So, another Presidential "electronic town hall" thingie has come and gone, and again, by an overwhelming majority, the people who submitted questions were interested in talking about when we're going to do something about the totally fucked-up legal situation with cannabis. And again, as predictably as the dawn follows the nighttime, the response of Serious People (those who deigned to notice, anyway) was to point and laugh.
Look the reason this keeps happening is that there are lots of people who are made into 2nd or 3rd-class citizens by the law as it stands, really a lot of them, and they are victims of horrible injustice. And they can't get anybody to fucking listen. The cannabis laws have exactly the same moral force as would laws that tried to dictate how and when you could have sex, or how and when and where you had to pray. Which is to say, some negative amount: such laws are evil, and in a free society moral people have a duty to change them. Yet when people try to make themselves heard about this (remember how computers were going to empower people to affect big institutions, like government, that weren't paying attention?) we get shitty comments from the mouthpieces of approved opinion like
When President Barack Obama tonight takes voters’ questions submitted via YouTube, the marijuana lobby could be his toughest audience.
Look, I am not the fucking marijuana lobby. I am an American citizen who risks jail time for minding my own God-damned business, because too many of my fellow citizens can't be content to mind theirs. And anyway, the "marijuana lobby," such as it is, has got to be the most anemic, half-assed, ineffectual bit of lamery in American politics today, with the individual factions intent on claiming sole credit for every little amelioration so that they can poach membership from the others. I laugh biliously every time I hear some drug warrior talk about the "powerful, unified, well-funded" legalization effort. But I digress.
And don't you dare tell me that I don't really risk imprisonment because "nobody goes to jail for pot." Tell that to the judge, asshole, it'll be news to him. If you've got 10 grand ready cash to buy your way into an "intervention" program you can avoid a criminal record, but in the best of circumstances getting busted really, really, sucks. If you have never been busted then you are not qualified to have an opinion about this so just STFU and learn this by heart: being arrested is being oppressed. We have to save that oppression for people who need it, and that doesn't include pot smokers.
Oh, and what happened to those people, the ones who wanted to make themselves heard? They got blown off. Again.