It’s High Time We Legalize Cannabis Federally
Recently the news has been all abuzz about President Biden’s blanket pardon for all people incarcerated in federal prison for marijuana possession. It’s a welcome gesture, but, make no mistake, it is a minuscule gesture, and more symbolic than substantial. The pardon was only for people the feds have convicted of simple possession, not for selling or for growing pot, and only around 10% of those in jail for marijuana possession are in federal prison. About 90% of the people in jail for possession have been imprisoned by individual states, and are not subject to the Presidential pardon.
Certainly for all those being freed and their families, Biden’s pardon is significant, and it’s an important first step to get the national conversation going, but we have a long way to go when it comes to real cannabis justice. According to The Last Prisoner Project, over 40,000 Americans are still in prison for cannabis.
The vilification of this benign and beneficent plant and the people who use, grow, and sell it continues, despite more and more studies coming out that show its efficacy for so many maladies that plague us, from stress, to neurological disorders to global warming to cancer. Morning shows tout segments on the dangers of marijuana between segments on fun summer cocktails and the health benefits of wine.
The Mendocino Experience is a tour company. Our roots are in tourism. Before we created our cannabis farm tour company, we worked for companies doing San Francisco city tours, Muir Woods tours, and California wine tours. We don’t sell weed. We never have. What we offer are excellent fun informational tours of organic family cannabis farms in beautiful Northern California cannabis country to adults who seek them out, and only those who go out of their way to seek us out.
Very simply, our tour company is not allowed to advertise.
Even though our cannabis tour company is on the front page of Google when you search cannabis farm tours, and even though we have tons of 5 star Google reviews, we are not allowed to take out Google ads.
Our YouTube page has beautiful videos of people enjoying our cannabis farm tours, and an educational series on the history of cannabis, among other excellent content, but our content can’t be monetized.
You can also find all kinds of 5 star reviews of our tours on both Yelp and on TripAdvisor, but you’ll notice there is no red “Book it here now” button attached to our TripAdvisor page.
We also have a Facebook page with thousands of weed tour photos, videos, and informational cannabis blogs, but we can’t take out Facebook ads, and we have hundreds of beautiful pictures from our weed tours on Instagram, but we can’t take out Instagram ads.
In fact, Instagram has shadowbanned us, making our content invisible to anyone who doesn’t directly follow us.
Because we present information on cannabis. We don’t sell cannabis, we talk about it, and although the Constitution guarantees us that right, the government has found a way to outsource censorship.
The First Amendment does not require private companies to give us a platform, but do you really believe they don’t want our ad revenue? Do you think that Viator, the 800 pound gorilla in the tourism industry, doesn’t want 25% of every tour we book through their red “Book it here now” button on TripAdvisor?
Of course not. They can’t take our money because they are afraid the government will take away their banking privileges if they take money from a business that gives pot tours.
Even though we don’t sell one iota of weed in a state where it’s completely legal to do so, we educate and inform our guests about cannabis in a country where free speech is the ultimate right in our Bill of Rights, the U.S. has found a workaround to force 3rd parties into denying us a platform to exercise those basic rights on the all powerful internet.
While the majority of states have legalized cannabis in one form or another, why does the federal government continue to criminalize it?
Haven’t we been pussyfooting around the subject of federal cannabis legalization this enough?
This month, as OPEC+ chokes the flow of oil to the world, to make despots, murderers, and terrorists like Vladimir Putin and Mohammad bin Salman richer, while driving inflation ever higher, and the free world continues to kiss their collective asses because they have the entire planet by the short hairs, shouldn’t we legalize the plant that has been a much loved and highly beneficial boon to mankind since the paleolithic era, villainized through lies and propaganda, and made illegal by the greedy oil barons of the early 20th century because it offers an alternative to fossil fuels?
As we are plagued by stronger storms, longer droughts, deadly heat waves, and all the other ill effects of climate change, shouldn’t we be planting more of this beneficial plant that removes CO2 so efficiently from the air? A single acre of cannabis can remove as much as 15 tons of CO2 from the air in a single year, and as a building material it can reduce the carbon footprint of construction even more.
As we find more and more medical benefits of this plant in study after study, showing it helps epilepsy, fights cancer, and frees people from opiod addiction, as well as a plethora of other important medical uses, isn’t it time we change the federal legal definition of this plant from a plant that is legally defined as having “no accepted medical use”? All these medical studies are in the news now, but make no mistake, we have always known that cannabis was a useful medicine. It has been in every medical pharmacopoeia for the last 5,000 years, including the United States Pharmacopoeia. It went into the US Pharmacopoeia in 1850, prescribed for many of the uses that current studies are newly “discovering”, including alleviating opiate addiction. In 1942 cannabis was removed from the United States Pharmacopoeia, not by doctors, but by politicians – against the objections of the American Medical Association.
When former anti marijuana crusaders like John Boehner are getting rich as lobbyists
for big corporate cannabis, and there are still over 40,000 American citizens in prison for weed, isn’t it high time we demand the federal government put an end to this oppression of our citizens?
It only takes two thirds of the states to ratify a change in our actual Constitution, our very founding and supreme legal document. Well over half of our states have legalized cannabis in one form or another, and the majority of our citizens believe pot should be legal.
It’s high time we demand our government listens to the will of the American people, and finally legalizes cannabis once and for all!