Legalizing marijuana was my first passionate political issues when I was in high school. As years went on I went on to new issues and new types of political ideology. I originally thought that by the time I was 35, marijuana would finally be legal and all the propaganda against it would become a thing of the past.
That’s not what happened. The National Organization for Marijuana Reform, or NORML was winning the right to possess marijuana without penalties across the country by 1980. Then came the President Ronald Reagan era and everything was stood on its head. Everything us 1960s and 1970s youth had hoped for were the antithesis of the Reagan Regime. Marijuana, along with every other issue we believed in got turned upside down.
Nancy Reagan led a “war on drugs.” Suddenly buying small amounts of marijuana was associated with big time drug dealers and drug cartel violence. Parents groups formed to push for tougher marijuana laws.
So as I passed the age of 35 in a country I could not imagine from my days in high school. Now years later, for the first time in my life, I have seen marijuana laws voted down in two states,
Colorado and . I was really
surprised those legalization moves were passed by voters. Washington
So what is happening? Is my right-wing nightmare starting to lift? Will this movement continue and will laws change in other states—maybe even in
I don’t enjoy smoking pot as much as I did in high school. I can take it or leave it. I can’t smoke it now because it is the one thing that could show up on a drug test where I work. But what about other issues I care about. Will young people get tired of our permanent wars in the Middle-east and elsewhere? Will they begin to question the need for privatization and the worship of capitalism and its god-forms (David and Charles Koch, Donald Trump, Karl Rove) who are part of the 1 %?
I’m hopeful that a new era is upon us. Getting people out of jail and giving adults some of their rights back is just one step in a new direction. Maybe the 1% has finally lost their grip on our culture, politics and maybe the establishment. -សតិវ អតុ