Monday, July 06, 2015

Is Pot Legalization The Next Gay Marriage?

Five years ago, a gay couple in the U.S. wanting a full legal marriage could do so only a in handful of states. In the rest of the world, there were only a few countries - mostly in Northern Europe - where a gay marriage could be celebrated.

Today gay marriage is becoming universal.

Today in this country if a newly married couple strolling down the street wants to share a joint to celebrate their union, they can do so only in a handful of states. In the rest of the world, there are only a few countries, mostly in Northern Europe, where people can freely and legally smoke marijuana.

Tomorrow, full cannabis legalization may become universal.

While the players are different and the politics not the same, the similarity between the two revolutions is remarkable.

With both, there were half-way measures.  Civil unions united gays, but it wasn't marriage. Medical marijuana programs allow some to smoke, but it isn't freedom for all. Just as "separate but equal" failed to provide racial justice, civil unions and medical marijuana fail to provide full access to what should be one's rights under the law.

Both involve arbitrary laws that assume false realities. Denying gay marriage limited the freedom of as much as ten percent of the population. Denying use of cannabis limits the freedom of the whole population.

This limit to our freedom may change. A majority of Americans favor full legalization. In Congress. members in both parties are calling for full legalization of cannabis.

As the 2016 election approaches, Democrats may realize that pot legalization initiatives will draw Democratic voters to the polls. Republicans may decide to beat them to the punch and legalize it before they can attract the new voters.

One can only hope.

And this insanity called the drug war can come to an end.


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