January 7, 2011

Not Time to Relax by David Brannon

Here's another article to get you think about pot in our society from one of BakedLife's favorite guest author's David Brannon.

When Jack Herer set down the story of how hemp became an outlaw, he named the
players, placed them in their roles, and showed how greed and racism combined to make
criminals out of most of today’s cannabis users. Jack’s explanation illustrates one of the
recurring themes of our little world – the question of who is going to make the rules; more
importantly, who makes the rules that apply to me? This question is central to pot’s continued
prohibition. Since the truth is known yet cannabis remains illegal it’s hard to avoid the
conclusion that the whole issue is (1) who makes the rules, and (2) who obeys.

For a terribly long time now mankind’s ancient friend, the cannabis plant, has been a
hunted outlaw. To change this we must take on what, in my youth, we called the establishment.
While messing with these guys is always fun, stepping on the wrong toes can turn into an
exercise in self-destruction. The people who think they are going to make the rules just hate
finding out otherwise.

A culture of accommodation surrounds cannabis today With a little bit of forethought,
decorum and learning how to shut-up, especially when in public, cannabis is, for many, legal
in practice, though not yet in fact or law. Our culture has its own magazines, websites, and
comedians. We are just like every other subset of people in the world. Except we are called
outlaws, which seems odd, since there are more of us than there are of them. Do you know
anyone who actually opposes the responsible use of cannabis?

For a long time our culture of accommodation protected us. It shielded us from a hostile,
lied-to world, gave us a place to study and explore the plant, and time to figure out just what we
were about. Times change. Everything is in flux, once again. Our culture of accommodation is
hamstringing our efforts towards legalization.

When the recent California initiative failed, some of the “credit” for the loss belongs to
the Governor’s shrewd move changing the criminal status of small amounts of pot late in the
game; some credit belongs to people who don’t care about the issue one way or the other; but
some, maybe a lot, of that loss belongs to a culture that gets its’ pot needs taken care of and sees
no reason to rock the boat. For these non-actors arguments about prices going down make them
smile, but not get off the couch. Thoughts that legalization might help reduce the violence in
Mexico is nice, but meh . . ..

Our culture of accommodation must not be allowed to make us miss the chance that
is coming and may already be here. Political life is about to get a kick in the ass. Everything
seems to be in play. We must keep pushing our cannabis issues. We must not surrender our
recent gains and our good initiative. We are already seeing change. We have to keep on till we
win full legalization.

And, in the end, we will win, because we are the ones telling the truth. We have to
be brave and smart and find ways to turn the silent majority who live quietly in the culture
of accommodation into faces at rallys, letters to the editor, and more votes for enlightened

Stop hiding. Come out for cannabis. Love and strength to Marc Emery.

[Note to the Federal Bureau of Prisons: Fix your Marc Emery situation. Send him home.]

Contact: Bakedlife@gmail.com

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