Marijuana has been a political football since before football was invented. Entire books, documentaries, and vast canons of scholarship have been devoted to this topic. You could spend a lifetime reading about it, and I’m neither qualified nor inclined to take a deep dive into any of it here.
Suffice it to say that since the early 1900s, criminalizing and propagandizing marijuana has proven an expedient way to discriminate against brown people and immigrants on the back of specious data and science; quash political dissent; bolster the private prison industry; and eliminate the threat of competition to other, equally-if-not-more dangerous vices like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription opiates and pharmaceuticals—all of which have powerful corporate lobbies in Congress.
Today, eight states—including California and my home state of Alaska—have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and medical marijuana is broadly legalized in some 20 others.
In other words, the majority of the country now allows people to use marijuana in some form, despite it remaining illegal under federal law and federal enforcement against states subject to the whim of any given administration.
Which is where the KKKeebler Elf comes in.
The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Sessions has (not un-ironically) followed in Nixon’s footsteps by cracking down on weed yet again. He’s rescinded Obama-era memoranda easing up on federal enforcement against state-legalized marijuana and the burgeoning marijuana industry.
This is a terrible battle to pick, emblematic of this administration’s disastrous governance and inability to choose winning or socially valuable causes.
We are living in a divisive era when everyone disagrees about everything. But perhaps with the exception of hard core evangelical Christians, even the most politically and socially divergent citizens, politicians, and scientists want to eat pot, rip tubes, and roll up a big fat blunt anytime they good and well fucking feel like it.
Marijuana is insanely popular among rednecks, hippies, and everyone in between. The Republican Senator from Colorado, a state that has seen its coffers explode with weed tax profits, is pissed. So are all the “states’ rights” people—again, on the right side of the aisle—who are staunchly opposed to federal intrusion and “overreach.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I use recreational marijuana the way many women have a glass of wine in the evening or go out for a cocktail with their friends on occasion, and I am not the least bit ashamed or afraid to admit it. Personal use marijuana is legal in Alaska, constitutionally since the 1970s, and statutorily in retail form since 2014. It has medicinal properties that help me with anxiety, depression, mood, and autoimmune problems.
The “reefer madness” stigma ship sailed decades ago, and KKKeebler’s half-assed attempt to bring it back stinks like bong water on a carpet. There is way too much money and interest invested in marijuana, and people are simply not going to stand for Jeff Sessions bogarting their joints.