Episode 21 - Legal Marijuana Has a Higher Favorability Rating Than President Donald Trump
Congressman Earl Blumenauer says there will never be another president elected who isn't in favor of legalization. Listen in to find out why.
Earl Blumenauer, the Congressman from Oregon who is renowned for wearing bowties and riding his bicycle to work, has been fighting for marijuana legalization since the 1970s. Which makes him either insane or insanely optimistic, a blind eyed dreamer or a determined fighter fueled by conviction, depending on your point of view.
It was a farmer, an old school Republican conservative, who helped him see the light over 40 years ago. At a meeting the farmer held up a pack of cigarettes, “This is perfectly legal, highly addictive, kills hundreds of thousands of people a year and it’s available to anyone over 16.”
Then he took a bottle of Jim Beam. “For some, this is highly addictive and can lead to dangerous behavior. Drunk drivers kill people on highway. It’s perfectly legal.
Then held up a joint in a Baggie. “This is a marijuana cigarette, it’s not going to kill you, it’s not addictive and it can get you put in jail.”
After 40 years of fighting, after running into the buzz saws of the War on Drugs and “Just Say No,” few have a more clear-eyed perspective on the prospects for changing our antiquated laws. “Over 90% of public has access to some type of legal marijuana and 9 states have legalized adult use,” he says. “What has happened in the last ten years is stunning. What other issue except marriage equality has moved this fast?”
Even the schizophrenia of the current administration and the do-nothing Congress aren’t dimming his sunny outlook. The public, Earl says, has seized control of the issue and that changes the equation for lawmakers.
“Over half of Republicans and 2/3 of Democrats and almost as many Independents support legal cannabis. If individual politicians don’t get onboard they’re going to suffer consequences.”
“I will go to my grave believing that if Hillary Clinton had been more forthright in dealing with marijuana she’d be president today.”
Let’s hope he’s right.