And Then Along Comes Mary

The debate on marijuana has been long and tedious. Who knows when it started, but the alcohol industry had a much better lobbying group in DC when it comes to legalization than the marijuana industry. It may be historical. People have been turning everything they can get their hands on into alcohol from the start. It may have been due to health reasons. The Pilgrims stored one gallon of beer per person per day on their trips across the North Atlantic in the 1600’s. They couldn’t trust the quality of the water, so they cooked it, and there ya go, beer.

What is widely viewed as the first real test of Federal Authority and the U.S. Constitution, small farmers in western Pennsylvania decided to fight the government in the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion. Payable only in cash, an excise tax was levied on all distilled spirits to assist in lowering the new country’s debt. Of course, the big anti-alcohol push came in 1920 with Prohibition. Do-Gooder Temperance groups really got their acts together. After nearly a century of fighting booze, these groups were successful in getting Congress, and then the states to enact the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol. They did this to curb murder and crime.

Hello Al Capone et al. Thanks to this long-developing movement, an entire underground industry of manufacturing and distribution of illegal alcohol was created. Speakeasy’s popped up all over the country, bathtub gin in private homes, and like life itself, people found a way to continue drinking – except it was illegal. This in turn, created more murder and crime. One thing led to another and the very things that the 18th Amendment was created to erase turned into a boom boom bang bang industry. And thus the 21st Amendment was born.

December 5, 1933, the only time an Amendment has been repealed, alcohol was made legal once again. While it still creates it’s share of societal problems, it is a big industry that helps pay for all of the services we expect form our government through taxes. We are inundated with advertisements to drink this and that, and we even rank colleges for the best party schools. The Princeton Review annually publishes it’s Top 10 list, with this year’s #1 school being the University of Georgia, in Athens. Not surprisingly, this does not well sit with their Administration, nor do the students of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks agree. Failing to make the list (realistically, how many high school students put UNDGF on their wish list for schools?), these people claim that less studying goes on there, than any other school in the country. I’m certain that their Administration and faculty are really really pleased to read that.

Which brings us back to marijuana. There are lobbying groups who work towards the ultimate legalization of the wacky weed, but illegal it remains. Or does it. California is #1 in production of cannabis sativa by nearly a 3-1 ratio over surprising #2 Tennessee. The main push for legalization has come through medical marijuana. Again, California leads the way in this boom business. Get a medical doctor to write you a prescription and you are on your way to happyland. Albeit, happyland is a relative term for cancer patients who legitimately seek relief with a few short hours of less pain than normal. Unless you are in that pain, it is difficult to criticize these individuals, only surmising what they are enduring.

And then there is Washington, D.C. itself; the District. According to various articles, DC is set to release a report on Friday detailing plans to assist poor people who can not afford medical marijuana. I have obviously missed some stops on this train. Somehow, we have quickly moved from Federal laws that prohibits the weed in all forms – period, to relaxing laws via California for medical purposes. And now, proposing government assistance to buy weed. DC and 14 other states have laws for medicinal usage, but non have a clause for the financially challenged.

This proposed law will not take effect until 2011, but it sure puts a different spin on the entire marijuana controversy. Won’t it be fabulous to see and hear how Fox “News” will report this issue. Considering that they edit at will, creating their own stories within stories, and basically blighting their own little piece of the cable spectrum, it should be entertaining to see how they spin this story. This in itself is interesting because, probably of all the people on the planet, Fox “News” aficionados really do need weed to assist them in some heartfelt enlightenment.

Of course, these people will rant and rave and rail against the evils of this green leaf devil, all the while sipping a scotch or two straight up. Keep your eyes open on this one. Or is it, breathe deep and exhale slowly.

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Episode 2: Occupy Wall Street

Episode 3: 999! The Cain Train to Prosperity

Episode 4: Small Government

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Episode 8: Don't Make Me Use the "S" Word!

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