes that effect cannabis.  That was a few years ago.  I know the amount of divisive, prohibitionist rhetoric has grown considerably within the statutes since then.
This is what has happened and continues to happen today because the writers of Colorado’s “medical” and “recreational” bills, after much effort and expense, handed over full control of the welfare of their Cannabis patients and their fledgling Cannabis industry, through their poorly written initiatives, to the very agencies and politicians who pledged never to support Cannabis reform.  And, as a result, thousands of pages of senseless regulation, misinformation and prohibitionist bigotry, not only continue to exist in Colorado law, but are flourishing within the Colorado state Constitution.

Anything Less is Jus more Prohibition
More regulation and control… and of what?  A NON-TOXIC plant?  How can activists with ANY understanding of the Endocannabinoid system and the multitude of patient testimonies endorse anything short of complete legalization?  It’s painfully obvious that a lot of hands are in this very lucrative pie and few are concerned with the welfare of the consumer, let alone the patient, as they continue to impose more costly restrictions, taxes, licensing, packaging, etc, etc. 

Who pays for it all?  The consumer –  further pushing this life saving medicine away from the grasp of the patient.

Prohibition has not gone away in so-called legal states like Colorado.  In fact, it’s alive and well.  The inflated prices and restricted access are fueling an ever growing black market.  In addition, the heavy taxation has strangled retail sales and further inflated prices. That’s why, here in Missouri, home-grow or blackmarket still eclipse dispensaries as the preferable and most economical way to access Cannabis.

Who do you know that can afford $500 to $1000 of additional monthly expense?  If you know more than a handful of people who can, you run in much richer circles than I.
The vast majority of patients in so-called legal states who truly need cannabis have NEVER had access – except through occasional token visits to dispensaries and black-market sources. Essentially, it has ALWAYS been cost prohibitive, particularly for those who need consistent dosing – those who need it the most. The actions of the powers-that–be insure that the cannabis industry will remain in flux for years to come – while consumers (patients) pay the price.  Literally.
Checkout my full article at The Fallacy of Baby-steps in Cannabis Reform.

What about Our Children?

A Little Common Sense
Throughout the course of any given day, our children are exposed to a plethora of toxic, even highly lethal toxins. Prescription drugs are often left out on kitchen counters, bed stands and coffee tables. Most households don’t lock up cleaning supplies, let alone medicine or liquor cabinets. Toxic chemicals are usually stored together under the sink or in unlocked cabinets, often without child-proof lids.  Let’s not even get into the host of poisons found in virtually every garage, (Sweet-tasting antifreeze comes to mind).
Yet, most children don’t ingest these poisons, even though they are easily accessible. Why?

Two things…

Parental Guidance – when we are children…

and

Personal Accountability – when we are grown.

In other words, when we are children, we rely on our parents or guardians to INSTRUCT us in regard to how we should behave, (Parental Guidance). Being intelligent creatures, we learn.  We build on the knowledge we are given as we grow. With it, we are able to safely navigate this complex and dangerous world.  As a result, when we are an adult, we can confidently accept the responsibilities of our actions (Personal Accountability).

The Bible states, and I paraphrase,

“Train up your child in the way he (or she) should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

If you find any behavior in your children that you determine to be unacceptable, it is YOUR duty as a parent and legal guardian to correct it… to teach them.
Law is not meant to be your child’s nanny. You cannot legislate common sense. You cannot legislate good behavior.  Both are your job to impart.

How do we turn back the clock?  How can we right wrongs of prohibition that have destroyed so many lives? 
Simple. Education. Checkout my full article at What about our Children?

Cannabis and DUI

Without the means to accurately determine motor-function, or the lack there of through blood or urine tests, one would think the obvious resort would be to actually observe a crime, before considering a “stop, charge, fine or arrest”.

If DUI laws were enforced in Colorado, conservably 20% of the population would irrationally be denied the right to drive. Obviously, this is a highly inaccurate way of testing whether or not one was physically capable of operating a motor vehicle.  In reality, it is just another means of entrapment. Checkout my full article at Cannabis and DUI.

Amnesty and Cannabis

Over the past many decades, Cannabis consumers have longed for the day when they wouldn’t have to be in fear. The fear is real. It lives inside all of us who have been threatened and persecuted by over zealous law enforcement and the courts. We would all like to think that all of that is behind us now. But even if Cannabis were to suddenly become really legal, the harm that has been done to so many would linger. Felonies, if not somehow removed, live on for the lifetime of the felon.  A felony conviction greatly limits one’s ability to find employment and housing. What’s more, a felon can never own a handgun, or even a hunting rifle. No amount of “time served” will ever restored that right.
These things and the stigma they represent, determines one’s place in society. It doesn’t matter if the felony was committed righteously, or if the law that condemned the felon no longer exists. It’s still a felony. That’s really all that matters when you’re filling out an employment application, or when you see approaching flashing lights in your rearview mirror.
Checkout my full article at Amnesty and Cannabis.

* * * * * * *

It’s perplexing, really. The people cried out for legalization, but were met with activists and politicians who only saw their pleas as an opportunity to make money. Sure, those promoting the divisive initiatives do so proudly as they proclaim that they are doing it all for you, the consumer. Of course, if you truly read their offerings, as I have, you would see the insidious way they weave back in the same prohibitionist penalties that have preyed on us from the beginning.

REAL legalization is hard. Not really hard to implement, but all so very hard to get your head around. We have had over 80 years of being told lies, by those who rule over us, as well as agencies like the National Institute for Drug Abuse, and the Food and Drug Administration. We would like to be proud of our country. We’d like to think that our Government always has our best interests at heart in all matters, but unfortunately, that has not been the case. For the United States, conspiring with the wealthy to indenture the citizenry has been an issue from the beginning.
We can’t change our nation for the better unless the people are given the opportunities, the proper choices. And it’s not really a Democracy if the people are only given the ballot choices that benefit the rich.

Cannabis is nontoxic. Cannabis is food. Cannabis is the single most important medicine of the 21st century.

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