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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

A new kind of green party

Green is truly what’s in. The recent passage of Proposition 203 in Arizona, and the near passage of Proposition 19 in California, have made an interesting blip on the radar and signify an unexpected acceptance of the ganja. Although Proposition 203 only allows marijuana to be used legally for medicinal purposes, it is still a clear sign of the acceptance of marijuana in the broader culture, and as some hope or fear, it is a step toward eventual legal recreational use. 

This was the tidal wave that many Californians were hoping to ride when they first passed California Proposition 215, and then recently attempted to pass Proposition 19. Although Proposition 19 was unsuccessful in legalizing marijuana for recreational use, it still managed to gain significant support that has encouraged many of its proponents to make the push again in the next election cycle. One thing’s for certain: Green is certainly trendy.

The growth in the acceptance of marijuana usage is certainly creating enough of a buzz to make the push to legalize the drug entirely. There are now roughly 15 states that favor the usage of the drug for medical purposes, and activists in California have even expressed an interest in making the recreation legalization movement into other surrounding states. So basically, “”The potheads are coming, the potheads are coming!””  

With that, it will be quite interesting to see the pushes for and against the usage of the drug. Will all the stereotypical marijuana smokers come out in full-fledged hippie gear, endlessly espousing that marijuana is not a drug? Look, we get it, you like weed; stop hitting us over the head with your thoughts, which should be re-categorized as ideas you came up with while high (high-deas?). On the opposite side, will hard-pressed anti-weed people come out in full force to stop those wretched, smelly, green peace/piece hippies? The possibilities just scream a re-enactment of the hippie peace movements of the Vietnam era. Although, it needs to be said that a shouting match between some teenagers who just want to have a good time, and some anti-drug folks, shouldn’t even be in the same league as the Vietnam protests.

To paraphrase the words of comedian Daniel Tosh, can we just legalize weed so that potheads don’t have anything to talk about? Although the idea of having to work with someone who is taking smoking breaks with their bong does seem pretty annoying, this may work out after all. Legalizing marijuana and, dare I say, nationalizing the industry could have some seriously positive benefits for the economy. Plus, it will give us all something new to fight about in the political realm. Once it’s legalized, Democrats can talk about making it a government-run mass production and not allowing it to be grown large-scale residentially, then Republicans can start chanting keep your hands off our grass. It makes for new senseless debate, because honestly, the abortion, Iraq and Afghanistan issues are getting pretty tired. Democrats might even want to make a serious push for getting marijuana propositions on the ballot in 2012; it will certainly turn out that lacking youth demographic. On the flip side, marijuana could be an issue that stirs up such a response that it could turn out even crazier tea party candidates.

The tea partiers can be mad as hell and the potheads can be high as heaven. Bring it on, 2012.

 

— Storm Byrd is a political science sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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