The first state to legalize medical cannabis was California way back in 1996. To put that into perspective: Bill Clinton was still president, 9/11 was five years away, and the world had not yet been cursed by the scourge of the early 2000's era onslaught of boy-bands like N'Sync. (If "I want it That Way" is not stuck in your head by now then you might have not even been born in 1996). We're talking way back in the day - in the olden time - WIFI did not even exist. My point is - 1996 is ANCIENT history. And yet, here in Nebraska, on 5/13/2021 we failed to pass in our legislature THE MOST restrictive medical marijuana proposal in the country. Nebraska is still in 1996. Maybe even earlier. But - despite all the doom and gloomers out there who want to jump ship and move to Colorado - I am here to give you a little silver lining.
Medical Marijuana is total BS. Now, before you grab your pitchforks, let me explain. I am firmly of the opinion that Marijuana has numerous medical benefits and even more that we have yet to discover. I say Medical Marijuana is BS because as much as I believe in the power of this plant, I equally don't believe in the power of the government, or an established medical profession shoulder deep in the pharmaceutical industry, to tell me what - and for what reasons - I can consume substances that I know help me live a better life.
And this is the main crux of the medical marijuana problem as I see it. Most people know damn well that medical marijuana is the first step toward recreational. And that is really what they do not want. Those who voted NO in the Nebraska legislature yesterday are afraid of the progress that the overwhelming majority of Nebraskans want to see - which is an open and free market for the cannabis industry unrestrained by doctors and politicians.
Proponents of the medical marijuana bill yesterday cried "we shouldn't treat medical patients like criminals for using cannabis." Yes, I completely agree. But we also should not be treating the recreational user like a criminal either - and the bill voted on yesterday would have still allowed for that travesty to continue. So let's stop beating around the bush and go for the real goal - no holds barred. We should not put forward garbage cannabis laws just to make the old guard happy. A prisoner held without cause should not be thankful for a daily allowance of bread and water - he should break the hell out and pummel his captors. That is the path forward.
Maybe we should not even be debating the laws surrounding cannabis - determining who can and can not have access - and in what forms they consume it and in what amounts. All of that is squarely the individual responsibility of a free person. Why do I have this opinion? Because laws make criminals. And wherever we set up laws that dictate what someone does alone in their own home - we will inevitably create a class of people who break those laws, and we will repeat the same cycle over and over again of locking people up. Remove all Cannabis laws from the books - and presto! Freedom. So here is the silver lining: Now that the disaster of a medical bill has failed - we have a chance to make this a constitutional right in Nebraska. Let's make that happen.