In what’s surely to be a horror story for cannabis consuming football fans, a man who lives on Vancouver Island was denied entrance in to the country – making him miss the Super Bowl he had tickets for – because of a prior cannabis possession charge. The charge was for 2 grams, and happened over 30 years ago.
Even worse, the chances of him obtaining his Super Bowl tickets to begin with were one in four million; Myles Wilkinson gained his tickets through a fantasy football contest, where over four million people attempted to win the same prize.
The simple existence of synthetic marijuana should send a loud message to the public and elected officials. When our policy pushes people to a chemically-laced alternative to a non-lethal plant, simply so that they don’t face arrest for the safer substance, we have a fundamentally flawed law.
For those who may be unaware, synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to by the brand names of Spice and K2, is a mix of dried flowers/herbs which is sprayed with a mix of chemicals that are designed to artificially stimulate the body and brain in a fashion similar to cannabis.
It doesn’t work.
Still, people have continue to use it, despite its potential health risks. In 2010, over 11,000 people were sent to the emergency room over the use of synthetic marijuana. Miscellaneous 78 percent of those were under the age of 30.
California’s Harborside Health Center, featured on Discovery Channel’s Weed Wars and boasted as the largest medical cannabis safe access point in the country, has release a Dr. Seuss inspired video, titled The Haag.
The video, which was sent out in a press release, uses Dr. Seuss style animation and rhyming to summarize the current travesty of our medical cannabis policies, as well as the attacks on Harborside’s clinic, which has faced continual attempts to be shut down. The title is in reference to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, who has been one of the guiding forces in attempting to close the dispensary.
“We could’ve made a documentary that showed how stressed out and worried we are, how petrified our families are, not to mention our employees…Being in the cross-hairs of the feds is scary as hell. But one of the powerful lessons that cannabis has to teach us, one of the healing properties of the plant, is the sense of humor that it brings out in us–the childlike quality that should be a part of our adult lives and is often lost in our modern and hectic world. Cannabis can help restore this and that is the spirit in which ‘The Haag’ was made”, said Dr. Andrew DeAngelo, Director of Harborside, in the press release.
By Steve Elliott, Seattle Weekly columnist, and author of the Little Black Book of Marijuana
“You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” ~ César Chavez
If we, as cannabis activists, finish the job we’ve started, we could be the last generation that has to live under the onerous sway of old-style “Reefer Madness.”
Make no mistake about it; we have our work cut out for us. Lots of people, even in the 21st Century, harbor some enormous moral judgments about marijuana and even those who legally use it as medicine. We are given to understand by these anti-pot reactionaries that we should somehow feel guilty about the relief and enjoyment we get from using this beneficent herb.
As a legal medical marijuana patient and activist myself, I’m offended by the moralistic, judgmental, and willfully ignorant tone of the anti-marijuana propaganda to which we’re subjected on a regular basis. Cannabis users have become one of the few groups upon which it is still considered “OK” to project damaging clichés and stereotypes which have little to do with reality and a lot to do with outmoded anti-marijuana hysteria.
While most of us wouldn’t think twice about calling someone out for making an overtly racist or sexist statement, few of us are as willing to confront anti-cannabis prejudice when we encounter it. Just remember: Failing to confront and correct ignorance isn’t very different from supporting it.
Cannabis law reform has gained a tremendous amount of momentum in the past several years, specifically in 2012, when historical statement votes were made in both Colorado and Washington. The political atmosphere has shifted in drastic fashion, and we’re winning.
As the battle wages on, here’s a state-by-state look at efforts across the country to fight against this failed prohibition.