By Doug Fine
It was while documenting the full cannabis legalization process in the U.S. state of Oregon this week for a magazine article that I had a wake-up call. Which is to day I finally conducted sufficient advance interviews for the forthcoming Too High to Fail Fall 2013 European Tour to recognize that you folks across the Pond are not just experiencing the same sea change in drug policy that we are in North America. You, too, are winning.
That caused a slight shift in anticipatory procedure for me. See, the primary piece of education I hope to provide during this three week, five nation tour (full schedule at: http://www.dougfine.com/events/), surrounds first and foremost a model by which local communities planet-wide can sustainably and profitably cultivate a cannabis/hemp economy that will be better for the planet and its inhabitants.
I’ve just researched such a model’s successful implementation for a year in Mendocino County, California. I wrote a book about it, in fact, called Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution. I hope y’all check it out — it’s intended to be a fun and informative read. It’s got pictures, too. And I’ve just completed a book about the hemp side of the plant, called Hemp Bound, which comes out March 1, 2014 (on ebook and — whoo hoo! — hemp paper).
I also, however, imagined that my secondary role on this upcoming and to me thrillingly exciting Euro-tour would be that of cheerleader. As in “If the U.S. can do it, the rest of the world can, too.”
But it’s clear that you Europeans clearly already grok this. Nearly everywhere on the continent, the Drug Peace effort is moving forward. UK media are telling the truth about drug policy (this preceded legalization in two American states by about two years). Even bad, temporary policy changes in the Netherlands have allowed a social club movement to sprout in Belgium and have propped Copenhagen to consider becoming the (or at least a) 21st Century cannabis-friendly city. You know you’re winning when even supposed setbacks are sprockets in wider European positive momentum. I’m sure I’ll learn a dozen more examples of the march to Drug Peace triumph from you good folks in person in November.
The point is, you hardly need my cheerleading. We’re on our victory lap here. As in the U.S., what you need in your countries is final, actual legislative change that ends cannabis prohibition. Specifically, that allows for personal cannabis use without stigma and a sustainable green industry to supply those who don’t have a home garden. Plus the associated dissociation with wrong-minded and antiquated international “drug” treaties.
Sitgma, planet-wide, is the drug war’s final front. To me that basically means reminding humanity of its 12,000 year relationship with the cannabis plant. The plant is a gift, in my view, from heaven. And not just in my view, but from the perspective of the medicinal cannabinoid receptors in all of our bodies.
It’s the insane policies of the last half-century that have been atypical. And, of course, the drug war’s policies have also been both illogical in their initiation and counter-productive in their execution. They create, in fact, nearly all the problems surrounding “drugs.” I use the quotes, most will recognize, because cannabis is in fact an herb. A plant which Chinese practitioners call “Ma” and use for labor pains, among many other things.
So you’ll hear me speaking a lot about how I’m a law-abiding father who wants a better world for my children. Without question, the Drug Peace, which to me means the acceptance of cannabis in society at a level at least equal to that of alcohol for responsible adult social use, all medicinal use, and all industrial use, is better for my region’s economy, my family’s health and safety, and the planet’s medium term inhabitability.
We’re almost there. I’m excited to the point of jabbering to have the opportunity to hop across the Pond and invite you folks to come follow the journey (the one which I myself recently followed) of one organic cannabis flower from farm to patient in my talk and slide show based on Too High to Fail. Huge thanks to the organizers of this massive tour and media outreach effort – they are doing it as a labor (oh, wait, for you guys it’s labour) of love.
At the events themselves and on the street and train as I crisscross the northern part of the continent this autumn, I can’t wait to learn from those who are knowledgeable about cannabis policy in Europe. And anyone who’s seeing this: please invite folks you wouldn’t think are already on the bus: your grandmother, curmudgeonly firefighter uncle, your minister, your deacon. You know what I mean: when the truth is spoken, we win. In the U.S. the Drug Peace is a people driven victory that dragged politicians along with its (again that word) momentum.
I’d also love it if you’d please post these tour announcements and event links to all your social media sites, stick flyers on college pub and coffeehouse bulletin boards, talk about the coming events at work and at the at the football party, and invite someone who wishes he or she could be taking fewer pharmaceuticals. Invite entrepreneurs who will be interested in learning how much hemp is earning Canadian farmers today.
The reach of these benefits of Drug Peace are so broad that I’d invite my goat, who I’m about to milk here on my ranch, if I could get her passport renewed in time. See y’all starting in a little over a week.
Doug Fine is an American author, journalist, humorist, and goat herder.
He is a longtime mainstream and respected U.S. Journalist for the New York Times, National Public Radio, etc., who has simply researched the topic of a legal cannabis market during a time of major U.S. policy change.
He will be speaking at London Southbank University on Wednesday 13th at London South Bank University. Reserve your ticket online for just £4.20 – only limited spaces available.