Why Pot Smokers Owe a Lot to the Progressive Era

While it may not be apparent to casual observers of the current drive to legalize marijuana in America, we are truly the beneficiaries of political reforms adopted during what is generally referred to as the Progressive Era.

This period of social activism and political reform in America is generally defined as beginning in 1890 and running through 1920.

The principal objective of the Progressive movement was eliminating corruption in government, and to accomplish that goal, proponents sought ways to take down the powerful and corrupt political bosses and to provide access to ordinary Americans in the political system – a concept called direct democracy, as contrasted to representative democracy.

On the national level, progressivism gained a strong voice in the White House with the election of Teddy Roosevelt as president in 1901. Other national proponents included Robert La Follette and Charles Evans Hughes on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Al Smith on the Democratic side.

It was during this period that the concept of direct primaries to nominate candidates for public office, direct election of US senators, and universal suffrage for women gained traction; and most important to our work, the procedures know as referendum and initiatives began to be adopted in several states.

To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com.

68 thoughts

  1. Pot smokers don’t owe anything to anybody other than what they as individuals have agreed to on a voluntary and consensual basis, just like anybody else.

    Liberty and freedom are not provided or protected by government. That will be evidenced when some form of “legalization” happens nearly everywhere.

    Rather than simply being decriminalized, pot use will be converted into a “permission based” privilege and government will demand a cut…money.

    Paying somebody to exercise freedom, is oxymoronic and Orwellian. Free people don’t need permission to control their own body.

  2. Thanks Keith for the historical perspective.
    A good government teacher once told me that “U.S. Presidents due to their ever increasing executive power are capable of some of the best and worst decisions in history.”
    Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence but he also owned slaves.
    Theodore Roosevelt’s progressive side brought us voter initiatives but then his imperialist side invaded Panama and brought us our first Vietnam in the Philippines with the Spanish American war.
    Lyndon B Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act but he also staged the Gulf of Tonkin and let the French drag us into Vietnam.
    Today, Obama’s executive orders on reducing Federal sentencing combined with his memos to the DOJ over marijuana policy remain one of the most Progressive records in U.S. history. And yet, if I may criticize his strategy, we’re currently helping the Sunni Saudis attack Al Qaeda in Yemen and the Shi’a Iranians attack ISIS in Iraq, or as Jon Stewart puts it, we have “finally after decades of conflict in the middle east between the Shi’a-Sunni conflict figured out how to punch ourselves in the d!(*.”
    Fortunately, if we legalize cannabis in the U.S. we might just get the U.N. to help farmers in Afghanistan to replace their poppy fields with hemp and keep ISIS from destroying marijuana farms in Syria. I din’t know about you, but I would love to end conflict in these areas by using hemp to bring back the traditional Afghan hand made rug industry and try some Syrian marijuana (if we can trace chemicals in it first under a legally regulated international marijuana market).
    How’s that for progressive?

  3. Are these the same ‘Progressives’ who banned alcohol, ushering in the era of Mafia control and FBI predominance? Just askin’.

  4. Oh – And allowed the conditions to develop that contributed to the Wall St Crash and Great Depression…

  5. While at IU Southeast I had the honor of being a student to Dr. Katulick, a political science teacher that made us all excited about the details of governments and people of all kinds. Every time he spoke he’d give me a reason to research more and to think about what is truely important. Reading the articles and comments here on NORML takes to that same spot. Thank You Keith Stroup and all that have joined you.

  6. Yeah well it’s also the same system which villified cannabis and has managed to keep it illegal for some 75 years.

  7. That is exactly why I vote Progressively. If you can’t add to but just take away, you are not getting my vote.

    Liberals and Conservatives can suck it! Opposites and equal only in their disorder. You’re not interested in making a better America, just promoting yourselves.

    Bob, you’re right, but I don’t think you’re realizing that the America you love and value so much hasn’t yet been built…

  8. The end of an era, known as prohibition, would be the best damn thing to happen to this world! Progressivism is still alive and well today, but will we one day bring back the Progressive Era, or will we, as a nation make an even better movement? It very well could happen in our lifetime, the great Liberation Era.

  9. The Progressive Era also brought nationwide drug and alcohol prohibition. Drugs were legal in the US prior to this. The federal war on marijuana wouldn’t come until later, but its demonization was well underway.

    Progressives own prohibition.

  10. good points, Julian. MOney is what empowers. Also, we’re finding out so much about the medical benefits of smoking pot, do you think if ISIS were all to smoke some medical they might mellow out a little bit?

  11. Whatever the benefits of direct-democratic processes to the legalization movement, it was Progressives, Woodrow Wilson and FDR, who signed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act and the Marijuana Tax Act into law in the first place. Never mind the fact that it’s expansive Progressive-era interpretations of the Commerce and Necessary and Proper clauses of the Constitution that underpin federal drug prohibition; for a modern example look no further than Gonzalez v. Raich.

