We’ll get to the “Free Markets Cannabis Act” below – first a Veterans Day flag note.
Flags are signs. The flags of the US Armed Forces show the story of each branch; for example, the year of our rebellion, 1775, emblazons the center of the US Army flag, highlighting a principle of our political heritage: force precedes morality.
The past two weeks have seen an interesting warm-up to reforming our cannabinoid (pot) laws, and it reads like an autumn assault on federal complacency:
- 22 October: “Gallup Poll Finds 58% of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization,” Jacob Sullum ~ Reason
- 26 October: “Why Pot Legalization Is The Most Important Issue Voters Face This Election,” Nick Gillespie ~ Huffington Post (Reason)
- 30 October: “Why It’s Always Been Time to Legalize Marijuana,” Katrina vanden Heuvel ~ The Nation
- 31 October: “The Reality of Permissive Pot Laws,” Steve Chapman ~ Chicago Tribune
- 31 October: “Special Issue: Marijuana Wars,” The Nation
- 1 November: “Pot Goes Legit,” Reason Magazine
- 2 November: “DC on Fast Track to Decriminalizing Pot Possession,” Ben Nuckols ~ Boston Globe
- 4 November: “New International Study: Herbal Cannabinoids More Effective Than Pharmaceutical Cannabinoids,” National Institutes of Health ~ The Weed Blog
- 6 November: “Colorado Voters Approve Hefty Taxes on Marijuana by Large Margins,” Jacob Sullum ~ Forbes (Reason)
- 6 November: “Measures to Legalize Marijuana are Passed,” Dan Frosch ~ New York Times
270 + 51 + 1 = Free Markets Cannabis Act
Now, how to harness that energy for political change: something like the Free Markets Cannabis Act (FMCA) would clear the federal way for making cannabis legal again (it’s only been illegal, federally, since 1937). Loving Congress the way we all do, perhaps a one sentence law, in honor of veterans, would be best; laws, like military commands, should be clear and easy to understand. The ratifiers of our Constitution knew this and intended laws to be read and easily understood – not interpreted by lawyers and courts – interpreted and understood by We the People.
For the legal language in FMCA, here’s a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) offering: “Cannabis is legal (again).”
Politically, if we want end pot prohibition, and a Gallup number of 58% foretells of this coming change, We the People will not want to include much federal regulation in our FMCA. We need 270 “Yes” votes from the current number of Representatives in the US House; that being the facts on the ground, we’ll need to be as free market-based as possible for the Republican majority.
In the Senate, 51 votes to end the ban on herbal cannabinoids seems easy compared to the 270 in the House; yet, if those two things happen, a President Obama would gain nothing politically from being against such a thing as cannabis is legal (again).
In our post-Gupta age with pot’s legitimacy growing, we’d be wise to let the states and locals handle the cannabis issue – they’re already doing it – and we might see something akin to alcohol’s wet and dry counties develop. Plus, federal income tax revenues will likely increase (free markets do that) and we’ll save money by lightening the nonviolent drug offenses burdening our judicial system – mostly at the local level.
Is that Victory? It’ll look something like that even if the language is a little different. Changing a federal law has a known and constitutional pathway. Creating that change involves many unknowns, one of which is sort of clear: in 36 months we’ll have a new President and Commander-in-Chief. That’s when we’ll know if the seeds of change blowing around today grow into a new cannabinoid law for We the People.
Happy Veterans Day Everyone ~ Peace-up!