April 20th (420, 4/20 and 4:20) became the international symbol of the celebration of marijuana use as an act of public defiance against marijuana prohibition. It was furtive at first, but with increasingly public defiance.
Over the almost four decades since it began, “420” has become vastly bigger and more open, but it remains essentially a one day celebration. Now the time has come for us to move beyond having just a one day party and make it a month of defiance, planning and mobilization for however long it takes to take back our freedom.
One of the things I have said often in speeches and written about is that the best two-word explanation for marijuana prohibition is bad journalism. You’ll hear that again, and again.
There are so many examples of that. Don’t get me started.
I remember, for example, when I was at NORML, there was a really terrible article in The Washington Times which tends to specialize in articles about marijuana in particular. So I called up the reporter and said, “Could I send you some material that contradicts the party line?” She said, “Oh, I’d love to see it, but that, you know, there’s really no point in it. I was just given this assignment. I probably will be writing about it again.” But what I had to do was to call the drug czars office and get them to say something. And that was journalism dealing with marijuana. You know, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. And this went on for decades.
Oh, surely now, isn’t that an overstatement? Mass murder? After all, it’s a complicated subject, and we need to be careful about it.
I would double down, and say NO, in fact, it is actually a huge understatement and it would be obvious if so many of our institutions weren’t morally, intellectually, scientifically, medically, journalistically, politically, ethically and spiritually bankrupt. (Did I miss anyone?)
Right now we are living (and/or dying) through a pandemic that is the result of the failure of virtually all of our institutions, and if we cannot now see how this is happening, then it’s only a matter of time before we will all lose our freedom, if not our lives. And we cannot blame a virus.
The whole context of family communication around the topic of cannabis is one that is fraught with tension, one might say. I could help if everybody got stoned first, but that’s the whole topic, isn’t it? How do you talk to your children, or grandchildren? Not being the marrying kind, I don’t have any grandchildren. But, one of the great things about having been involved with the marijuana reform movements over the decades is that I actually occasionally get to meet these “young people” they’re called. Yes, that’s it.
Going to college campuses and debating narcs was one of the more enjoyable aspects of being involved with the issue.