THOSE WHO WONDER WHY marijuana is still illegal need look only to the most recent pot rally (“Pot Roast,” The District Line,4/7). Spending a day smoking pot in public and preaching to the choir may be fun, but it’s not going to change any laws—in fact, it usually does more harm than good. What better way to reinforce the idea that marijuana law reform is a fringe issue than to gather together some scruffy potheads and spout nonsensical factoids about hemp all day?
Most of the marijuana law reform movement disintegrated long ago into a social group. In their rare lucid moments, its members seem to think that if they party hard enough, the laws will change by themselves.
Fortunately, while the ralliers were smoking pot and indulging in heavy self-validation, some people were actually working to change the marijuana laws. On April 10, an amendment introduced to the Marijuana Policy Project and Families Against Mandatory Minimums was accepted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission—when approved by Congress, it will mean months, even years off many marijuana offenders’ prison sentences. So it can be done, if anyone would care to put down their bong for a minute.
Maybe if the energy spent on marijuana social events went into actual work on law reform, this country wouldn’t need to be spending billions of dollars to arrest one marijuana user every 90 seconds.
Think about that the next time you light up a bowl.