Why have so many states already made small amounts of cannabis a misdemeanor but hold onto keeping it illegal? The answerer is money and nothing else. Cannabis, weed, marijuana, whatever you want to call it already has the government involved in the weed business; unfortunately it’s in the wrong way.
Any American law against weed is not just anti-American capitalism but also anti-cultural integration. For 20 some odd years of my life I’ve always been cautious and paranoid, which has kept my ass out of any jail - especially when the only bad thing I do is weed related as far as the law is concerned. Recently I found myself caught with my guard down. I got caught with a DWB (driving while brown) that lead to a misdemeanor possession charge. Now hear me out and tell me if I’m paranoid but I’m sure it is what it is.
I work in various states of the great Northwest for my regular job. States like Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. States like these give you a feel for Mr. and Mrs. American Apple pie as you drive and see free range cattle ranches, coal plants, agriculture facilities and long train cars full of goods and decorated with beautiful graffiti.
I was towards the last leg of my 2 week trip driving from Gillette, Wyoming to Boise, Idaho. Driving down the I-80 heading west, having already passed one check point that had a bunch of semi-trailers pulled over on each side of the highway I thought I was in the clear. Now keep in mind this whole time I was in cruise control going 78 on a 75 mph highway. Right after I passed the checkpoint I celebrated with some fine green. Now to pack a bowl when driving one does tend to make a mess, so there was shake all over my cup holders.
About half an hour after my encounter with the checkpoint there was a cop behind me, mind you I’m still in cruise control going 78 on the 75 mph highway. I already know I’m in trouble as the cop sped up to catch up with me but figured I was okay going at a controlled speed. The officer got behind me than pulled up to the side, after he saw who was driving he pulled back behind me and that’s when I saw his lights flash on.
The cop came up to my passenger side door and asked for license and registration. Unfortunately I knew my wallet was in the center console right next to my weed and fumbled trying to get (this raised his suspicion and my fear since I got pulled over going 78 on a 75). He asked what was my rush and told me he clocked me at 80 but when I said I was going 78 he said “Oh, you must have been going downhill or something” — there were no hills there at that time and place.
I finally got my wallet out without flopping out the weed but then he asked if what he saw on the cup holder was marijuana. Being that I was on a desolate highway and already pulled over for a bullshit reason I was honest and cordial, if I was going down for some bullshit let it be as a righteous man.
He then had me step out of the vehicle, frisked me, and placed me in the back of the van. He had a drug dog Labrador on him that he brought out to sniff the car and found nothing. Then he proceeded to tear into my company vehicle. Luckily for me everyone that needs to be is aware of what I do, perhaps not to the extreme that it is but they are aware I am a Buddha Head. With that said I still have only told 1 or 2 people what happen at my work and non of them are my boss, if need be I know the boss will let me take some time off to handle this like I said everyone knows I’m a Buddha head just not to the extreme.
I presently write this under duress with stress as I smoke my sess. I waited a week to call and now have to meet the following obligations. One is that it is mandatory that I show up to court. For what I ask you? Just to plead guilty to a crime that shouldn’t be, especially for 2 grams, a grinder, and a pipe. That is called personal use. So according to the State of Wyoming, smoking herb is not a priority but when we catch you’re going to need KY. It’s sad when the state, counties, parishes of America (whatever or whoever benefits) benefit from the persecution of people based off an irrational, racially biased un-American law.
But I digress. Number 2, the date. On my ticket the officer wrote August 12, when I called to see if could just plead guilty and pay a fine I was informed at that moment by a very short tempered woman that I had to appear on the 20th, apparently they couldn’t read the officer’s handwriting on the ticket and sent a letter of change to the wrong address. Unfortunately for me the 20th is bad because I have work obligations on the 20th and 21st, so now I have to write the Judge and present my case as to why the 20th is not good for me. I hope this doesn’t become a one way streak where it’s only convenient for the courts.
Third issue. After confirming the time and place, I need to hope I have the funds the get there. If I can’t find transportation and than a hotel for one night I might as well say “Fuck it”. I mean there is that thing called life. More than likely I’ll make it there, since it’s a legal obligation which will incur me legal debt that will get paid off no matter what job I have simply because they can take it out of my paycheck. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s; in life we incur many debts from credit cards, vehicle loans, and that towards the government. The government debt is the worse since it they can and will take it back but that 300 dollar credit debt I have to Target can wait until I actually get the funds, debt to corporations equal bad credit score and a stern letter, debt to the government equals legal mumbo jumbo. A misdemeanor is one thing but to have a bench warrant is another, I need to get this handled before it becomes the latter.
Last but not least, once all this is done, I have to hope this doesn’t affect my present or future jobs. The irony here is the cop pulled me over for going a normal speed on a highway and then I could get fired for just being the average joe.
