Editor’s note: Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
The 1960s civil rights movement, women’s and gay rights movements have all succeeded over time due to the fundamental fairness inherit in their struggles which also defines what we stand for as a country, and now you can add the cannabis culture and medical marijuana legalization movement to this list.
Cannabis in all its forms, as medicine, food, fiber, fuel, and for spiritual use is now overwhelmingly re-winning societal acceptance after being outlawed in the US in 1937. Prior to this, cannabis helped build our nation and the world, and was used by every culture since the dawn of civilization.
America has always been an amalgam of former “out” groups that struggle over time, but in the end are always accepted into the mainstream. Those who support marijuana legalization have now reached that status, and are a clear, permanent and growing majority who know how to use their votes to move elections.
Cannabis legalization is on the demographic right side of history. There is overwhelmingly solid support for marijuana legalization across the board, in double digits!
Why are these four groups succeeding? Because their core message centers on the same version of equal rights that aligns with the American dream. This message is embedded into the cornerstone of American freedom; it is the invisible glue that holds us all together. These out groups’ messages are all different yet the same; namely, the desire to live and let live, something we all understand as fundamentally right.
Everyone wants the right to pursue their own non-violent version of what bliss and enlightenment look like and feel like to them in their search for an authentic life in the course this very brief existence; the right to be allowed to live their lives as they see fit based on the freedom to decide for themselves.
The U.S. Constitution errs on the side of always granting individuals the maximum degree of freedom to find what liberates their internal state of being in this existence…. free from persecution and punishment from others who don’t approve.
Some people are not fine with this.
The opposition to freedom of consciousness always takes the form of institutional racism, ignorance, and greed.
In the last 75 years, this plant and the people who utilize it have been maligned so that the very few could profit at the expense of the many.
Presently, cannabis prohibition is being propped up by a few dead enders, bloodsuckers who support themselves on human misery. Prohibitionists who block freedom for our culture are in every way the equivalent of 1937 racists, who would lock you up in prison for their profit.
The 1930’s prohibitionists who demonized marijuana as reefer madness also hated gays, blacks and women at that time.
There is regular stupidity and cosmic stupidity; prohibition is stupid on a cosmic scale. Marijuana prohibition is in a death spiral, circling the drain of really bad historical ideas. Prohibition is dead; it just doesn’t know it yet.
The prohibition of today is directly connected to and an extension of the racist mindset that existed in 1937, and the stink of ignorance connecting the two is strong.
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers…
Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
“The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
“The aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly ensnares hundreds of thousands of people into the criminal justice system and wastes billions of taxpayers’ dollars. What’s more, it is carried out with staggering racial bias. For blacks — and black men in particular — marijuana is a gateway drug into the criminal justice system.” (The New York Times)
“Consider the case of Chris Williams who opened marijuana grow house in Montana after the state legalized medical cannabis. Mr. Williams was eventually arrested by federal agents despite Montana’s medical marijuana law and he may spend the rest of his life behind bars. While Jerry Sandusky got a 30-year minimum sentence for raping young boys, Mr. Williams is looking at a mandatory minimum of more than 80 years for marijuana charges and for possessing firearms during a drug-trafficking offense.”
A coherent system of justice must explain why one defendant is punished more harshly than the next.
It must explain why a farmer who grows marijuana in compliance with state law should be punished much more harshly than some pedophiles and killers.
If we cannot explain this disparity, we should fight to change it.
Editor’s note: Ron Marczyk is a retired high school health eduation teacher who taught Wellness and Disease Prevention, Drug and Sex Ed, and AIDS education to teens aged 13-17.
He also taught a high school International Baccalaureate psychology course. He taught in a New York City public school as a Drug Prevention Specialist.
He is a Registered Nurse with six years of ER/Critical Care experience in NYC hospitals, earned an M.S. in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology, and worked as a New York City police officer for two years.
Currently he is focused on how evolutionary psychology explains human behavior.