Jun 052012
 June 5, 2012

ObamaThe Two Weeks That Changed Everything

When Election Night 2012 rolls around, and multiple states have legalized marijuana by larger margins than they voted for President Obama, we will look back at the last two weeks of May and say that we saw it coming.

In the course of fourteen days, Democratic voters in Oregon and Texas soundly rejected heavily favored prohibitionist candidates in races which drug policy was seen as a defining issue. Excerpts of a new biography of President Obama were released, detailing young Barak and his friends’ involvement with marijuana use and culture in Hawaii. And a national Rasmussen poll showed support for marijuana prohibition accelerating toward total collapse.

Dwight Holton, scion of a Virginia political family, with strong national support, and a significant fundraising advantage, was supposed to win the Oregon Democratic Primary for Attorney General easily over former appeals court judge Ellen Rosenblum. But activists seized on Holton’s decision as the former US Attorney for Oregon to authorize raids on medical marijuana growers in the state, and his outspoken support for marijuana enforcement overall to turn marijuana into the “defining issue” of the campaign.

And while polling in the days before marijuana’s emergence in the campaign showed Holton with a small but significant lead, one month later, Holton lost in a landslide, 65-35%.

Two weeks later, and 2,000 miles away, on the Texas-Mexican border, eight-term incumbent congressman Silvestre Reyes lost 51-44% in a Democratic primary to Beto O’Rourke, a man who not only supports the legalization of marijuana, but who recently co-wrote a book critical of US drug policy. Reyes, the second most senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is a dyed in the wool prohibitionist. He consistently attacked O’Rourke for his stance on marijuana, including an over the top “save the children from the legalizers” TV ad, to no avail.

Meanwhile, excerpts from David Maraniss’ upcoming biography of President Obama show a young man who, by the terms of the prohibition that he now supports, could have easily had his life and future derailed, not by marijuana, but by a misbegotten policy which casually and regularly destroys young people in the name of saving them.

Obama’s past marijuana use was not a revelation, he had freely admitted to it before. But the vividly normal picture that Maraniss paints of Barak and his friends puts the hypocrisy and destructiveness of our current marijuana laws in stark relief.

“In fact,” Maraniss writes, “most members of the Choom Gang were decent students and athletes who went on to successful and productive lawyers, writers and businessmen.”

Finally, there was last week’s national Rasmussen poll.

1,000 likely voters were asked whether they would support regulating marijuana like alcohol or tobacco. 56% said they would support regulation, with a stunningly low 36% opposed. This follows on the heels of last year’s Gallup poll, which, for the first time, showed a majority (50-46%) in favor of legalization. Just six years ago, Americans opposed legalization by a 36-60% margin.

Americans are not only rejecting prohibition, the pace an intensity of that rejection is increasing. A shift that once looked like it would take decades has instead happened in just a few years, and now looks likely to reach a decisive crescendo over the next few months.

This summer, Americans will hear lots more about the failures of marijuana prohibition as voters in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado prepare to vote on ballot initiatives that will turn the new cultural zeitgeist into a new governing reality. Based on the polling trend, the next five months may well turn a close question in three western states into a cultural landslide that will alter national policy completely. That would shock a lot of folks, but those of us who are paying attention now will look back on the events of last two weeks of May and say that we saw it coming.

About Adam J. Smith

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1256601115 Wade Holman

     Nicely done, Adam.  I can smell the change from here!  Oh wait, that’s my garage.  Keep ‘em coming!

  • medimary

    great article! thanks!!!

  • Jetdoc

    I’m very anxious to see what the landscape looks like as far as States that allow Medical marijuana after the 2012 elections. All we need is 9 more States to approve Medical marijuana and we can NULLIFY the Governments prohibition of marijuana.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Tokareff/1181624926 Raymond Tokareff

    B F T

  • Luke

    I would love to see legalization happen, but I think the author of this article is being WAY too optimistic. There’s no way real change is going to happen in the next few months. The support just isn’t there yet. It will be one day soon, but it’s going to take a lot longer than 4 months.

