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Honestly, I’m Not Trying To Be A Radical When I Say, “Legalize It. Now.” 2013-Apr-12 at 16:45 PST

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From Legalize It, Poll Shows, by Scott Clement, 2013-Apr-04 (my italics):

By 52 to 45 percent more say marijuana should be made legal than not, with support for legalization jumping seven points in two years and 20 points since the 2002 General Social Survey.  Last November, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found the public split 48 to 50 percent on whether to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use. And 51 percent of registered voters supported legalization in a December Quinnipiac University poll.

The rapid change matches an increase in usage – in the new poll, nearly half of Americans report trying marijuana at some point in their lifetime (48 percent), up eight points since 2010 and also a record high. More people who have smoked in the past year say it was “just for fun” than any medical issue (47 vs. 30 percent), while 23 percent say they smoked for both reasons.

OK, the jig is up. Or the gig is up. Or maybe they’re both up, I don’t really know (really, I don’t). But half of us “puritanical” Americans have smoked the sacred herb. So, the thing… it’s up.

Half of us have smoked marijuana and come to the conclusion that it didn’t invite Satan into our worldviews, it didn’t put poor Billy in an insane asylum (and he was such a good boy before he tried it), it didn’t have everyone in some afflicted small town running around tearing their clothes off and humping each other frantically, or whatever happened in Reefer Madness. (I still haven’t seen it. Yeah… I should.)

Half of us. Seriously. Soon, it’s going to be more than half. Just look at the percentage increases in people who have tried it… the number is only going up.

That’s why I’m not a radical about this.

I have one question for all of you: how high does the number have to go? Is 50% not enough? Does it need to get to 60% for you to feel comfortable legalizing it? Does it need to be 70%-30%? Higher still? Whatever your number is, is fine by me. Mostly though, I just want to know that you have an answer, that you’ve thought about it and you have an answer that feels right to you. Whatever number you have for this is your number.

For me: 50% is enough. We’ve proven that the world didn’t collapse because of it. We’ve seen that some people are more drawn to it than others, which makes it different from every other experience in the world exactly… not at all. We’ve seen that the trendlines are all going up, anyway, so even if you did pick 60% or 70%, it’s not a question of if, it’s just a question of when, so if you’re already reasonable enough to say 60% or 70%, be one more step reasonable and do it at 50%. C’mon. The water is fine. Jump in.

And, again, entheogens are a real thing. These are substances that have a helpful effect on our Awakening (when interacted with sacramentally, rather than recreationally… not that there’s anything wrong with that). Cannabis is one of those substances. I support the legalization of all entheogens, and I understand that we’re not quite at the same place with, say, MDMA, that we are with marijuana, where half of us have tried it, but we can move forward right now on marijuana.

We can get it done really quickly at the state/province/region/sub-nation-sized thing, and therefore bring attention from the local level up to Brussels and to Washington to move this forward.

As for early experiences… I live in Washington State, and I have to tell you… no frantic group humping.

Well, so far, anyway.

 

And… the kids know who Molly is. And they like her. A lot. The times they will be a’changin’ on that, faster than you think. The Internet speeds all of these movements up now, which is the same thing as saying: Consciousness is raised faster than it used to be because the Internet exists. In three generations we went from printed books and handwritten everything-because-there-were-no-computers-of-any-kind, to we-all-carry-a-computer-on-our-persons-at-all-times (and frequently more than one). Of course the information spreads faster and helps us grow faster.

So… seriously, I’m not trying to be a radical when I say: the numbers for this thing are all in the right direction, they’re accelerating, they’re not ever coming back down, MDMA is coming right behind it, trending in a similar fashion. Let’s just stop the nonsense and admit that marijuana is OK. And maybe even admit that it’s better than alcohol.

Except when you’re trying to get really, really drunk. Alcohol is better at that.

 

And, of course, I have to get to the punch line, which is, again: cannabis is an entheogen. The spreading of the use of entheogens is a good thing for getting the accelerating speeding-up of collective consciousness that we all want. And, even if that’s not your thing, you don’t have to get in the way of those of us who are playing our fun little game of Waking Up.

Legalizing cannabis will help some of us who are playing that game to raise our vibrations. Simply maintaining a raised personal vibration is a huge contribution to the collective right now. Guilt, and Worry, and Doubt, we have enough. Feeling the Present Moment, staying in Joy and Grace, we all need to start hitting above the Mendoza line with that. Our #1 job is really to make sure we stay positive, that we stay hopeful, that we receive our experience with understanding, and with gratefulness, and with Grace. If cannabis helps you to establish and maintain that, and to retrain your nervous system for deeper and deeper Peace, then you should have it.

And if it doesn’t, or you don’t want to use it, cool. But there’s no reason anymore to be in the way of it.

