Happy Danksgiving! If you are a fan of cannabis, or even just a fan of legalizing cannabis, there are many things to appreciate this holiday season:
Weed is winning! Right now, there are 33 states that have enacted some form of cannabis legalization. Oh, and you can buy legal weed in Canada. And Mexico’s supreme court has declared cannabis prohibition to be unconstitutional. North America is pretty much kicking all the ass when it comes to ending cannabis prohibition. Listen: If Utah (UTAH!) and Oklahoma can pass a medical cannabis law, then EVERY STATE can pass a medical cannabis law. And while I am not super thrilled with how some states are rolling out their laws (I really don't understand how people are expected to buy cannabis without being able to smell the weed. IMHO, smelling the weed before you buy it is one of the best ways to know what you are getting. Bring back deli-style dispensaries!), not going to jail for possessing a plant is one of the best feelings in the world. Being able to walk around with a fat sack in your pocket and not having to worry about being hassled by law enforcement does wonders for the blood pressure.
I am also grateful for all the activists that have ever existed. If you have ever gone to a protest, offered court support, signed a petition, talked to your elected officials about legalization, or even just smoked some weed in a state where weed isn't legal, thank you. We need activists. If you are new to the cannabis game and want to learn the history of cannabis activism in the USA, read up on the early heroes: Jack Herer. Brownie Mary. Dennis Peron. Valerie Corral and W.A.M.M. Ed Rosenthal. Ben Masel. These are the people that risked life and limb, went to jail, and faced down the feds in order for you to be able to walk into a cannabis dispensary and complain about the lack of selection and the high prices. There are more people to thank: The late great Mickey Martin. Don Duncan and Debby Goldsberry and Etienne Fontan from the Cannabis Action Network and the Berkeley Patients Group. Don E. Wirtshafter in Ohio. Vivian McPeak, Stacey Bloch, and Sharon Whitson and all the folks at the Seattle Hempfest. This list is hella incomplete. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world working to end cannabis prohibition, and I am grateful for every single one of them. This world will always need activists. Thank you for stepping up.
To everyone that used to be against cannabis legalization, but has changed their mind and now supports cannabis: Thank You. It takes a lot to admit you were wrong. Overcoming 80 years of propaganda and misinformation is a big deal. Thank you for being open-minded.
I would also like to thank the cannabis plant, both the recreational and the industrial varieties. For thousands of years, this plant has given mankind medicine, pleasure, and a bevy of industrial uses. Without hemp, The US would have lost the American Revolution and World War II. Hemp is amazing and environmentally friendly. In this age of mass pollution, extreme climate change, and over-reliance on the petrochemical industry, it is good to see hemp becoming popular and legal again. Big ups to all the doctors and scientists that keep finding more ways for medical cannabis help those suffering from debilitating conditions. May the people that could be helped by cannabis receive safe access to all the cannabis they need, without punishment or imprisonment. I would especially like to thank all the growers and breeders for creating newer and even more delicious ways to get a good buzz. Big ups to Berner, Bushido, Greenshock, Frenchie and Duchess, Project CBD, and all the cultivators and extract makers around the world.
This journey toward cannabis freedom has taken a long time, and we still have a long way to go. The federal government began the prohibition of cannabis in 1937 and it has taken nearly 100 years just to get the freedoms we enjoy now. Even if we manage to do away with federal prohibition of cannabis, there will always be those people that will work to stop our progress. As my friend Roy Kaufmann says: Battles never stay won. I am thankful that there are people willing to fight for what is right in the face of astronomical odds and the threat of imprisonment. It takes a lot of gumption and chutzpah (Happy Hanukkah!) to think you can take on the federal government and win. I am thankful for every single person that has ever worked toward cannabis freedom, no matter how briefly or how well. Now, please pass me the cannabis-infused yams.