Is it NORML for you to get this upset?

March 30, 2009

Somewhere, amongst the notions that we will get nationalized healthcare, and that we’ll close Gitmo, and that we’re going to fix the economy, and that we’re going to rebuild all of the good will and trust in government that the Bush administration squandered, and all of the other hopes, dreams, and prayers that people have attached to Barack Obama’s message of change, one more seems to have snuck in there which doesn’t seem like it belongs with the rest of them.

Marijuana legalization bills have been recently introduced in both Massachusetts and California, and many other states have recently made moves which would make the law more friendly towards medical marijuana and the decriminalization of carrying small amounts. Also, while there’s always been a crowd of people shouting at the top of their lungs to legalize it, several new voices have been added to their ranks in recent months, including television personalities, Harvard professors and lawmakers. Change is happening all over the place, right? Why can’t we change the way we treat marijuana?

Oh sure, some states have opened some doors, and yes, he appointed an Attorney General who doesn’t believe in the DEA interfering with state laws. Still, how any of this adds up to the recent groundswell of speculation that marijuana legalization is within reach is almost as baffling as the people who feel that Obama turned against them when he recently said that he doesn’t not support legalization.

Is this really THAT surprising? Really, people? The same guy who spent months campaigning and calling for to work hard and to give back to our country, the same guy who says that people spend too much time sitting around in front of the Nintendo Wii, you mean he’s also the same guy who doesn’t think legalizing a substance which lists as potential side effects depression and a lack of motivation?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, really. All the excitement over our dynamic new president has clearly put some thoughts into people’s heads and gotten marijuana legalization supporters perhaps a touch too excited. That particular battle has been and always will be an uphill struggle. Some administrations will make it easier than others have to take the kinds of steps that are necessary in what will invariably be a slow, slow process. Whatever marijuana advocates say about Obama’s stance, the fact is that his administration is more friendly toward these goals than the Bush administration was, and they are more willing to do the research and put the work in to explore its medical uses. The individuals who are blowing up message boards and writing angry missives on their blogs need to take a step back and realize that Barack Obama never betrayed them because he was never, in fact, on the same page as they were.

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6 Responses to “Is it NORML for you to get this upset?”

  1. thresholdlurker said

    I’m not even sure that places like MA are going to be legalizing any time soon. Decriminalizing less than an ounce is a long, LONG way from legalization. Also, not too many people seem to be following the progression of general smoking laws. Cigarettes have been on the outs for years. Sure, people keep smoking, but there’s not a lot of support for the habit. If cigarettes are being ostracized, what hope does marijuana have? I’m not sure it will ever be legalized in a big way. Regionally, maybe. I can’t see widespread legalization within the next forty years.

    On the other hand, I do expect to see more decriminalization. I had no problem with that when it came through as question 2. Everything was in order for that. Until legalization can look that well thought out and careful it will never succeed.

  2. modernpiracy said

    The extensive benefits to the economy that an entire new product for production, sale, merchandizing, marketing and regulating will produce seem to be missed by NORML and other pro-pot organizations. I don’t want to limit my statement to hemp (although I like scratchy sweaters) but actual consumption that produces the lethargic effects the author supposes Obama to be weary of.

    One area that is of fundamental concern to this argument is State versus Federal sovereignty. The author’s reference to California’s and the Commonwealth’s legislation reminds me (perhaps intentionally) of the Civil Rights/Marriage issues in those States. I think that the Marijuana Movement could take some cues as the Marriage struggle plays out. (Stoner segregation?)

    The problem of living in a Federal Republic is that, fortunately, even a pro-pot President would be powerless to assert such authority other than by leashing the DEA. The people who feel betrayed by Obama should take a good look at who they voted for Senate or Representative, let alone who they vote for in their own States. But that’s another argument… or is it?

  3. guswinn said

    I think that medical medical marijuana should be granted to those who need it, which is the kind that can help with reducing depression and glaucoma, but I don’t think it’s for those who just want to smoke and chill all day long. This will surely lead to a lack of motivation, slowly leading to destruction of self. I have seen it happen to many people.

    • thebeerphilosopher said

      “This will surely lead to a lack of motivation, slowly leading to destruction of self. I have seen it happen to many people.”

      Funny. I smoked a lot of pot in high school and college, and I’m doing just fine for myself. I don’t feel any lack of motivation, and certainly not on a path to self-destruction. And none of my friends can support your claim, either.

      Actually none of that is true. But you see how easy it is to refute a claim based on anecdotal evidence, yes?

  4. guswinn said

    Exactly what is Obama’s stance on marijuana?

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