  • nm_lonewolf
  • http://www.facebook.com/OklahomaWeed Oklahoma Weed

    You see there “we the people” are in charge, and BY GOD we are going to stand. Do not fear your politicians for they should fear you instead.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/OZFDOY7KTFSCU746VIG4RSEYZI Dan

      Mission Statement: To bring an end to cannabis prohibition in 2013 by gathering signatory members through promotion and declaring our rights through the document, “Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users”. Giving prohibitionists reasonable opportunity to affect appropriate, timely and agreed upon change and, if necessary enforcing our rights in a peaceful way. After April 20 2013 adopting a zero tolerance for acts of brutality and injustice by prohibitionists.

      The laws regarding cannabis were born on the wings of lies and pampered by propaganda such that now the tightly held belief systems are going to have to reckon with the desire of all humanity to live with dignity, free from the oppressive tyranny that ignorance and bigotry have spawned.

      http://www.change.org/petitions/all-elected-represenitives-and-the-united-nations-recognize-the-rights-of-cannabis-users

  • Clint

    If you take the time to read the book, “Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease” you will become a strong supporter of marijuana legalization. Science has shown that the unique chemicals produced by the marijuana plant mimic chemicals our bodies produce to discourage and interrupt the rise of diseases such as cancer and dementia.

  • Faith

    awesome article thanks for sharing
    http://get6packabsnowathome.blogspot.com/

  • pamella

    i believe and hope this will take place . we need to beable to take care of our sick and make the option, to let THEM make a decision, if they want this herb or not.  should have never gotten out of our hands and into the governments… it has been hard to take it back into ours again. please be vigilant and vote for the right person to take care of OUR needs..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=753217666 Samuel Crabb

    It is a plant, what RIGHT at all do they have to tax it. I’m all for Legalizing it, but they can’t tax it, I didn’t know they invented it or supplied it, neither was it discovered by any American, better yet what is an American, ah A Native Indian American, but you killed off most of them right.. See, there’s been Corruption ever since the founding of America when they said they discovered it.. Hell I’m Australian, we did the exact same thing, so I’m Guilty. But back to my point

    It Grows on its own free will, Its Mother Natures, and if Mother Nature is illegal, well…

    • Lunarcat

       Tobacco is a plant & that is heavily regulated & taxed.  Nobody can buy so much as a single seed of tobacco unless they have an allotment to grow it.  Pot could be done the same way.  I’m willing to pay tax on pot.

    • Jasonwhitmore

      dude you hit the nail right on the head there mate totaly agree with you,but on 1 point there is the tobako industry tobako is a plant,therefor why tax it ? alcohole can be fermented naturaly,just leave a bucket of apple to go over ripe and wala you have a prity good cider lol,again why tax it,but still taxing weed would give states a good foot hold on the econamy and it would be a damn site cheeper than buying from the dealer on the corner of your street,and not only that i would be able to grow it without the fear of arrest ;)Â
      Â

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=753217666 Samuel Crabb

        I don’t want it to be taxed because of Corruption. That money will disapeer and the people will never see it. It’ll be taxed, prices will go through the roof and then they’ll put a monopoly on it, everything the Government touches, they destroy, we cant let them win

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Correia/100000849476222 John Correia

    I think it’s a joke that any Republican can sit there and say they are for prohibition. Lincoln the founder of the republican party himself thought the idea of prohibition was totally against the very principles of what make you an American. And it’s true! NO real American would be involved in a war on people for what they personally consume. It’s become madness to the upper points of lunacy.Â

  • http://twitter.com/Coinspinn3r Coinspinner

    Deo Volente, sir. Â

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WM6JDMPLCLTDO3WYBDQKIPPHHY Robert

    All Obama supporters get off your asses & contact the president immediately, let him know how we feel about this matter !!!