I keep being told by people that democracy is the best thing that America has. The voice of the people is everything. The people have all the power. However, for those who don’t just watch Fox News or MSNBC, it is resoundingly clear that democracy has been hijacked and the average person has no real power anymore. You look at bills like the Omnibus financial bill that just went through the House and is likely to pass through the Senate too. You see how it basically breaks open democracy even more to be bought by the rich. You see how it cuts domestic programs, while giving more income to our massively-bloated military. The more and closer you look, the easier it is to realize just how broken democracy is in this country. But for those who think that I am being too broad, let me bring you a story from closer to home.
The state of Alaska recently voted to legalize marijuana. Not just medicinal, but the whole shebang. It passed. The people weighed in and voted to pass it. Democracy in action – this is what the people want! However, the Anchorage Assembly has decided – screw democracy! We don’t like pan (Drunken Peasants fo’ life!), so we’re going to ban it (linked here).
I don’t get it. I don’t fucking get it. I don’t fucking get how our government can look at a ballot measure that the people of this state voted on and passed, and decide to basically go – fuck that, we make the rules. What does that say about our government when this is deemed as acceptable?! What does this say about the country we are in where this kind of backdoor legislation can be done, which spits in the FACE of the people who took the time to vote. And this was a midterm fucking election! Do you know how little the turnout is?! It is a midterm election and people still voted. Unreal.
What’s more, this makes absolutely no sense. For real, what is the argument here? I can’t think of one. I’m sure that the conservatards are going to come out with their bullshit. It’s a gateway drug! It’ll lead to crime! It will make things harder for cops, because they’ll have to catch stoners driving! I’ve heard it all, and there is NO argument, none, that makes sense to prohibit commercial marijuana. I am DYING to hear a new argument.
Let’s look at the benefits of upholding the Ballot Measure that people voted on. For one – money. If you look at what has happened in Colorado, it is resoundingly clear that money is coming in hand over foot! All the budget estimates for how much the legalized sale of marijuana would bring in have been busted into pieces by what has actually come in. There is no way that you can argue that this would not be financially beneficial to the state of Alaska, and the city of Anchorage as well. Show me how this won’t be good for this city. Show me a way! Any way! Any single piece of evidence that this won’t go well. I’m waiting.
Next up, commercializing the sale of pan will cut down on crime. Aside from meth, pot is the drug in Anchorage. Once it’s legalized, the gangs whose sole profit comes from pan will be destroyed. That means that we will be able to have cops focus on real crime. I know, novel concept. Maybe the other states should go this route too. Then we can have cops stop shooting and strangling unarmed black people. But maybe that’s a little too crazy. Still, gotta start somewhere.
Aside from ideological reasons, I am waiting to hear one single good reason for keeping pan illegal in the city of Anchorage. What’s more, this is something that people voted on! This is what I constantly am hearing so much about. This is what the people who tell me that voting is important harp on. I actually decided to vote in this election. Though I only voted on two Ballot Measures and left the rest blank. I didn’t care about any of the candidates, and I wanted to vote to raise the minimum wage. Another thing that passed. That means more to me, personally, because that is a bigger issue.
This is the second time now that I have watched democracy get subverted by the fucking cowards in office. This is the second time that I am watching people who claim that voting is so important back down and not fight for what they believe in! If you care so much to vote, then care so much to fight when your democracy is swept out from under you! Go to this event! Make your voices heard! And if these cowards on the Anchorage Assembly choose to subvert democracy anyway, then choose to take to the streets and demand that they uphold our democracy. More and more, voting booths can’t solve our problems. Coming together as a voice to demand the upholding of democracy can.
Until next time, a quote,
“People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” -V, V for Vendetta