    Considering their role in its totality, I’d say it’s dubious to assert that we should be grateful to them for giving us the tools to dig ourselves out of the mess they made.

  12. Having grown up hating history in public school, I find myself continually amazed by how interesting it really is. In school, history ALWAYS involved memorizing the dates of battles. I don’t remember a single date except for ‘December 7, 1942, a date that will live in infamy’.

    We are now entering the era of Citizen’s United funneling massive amounts of money into our elections without ever having to reveal who or where the money is coming from. We are entering the era of the FOX ‘news’ conservatives telling each other what they want to hear, all the while demeaning the ‘lame stream’ media’s coverage of events. FOX news teaches its viewers to believe climate change is an international conspiracy of scientists.

    That’s worth repeating, FOX news teaches its viewers to believe climate change is an international conspiracy of scientists!

    FOX news will pummel its viewership with anti-NORML propaganda from now until the next election in 2016. Most of them will believe it.

    Beyond the issue of marijuana, this anti-science crap is a recipe for losing our national pre-eminence on the world stage. I read a book on the Large Hadron Collider recently. The author told the story of proposal from an employee at an earlier particle collider who described a distributed data storage technology. A reviewer described it as ‘vague, but interesting’. This idea ultimately lead to the Internet and pumped trillions into the world economy. Many economists thought the end of WWII would result in a return of the Great Recession. Instead the scientific advances during WWII lead to one of the greatest eras of prosperity in history.

    Science fuels technological advance which fuels prosperity. We can ill afford to allow willful ignorance, and stubborn superstition to prevail.

  13. Potential Threat To America From Cannabis Could Cripple Country In 24 Hours

    The most dangerous thing threatening America’s future is our own shortsightedness in granting a select few the ability to legislate mandatory lifestyle changes without regards to the potential crippling effect
    Our founding fathers believed that they were creating a nation with liberty and justice for all. In doing so they implemented safeguards to ensure that each state of the union was fairly represented during the election process. We call that The Electoral College which allowed a majority of citizens in each individual state to elect The President as a “State” and not as individuals. This protected the states with smaller populations from losing their voice as part of a “popular” or per person voting system.
    Today, politicians manage to get elected even if the majority of citizens don’t want them by manipulating this outdated, antiquated system. It needs to be abolished before the next election. But why would candidates relinquish control over their ability to steal an election?
    The answer lies in legislation that our government has voted in which could have a potentially fatally crippling effect to our ability to protect ourselves and support our economy. By using these same laws that have been passed without regard to the potentially devastating effects against the self-serving politicians leading us down the path to destruction we can eliminate the government’s ability to “control the people”. They work for us.
    Who comes up with the laws that our legislators pass? Most of the time it is a person or group with an agenda and the ability to influence our leaders. And which laws am I referring to?
    When an industry recognizes a new way of providing the same services that could potentially eliminate the current leaders, those at the top will try to prevent those at the bottom from taking over the business. Makes sense in a competitive kind of way. But sometimes at the expense of those being served.
    Cannabis and The Fall Of America

    Of all the potential pitfalls that our legislators have set America up for, the most dangerous areas are regulations limiting personal freedom.
    The first Cannabis law was instituted in Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. All farmers were ordered to grow Indian Hempseed. Over the next 200 years there was more laws passed that could land you in jail if you didn’t grow the weed. During this period hemp was like currency. You could even pay your taxes with Hemp. Cannabis was a critical crop and our government took step to promote it and increase its production.
    The census bureau found that there were 8,327 hemp plantations in 1850 that grew hemp for clothes, canvas, rope and more.

