The Democratic Party is heading into its national convention next week with the legalization of marijuana strapped to its official campaign platform, while the Republicans, whose convention starts today, couldn’t find enough common ground to get behind the modest issue of allowing seriously ill American citizens the right to consume the herb for medicinal purposes.
Last Monday, somewhere around 7 o’clock in the morning, I was doing what I typically do to prepare for a daunting week of journalistic slavery – having a few beers down at my friendly neighborhood dive bar in hopes of mustering up enough guts to endure the plight of being shackled in front of my computer for the next five days. That’s when the bartender, who must remain anonymous because he also moonlights as my weed dealer, asked if I had been keeping up with all of the commotion going on over the weekend with the Democrats in Orlando.
Admittedly, I had no idea what the old bastard was talking about, especially since I had done my best to go off the grid for several days to engage in a series of frivolous outdoor activities, enthusiastically colored with mind-altering substances that, truth be told, may or may not have landed me in a lake somewhere in rural Illinois skinny dipping with the catfish. But I did my best to play off my inattention to what must have been important news, saying something to the effect of, “Yeah, I noticed they were up to something, but I didn’t give enough of a shit to see it through.”
“That’s too bad, Mr. High Times” the bartender replied, setting another beer in front of me. “They just sided with ending prohibition as part of their official campaign platform.”
Upon further investigation I quickly discovered that the Democratic Party had, indeed, upgraded the previous draft of its 2016 platform. The initial version, which was approved back in June, simply sided with the decriminalization of petty pot possession and the expansion of medical marijuana research. But the updated amendment catapulted the Party’s pro-pot stance a few steps further by demanding that Uncle Sam create a “pathway to legalization.”
It seems that during the DNC’s platform committee meeting, a Sanders delegate, by the name of David King, told those in attendance that the Party ought to support the total elimination of prohibition in the United States. Of course, a heated debate ensued. But after a lot of kicking-and-screaming from those committee members concerned that a favorable position on such a bold issue would be a step too far, the Party simply compromised on new language, calling for the federal government to downgrade the herb’s Schedule I listing and move the nation toward a future of legal weed.
“Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization,” reads the updated amendment.
But what would the Republicans do, I wondered.
The very next day, I sat down at the bar, once again, early in the morning and asked the bartender for a breakfast beer while I scrolled through my phone to catch up on the latest news. It wasn’t long before I spotted a headline from the Huffington Post that read, “Medical Marijuana Fails To Make GOP Platform After Vigorous Debate.” Hell, I wasn’t surprised. But I couldn’t help but be unnerved by the fact that the majority of those elephant eared bastards still believe marijuana is behind all of the recent violence erupting across the country. The report said that one delegate actually had the nerve to argue against including medical marijuana on the Republican platform because people who commit mass murders in the United States are all “young boys from divorced families, and they’re all smoking pot.”
“Good God,” I shouted, nabbing the bartender’s attention. “Those goddamn Trump humpers have voted against supporting medical marijuana in their campaign platform because they believe weed is causing divorced kids to kill people.”
“Ah, bullshit,” he replied. “My parents are divorced and I’ve smoked weed since I was 12-years-old. Ain’t nobody died yet.”
“Tell me about it,” I said.
“Those fools should have held their damn convention right here in the bar last Saturday night and they would have learned where all the violence in this country is coming from,” he explained. “It aint weed, brother…it’s hard liquor, religion and fast-assed women.”
“Amen to that,” I said.
In the coming hours we would learn that Democrat Bernie Sanders, the main candidate pushing to legalize weed in the United States, was dropping out of the race to tender his support for Hillary Clinton. Soon after, word came down from Cleveland that the Republican Party had gotten behind a proposal to build Donald Trump’s wall dividing the United States Mexico border. It was at that moment that I knew the entire nation was sitting on the edge of the world, just waiting for the big bad beast, wherever it is hiding, to come swooping down from the heavens to eat us alive. My only concern was that another round of maggots would soon evolve into an even dumber bunch of shit slinging monkeys and fuck the illusion of a civil society from ever being realized again.
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