Hey (President) Joe (Biden), where you going with that blunt in your hand? Apparently nowhere, because you’ve never so much as taken a single toke in your life, and likely never will. And that’s cool. That’s your choice. Personally, I say better to have never inhaled than to deny thy past inhaling, like someone we used to know.
And yet, it’s hard not to believe the fact that you’ve never taken so much as a drag has something to do with why you’re such a drag when it comes to cannabis. Leaving us to wonder, with respect to weed, why can’t you just be cool, Joe?
I know you were, like, in your sixties when it was the ‘60s, but on this one you’ve got to let love rule– and rule for legalizing the sticky. You like to project the air of Camel Cool Joe Biden, with the aviators, the Cheshire grin, and the Corvette, which is all well and good, but if you like speed so much, Joe, what’s wrong with a little weed? If you can burn all that rubber, can’t you let us burn a bit of reefer?
To your credit, in your first 100 days you’ve earned the support of a solid majority of the American people, going well past post-Trump non-horribleness. You passed a historic stimulus/Covid-recovery plan, proposed an ambitious infrastructure plan, and sicced your dog multiple times on members of the press. For all of these reasons, and more, I’m proud to have voted on your behalf.
You’ve proved yourself willing to spend the hard-earned green on the neediest Americans, shown you’re glad to go hard-core green to save our planet yet, for some reason (perhaps the aforementioned lack of experimentation), you’ve got a hang-up when it comes to giving the great-green light to the great-green leaf. On this particular matter I have to award you a green thumbs down.
As you like to say, Joe, Here’s the deal, man: Legalization is coming. Recreational use is going to be the law of the land. The only question is, on this issue: are you going to be a leader or a lagger? So far, it looks like you’re choosing the latter? But why?
Why on earth would you kick to the curb five staffers you picked to be in your administration just because they admitted to a little puffing with the Magic five-leafed Dragon? Why would you decide that other staffers, those you were kind enough not to fire for past dances with Mary Jane, would have to submit to random drug tests and work remotely until they’ve proven somehow they can be fully trusted? As you like to say: Come on, man! Are you kidding me? That’s a bunch of malarkey!
For god-sake, look what bad trouble you’re making for yourself. You’ve got Chuck Schumer saying out loud he’s willing to jam you on legalizing cannabis. Happy, in fact, to pass a law that goes the full U2 “With or Without You” on weed, and then dare you to use your first veto on marijuana! Joe, you must know just how wrong it looks when Chuck Schumer, of all people, is out-cooling you on any issue.
Like you, majority leader Schumer is a septuagenarian who hasn’t exactly spent a lifetime championing cannabis but, on this issue, he seems to understand that the American tribe has spoken, and that this isn’t a state’s rights issue anymore. It’s one of civil rights.
In an earlier article for this magazine weed mogul Tripp “King of Cannabis” Keber told me that Trump would be a better bet for the future of marijuana than the future 46er. I hardly believed him. After all, under Trump, Bill “The Gas Man” Barr was launching secret vendetta campaigns against cannabis companies. What could be worse than that? But King Keber had a point. He knew you had a bad history with drugs, even if you’ve never tried them.
A lot of people have tried to put you on the couch on this issue, Joe. They wonder if you’re so anti-ganja because your dad had his issues with the sauce, or because Hunter has spent years trying to out-duel the other famous Hunter with his own “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” exploits.
You, and your communications department, insist that it is neither. That, actually, you and your staffers, are still mining the data on marijuana, as if there is a scientific study in 2021 or beyond, waiting to be published in the pages of Nature Magazine that will bring a final, revelatory, cohesive cogency on cannabis. And in the meantime, you’re perfectly fine with decriminalization and scrubbing the felony convictions of past users.
Maybe that’s not “1984” logic, but it’s a little too close to your 1994 logic. After all, how can you say you want some former marijuana users to be forgiven while expunging some others from your very own administration, for the same supposed vice? We can do studies for another century on cannabis, and none would be more likely to get us further than the place to where our common sense and lived experience has now evolved.
We know cannabis is less lethal than cigarettes and liquor and that it’s a “gateway drug” only to a good time at a Radiohead concert. The current state of semi-legalization, and contradictory a la carte state laws is still ruining lives and empowering cartels.
So Joe, at the end of the day I know what you’ve been smoking, man: Absolutely nothing. So you have no excuse. It’s fine for you to be a square on pot. Just don’t box the rest of us in to your old school reefer worldview.
David Rock has written for film, magazines, reality television, and even at one time (gasp) the WWE. He is the author of the hit play GRAND DELUSION and the Co-Executive Producer of ” American Gangster:Trap Queens” on BET. His new play MASTERS OF PUPPETS will debut next year. He believes in vices, but not viceroys.