    Let’s start right there with the founding fathers. When America was born through courage, blood and war it was a different time. Communications took weeks or months to reach the intended recipient. Today it takes less than a second to communicate with someone halfway around the world. That’s quite a change. Everything else has changed too.
    Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp for clothing and rope. Cannabis was a staple of the colonies very soon after the British got there. The Crown of England made the colonists grow hemp in order to satisfy Britain’s huge demand for ropes for ships.
    During the Revolution hemp became the clothes that soldiers wore and some colonies paid farmers extra for growing it.
    Cut to today. In some states the people have voted to legalize certain type of personal use of cannabis, some states have lifted all restrictions and others have not made any changes.
    Regardless of which side of the fence a particular state falls on the subject all cannabis use in the United States is illegal under Federal Law.
    It just so happens those the same legislators who continue to hold the Federal ban on cannabis, including congress, the senate, house of representatives… all of the branches of government, all of the federal agencies including the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security and most of all our President and Vice President live in a place that is not a real state (District of Columbia) where voters have repealed the cannabis ban for themselves but not for the rest of the country.
    Basically our government leaders can now light up a joint in addition to drinking alcohol anytime they want but most of America cannot!
    This is an example of how our “leaders” make up the rules as they go along. They are elitist and feel that they have more privileges that the common American. Just look at our health system. Our legislators in D.C. have their own health plan that is significantly better than what’s available in the Healthcare Marketplace.
    Let’s look at who wants to keep cannabis illegal. The first choice would be those who are making a huge profit from it because it is against the law and they can charge a high price for it.
    The second group would be the major drug manufacturers because it is perceived as a threat against their years of research on how to use chemicals to get the same medical benefits that cannabis has been acknowledged to provide.
    How do we stop this and put an end to the inequality of those serving and those who are supposed to be served? We give them a taste of their own medicine.
    More than 14 million Americans use cannabis on a regular basis. No matter where you live, use of cannabis is still against Federal law. The way to change that law is to overwhelm the system and force legislators to change the law.
    What do you think would happen if all 14 million of those pot smokers turned themselves to Federal Authorities in at the same time? The system would crash. There aren’t enough jail cells to hold them. There aren’t enough courtrooms or hours in a century to prosecute all of those cases.
    Why would someone turn himself or herself in? How about free medical health insurance including psychological help, 3 free meals a day, free housing, free tuition, free vocational training, free gym membership and on and on.
    The cost to house a federal prisoner is near $75,000.00.
    The total cost to house all of the pot smokers for one year would be One Trillion fifty billion dollars ($1,050,000,000,000.00). That would cost every American $3500.00 each.
    Not only that… there wouldn’t be enough room in the court dockets for any other crimes like murder, rape, robbery etc to be prosecuted.
    The hit to the economy would be disastrous. Take 14 million people out of the workforce and what do think would happen to the tax base or to the economic health of the business community.
    Think about it. If the pen is mightier than the sword, then we need to give our government enough rope to hang itself… (hemp rope that is).
    On Independence Day July 4, 2015, I propose that all pot smokers roll a joint and take it directly to a federal facility and turn themselves in.
    The only response by government would be to change the laws or face certain political, economic and social gridlock.
    Take up your joints and give them a taste of their own medicine. The war on cannabis is a war against it people and all that is rational. Free the marginal cannabis inmates whose crimes were for possession and make room for the real criminals like murderers, rapists, thieves and the rest of the real enemies of the state.
    Alcohol Prohibition was repealed by popular demand. So also can the cannabis laws be repealed?

    D. Cooper Getschal
    American Citizen

    [Editor’s note: One of the oldest ‘silver bullets’ in cannabis law reform…the proverbial ‘turn yourself in day’.

    Two distinct problems with this unrealistic suggestion: 1) In over half the states, cannabis possession is either officially decriminalized or legal and 2) in most states and municipalities simple cannabis possession charges do not trigger automatic arrest and prosecution that lead to jury trials (therefore the criminal justice system is not likely going to be overrun and made paralyzed by the small percent of cannabis consumers who’d engage in such self-sacrifics of time, resources and energy).

    Historically speaking, less than one percent of cannabis consumers have chosen to even join and/or donate to cannabis law reform groups…so the notion that a higher percentage of them will go to their local police station with illegal contraband looking to get busted is very unlikely.

    Want cannabis law reforms to hasten? Look for reform to come from other than silver bullets…

    Cannabis law reform groups need a higher than one percent participation rate among cannabis cultivators, sellers, patients and consumers to effect real and lasting cannabis law reforms–not legal stunts or gimmicks that actually do not change a letter of existing prohibition law.

    If more than one percent of cannabis law reform stakeholders are politically involved in ending cannabis prohibition, federal and state policy will be forced to change. Otherwise, reforms will keep happening at the current pace, which are measurable, but long overdue.]

  14. This article is retarded.

    Progressives, including some named here like William Jennings Bryan, were strong supporters of PROHIBITION.

    No prohibition supporter can claim any philosophical/ideological/historical credit for 21st century anti-prohibition.

  15. Kudos to you, Keith! Well said, well written!

    Thanks to the editor for the statistic that less than 1% of cannabis consumers join or donate to cannabis reform groups. I am a member of many cannabis reform groups. In my humble opinion, it looks like 99% of cannabis consumers are in the cannabis closet. Congratulations to those who live in states that have legalized on a job well done, but as has been stated already here on this site prohibition isn’t over, yet. The next president could be a total prohibitionist, and do crap to unravel your progress.

    It’s exactly as Keith put it. The hard part is getting legislatures to legalize. NJ and NY and generally any state on the Least Coast (Least cannabis freedom compared to the West Coast) have very restrictive medical cannabis laws, to the point where the legislatures have restricted the ailments and delivery methods so drastically that such medical marijuana programs are completely useless and out of reach for many of the patients who, if they lived in other states, would definitely be benefiting from medicinal cannabis.

