The Culture War over Marijuana has been fought and won, victory has been declared. There are a few loyalists still out there latching on to their losing hand, but this particular culture war is all but a relic of history at this point. It should have ended decades ago, but c’est la vie, as it were, better late than never.
The long arc of progress, true to form, is taking its sweet time with how we reconcile the autonomy and dignity of individuals on issues of substance use and abuse/addiction. So much of these conversations are clouded in misinformation, and language that is misleading and outdated if not altogether obsolete. But one thing is clear: the tides are turning the tables over in the market of ideas surrounding our old, antiquated approach to The War on Drugs – never have we been so committed to sticking with something proven to be so ineffective so frequently for so long until quite recently.
And as we come closer to viewing these subjects with fresh eyes, and the more inclined we become to choosing alternative approaches more apt to yielding positive outcomes, the more incumbent upon us it is to neither overlook nor forget those illuminated heretics ahead of their time who spoke out of order with the conventional wisdom and widespread propaganda punped throughout the land in the era of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campain, D.A.R.E in Public Schools, & “This is Your Brain on Drugs” commercials.
“If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”
– Terence McKenna, True Hallucinations (1989)
“’And still I see no changes, Can’t a brother get a little peace?, It’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East, Instead of a War on Poverty, they got a War on Drugs, so the police can bother me”
– Tupac Shakur “Changes” (1992)
[*Remixed and posthumously released in 1998]