Most of our laws work very differently for wealthy people and people battling poverty. Wall Street executives that endanger the world's economy don't see any jail time, but someone shoplifting to help feed their family just might. Same is true, if not more so, when it comes to our marijuana laws. Everybody loves Willie Nelson, the iconic musician, but if he were William Nelson, working-class construction worker, with the same number of run-ins with the law, he probably would be serving a prison sentence. When you add in people of color, you see even more disparate treatment. Personally, I became a cannabis law reform advocate because I witnessed first hand my middle class white friends treated better than my black friends when police were making marijuana arrests.
It is great to see someone relatively wealthy, like travel guru Rick Steves, recognize that we have a different set of marijuana laws for the rich and the poor in America. It is even better, that he is willing to travel the world, speaking the truth about this injustice. Steves was instrumental in both Washington and Oregon legalizing cannabis and he is taking his common-sense message for justice to California at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference on February 15th & 16th.
Smell the Truth's David Downs recently published the second part of his extensive interview with the world traveler, author and TV & radio personality:
StT: How long will it take for politicians to catch up to where people are this issue?
Steves: Well, we have two different countries right now. I've traveled all over the country. Look at the East Coast. They just can't hardly believe how far along we are and in their world it feels like they're still behind. They're on the dark side of the moon. I think that's going to change very quickly and I think after 2016, once California legalizes, and a couple other states will go along with it --- it'll be easier because it's a presidential year --- I think it will be pretty hard to deny the fact that prohibition of marijuana is on its way out.
Right now there's still the hope that it can be rolled back. I'm really thankful we passed in Oregon and Alaska, but we really need California on-board
Downs' entire piece is certainly worth reading and I urge everyone to spread Rick Steves' interviews far and wide. Steves has a folksy way about him that appeals to middle-of-the-road voters and he can even charm conservatives. The more that his pragmatic, sensible message is heard by the masses, the better. More and more voters are beginning to understand that our marijuana laws are unfair and a complete waste of resources, regardless of how they feel about marijuana or those that use marijuana. And eventually, the truth shall set us all free.