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Alcohol worst drug overall 2010-Nov-15 at 19:09 PST

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From Alcohol ‘more harmful than heroin’ says Prof David Nutt, 1-Nov-2010:

Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack when the overall dangers to the individual and society are considered, according to a study in the Lancet.

The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former government chief drugs adviser who was sacked in 2009.

It ranked 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.

Heroin, crack and crystal meth were deemed worst for individuals, with alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine worst for society, and alcohol worst overall.

The study by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs also said tobacco and cocaine were judged to be equally harmful, while ecstasy and LSD were among the least damaging.

This is an attempt to take a multi-perspectival approach to Britain’s overall drug policy and enforcement.  Among the things that such an approach would have to look at would be both the individual toll and the toll on society around the use of each drug.

When this group used exactly that approach, they found that alcohol clearly was the worst drug in terms of its overall effects, ranking near the top in individual harm, and ranking well above all others in terms of its negative effects on society.

By the way, Ecstasy, LSD, and Mushrooms were three of the four least damaging drugs in the study.

If we’re going to develop an Integral perspective on drug policy, this is the kind of study that we need to sanction and support here in the United States and around the world.  And we’d do well to listen to the… sorry, got distracted by some woman in a tight shirt selling beer… results.

California makes marijuana possession just an infraction 2010-Oct-02 at 00:31 PST

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I love it when the news conspires with a topic I’ve been talking about.

From California Reduces Its Penalty for Marijuana, by Jesse McKinley, 1-Oct-2010:

A month before California voters decide the fate of a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that essentially puts those caught possessing small amounts of the drug on the same level as those caught speeding on the freeway.

“The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in a statement that accompanied his signature. “In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.”

It’s not quite decriminalization, but it’s a step in the right direction, and it’s a model that other states can adopt on their way to eventual decriminalization, and eventually legalization.

Legalize it? Integral will. 2010-Oct-01 at 08:29 PST

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Bill Piper is the Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

From Sooner or later, marijuana will be legal, by Bill Piper, 28-Sep-2010:

Even though police made more than 850,000 marijuana arrests last year, a recent government report shows youth marijuana use increased by about 9 percent.

Supporters of the failed war on drugs will no doubt argue this increase means policymakers should spend more taxpayer money next year arresting and incarcerating a greater number of Americans. In other words, their solution to failure is to do more of the same. Fortunately, the "reform nothing" club is getting mighty lonely these days — 76 percent of Americans recognize the drug war has failed; millions are demanding change.

In the almost 40 years since President Nixon declared a war on drugs, tens of millions of Americans have been arrested and hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent. Yet drugs are just as available now as they were then.

The racial disparities are appalling. As Michelle Alexander so eloquently shows in her new book, "The New Jim Crow," a drug conviction automatically makes a person a second-class citizen who can be legally discriminated against in housing and employment, denied school loans, and barred for life from serving on juries, accessing public benefits and even voting. While African Americans make up only about 13 percent of the U.S. population and about 15 percent of drug users, they make up about 38 percent of those arrested for drug law violations and a mind-boggling 59 percent of those convicted for drug law violations.

Even if Proposition 19 loses, it will only be temporary. Support for marijuana legalization is growing, and not just in California. Legalization will happen. It’s just a question of how many lives and tax dollars will be wasted before it does. Some vested interests, of course, will fight change until the bitter end. Progress has never been accepted by everyone.

The Boomers failed to get this job done, but the Integral movement will.  The financial, social, and criminal costs involved, and the obvious failures in this "war", are too great a contradiction to be ignored for much longer.

An Integral perspective allows us to consider the difference between substances that are entheogens (like marijuana, MDMA, LSD, ayahuasca, and mushrooms)  and those that are not (like cocaine and alcohol) and to view the use of those substances with more discernment than previous generations have been able to summon.  We’ll bring research and an understanding of these substances, from all quadrants, into crafting new policies that welcome those who wish to explore different aspects of consciousness through these lenses, and yet still prevent behaviors that impact society negatively.

By the way, the word "entheogen" means "God inside us".  Is that clear enough?

You should be able to trip, but you shouldn’t be allowed to drive when you do.  After all, stop signs can have a funny way of remaining the same distance away no matter how close you get to them….

Yet another group of cultural creatives comes out behind marijuana 2010-May-20 at 08:46 PST

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This time it’s the chefs.

Marijuana fuels a new kitchen culture, by Kim Severson, 18-May-2010

“Everybody smokes dope after work,” said Anthony Bourdain, the author and chef who made his name chronicling drugs and debauchery in professional kitchens. “People you would never imagine.”

“There has been an entire strata of restaurants created by chefs to feed other chefs,” Mr. Bourdain said. “These are restaurants created specially for the tastes of the slightly stoned, slightly drunk chef after work.”

Just one more reason that decriminalization will be coming soon enough.  What the Boomers didn’t accomplish in this regard, the Integral crowd will.