Monday, June 11, 2012

Forward, Into the Passed!

It's easy to look around and see reasons for discouragement: Teabaggers are louder and more obnoxious than ever, the conservative right seems determined to lurch the country forward into the 19th Century, and even Europe is contemplating dismantling, albeit slowly, it's pro-citizen models of government.
Ignore them. Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them. In the background are signs that real progress on real progressive issues is taking place, and slowly, which means they'll be harder to stop or reverse.
Gay equality is one area where progress has been painfully slow, but being made nonetheless. Women's issues have been bubbling up, and the exposure of such shameful statistics as the ratio of salaries (77 cents for a woman to a $1 a man earns) and healthcare premiums has shown that issue will not go away quietly.
Here's the report that has me most hopeful for the future:

Seems like teens have gotten the memo that cigarettes are bad for you; however, the same isn’t true for marijuana, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.Released late last week, the government study revealed that in a nationwide study of 15,000 high school students, pot is now more popular among teens than cigarettes, CBS reports. Eighteen percent of surveyed students in 2011 reported smoking a cigarette in the past month, while 23% reported smoking marijuana in the last 30 days.

Perhaps thanks to the anti-smoking campaigns in ads and in schools, or to the personal experiences teens may have with family members or relatives with lung cancer, cigarette use has been on the decline over the past few years.

Let me extend this a bit for you and leap to a logical if distant conclusion-- pot will be legalized and it will be legalized within our lifetimes.

If, for the first time in history, more teens are smoking joints and bongs than butts, this means pot is more acceptable in that age group. While cigarette consumption is slowing among teens, marijuana use is increasing.

Eventually, these kids will grow up and eventually, they're going to wonder why they can't toke but they can smoke. And they'll seek to change that.

The war on drugs is a lynchpin of much of conservative policy in America, from crime fighting to homeland security to immigration policy to even foreign policy-- you don't really think Jamaica wants pot to be illegal, do you?

By taking away that weapon, much good will come to society and in some unexpected ways. True progress will be made, as people realize how badly they have been lied to by people looking to instill fear of rabid potheads rampaging up and down neighborhoods looking for money to support their addiction.

Hey, you and I both know that heads are about the most mellow people you'll ever meet...maddeningly so, sometimes...and that this whole "gateway drug" nonsense is just an attempt to portray "hippies" as criminals.

And if conservatives could lie about stuff like that about as innocuous a substance as marijuana, what else will they lie about?

No one should draw from this report the conclusion that in due time we'll be living in a Nirvana, a progressive utopia that will see all men and women unite in brotherhood and sing "Kumbaya" around a campfire and bong.

No. We're still humans and we're still fucking idiots.

We'll just have to find a new form of idiocy.

In the meantime, don't Bogart, man!