The War Against Cannabis is Over, Mr. President. It's Time to Call It
Feels like we've all been either distracted or consumed this week with news of the US pullout from Afghanistan, including an airlift of 120,000 people, the largest in world history.
America is being made to look pretty bad at the moment and the whole world is watching.
But 120,000… wow, big number, right?
Here’s another big number:545,602:
That’s the of number of Americans arrested for cannabis related crimes in 2019, (the most recent data I could find).
That's more cannabis arrests than for all violent crimes combined.
That’s like arresting every person in Raleigh, North Carolina, or Grand Rapids, Michigan or Toledo, Ohio.
Meanwhile, we’ve been lamenting that we’ve been in Afghanistan for 20 years… a “Forever War” they call it. Twenty years seems like a lot until you realize that it’s been 50 years since Richard Nixon declared cannabis was one of the most dangerous drugs in the world and began targeting specific ethnic groups, interrupting or ending millions of lives, ruining families and communities, and executing armored military actions in multiple foreign countries.
Let’s face it, for the past half a century the US has been in a REAL hot war, a "forever war" against cannabis, a war against Americans on American soil.
What are we doing about it?
We have built a multi-billion-dollar industry including medicinal products that are approved for use against some of the worst diseases known to humankind.
... and adult-use goodies that are the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
We have created hundreds of companies in agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, and retail – funded by billions in private investment and publicly traded stocks and financial tools like SPACs.
Hundreds more companies that are ancillary to our industry that provide real estate and security and equipment and technology and tax returns and marketing services...
All of these companies have created hundreds of thousands of jobs for American workers who buy clothes and cars and houses and build wealth
Essential workers, mind you, on par with doctors and nurses and grocery store workers that kept us alive during the first part of the pandemic – and will again shortly.
And for all this goodness, our industry has delivered $7.9 Billion in state taxes – plus about $2 Billion in income taxes and much more in federal taxes.
And looking to the future, including hemp, we have created:
pathways toward conscious and out-loud social equity that can lead the world
innovations in at least 10 industrial categories and
THE LOOP BACK
In short: Cannabis offers something that Afghanistan never will: The Most American Dream Imaginable.
And as much as we feel shitty and stupid for the mess over there, we should feel proud and optimistic for the opportunities over here.
President Biden gets credit for declaring the end of the Afghanistan War – for speaking the truth that’s plain for everyone to see.
So I say to President @JoeBiden: Tell the truth one more time, but this time, say it with pride.
Tell ‘em the War on Cannabis is over.
And tell ‘em the American people have won.