Marijuana prohibition is one of the worst public policies in American history. I have challenged people to debate me on that for years, and no one ever has a sufficient comeback. That’s not a coincidence. It’s hard to debate against the truth. Marijuana opponents will try to frame the issue a different way, by talking about legalization rather than prohibition.
What’s the difference you ask? When I ask people what marijuana legalization should look like, I get all kinds of answers and visions, and rarely are they shared by everyone. Marijuana supporters start arguing over what, if any, regulations should be in place and the whole conversation takes a turn for the worse. Marijuana opponents know this. That’s why they never approach the issue from a more logical standpoint – marijuana prohibition is a failure and it should no longer continue.
When the issue is framed that way, just about every marijuana consumer and supporter in the nation can get on board with no further discussion. Marijuana prohibition has failed, therefore we aren’t going to do it anymore. Period. I felt that way before the economic downturn. Now that we are in the midst of an ongoing economic crisis with no end in sight, I feel even stronger about my views. I feel that with dwindling public resources, we need to question every expenditure to make sure it is a cost-effective use of tax payer dollars. Any educated person can do a cost/benefit analysis on marijuana prohibition and tell you that it is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of economics.
Luckily for my fellow Oregonians, I am confident that we are going to get the chance to vote to end marijuana prohibition in our state. Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement has gathered over 90,000 signatures for Initiative 24 in Oregon. According to my math, if signatures come in at the same rate, I-24 will be on the ballot by the deadline. If we can get enough donations from TWB readers, I can go as far as saying I GUARANTEE I-24 will make the ballot.
I want to explain to people why Oregon has arguably the best chance to end marijuana prohibition before other states. This is not to say that other campaigns aren’t worthwhile, because they are. It’s my dream that multiple states pass marijuana reform in the same election. What I’m trying to say is that Oregon is different. Oregon was the first to decriminalize marijuana. Oregon was the first to reschedule marijuana. Oregon has already passed industrial hemp legislation, Oregon was the second state in the country to have medical marijuana, and Oregon has always been a leader in regards to the initiative system. There’s a reason why political scientists call the initiative process ‘the Oregon system.’ I can say first hand that Oregonians love marijuana, and we love democracy.
Unlike other campaigns from the past and present, Oregon’s I-24 does not draw the same criticisms about the details in their initiative. Proposition 19 in California was voted down largely because members from within the marijuana community were very vocal about some of the details. We are already seeing the same thing in Washington. Colorado is already used to being heavily regulated, so their initiative has a better chance in my opinion, but there are still a lot of people out there that have voiced concerns over some of the details.
Oregon’s I-24 has not, and will not, get those same criticisms. Marijuana opponents are frustrated when they see the campaigns approach, because they know if voters are asked to vote yes or no on ending marijuana prohibition, the answer will be a resounding yes. Marijuana opponents know that their ‘divide and conquer’ tactics are not going to work in Oregon in 2012, and they are scared. The only thing that can stop I-24 if it makes the ballot is a lack of awareness. TWB readers can help spread that awareness by making a donation to I-24.
You may think to yourself, ‘but Johnny, I’m not even from Oregon.’ Hear me out. If one state is able to end marijuana prohibition, people will see that the sky didn’t fall in that state, and will be more likely to support similar reform in other states. As I pointed out earlier, Oregon has a stellar chance of winning, and in my opinion, the best chance. So whether you live in Oregon, Idaho, Kansas, Guam, etc, if you support the end of marijuana prohibition, you should support Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement with a donation. If the campaign wins in Oregon, the strategy will be spread across the nation, including your state.
Today is April 20th. Make a donation of $4.20, or $42.00, or $420.00, or beyond. For the price of two bong bowls you can make a real difference in the world, I promise! If every TWB reader donated a dollar a month, we would have enough money to run campaigns in several states. If every TWB reader donated $4.20 a month we would have enough money to run campaigns all over the country. IF SOMEONE WITH A LOT OF MONEY WANTED TO GIVE TO THE VERY WORTHY CAUSE OF ENDING MARIJUANA PROHIBITION, WE COULD END IT IN OREGON IN NOVEMBER, GUARANTEED. Peter Lewis, George Soros, Richard Branson, I’m talking to you (nudge nudge).