    How do you paint someone like Chris Christie into a corner of shame to get him to loosen up? How do you paint someone like Andrew Cuomo into a corner of shame to get him to loosen up? I’m waiting to see if this resolution in New Jersey works. Here in Pennsylvania the prohibitionists, mostly Republicans, have the upper hand, both chambers of the legislature.

    Well, there’s the new CNN cannabis specials that are starting April 10. CNN, thank you for keeping the drumbeat on the effectiveness of cannabis. I hope more news programs will give the public the information about cannabis’ positives that the prohibitionists have stifled, blocked and tried to keep the public from knowing.

    I wish I could get some medicine in Pennsylvania. State Senator Mike Folmer, a Republican, I have to say is trying. He had a run-in with cancer. It’s always different when it’s you or someone you care about. That’s why it’s so easy for someone high profile or even not so high profile in politics to be like Christie and not really give a shit about you or your kid who gets seizures or someone with cancer or something else cannabis helps, you know. That say they give care, but they don’t really or else they would legalize at least medicinally in the least restrictive way. Cannabis consumers have few to no legal protections unlike the LGBT Community. If people could get outraged at prohibitionists like they did at Indiana Governor Pence, who deserved all the shame and ridicule he received. Pence was such a sneak, surrounding himself by anti-LGBT bigots reported on MSNBC, and then acting all surprised at the backlash, like he didn’t know the law was discriminatory, like he couldn’t admit or answer to any questions about how it is discriminatory and basically turning back the clock to an earlier era pre-Stone Wall for LGBT and pre-Civil Rights Act for others. Pence, you’ll never be president now!

  16. The push for legalization is a way to help re-establish states right’s that was were taken away as a result of the civil war.Ever since that time politicians have been chipping away at the checks and balances built into the system leaving us with the mess we see today.The government is no longer for the people its for its own benefit and it needs to be curbed.Referendums and initiatives are a start but give the people a veto to existing laws would help restore order and force politicians to pay attention to the people which would help establish a new progressive era.

  17. @Fireweed
    Islam is prohibited from intoxicants, whether alcohol or thc, but I wonder if they could make an exception for hemp for industrial purposes that contains less than %1 thc?
    I agree, some cannabis with thc could mellow out anyone with PTSD, including ISIS.
    Proof enough that religious or otherwise, prohibition is bad for everyone. Ive often wondered if kanneh-bosem, the holy healing oils ordained by Moses in the book if Exidus and prohibited originally to the kings, then the priests, then used by Jesus on the sick, poor and imprisoned contained cannabis.

  18. I dunno about progressive. More like regressive with the life long probation’s being handed out to anyone they think is a sex offender. That’s a Grade A Scarlett Letter witch hunt of this century. I am however glad people are recognizing that marijuana is harmless.

  19. Well so much for religious cannabis prohibition; Indiana just passed a law providing more religious freedoms and one individual wasted no time founding the first Church of Cannabis.
    If they’re Christian Cannabists the communion line must stretch from Ohio to Illinois. We better legalize cannabis quick before THIS circus hits a Federal court. 🙂
    And here I was just posting about Islam prohibiting marijuana and whether Kanneh Bosem the ancient holy healing oils prohibited to Jewish kings may have contained cannabis. Ethiopian Coptics traditionally incorporate cannabis into ceremonial incense. Scythians, the tribe of people whom which Jesus spent much time, held several rituals that involved throwing cannabis into communal fires. Cannabis has an ancient relationship with the Hindu religion as well, where native Indica varieties are often infused with tea to this day.

    The NPR coverage by Steve Inskeep held a tone of sarcastic irony, in the context that Colorado is trying to stop people with welfare atm’s from purchasing cannabis from dispensaries, but “that didnt stop Indiana…”

    Yet I wonder what validity a “Church of Cannabis” could have considering the coevolutionary evidence that cannabis contributed to the birth of major religions, the self awareness evolved into the human conscience, and indeed our speciation of homo sapiens from homo erectus in the Himalayan valleys 1.5 million years ago?

  20. @ MarketWatch

    Thanks for the link, made it easy!

