On September 10, the first United States hearing of reconciliation of state and federal laws on marijuana took place, with little to no reconciliation of laws, or opinions for that matter. The simple fact that this hearing was held at all portrays how much the movement has become a visceral issue to the American people. It shows there are those within the government, however outnumbered, still fighting for the American dream; still fighting for the voice of the people.
Those passionate about the purpose of this hearing stated their intentions, and federal leaders for the continuation of this antiquated marijuana prohibition were put to question. Important topics such as the interaction of banking industries and pot retailers, and whether it would be allowed moving forward, were discussed with no avail. While continuing to claim that persecution of personal or medical marijuana use was low on their list of priorities, James Cole, Deputy Attorney at the Department of Justice, wouldn’t rule out the option of prosecuting people for something as simple as smoking marijuana. This continuing dance around the real issue is no longer hiding the true intentions of the government but rather showing all, that they have no intention of making a true stance one way or the other, and for good reason.
Allowing the current state marijuana laws to function while not technically ending prohibition is giving ultimate control of this emerging industry to the Federal government in a very deliberate, back alley, and dishonest way. They have made it obvious they will do everything in their power to sidestep the issue and not make any clear decisions until all cards are on the table. This is the action of the American government. The people have entrusted the direction of this country to the hands of men that feel inaction is an appropriate response to one of the largest rising American issues in recent history. To be clear, said issue is not the debate of recreational use (which is also an important civil rights issue) but the fight for the free use of hemp and marijuana, in non-THC forms, (fighting cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease etc.) for every American citizen. While over half of the United States feels strongly about decriminalization of marijuana, government leaders sit back and wait.
Legalization of cannabis in all forms has been the goal from the start. However, decriminalization is what must happen first lest Americans find themselves falling into another government-run industry, i.e. Big Tobacco or Big Pharma. “Big Marijuana” is a very real possibility. By passively allowing certain states to continue on with a federally illegal business, the Feds can choose to intervene when it becomes convenient. They can dictate the functionality of the business and create or end regulations to suit their needs, since these business’ are still technically illegal in the eyes of Federal law. By maintaining the federal prohibition of marijuana and allowing these pot retailers to continue undisturbed, the Federal government has indirectly made this industry temporarily legalized within these states. However, without cannabis first being decriminalized, the people are being given a false image of the status quo. This deception is designed to relax the government’s opposition in the masses while continuing to allow the banking industries to deny accessibility to new uprising cannabis driven business due to its illegality, therein crippling their growth. This could spawn from a desire to see this movement fail before it begins, or it could be from the need to dictate every aspect of this billion dollar industry of which the government has currently lost control. Whatever the motivation may be, all are being manipulated by the very men elected to fight for every individual voice.
The inaction of our government in this matter is an absolute failure of our entire congressional system. They are failing the American people and showing the rest of the world that the moral bound, truth-seeking America that once fought for the voice of the average man, is now choosing to stifle that same man’s needs with the money hungry, power seeking desires of rich men. If one man can call for prohibition of marijuana, then one man can call for its end. This game of cat and mouse is tiresome and incredibly transparent, not only to American citizens, but more importantly, the rest of the world. If our government has any of its original passion for individual freedom left, it will do the job it was created to do in the first place: call into action the majority decision of its people.