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Sensi Magazine April 2018 - Southern Colorado Digital Edition

Apr 01, 2018 03:19PM ● By Amber Orvik
We got a lot of reasons to celebrate this April. But we still have a lot of work to do, too. 

Back in November 2011, Colorado’s voters gave the greenlight to Amendment 64, a constitutional amendment that recognized our adult right to grow, possess, and transfer (not sell) cannabis. The morning after the November election, Gov. John Hickenlooper famously quipped that “federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or [Goldfish] too quickly.” 

It’s been over six marvelous years since our governor made that statement to the press. Since then, eight more states and the District of Columbia legalized, with a handful of additions eyeing recreational cannabis in the near future. And here we are, ground zero in the place that ignited a legalization wildfire across not only the country but the entire world as well. Recently, Canada federally legalized the plant. Australia also federally legalized at a limited, medical level. Portugal long decriminalized all drugs over a decade ago, and number of EU nations may soon follow suit. 

But as we celebrate legalization, or springtime, or an obsolete New Year that no one has observed for centuries (read: April Fool’s Day), we need to remember that we haven’t won outright. Although cannabis prohibition is ending one state at a time, the War on Drugs rages on. Except now the authorities are caught between fighting illegal street narcotics and FDA-approved pharmaceuticals. The tipping point approaches, but we’re not quite there yet. 

While passing the spliff among friends and strangers on April 20, remember there are still people incarcerated for doing exactly what you’re doing. Remember that our citizens with cannabis convictions on their records still have a tough time finding housing, jobs, or general societal acceptance. Remember that our most judicially vulnerable peers—people of color and the impoverished—remain severely underrepresented in America’s fastest growing industry. 

Until we’ve corrected all of the mistakes from our collective past, legalization will only be a shallow victory. To truly be an overwhelming success, we’ll need to accommodate those most affected by the drug war, and that means keeping the pressure on our legislators until anyone and everyone has a genuinely equal shot at this new version of the American Dream. 

By all means, party on. We deserve it—as do those left behind as we blazed a trail of glory. Toast to yourself and toast to them, too. We’re all in this together, as we have been from the start. 


Click on the image below to read the April 2018 issue of Sensi Magazine — Southern Colorado Edition