    I am so glad that we Finally have a president who gets it. When they talked about the real life guy, Donny, on whom Omar is based being an extraordinary man, one of the most amazing people he met in his life being on paper a convicted criminal they nailed the problem. Barry nailed the problem of this cycle of the drug war keeping people down at the bottom, and in a cycle that spans generations. They can start by legalizing cannabis to begin to correct this wrong so that the government has to treat you like a mensch. Cannabis convictions have to be expunged. The number of nanograms in a pre-employment drug test needs to be raised drastically so that if you’re not stoned at the time you pee in the cup you passed. I don’t know, like if you can abstain for a day or a couple of days before you have to piss in the cup. Screw the drug-testing industry that way if they are too damn lazy and cheap to come up with an impairment test that test positive ONLY if the person is stoned at the time of the test. You’re just going to have to raise the number or nanograms so high that employees tested are below the limit to get fired. You’d have to have a group of people for the data to determine how many nanograms show up in the piss test if they are high during work hours versed the night before, versus getting high before work/coming to work high, etc. You’d probably have to include data about the potency of the cannabis consumed.

    If you can’t screw the drug-testing industry one way, get them the other way. Maybe the science and the studies are already out there. If not, are there some willing employers and employees in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or Alaska willing to participate? Same guidelines, multiple groups of people and spanning the THC potency scale, will the results be similar when conducted separately in all four of the states.

    Barry, you are so right. I would go so far as to say that the prohibition of cannabis, cannabis being the third most widely used mind-altering recreational substance in the world, is the new Jim Crow. In the sense that it’s seed to sale is not separated from the hard drugs market that Only in that way is it the gateway drug to hard drugs like heroin, crack, meth, and the other shit that’s out there that is in a lower Schedule than cannabis, drugs that people really become verslaafd on. The Dutch model of separating the soft drugs market from the hard drugs market worked, but there is always room for improvement, like legalizing and solving the back door problem.

    We need to get people back into the work force. We need legal cannabis banking.

    That would remove the chuck that starts legalization rolling. Once states see that other states are making money off cannabis and the feds are hands-off, they ought to start legalizing, too. They’ll have to let people out of jail, expunging cannabis convictions, thus hiring people, and stop busting their unions so you have to pay them decent wages, stop paying them as little as possible to keep them poor, take them out of prison slave labor and put them in the free market sector jobs at living wages. These prohibitionist who thought this up have got to be racist because the result of the war on some drugs is basically a permanent underclass. It’s not actual slavery, but it’s a way to keep a good man down and repeat it for generations.

    Just get cannabis banking legal, call off the IRS dawgz, and the momentum will grow. Pun intended. The negative news on cannabis I’ve read in the local newspaper and national news sites has to do with shatter and the explosions taking place, scaremongering about shatter’s potency and scaremongering about the explosions of shatter labs, likening them to meth lab explosions.

    Is anybody selling home shatter making kits, like home brewing kits? With instructions, offer safety courses for the do-it-yourselfer or whatever.

    Cannabis banking. Do it.

  21. @MarketWatch and TheOracle

    I actually wondered if this entire thing might have been an April Fools ‘put on’ until I played the video and saw/heard Obama say it.

    “There’s an increasing realization on the left but also on the right, politically, that what we’re doing is counterproductive,” Obama said. “Either from a libertarian perspective, the way that we treat nonviolent drug crimes is problematic. And from a fiscal perspective, it’s breaking the bank.”

    “The challenge, which you depict in the show: Folks go in, at great expense to the state, many times trained to become harder criminals while in prison, and come out and are basically unemployable and end up looping back in,” he said.

    Simon agreed that even the small drug incarcerations have had a devastating impact. “They come back out completely tarred. They can’t vote. They can’t participate in their communities. They’ve lost track of families. Families have been destroyed,” Simon said.

    Obama ‘gets it’. The major impediment to reform is the conservative element in the GOP. When Kentucky allowed its farmers to grow hemp, Mitch McConnell made short work of the DEA’s attempt to block the shipment of hemp seeds to the state.

    How quickly reform progresses depends predominantly on the internal GOP struggle for power between the conservatives and the libertarians. A conservative government could delay reform for years, possibly for the rest of the lives of the boomers commenting on this website. A conservative government could roll back any advances in reform and force the rest of you to live with prohibition for most of your lives. Something to think about as these guys start throwing their hats into the coming campaigns for President.

    Conservatives will find the money for their damn drug war even as they cut funds everything else.

  22. @ Bob Constantine,

    The govt demands a cut of money for booze. I’ve yet to see one post on these boards complaining about that. I know MJ is a weed that grows in the ground, but let’s be realistic here–we’re fighting a war against prohibition that’s been going on for nearly a century, we’ve got to give some concessions to finally “free the bud.” Later, after we’ve stopped being incarcerated for partaking in something less dangerous than many other “legal” drugs, we can worry about the friggin’ taxes.

