As 2017 draws to a close, we look back with fondness on a year filled with joy, laughter, and good times; a year of sharing, love and—ha ha! No, not really. 2017 was a deranged fever nightmare of unprecedented poisonous despair, with heartbreaking loss and division. Many good things, including cannabis, are under attack from the horror-show assclowns running our country.
On that note, thank whatever goddesses you pray to that we have cannabis. No, seriously, thank them. Because without it, this column wouldn’t exist, I’d have a William S. Burroughs-sized smack habit, and then things would start breaking bad. Extremely bad.
Ever read a year in review? Ever read a year in review while high? Burn (or vape, or dab) one down, and let’s get started. (With respect to the Beastie Boys, Wiz Khalifa, Cypress Hill, Aminé, and Ludacris.)
• My posse’s gettin’ big, and my posse’s gettin’ bigger. A record-high 64 percent of Americans now support recreational cannabis programs, and that’s reflected in our voting trends as well. In 2012 Washington and Colorado passed our nation’s first adult-use cannabis programs. Since then, six more states—Oregon, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Maine—have joined the ranks of the danks, as has Washington, DC (although Maine’s regulatory structure has hit some roadblocks).
• I smoke weed, ain’t nothing wrong, my money good and my money long. As a nation, we really, really enjoy our cannabis. 2017 broke all expected sales numbers, with the ArcView Group reporting that sales will hit $10 billion by the end of the year. That’s up 33 percent from 2016’s sales figures, and 2018 is expected to have an even greater jump, as California begins its recreational program on January 1.
The taxes from that $10 billion are paying for hundreds of programs and services. Of course, very little of the money made it into business bank accounts, because our banking laws still consider it “drug money.” Funny how once the states have collected taxes from that same drug money, the banks have no issues depositing it. #creditunionsrule #bankingreformnow
• Forward motion make you sway like the ocean, the herb is more than just a powerful potion. A growing chorus has risen from unlikely corners that the federal government needs to recognize that cannabis is true medicine. The American Legion—not exactly known for its liberal leanings—voted in August to ask the current administration to allow doctors at the VA to discuss medical cannabis with their patients, and in states where there are existing medical cannabis programs, to suggest its use to patients. Considering the wide range of life-threatening service-related ailments our veterans continue to face, you would think this would be a no-brainer.
• You can never make America great again, all you ever did was make this country hate again. Trump is no friend to Mary Jane, and shifty-eyed KKKeebler Elf/Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants everyone who partakes to crawl off and die. Sessions spewed so many horrible lies about cannabis this year, I was hard pressed to just choose one. But this was my “favorite,” from back in March when he spoke to federal, state, and local law enforcement: “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly, once again, that using drugs will destroy your life.” (Rebuttal? Fuuuuuuuuuuck yoooooooou.)
• If you locked in the box, keep making it through, do the time, don’t let your time do you. We keep arresting and incarcerating people of color for cannabis offenses at a far greater rate than we do whites. (According to an ACLU study in 2013, African Americans were nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis possession.) This needs to stop. In 2017, NO ONE should be put in a cage because of a plant.
Some cities, such as Oakland, have set aside half of their cannabis licenses for people who either have a cannabis conviction or who resided in one of 21 police districts with an “overabundance” of cannabis-related arrests. Oakland non-profit the Hood Incubator (hoodincubator.org) assists minority cannabis entrepreneurs through training and mentoring.
For 2018, let’s wish for peace, prosperity, and an end to cannabis prohibition for all.