"A weed is a flower, too, once you get to know it." ~ Eeyore from "Winnie The Pooh"
After 72 years of the debate being controlled by those who've made it a taboo to even talk about the subject, it's time to tell the truth about marijuana.
The deck is still stacked, of course, in favor of cannabis prohibition. The reason? Folks who know that marijuana is harmless are often too intimidated to say so, because until now, speaking cannabis truth has carried a heavy price.
For years, a few brave medical doctors such as Lester Grinspoon of Harvard have been voices in the wilderness of marijuana prohibition. Their repeated calls for an open and honest debate on the subject have largely fallen on deaf ears, because until now, when it comes to marijuana, those who know won't say, and those who say don't know.
To depart from official, ONDCP-backed orthodoxy on the subject has been to risk expulsion from polite society, to risk the scorn of peers, to risk being branded as a slack-jawed pothead incapable of forming a coherent sentence, to risk losing the right to be taken seriously, to risk ridicule as a stoner stereotype, to risk dismissal from our jobs, to risk loss of our families and homes, and to risk legal consequences including arrest and incarceration.
Why are the anti-pot forces so scared of an open discussion? If the facts are on their side, why must anti-marijuana warriors try to shut down the debate? If health is the issue, why aren't the extensive scientific studies considered relevant? If crime is the issue, then why can't we discuss alternatives to the failed criminal model? If kids are the issue, then why can't we (novel idea) just be honest with them about the effects, drawbacks, and rewards of marijuana use?
Ah, "the kids." Seems they are mentioned every time the legalization of marijuana is mentioned, as in "what kind of message will that send the kids?"
Well, how about sending them the message that it's now OK to be honest about drugs? How about being honest enough about marijuana so that the warnings against using harder drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin will be taken seriously, rather than being dismissed as just more hysterical propaganda -- you know, like what we've been telling them for seven decades about pot?
If we expect young people to take us seriously, we have to tell them the truth. When we tell them ridiculous things about marijuana, they're not going to listen when we try to tell them about the dangers of other drugs.
Lights In The Darkness
Just before any quantum change in public perceptions, there are brave visionaries who are ahead of the curve, who are leading the way towards a better understanding of the truth.
Because many are in the position of fearing professional reprisal and loss of livelihood, being honest about marijuana has until now been a luxury which can be indulged by only a few. But thank goodness these few push open the door a little wider, letting in the truth, and in any open debate in a free society, the truth will eventually prevail.
• People like travel guru Rick Steves, who says he decided to speak the truth about marijuana because he has no boss, thus he doesn't have to worry about being fired.
• People like film director John Holowach, whose excellent documentary High: The True Tale of American Marijuana has been largely ignored by the mainstream press.
• People like Ed Rosenthal and Jack Herer and Dennis Peron and Keith Stroup and Rob Kampia and Paul Stanford and so many others who have managed to make changing minds and rules about marijuana not only their life's work, but also a paying occupation.
These leaders are all contributing to changing the paradigm -- changing it so much that soon, my brothers and sisters, we will all be able to speak the truth without fear. It's time for truth and reconciliation, and if you're a pot prisoner or a medical marijuana patient or a righteous caregiver or a recreational smoker, the truth will set you free.
It's A Done Deal
People have grown tired of the official lies about marijuana. The public is rapidly reaching a critical mass where folks will no longer be willing to be led, unthinking and sheep-like, down the primrose path of prohibition.
The cannabis cat is out of the bag. Too many people know the truth about marijuana for the ganja genie to be stuffed back into the bottle.
Let's tell the truth about marijuana.
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