WHAT IS THE STATE OF MARIJUANA TODAY?
Temecula, CA – What is the state of marijuana today?
That would depend on who you ask. It is important however, to realize that most people believe our world is LxWxH, x,y, and z, or past, present, and future. In the reality I know, the world is made of The Real, The Symbolic, and The Imaginary. Because of this construct the single day event will yield a series of reports detailing the true state of marijuana today, and pot isn't just bustin' out in the United States. Mary Jane Green is spreading across the globe, much the same as any great idea spreads – one bud at a time.
Since cannabis is a complex issue, and one with a very long history we begin our The State of Marijuana Conference series held in Santa Monica last Saturday by asking the basic question put forth by Deborah Peterson Small, executive director of Break The Chains. She addressed a small intimate diverse group of 11 sitting in a half circle sitting in front of her. 'With hundreds of people of color still being arrested daily but gatherings like this which feature entrepreneurs sometimes making millions, like Weedmaps, is marijuana a movement [to end people getting imprisoned for using a proven God given plant] or an industry, young, growing, and offering opportunity? If an industry, why then are people of color still getting arrested while white businessmen are allowed to operate?'
Ms. Small, a lawyer and social justice advocate whose son works at BofA for spite, gave us her 3 reasons for this which will be listed later in this report, but we of my reading audience who reside in the wings of Shakespeare's Stage, have to do an 'aside' here, for you see, Ms. Small was given 'trash time', a term used by my civic board cousin when informed of the speaker's topic by me the next day. It's called 'trash time' because the staff are starting to clean up and the majority of the conference attendees are already enjoying themselves elsewhere. Was this a slight oversight? Yes. Was it deliberate? No, but it was telling.
|Deborah Peterson Small|
Before we look at Ms. Small's reflective conclusion, let's look at Ms. Small. The leader and organizer spoke from the historical view she gained from being a product of the 70s. After the leaders in the 60s were 'all taken out by The Man,' and not the Eugene Levy character in Samuel L. Jackson's turd, the culture of the country changed. Anger was everywhere and it reached a head at Nixon's re-election. It climaxed at Nixon's resignation but remained unresolved on many levels. One level was civil rights and social justice for blacks, an issue the Black Panthers brought to the forefront but overlooked by most mainstream media. The 60s were unrest; the 70s said 'here's some answers, listen to US!'
Presenting the media setup was the Cannabis Talk Show Live podcast technician who did a fine job with the sound. There was no feedback with any speaker I witnessed at one of the panels; you get a Captain Tuesday Salute. Also Deborah Peterson Small exhibited the caliber and background to her subject matter that was indicative of the entire selection of speakers and panel members.
Marijuana punishment, by way of the law and accepted society, did three things to society at large. Point one about marijuana persecution was the suppression of dissent, a point expressed in Green Gold [ISBN 0-9629872-2-0], Jack's Emperor [ISBN 1-878125-02-8], and Memoirs [ISBN 9781478318217]. Historically this is the reason the Catholic Church denounced it in the 13th Century [Seligmann's History of... ISBN 0-517-55129-2].
Point two: marijuana persecution is used to control minorities. This is another true and grounded statement. When the rough and tumble days of locking up mostly violent types brought forth prisons from what had been county jails, a system developed to similar to the public education system once the state's turned over control to corporations 'for profit' prisons. You get paid by attendance, just like a teacher. That's why they take roll.
With a high percentage of the prison inmate population being in prison for marijuana crimes of possession or distribution, aka intent to sell, buy hardly ever for growing, the overwhelming colors of black and tan play more than a euphemism. Meth, another drug with more violent users adds the majority of white to the prison brushstroke. Ironically one could help eliminate or reduce the other. Like the Vietnam War before it, the War On Drugs is a way to control the lower classes who historically out-produce the upper classes both in number and rapidity. It looks racial but as Martin Luther King pointed out to us in 1961, the problem isn't black or white, it's green. I have to wonder what Dr. King would say now to knowing the solution is also green. Holy WTF.
Point three was one of the current situation that again, like a claw mark, revealed a deeper vein of truth. The modern War of Drugs has done extensive harm on the youth. Well yeah, you might be saying, but that isn't what Ms. Small means when she says this. Once again this is a theme touched on personally in my Memoirs because you can't make these observations if you are not experienced in the reality to which you were born in.
In Ms. Small's day as well as in mine, when people got together, young people used marijuana socially for group discourse. As spoken of starting in Ch 3, The Smoking Seventies, pot wasn't just a part of the scene, pot was the scene. Either you were a drinker or a smoker. The women in these two scenes were also different. But by and large people in the weed scene intellectualized where as the alcohol scene was far more predatory, cough, Pill Cosby.
Today that social intellectualizing has disappeared in the youth culture but the fact is 'no one became famous who didn't use cannabis [with Shakespeare being the latest to be covered], so the idea is a whole generation or two haven't been tapped into but instead imprisoned. Lost potential. What is often overlooked due to racial blinders is that the young white worker is being slaughtered for the power elite simply because he drinks 'the kool-aid.' It is a waste of youth all around, but Ms. Small has a plan.
Instead of using the [medical] marijuana industry to advance economic slavery through treating cannabis like nicotine, the medical side should be an agent of liberation by a using a system of ownership financing that won a Nobel Peace Prize for its inventor. This fund would be available primarily in the recorded zip codes of the most extensive police brutality against black and brown involving arrests, harassment, killings, arrests, etc., concerning marijuana.
In the group of 11 counting our speaker leader, though the lineup changed a bit over the course of the session, I knew only one face. It was a face I came to know the first time I went to LA's NORML meetings, and this is when I was stumping for Prop 37, to lable GMOs. Long-time 'mover-shaker' pot activist, lawyer, and founder of Cali's original NORML chapter, Bruce Magolin. Next to him sat another lawyer, a former power lawyer who had come to see the light surrounding the persecution and prosecution against cannabis [pictured above, left of Ms. Small].
|Bruce, on phone, far right|
It was the light that Ms. Small brought as only a small gathering responded to see and hear it because we were all under the spell of cannabis. The explanation to that curious statement at the end of our series.
Next, The Guys Behind AB266, Politicians In The State of Pot. After that we will look at the Powers That Be, the products and what government regulation threatens to do, and finally, a look at the people who made this State of Marijuana so special with the explanation of how I too was caught under the spell of the smell.