Towns in Massachusetts are voting within their own borders to ban Cannabis. Even though the state vote in November 2016 was for legalization*, these bans defy that popular vote. How can this be and why would we let this happen? I can give you a possible common sense answer to those questions and why those votes to ban Cannabis sales should be ignored.
The image of the stoner has become an accepted stereotype. You’ll always see the Cannabis user portrayed as bumbling, stupid and forever hungry. Cannabis smokers are assumed to be criminals and lowlifes. When a Cannabis fan speaks, they are often dismissed and brushed off as comic relief. As a result, the Closeted Cannabis users remain in the closet, out of sight, out of mind. These doctors, lawyers, CEOs, Government officials stay under the radar because they fear the social judgment.
Cannabis legalization opponents suffer ZERO negative repercussions from their “activism”. Opposing Cannabis legalization could even earn one kudos from oblivious supporters and organizations that also oppose legal Cannabis. Where are the local, weed smoking Pro Cannabis activists? On a local level you won’t see very many. Because Cannabis use is still considered unsavory, speaking out at Town Meeting to support Cannabis might not be an option for most people. Fear of that judgment and ridicule could be enough to squelch the Cannabis fan. Even the loss of one’s employment is possible.
Cannabis Users must accept they will be profiled and mocked as the Anti-Cannabis sheep go for the low hanging fruit and appear to be heroes.
I’m sure there are opponents of Cannabis that truly believe they are doing the right thing. The campaign against Cannabis has been going strong for over 75 years. Mind control like that takes time to wear off. My fear is the true and effective Cannabis opponents are motivated by something else.
These anti-cannabis crusaders believe a Cannabis ban is protecting our children. Apparently, Cannabis is the “gateway drug” that will lead our youth directly to opioid addiction. Utilizing stats “created” with data collected by medical professionals, all fingers point to Cannabis. Their clean charts and spiffy graphs tell a fearful story those medical professionals need you to believe.
You see, Cannabis is a safe, low cost, easy to grow, highly effective medicine. Maybe opponents of Cannabis fear a big hit to their Pharma-heavy stock portfolios. If Cannabis use becomes more common, most users will find less need for high profit prescription drugs. The Healthcare system is so bad in this country, Cannabis users resorting to self medication will find low cost relief without profit hungry drug companies. Yes, Big Pharma is the big loser here and you can bet your bottom dollar they fear the reduction in profits.
Another big loser if Cannabis is legal: Alcohol.
Many people might choose a Cannabis high over an alcohol buzz. They might prefer being more in control or not feeling like crap in the morning. Maybe they fear the curse of alcoholism or the health issues associated with alcohol consumption. Alcoholics might even use Cannabis to wean themselves off of the booze. Additionally, “potheads” might prefer to stay at home to enjoy a smoke more often, frequenting bars and restaurants less. Anything that threatens the current rate of alcohol consumption will certainly be challenged.
I would hate to think these anti-cannabis crusaders are motivated solely by the fear of profit loss. Banning Cannabis makes no sense to me but I completely understand greed. I also understand that a successful anti-cannabis campaign will certainly make the architects of said campaign look pretty good. A real feather in their cap, nothing looks better on the ole résumé.
Westborough’s Anti-Cannabis Temperance Movement
Click the picture to view their Pot Watch shows.
We, the Cannabis Users, may never be taken seriously. As long as the Stoner stigma exists, Liquor sales are strong and Big Pharma is allowed to make millions from their products there will never be fair Cannabis legislation. As the facts about Cannabis begin to surface and the true nature of the Anti Cannabis movement is exposed, only then will Cannabis users be able to speak out without fear of social persecution and a fair Cannabis vote be possible.
* MA Cannabis Legalization Vote results: YES 53.7 NO 46.3