Marijuana use is nothing new in technical to non-technical fields but the fact is there are no guarantees no matter how good you are, there’s only you and you’re sleep at night. As long I strive each day I think things will be okay, its just that a lot of times it can be a pain in the ass. My wife asked me what would happen if I had to go to jail, I said “You’ll be rich, I’ll be a martyr”, she didn’t like that answer.
Personally I’m too big of a pussy to be a martyr but you gotta do what you gotta do to take care of business. I’m not saying lay over and let the government f’ you whenever convenient but a lot of times being calm, respectful, and peaceful when all they want to do is spit in your eye is a stronger message that can be heard if done right.
Again, I ask why is marijuana a misdemeanor in so many states? Is it because when certain people get power they know the truth in its lethalness and very little of its profit other than profiting from crime, which is a moral crime in itself.
As I contemplate my predicament and the future it holds, it’s hard for me to get over any of the repercussions soon to come. The ridiculousness of doing time for marijuana let it be for 2 grams or 2 lbs (the amount is inconsequential) or the fact that this punches me financially via cost to appear, time off from work, and worse case scenario even losing my job. In America as individuals we are not protected from doing time physically or financially for a crime that shouldn’t be a crime committed.
Government and the states profit from marijuana by creating a crime by making it illegal when it should be a store front business. There is nothing more American than marijuana as a legal business, from growers, clippers, magazines, store fronts and paraphernalia Americans are profiting and going to jail at the same time for something consider unimportant. When you make marijuana a criminal issue you make a mockery of any good out of our political system.
Smokers and non-smokers need to reconsider why marijuana is illegal in the first place; a racist law because it was written and driven by racially motivated individuals at a time when people of color were starting to be recognized as equals.
At this point of the why is marijuana illegal debate or why it should be legal I’m calling out all those who consider themselves grownups with the best interest of their children in America: I’m here to say that it that you should legalize merely for the fact that America is still racially biased, especially as this law exist. There is something wrong with this in a nation that says “All men are created equal”.
Instead people of color, people of faith, people like you and your neighbor still fear sounds of sirens that result in wrongful prosecutions for something that shouldn’t be illegal. I know more than people of color are affected by the law and the sounds of sirens and that’s the other reason it should be legal, this law that was created out of fear of races has expanded to include all colors and all of them are American.
How many people sit in prisons now across various states for something more than I was caught with? How many dispensaries raided have ruined the lives of not only the owners and workers but also the patients of those establishments, let us not forget cannabis is medicine. Or how a-holes like me have gotten busted while traveling across our beautiful country only to have their lives ruin by possessing a small amount i.e. Chris Diaz.
Things are a lot better than they use to be, hell we got a black president but as we get older one realizes presidents are just political celebrities with no clout but to say “Yes we can”. Instead it takes one man like Harry Anslinger to forever hurt America by dividing it but who can fix it? Rescheduling of it would be a start.
Even though we have a black president there will always seem to be a racial divided as long as marijuana, cannabis, weed, whatever you want to call it is illegal. I can attest to this for the mere fact of my recent DWB in Wyoming with the future implications it holds on my personal life.
I’m going to bounce back, hell its going to make me stronger but not everyone is pig headed or too dumb to know better like me. When we’re taught we’re bad people for believing in nature, believe in something natural given to us by whatever god you believe in than we have problems as human beings.
Not everyone is like me, it’s easy to snap when you care and on some days I don’t get enough credit for not snapping but the same can be said for people everywhere. If you don’t get mad at least once a day than you’ve never waited in traffic for 2 hours for a 10 minute drive and if that’s the case, good on ya’ but for the rest of the world we all need a little down party time, weed is the answer for something not destructive to us as human beings.
States that don’t have medical marijuana have figured out that the consumers are not a threat to anybody but themselves, where freedom of choice becomes revenue for that state or county if you get caught. Why do state legislatures and back-woods cops insist on prosecuting law abiding citizens via bad cannabis laws?
When one arrests a person for cannabis, you’re not arresting a criminal; you’re arresting a parent, a part of the work force, you’re arresting an American doing what is natural. The only problem "caring" politicians have had with medical marijuana are that shop owners should be making a profit (Can you say Harborside), that’s anti-capitalism. Everyone from the glassblowers, growers, pipe shop owners, gardening stores, to dispensary owners are just normal people who want to go to work and not be viewed as some sort of outlaw.
Dispensaries should flourish like liquor stores have in L.A, like coffee shops in Washington, State. Dispensaries are not the enemy but a solution. They should be just as common as coffee shops and liquor stores, unfortunately they are never given a chance. As far as I know no dispensary has gone out of business due to lack of business, perhaps maybe because of bad business but not because of no business.
Marijuana, cannabis, whatever you want to call it is as American as apple pie and natural as air. Next time somebody asks you why you're so adamant to legalize it ask them if they know of any other law that would immediately join the free-market, create a revenue for its local economy, decrease crime by making law abiding citizens no longer criminals and decrease the prison the system as well, all in one fell swoop.