  23. Re: “those of us who $moke marijuana”– please, @Keith, make the format switch (from $moking) now, yes I admit that means getting rid of your treasured old photo of the smoke rising in air from something that any two-year-old will think is a $igarette like they seen in movies they didn’t know were old movies and we didn’t know they were watching. How about you and the other leading smoke-wafting-away pictorial cannabis $moker, Emery, aGREE to a photo, or brilliantly drawn cartoon, of you and Emery sharing the two flexible drawtubes of a double-stem one-hitter, showing those kids how to do the 19-second Vapetoke thing with a cheapo Chinese lighter. I swear, bring that off and you guys will share a $1.5M Knowitwell Prize for Preventive Medicine.

    @Galileo, good points but let’s don’t get into badmouthing “Conservative” when actually the problem is Pseudoconservatives whose Big-2WackGo-paid campaign against cannabis shows how unconservative (i.e. conserve, conservation, get it?) they are.

    1. 2014 Surgeon General report estimates $289-BIL/yr cost (WASTE!) to US economy for PREVENTABLE “$moking-related illness”– almost all due to nicotine $igarettes– as Barry said, it’s Breaking the Bank. Well then, maybe a true Conservative would now step forth and say, “Hey let’s try SUBSTITUTING this cannabis stuff for tobacco… and help God save our Honorable Budget!”

    Thanks @Julian for reminder that Afghan farmers could do the planet a favor and $witch from that dopy poppycock to cannabis! USA, USSR and Taliban all cooperated over the decades to cause today’s opiate deathplague by suppressing the hashish crop (yes I was in Europe in the 70’s and tried that great “Schimmelafghan” with the white mold on one side).

    What the USA has been good at is sending “Advisors”, until now mainly to teach them how to fight, bomb and kill, now let’s send Advisors to show Afghan farmers (and a corps of international volunteers?) how to spend least money and resources raising more of the good herb they already know how to raise– and build up their processing, marketing, and flexdrawtube one-hitter manufacturing industries, same with Morocco (sebsi) and Jamaica (choomette).

    Defining Progressives as those who not only progress but study and learn how to progress, this NORML blog has been a learning opportunity over recent years for me and I agree with the Editor’s moderate, “gradualist” approach– pass the inadequate measures and reform them later as needed (we’ll be smarter then anyway), and by the way the “-gress-” in progressive and the “grad-” in gradual are from the same latin root “gradus” meaning a step, “progressum” is past participle of a verb “progredior” to proceed in a stepwise, methodical, predictionworthy way toward destination.

    Drug testing: can you ween yourself from the moneyspending habits that make you dependent on those highpaying jobs? Drugtestfree replacement job: substitute DIY original Handwork production (inspired by genuine cannabinoids) for talk-listen obedience employment? The cannabinoids will help you INVENT PRODUCTS TO MAKE out of wood, hempstalks etc. and also INVENT WAYS TO SAVE oops Conserve money over that scary interim period before you have figured out how to MAKE enough money off honest WORK.

    How about starting up a neighborhood one-hitter cooperative, using everyone’s materials acquisition, manufacturing, marketing and advertising talents to eliminate hot burning overdose torchery from the planet and win that Di$ease Prevention Award? (Act locally, think globally.)

  24. The urgency for cannibanking is reaching its climax. The corrupt state of prohibition in our DOJ and the Mexican government has cartels ransoming innocent people in the state of Tamaulipas and along our borders to the point where prohibition is not only stirring up chaos in Afghanistan and Syria, but here at home our border with Mexico has become a failed state. Already, State Troopers that Governor Perry sent to the Texas border after the flood of child drug-war refugees spilled in from Honduras and El Salvador are depleting criminal and homicide investigations inside the state by %15! That’s huge. That means that our corrupt cartel government is investigating even less murders, rapes and abductions inside the U.S. in order to send law enforcement on our tax dollars to respond to a refugee and drug war crisis WE created by prohibiting drugs in the first place.
    The President may have to deconstruct the Controlled Substances Act by executive order not only as good domestic socioeconomic policy but in the interest of national security as well. Our failed drug policy created this mess. It ‘s time for fairly industrial and commercially taxed and medically subsidized cannabis to clean the mess up.

  25. Just read about Italy on Stop the Drug War. Italy has moved cannabis out of Schedule I. Does it matter how many other countries do not have cannabis in Schedule I? If a good number of other countries do then try to use that as leverage to goad the U.S. Congress to get moving and get that done, and while they’re at it outright legalize and get the feds out.

    And on a different note, there’s more negative scaremongering in the local paper today about butane shatter. There has to be a way to make the process much safer, but I’m sure that’s not on the cheap. Overseas in the war they had motor pools where you could pull your car into a bay and sign out or rent their tools to use there, and when done clean up and return everything, thank you very much, cheerio. If the super ultra safe manufacture facilities for butane shatter are prohibitively expensive for the everyman then what about a government regulated and inspected public shatter cooperative or something where any adult can make an appointment to use the facilities. There is someone there to give them some training education besides signing the paper and taking payment for the rental time and use of equipment. Joe or Jane Schmo just bring in their pound and half of weed whatever the minimum would be. Then you’d know who’s making their own. It’s cheaper than blowing up your house. You rule out the need for people to blow up their house even more if there is such equipment that is portable so that people not up to traveling long distances to the Shatter Shop aren’t put off by the long distance and lack of access in their area and turn their house into a Shatter Shack.

