Do you ever hear politicians talk about not wanting to support marijuana reform because it’s ‘political suicide?’ In my home state of Oregon, it was a phrase thrown around a lot during this year’s state attorney general race between Dwight Holton and Ellen Rosenblum. Dwight Holton, as well as the mainstream media in Oregon that endorsed him, dropped that phrase so many times I can’t even count.
Holton even stated the phrase in a mass e-mail he sent out to his supporters, claiming that since Ellen was aligning herself with the pro-marijuana community, she had no chance of winning…How’d that work out for you Dwight? Last time I checked, even your home state of Virginia was making fun of you for getting dominated so hard!
Yesterday, the marijuana community scored another victory when anti-marijuana crusader Silvestre Reyes lost to pro-marijuana reform candidate Beto O’Rourke. The reform community has been working with Mr. O’Rourke for a long time, to the point that I would go as far as saying that Beto O’Rourke doesn’t just support the reform community, he’s part of the reform community. I know that he has been working with Students for Sensible Drug Policy for awhile now.
I also know that O’Rourke has received a lot of support from the National Cannabis Coalition, a leading national marijuana reform advocacy group. I’m so happy to see him win and Silvestre Reyes scrambling to figure out where he went wrong. Maybe Silvestre Reyes needs to take a look at the campaign ad he put out bashing Beto O’Rourke for O’Rourke’s views on the drug war…
First Steve Cooley went down in California, then Dwight Holton got thrashed on Election Day in Oregon, and now Silvestre Reyes loses, all of them running on an anti-marijuana platform. With the election season starting to heat up, how many other politicians will come out against marijuana reform and lose? How many of them will stay mum on the issue now because they are scared? How many politicians will change their tone and support marijuana reform because they see it as a viable way to win elections now?
For so long the marijuana movement has been pushed aside and written off as a bunch of ‘lazy stoners that don’t vote or do anything.’ Those days are gone. The losses to Cooley, Holton, and now Reyes are not a coincidence. The mood of the general public is shifting. People that were marijuana supporters in the shadows are coming out more and more everyday. The marijuana movement is more organized than ever before thanks to the internet and the rise of social media. Organizations like the National Cannabis Coalition are making strategic moves in campaigns across the nation.
The marijuana movement has a winning recipe, which has been proven not once, not twice, but three times now. The marijuana movement is a force in politics now, whether political analysts and/or anti-marijuana politicians want to recognize it or not. I would kind of prefer that we keep getting discredited because it allows us to lurk in the shadows and win elections undetected. Every political strategist and/or candidate can underestimate us all they want, and much like Silvestre Reyes is doing today, they can then reflect back and try to figure out what went wrong with their failed campaigns. The marijuana community will always be lurking, looking for the next election to get involved in. We are just getting started, and all politicians need to be on notice.
I always relate the marijuana movement to the American Revolution. Marijuana activists, much like our founding fathers, don’t have as much ammo as our opposition. Our weapons aren’t as fancy as our opposition’s, and we aren’t as organized. However, we have more passion, and most importantly, we have truth and justice on our side. We will fight for what’s noble, and unlike a hired opponent who is fighting for a paycheck, we will fight with everything we have until the end of prohibition is acheived.