by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
– Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
As we head into 2018, I believe governments around the world will become increasingly insecure about their positions of power and control, which will result in increased paranoia about whether or not they have the consent of the governed.
Being a global empire in decline, the U.S. power structure has the most to lose, making it particularly vulnerable to such panic. I suspect forces within the U.S. government are likely to engage in various attempts to reestablish authority via desperate and authoritarian moves as 2018 unfolds. I don’t say this to spread fear; rather, I think such moves will result in considerable pushback from the population at large, particularly from younger generations who are intimately aware of how spectacularity the status quo has failed them. Panic and desperation from those in control shouldn’t be feared, it should be expected and contemplated ahead of time. That’s why I’m writing this series. I want as many people as possible to start thinking about this now so we aren’t caught off guard.
The areas I’ll be diving into with these pieces consist of cannabis, Bitcoin and war against Iran. I’m sure there are plenty of other areas government will target in its last ditch effort to exert control over a populace sick and tired of these busybody, corrupt authoritarians, but these are issues I follow closely and have a certain degree of familiarity with. As such, they’ll be the focus of this series.
Today’s topic is cannabis. This seems the least likely area for government action, specifically because it would be such a monumentally stupid move. That said, just because something’s idiotic doesn’t mean we should simply discount it, particularly with human fossil Jeff Sessions continuing to chirp on the issue every chance he gets.
Although Sessions has been threatening to stomp on states’ rights and freedom of choice when it comes to cannabis ever since he became Attorney General, he hasn’t done anything yet. Nevertheless, he continues to issue threats.
As Axios reported yesterday:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested in a press conference on Wedenesday that the Department of Justice is looking at changing Obama-era policies that allowed states to decide what to do about marijuana despite the drug remaining illegal under federal law, according to McClatchy DC.
Why it matters: This could have a huge impact on the 6 states and D.C. which will have legalized marijuana by January, 2018. Places that have already legalized marijuana and have seen the marijuana industry boom in their states could face particularly tricky legal situations.
Key quote: “In fact, we’re looking at that very hard right now, we had a meeting yesterday and talked about it at some length. It’s my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental, and we should not give encouragement in any way to it, and it represents a federal violation, which is in the law and is subject to being enforced.”
Meanwhile, bipartisan groups of Senators and House members have been pushing for criminal justice reform bills, which would lower minimum mandatory sentences for non-violent drug crimes. A crackdown on drug crimes is not what they’re looking for from Sessions.
If Sessions decides to do something, I predict he’ll have his ass handed to him in spectacular fashion. First of all, I can’t think of a single issue that unites Americans at this time more than the belief cannabis should be legalized. A recent Gallup poll proved this in spades. We learned:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans continue to warm to legalizing marijuana, with 64% now saying its use should be made legal. This is the highest level of public support Gallup has found for the proposal in nearly a half-century of measurement.
Gallup first asked national adults about their views on the topic in 1969, when 12% supported legalization. Support had more than doubled by the end of the next decade but changed little throughout the 1980s and 1990s. By 2001, however, about a third of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, and support has steadily increased since. A majority of Americans have consistently supported legalizing marijuana since 2013.
That looks like the chart of Bitcoin.
More significantly, we live in an era in which basically no issue issue successfully crosses partisan political lines. Except cannabis. Also from Gallup:
Democrats and independents have historically been much more likely than Republicans to say marijuana should be legalized. In 2009, Democrats were the first partisan group to see majority support for legalization, followed by independents in 2010.
This year for the first time, a majority of Republicans express support for legalizing marijuana; the current 51% is up nine percentage points from last year.
Moreover, many of those against legal cannabis in their particular state still accept the right of people in other states to decide for themselves. The idea of the federal government going into states and denying the will of the citizens who voted to legalize it would be extraordinarily unpopular across the board. It’ll be completely obvious to everyone that if the feds think they can tell people their votes don’t matter on that issue, there’s zero freedom of choice for anything in this country. It’s the ultimate canary in the coal mine.
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