    A little more than a year ago, the country’s top court threw out a 2006 law that put marijuana in the same legal category as heroin and cocaine and swelled the country’s prison population.


  26. ” less than 1% of cannabis consumers join or donate to cannabis reform groups”

    Of course this is pathetic… Some people are just lazy but many are afraid. They are afraid of getting busted and locked, having their assets taken from them, getting put on a secret list that will make it hard (or impossible) to find decent employment, hard to get a loan, some could lose a security clearance. The reasons are plenty.

    Thanks a lot to the un-American anti-freedom crowd for this. People like John Boehner and his ilk could work towards changing this but I suspect many of them are paid off; some directly by the big drug cartels. It is in the best interest of our country to end prohibition but it is in the best interest of the many so-called conservatives to please their corporate masters. They do so even if it means mass incarceration of peaceful citizens.

  27. @Eveningbud

    I understand that fewer and less harsh beatings of the slaves is enticing.

    Actually freeing them should always be the end game goal though. Pot consumption, possession, growing etc. should be a free choice thing, paying government for that privilege still maintains the plantation mentality.

    I encourage all slaves to break their chains and run far away from the plantation. You are your own master, but not the master of others.

  28. Yeah, and here come the police nightsticks swinging. Take a look back in history, then consider resent events. Those old film clips of bloody Sunday tell a powerful story.

  29. @Miles

    Corporations are government constructs. Ceding control of your body to anybody, Government Corporation or Corporation Government is still allowing others to own you. Break your chains, don’t just change masters.

  30. @Mexweed:
    We know Jobs, regulation and education end wars, not more drug soldiers, prohibition and enforcement.
    After nearly 15 years in Afghanistan, 45 years of drug war and billions of American tax dollars and priceless lives killed and incarcerated, there is more heroin coming out of Afghanistan today then when the war began. Part of the revolution in the world of Islam is coming to terms that prohibition doesn’t work for good; only evil. Watch Frontline’s coverage of Afghanistan to understand how NATO proliferates the cycle. Hired Afghan police keep “eradicating” poppy fields right around harvest time, forcing the poor farmers to grow somewhere else in order to hope they can retrieve their ransomed daughters back. If our military strategy was to stop empowering the Taliban with heroin money we would have replaced the poppy crops with hemp years ago, and reinforced traditional textile skills.
    Americans are starting to connect the dots too. Cheaper heroin means that when young people ‘s legal yet expensive prescriptions for oxycodone, methadone or other narcotics runs out, heroin appears to be a cheaper option to manage pain, creating an epidemic within our society.
    What the President points out that is encouraging is that America is observing the decrease in crime, use of harder drugs and socioeconomic instability in states that have legalized cannabis, causing more Americans to lose the veil of fear of speaking out and taking action …fear that prohibition requires.
    Perhaps the %99 of cannabis consumers that have stayed quiet for too long are finally becoming aware of their silent participation of violence by not contacting their Congressman; has the sleeping green giant come out of hiding yet?

  31. @Bob Constantine – Do you have any good suggestions about how to go about breaking those chains? Apparently writing numerous times over the years to various senators, congressmen, and the president has done little…

    It is just downright painful to realize just how little our so-called leaders actually care about the people they are supposed to serve.

  32. “I’ve often wondered if kanneh-bosem, the holy healing oils ordained by Moses in the book if Exodus and prohibited originally to the kings, then the priests, then used by Jesus on the sick, poor and imprisoned contained cannabis.”

    Likely not, however, the Bible does mention that the original recipe or “any like it” are forbidden to any but certain people in the Holy Temple. More likely, they used Cannabis in the Holy Incense. There is no reason to think that 1,000 years after Moses “received” the recipe on Mount Sinai people didn’t swap out one of the ingredients for Cannabis. It is medically active and it would help certain aliments. Cannot see why it wouldn’t have been used at least sometimes. Fast bone healing sure would be like a miracle.

  33. @ Bob Constantine,

    Your analogy equating slaves with pot smokers is clever, but far too tenuous. There is a huge difference between being forced to work in chains, without pay, and partaking in a recreational drug. Give me a more realistic analogy and I might give your argument more credence.

  34. @Bob, I agree with @Evening Bud, paying something to government won’t be worse than paying smugglers and dealers as now, assuming though the price will decrease. The real $lave is a $20,000/year worker paying $4000 a year for a pack-a-day nicohabit.

