2018: The Year Weed Slid in Under the Legal Radar

marihuana rainbow
courtesy libreshot.com

Unless you’re a super duper big fan of slight economic upticks (and literally nothing else), you’re probably one of the millions of people around the world who think that 2018 is kind of a suck-fest.

After all, just look at all the debacles currently vying for public attention. Russia is out to get us. Immigrant kids are being taken from their families. An American has infiltrated the Royal family. China wants to make everything more expensive. Facebook is spying on you (right this second). The European Union is crumbling. No one is doing anything about the climate. Net neutrality is buried in a grave. Randy Bryce is a drunk driver. Companies keep getting bigger and bigger. The President is the world’s biggest GD liar. The new Ron Howard Star Wars movie sucked. And LeBron left Cleveland.

Okay, maybe Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is going to kick a little Republican ass later on, and Russia lost their bid for the World Cup, but mostly 2018 has been one flaming, somersaulting NASCAR wreck of a year.


And then there’s weed.

As the rest of the world burns to the ground, it would seem that some higher power (be it God or some politician looking for a vote) has determined that legal marijuana should get its day in 2018.

Propaganda and Misinformation Is the Reason You Don’t Trust Weed

For those who have never been forced to endure an endless, incoherent rant from your one relative who tokes up, the public reputation of marijuana isn’t exactly fair to the poor, little plant. Marijuana was once a beloved part of international culture, and it was of growing importance to the scientific community until the beginning of the 20th century.

Then, as Mexican refugees forced to flee north to escape the violence of the 1910 Revolution flooded across the US border, weed was used as a tool to target the unwanted visitors. Texas police at the time proclaimed that marijuana incited a “lust for blood” in those who smoked it.


That dab of racism globbed into a bunch of other racism, slammed into an enterprising bureaucrat, and, like a snowball rolling downhill, quickly transformed into an avalanche of bullshit designed to discredit marijuana.

Fortunately, in recent decades, a growing consensus among scientists indicate that not only was marijuana not created by Satan, it’s actually pretty damn cool. In addition to that nice, light buzz, marijuana can help with nausea and pain relief, slow the frequency of seizures, and mitigate multiple sclerosis.

The Democrats Love Weed

As we get closer to a midterm election year that people actually care about, the Democrats are underdogs hoping to reclaim their share of Capitol Hill. As a result, veterans and rookies alike are turning to bud to help bolster support among undecided voters.

In Florida, for example, Democratic Senatorial incumbent Bill Nelson is hopping on the legal marijuana bandwagon in the hopes that championing the issue supported by two-thirds of state voters might help give him an edge on his Republican competition. As one of Nelson’s longtime strategists explains, “it’s an issue with almost entirely political upside.”


Perhaps that’s why, as of 2018, 46 states have or are considering legislation that legalizes cannabis in some way, shape, or form. After all, Democrats aren’t just learning to embrace the power of marijuana.

Republicans Love Weed, Too

In the case of legal marijuana, Republicans may actually be the final nail in the coffin of pot prohibition. In Texas (of all places), the official Republican Party has voted to include decriminalized marijuana in their platform. Even more surprising, the GOP in Texas has called for the reclassification of cannabis, removing it from its place as a schedule I narcotic.

Just in case that information alone hasn’t scrambled your brain enough, even the Great Contrarian himself, Donald Trump, has proclaimed that he supports a bipartisan bill that would lay off legal marijuana at the state level and protect banks who choose to work with legal pot businesses. It bears mentioning that Trump supports the bill in spite of the fact it was sponsored in part by Elizabeth Warren, a woman the president once called both “goofy” and a “liar” in the same tweet.


Let’s Toke One Up and Call It a Day, People

So, the Democrats are into legal weed. The Republicans are getting on board with legal weed. More than 60 percent of Americans support legal weed. In a United States that can’t come to a consensus on literally anything, 60 percent support is about as close as it gets to a public mandate.

Sure, we should all be digging in and working to sort things out in this country, but does that mean we have to be super stressed out while we’re doing it? Taking the edge off our mutual distrust for one another might actually make things easier. With all the horrible junk that’s happening at an unrelenting pace, don’t we as a society deserve to sit back at the end of a hard day of watching the world burn and light a joint on the flames?

Sure, it’s a pyrrhic victory, but at this point, maybe we should take what we can get.

A Totally True, Completely Unbiased History of Marijuana in the United States

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