Top 8 Marijuana Legislation Buzzkills
Social progress has made leaps and bounds this year in all aspects of policy, with events like the Supreme Court case striking down DOMA, New York's stop and frisk policy being ruled unconstitutional, and the legalization of recreational marijuana in both Colorado and Washington. Along with the over half of Americans who favor decriminalization, we have come to see even high-profile professional pundits like CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta recognize the innocuous, and even medical purposes of the drug. Gradually, we have seen more and more doctors, personalities, and most crucially politicians, apologize for "misleading the public" about the dangers of pot.
But, as with all new social advancements, legislation always has its initial skeptics. This recently posted video by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) has even put together an aggregate of the "Worst State Legislators of 2013" who still cling to marijuana prohibition and continue to generally stick their nose into everyone's stash. These policymakers in particular range from only some minor discomfort of the effects of medical marijuana to denouncing the entire medical process as a "predatory farcical scheme," even going so far as to downright falsely claim that there is "no medical authority" recognizing the benefits of the drug.
Other extreme language included Florida Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), who called bongs and pipes "utensils of death," and Montana Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) who called marijuana a "poison" and "the most dangerous drug there is." Oddly enough, Howard's own home state of Montana is still battling a crippling meth epidemic.
While marijuana still has miles more to go before it reaches any unanimous nationwide decision, the recent upswing in support for medical marijuana and legalization only reflect the changing perspectives of a younger generation. With the simple quantity of information that is being consistently released, even a majority of parents support medical marijuana legalization.
Since this is a demographic that will only grow in the coming generation, politicians like those featured in the MMP video or who face upcoming negative press about marijuana policy are in danger of falling behind the times, their constituents' personal values, and eventually, their congressional seats.