  35. There is a huge difference between being forced to work in chains, without pay, and partaking in a recreational drug. – Evening Bud

    First, let me apologize to both you and Bob for entering your conversation…but I was dumbstruck by the fact that you are failing to recognize the fact that(among millions of other victims of The War on Cannabis consumers) I was one of those Slaves who have been in chains many times ( for one example,I was taken by Federal Marshalls to Minneapolis for a medical examination… in leg shackles with a long vertical chain attaching the leg irons to the waist chain that attached to my handcuffed hands)… without pay… while in Federal Prison for a cannabis crime…is that realistic enough for you?

  36. “I’ve often wondered if kanneh-bosem, the holy healing oils ordained by Moses in the book if Exodus and prohibited originally to the kings, then the priests, then used by Jesus on the sick, poor and imprisoned contained cannabis.” Dave

    Many ethno-botanists have tried to identify Soma…the plant that may have “sparked” Human consciousness…some researchers believe compounds in a variety of fungi, cacti or other plants that may have offered a breeding advantage (peyote/mescaline increases Human sex drive and improves night vision giving consumers an increased hunting success ratio thereby increasing protein intake)…ergo… increased survival rate of those with increased awareness/consciousness.

    Many researchers believe Cannabis to be among among the potential list of plants described in ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts as Soma.

    Bhang may be Soma?

    Conversely, ethanol alcohol is a mind numbing stupefying anesthetic…and legally available through “drive through” windows?

    America is deeply cornfused.

  37. @Dave
    I’ve written an investigated before on kanneh bosem from an ethnobotanical perspective, not just an etymological analysis as the very fascinating book “Early Diffusions abd Folk History of Hemp” was written back in the 60’s by author abs anthropologist Sulah Benet. (Her analysis was that “300 shekels if calabus” meant “canbabis” lost in biblical translation).
    The conclusion I came up with is that no matter what the penalty was of being “banned from the kingdom of God” by not using the correct ingedients or using the oils on Kings, or even being rewarded by discovering potent Indica varieties if cannabis sailed from India into Kenya and up the red sea, people put whatever was growing at the time and place into their hin of Kanneh Bosem to get the Jewish ceremony done.

    I believe the last time we duscussed this I has dialogue:

    Moses: “David, did you get that calabus I ordered?”
    David: “No, but I found this incense from the Sofi tribe that works pretty well.”
    Moses: “What? Let me smell that…
    Whooah, good work David. Throw it in the hin of holy oil. Let’s make te Kings happy.”

  38. Another perspective is that prohibiting the holy healing oils provoked new alternative varieties, much in the similar manner that the last 75 years of cannabis prohibition increased demand and supply of cannabis with high potency of THC, the likes of which people in Biblical times rarely, if ever, experienced.

  39. Mr. Stoup, you’ve got to be kidding: these eras, that you cite, are when “marihuana” prohibition started – and progressive FDR started the federal ban. You know, that. You’ve provided some otherwise interesting apologetics, for what ‘progressive’ is supposed to have meant. Very vanilla whitewashing, at best. Woodrow Wilson?! The U.N. is ostensibly our greatest challenge, for legal reform! You know, that. You know that we do love you, yet this must be the most objectionable thing that you’ve ever written.

  40. What’s utterly more relevant, moreover, is that our Constitutional Republic is supposed to preclude this prohibition – especially, without a Constitutional Amendment, as you’ve correctly blamed progressives for having given to us, for Alcohol Prohibition. It is more than sad irony, that we are subject to legalizing it, through the Initiative process: a crafty lawyer should be able to overturn federal prohibition, based on these facts. That the US Constitution was originally drafted on “marihuana” – being the very fabric, thereof – also needs to be eventually brought before the purview of the SCOTUS. Only a crafty lawyer can ever do these things . . . .

  41. There is a huge difference between being forced to work in chains, without pay, and partaking in a recreational drug. – Evening Bud

    First, let me apologize to both you and Bob for entering your conversation…but I was dumbstruck by the fact that you are failing to recognize the fact that(among millions of other victims of The War on Cannabis consumers) I was one of those Slaves who have been in chains many times ( for one example,I was taken by Federal Marshalls to Minneapolis for a medical examination… in leg shackles with a long vertical chain attaching the leg irons to the waist chain that attached to my handcuffed hands)… without pay… while in Federal Prison for a cannabis crime…is that realistic enough for you?

    The chains hurt…one’s body and mind, and their actual goal is to attempt to break one’s Spirit…didn’t seem to work on me.

    They hurt my body and mind …but my spirit remains strong…making me one of the very lucky ones!

    BTW, if you visit any Prison you would recognize you are visiting The New Plantation?

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