When those around my age (31) are sitting in their rocking chairs on their front porch, vaporizing their legal cannabis in some space-age device, will they look back on the history of cannabis law reform and see 2010 as the year it all really began?
Rob Kampia from the Marijuana Policy Project recently wrote an interesting op-ed in which he re-caps 2010 and how we got to this point.
But before a single vote tally is reported, it should be noted that — regardless of any results next week — 2010 might already go down in history as a major turning point in the government’s failed war on marijuana. It was the year when marijuana prohibition became ingrained as a topic of mainstream public discourse, when political strategists first openly encouraged both major parties to embrace marijuana voters, and when – without much national notice or outrage – a Western state (not California) began to enact the first widespread system of legal, licensed, and regulated marijuana stores anywhere in the nation.
The unprecedented levels of mainstream media coverage generated by Prop. 19 and other marijuana issues cannot be overlooked. When virtually every TV news outlet and major print or online publication in the country gives prominent coverage to marijuana policy, it compels millions of Americans to think seriously about this issue for perhaps the first time in their lives. People who for years may have thought regulating marijuana was a “fringe” idea unlikely to ever come to fruition will inevitably reconsider as they see mothers, former police officers, and a former U.S. surgeon general renouncing our current policies live on television.
Every great movement in history has a year in its life that can be pointed to as THE year. The year when they were no longer a fringe movement, but a mainstream force to be reckoned with. Will 2010 be that year for cannabis?
Much of it depends on California’s Prop 19. If it loses, 2010 will just be the year we went big and failed. Another year will become “THE year.”
So it’s up to us. Is 2010 our year? The sooner we officially begin the long road to full legalization, the better it will be for us and those that come after us. What will our legacy be to them? Will they say we stepped up when history called our name, or that we failed and left them with the pieces?