These are strange and actually wonderful times. For many the pipe is still half full and for others, the pipe is losing its fire. While everyone may be talking about medical marijuana, the few that count refuse to acknowledge the subject and do something about it.
In California, this past week, two bills that would have lessened the heat and made the competition for Medical Marijuana Bowl favor our side a little, came up short. Even with that defeat, activists still have hope and are searching for dollars and signatures.
What I find most hopeful, leading me to believe that the pipe is going to smoke no matter what, is that the straights are coming out for medical marijuana.
When medicine, science or law enforcement step up and state their rational, qualified opinion, usually drawn from years of experience, on why either the ‘War on Drugs’ is a waste or the medicinal benefits of the plant is for real, it has more resonance with a skeptical public.
When the person who looks like none of the others stands up for the cause, that’s when the cause is take more seriously.
In case you weren’t aware, you can ask a direct question of our president via YouTube. As stated in the rules, the question with the most American interest will be answered.
|LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing has been on the front lines of a war that he finds impossible to win — the war on marijuana|
That’s why it was so disheartening that President Obama refused to respond to the recently-asked, most popular, question put forth by retired Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief of Police, Stephen Downing, concerning medical marijuana and the futility of continuing the War on Drugs.
I rested my hope and idealistic vision on Deputy Chief Downing with his years of experience and the fact that’s he’s not a stoner. Far from it. He’s a man who has been on the front lines of a war that he finds impossible to win.
His background is a testament to the history, mostly the failings and short-comings, of fighting a war that frequently hurts individuals who otherwise have never broken a law. I thought that if such a high-ranking officer with forty years of experience spoke, it might be one of those tipping points we’re waiting for and the rest of America might actually follow.
But President Obama refused to take the officer’s question.
Just like he did in March of 2009 when the president smirked and refused to take the number one vote getter, a question asked about cannabis. At that time he laughed and said, “I don’t know about this on-line audience.” Like anyone who would put forth that question would be a stoner.
But not this time. This wasn’t a stoner asking a question. It was a man of knowledge and experience. Why is our President avoiding, ducking, trying his best to avert the marijuana legalization question?
This is what I think: It gets back to Big Tobacco.
There is a demon that lurks inside the White House. I’ve heard stories about late night walks and around the corner stealy-butts; it seems that our president can’t shake Lady T like he could that wacky tobacco.
It is on public record that President Obama inhaled and liked his weed like any other college kid. Then he quit.
Not so with tobacco. He can’t quit that.
What if he was asked in a national forum, “How is it that you were able to stop smoking marijuana but cigarettes, you can’t: Which would you say is the more addictive?”
And that’s it.
Cigarettes are worse than cannabis, second-hand smoke is killing our children, our President is still smoking the legal weed and yet refuses to discuss the irrational illegalization of a relatively harmless, natural plant.
|Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco|
Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at jackrikess.com.
Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.
His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.
He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.