Last week former Vice President Joe Biden made the completely unsurprising announcement on Twitter that he'll be running for the democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
“The core values of this nation … our standing in the world … our very democracy … everything that has made America—America—is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020.”
That makes about three serious candidates in the Race to Defeat Lord Emperor Trump, and I have the feeling they're all well aware that (for the first time in a long time) a candidate's stance on marijuana reform will make a major difference at the polls next year. A Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that 60 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis, compared to 33 percent who oppose it. And, wouldn't you know it, the majority of Democratic contenders support some form of progressive cannabis law reform.
Bernie Sanders, who many would assume is a shoo-in, has a good record of supporting pro-cannabis legislation and has recently reiterated that it should be removed from the list of controlled substances. Of course he was a shoo-in way back in the distant 2016, too. That was before the Democratic National Committee admittedly stole the nomination right out from under him.
Now he seems like less of a darling with media giants like The Washington Post throwing up divisive headlines like “Bernie Sanders Has Emerged as the Donald Trump of the Left” as though that makes any sense whatsoever.
The other headliner is Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who used to be against the vile weed but has since flipped. In a radio interview earlier this year, she notably admitted to having smoked cannabis in the past. “I did inhale,” she joked. She says she wants to legalize marijuana and regulate it. She's also in favor of expunging the criminal records of those who have been incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes.
Unfortunately Harris also has a history chock full of controversy and scandal. It's hard to imagine her successfully navigating the slings and arrows of naysayers pointing to accusations that she fought against justice reform during her time as California Attorney General and allegedly upheld wrongful convictions that were secured through official misconduct. Then there's the bizarre story, told in the Los Angeles Times, of one of her aides, who was arrested in 2015 for impersonating a police officer after he and two other men introduced themselves to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's captain as members of the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department.” It's too weird to even make up.
So that leaves us with good old Joe Biden. If he follows the party line, then he's sure to be in favor of cannabis reform, right?
A statement from marijuana reform advocate organization NORML, published in a Rolling Stone article last week, voiced concern over the possibility of seeing Biden in the Oval Office. Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, said Biden “holds the worst record on cannabis related policy of any individual currently running for the Democratic or Republican nomination.”
Heavy words. But apparently Michael Collins, the director of national affairs at Drug Policy Action, agreed with Altieri, telling reporters that Biden was “the architect, in all ways, of the war on drugs.” Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project said Biden was “one of the most aggressive drug warriors in Congress.”
Biden has apparently fought a pitched battle against legalization since 1974, when he told the Washingtonian that he was opposed to it. He called cannabis a “gateway drug” in 2010 and was a cosponsor on the piece of legislation that created the asinine position of federal “drug czar.”
Meaning if he gets the nomination, we'll be looking at an election where our best bet for protection of legalized cannabis will be placed in Donald Trump of all people. That's right. Lord Trump is actually more progressive on this issue than Biden. (We are definitely living in a simulation.)
But let's not despair just yet, dear reader. We still have plenty of time before 2020, and who knows what could happen. Just Google “creepy Biden” to see why we probably shouldn't worry so much about his chances. Be prepared to be uncomfortable, though.
The weather finally seems to have stabilized, and the summer is raring to go. Last week I was finally able to begin my seasonal complaints over the heat and accompanying bodily fluids. I was sweaty, irritable, sun-crazed and pinching a full bladder as I walked into GrassRoots RX (3701 San Mateo Blvd. NE). It was nice and cool inside, and the restroom was sensational. I picked up a gram of Blueberry Gum (THC: 18.33%, CBD: 0.18%—$10/gram) in the hope that it would chill me out and headed back across the river.
Once I was safely on my couch in my pajamas, I packed a bowl and marveled at the powerfully sweet aroma of the popcorn buds. Blueberry Gum is an indica-dominant hybrid that tasted of berries and was as sweet as it smelled. The effects from this strain are noticeable on the first hit. I felt an immediate relief of tension in my sinus cavity—an effect I've encountered in certain indica strains that I've only recently noticed. I had trouble tracking objects with my eyes and actually felt my blood pressure drop. It was intense and very pleasant. The body high was strong, and I felt completely sedated.
I hit the bong a few more times for good measure, laid my head back and closed my eyes. I felt as if the ocean were rocking me softly from side to side. I sighed contentedly and sat that way for half an hour.