As Americans for Safe Access battles cannabis scheduling nationally, advocates need to push social movement locally.
On Oct. 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. considered the medical scheduling of cannabis. As more and more studies are released in favor of marijuana’s effects on the endocannabinoid system, the efficacy of use for the seriously ill and as doctors argue on the side of medical-use cannabis, there is considerable momentum counter to the status quo and the federal government’s crackdown on cannabis. Of course, as American for Safe Access’ lawyers argue the lawsuit, government lawyers are arguing against consideration, casting a conspiratorial pall over the court hearing.
If victory sides with ASA (which would be incredibly surprising, considering the years of precedent for similar such cases), their victory will represent a major step forward in the uphill struggle to legalize cannabis.
Realistically, the judge(s) will rule in favor of the federal government, reinforcing the resistance to change that has served corporate-democratic America successfully for so many years. Cannabis advocates have many enemies: the federal government; the misinformed, indoctrinated masses; the cartels and corporations, yet America’s refusal to change represents their most daunting foe. In the battle for cannabis legalization and normalization, campaigning for change must occur in carefully planned steps, with the federal government acting as the final frontier, capping a collective quest.
It’s the future. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. rules against ASA’s lawsuit. Newspapers report the ruling with a simple summary, as they should. Cannabis legalization failing on the national stage isn’t news, it’s everyday reality. The ASA retreats to plan out their next move, the federal government retains their monolithic structure and corporate sponsorship. How do the cannabis advocates proceed?
Localized social action. There’s no alternative. Federal government is resistant to reproach and their drug war rages on to “great success.” Instead of spending absurd amounts of resources at the national level, cultivating state support with the regulated and legal distribution of medical cannabis remains the viable means to legitimacy. By winning the states, cannabis enthusiasts force the federal government to act, which is desirable to their default: inaction and misanthropy.