Budding confusion

03Feb18

Marijuana has been back in the news lately, but really, when has it not been in the news over the last several years?

The latest headlines have pot users in a panic – and not the kind that comes from ingesting one too many brownies. No, this time it’s like, real, man. The Feds are talking about bringing prohibition back! I need a bong hit just thinking about it.

Try to have some compassion. The last couple of years have not been easy for the Cannabis Community. Ever since Massachusetts voters legalized the bud for recreational use in November of 2016, it’s been one crisis after another.

Less than two months after the wise voters approved a law that would allow legal retail sale of weed beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, those fascists in the Massachusetts Legislature met behind closed doors and pushed the date back to July 1, 2018.

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. After all, it’s not as if the pot legalization advocates were ever straightforward and honest about their own intentions.

First, the advocates assured voters that legalizing medical marijuana was strictly about helping the sick. They had no interest whatsoever in legalization for recreational use.

Then, after successfully playing on the voters’ sympathies and getting them to approve medical marijuana in 2012, those very same advocates’ names starting appearing in connection with the campaign to legalize recreational weed.

But not to worry, they assured us. Their only interest was to get the drug out of the hands of criminals so that people who are going to use it anyway could buy it legally and the state could get some tax revenue. They had no interest whatsoever in expanding the market. And legalization would never lead to increased use.

Now we read that they want the Cannabis Control Commission to authorize “cannabis cafes” (think cigar bar, with a more disoriented clientele), so that marijuana products can be served for consumption on-site.

So, you’ll forgive me if I don’t shed a tear over the fact that mean old Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hinted that he might start enforcing federal law, under which marijuana is still illegal.

Imagine that. Enforcing the law.

Well, the lawmakers on Beacon Hill are not going to put up with that, not when what’s at stake is Massachusetts residents’ constitutional right to get wasted out of their minds.

Last week, a bill was introduced in the legislature that would prohibit state and municipal employees – that means police – from cooperating with federal authorities when it comes to enforcing federal marijuana laws. In short, Massachusetts would become a stoner sanctuary state. We already ignore immigration laws. Are there any laws left that we do enforce?

Proponents of the bill say that prohibiting state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal authorities will prevent resources from being spent on arresting people for minor marijuana offenses.

At least it will free up police to go after the real criminals – plastic bag users.

I don’t think anything is really going to happen, but it has been fun watching the Cannabis Community go into a tizzy thinking the Feds might actually crack down. What is it they say about pot and paranoia?

Think about it. Their top priority isn’t addressing war, famine, or human rights violations. They are in a hysterical panic over a drug. About their ability to get high. If the prospect of not getting high makes you that nervous, it might be time to seek professional help.

You’ll probably be prescribed some medical marijuana. I hear it’s great for anxiety.

[This column originally appeared in the February 2, 2018 Wakefield Daily Item.]

Pot rally photo by Massachusetts Cop Block.

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