“I think drugs should be sold openly because it is an individual’s right to commit suicide if he wants to.” – Ayn Rand
The Miami Heat made the NBA finals as a 5th seed, Matt Gaetz adopted a fully grown son from Cuba, and the US is now leading the vaccine charge. And things are only getting weirder. According to Politico, Republican mega-donor Charles Koch has formed ‘The Cannabis Freedom Alliance’, a new coalition launching soon that could change the dynamics of the marijuana legalization debate. The other founding member is Snoop Dogg, of course. The two came up with a blueprint last summer.
The Cannabis Freedom Alliance includes Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers; the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank; marijuana trade organization the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce; and The Weldon Project, a nonprofit that advocates for the release of individuals incarcerated for marijuana offenses.
Americans for Prosperity, founded by the Koch brothers in 2004, is one of the most influential organizations in conservative politics. Politico also reported in 2015 that the Koch family network was larger than even the Republican Party itself. Koch is Tea Party movement OG. He once said, “The way it’s grown, the passion, and the intensity, was beyond what I had anticipated”. Koch also funds The Ayn Rand Institute.
And this is exactly why parody and late TV are dead. Seth Meyers isn’t coming up with a Koch/Snoop Dog legalizing drugs joke because it’s not funny, it doesn’t sound real enough.
Earlier this week California senators announced a bill to decriminalize psychedelics. According to the bill,
This bill would make lawful the possession for personal use, as described, and the social sharing, as defined, of psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), by and with persons 21 years of age or older. The bill would provide penalties for possession of these substance on school grounds, or possession by, or sharing with, persons under 21 years of age.
This is a historic moment for the sector as California not only the largest state by population, but it also has a rich history of psychedelic drug use.
The only psychedelic it doesn’t cover is mescaline (peyote) as the already endangered plant is sacred to the Native Americans. The state will also form a working group that includes people with expertise in psychedelic therapy, medicine, and public health, drug policy, harm-reduction, and traditional indigenous use of psychedelic substances, including representatives from the National Council of the Native American Church and Indian tribes in California. The bill also expunges all previous related crimes as well.
A separate group of California activists recently announced a push to add an initiative to legalize the use and retail sale of psilocybin on the state’s 2022 ballot.
This bill comes only a few months after neighboring Oregon State passed a similar bill. The cities of Denver, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, Washington, D.C., Somerville, and Cambridge have also decriminalized psychedelics. Even more momentum is likely to come this year as legislators in California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Washington State, and Virginia are considering psychedelics and drug policy reform bills for 2021.
New York State also passed a bill legalizing recreational cannabis last week. New York Senator and Majority leader Chuck Schumer has been a strong advocate of federal cannabis legalization, even going as far as saying he will move ahead with or without the support of President Biden.
Let’s face it, the real reason Trump lost the election in 2020 was for going after Hunter Biden, the only relatable person in the Biden family. They attacked him, painting Hunter as a soulless deviant. Trump and the media harped on his drug use, sex life and rogue behavior, ultimately saying he was a bad guy. All this did was make people realize he was actually a lot cooler than any of the Trump kids.
In a recent attempted hit piece, the right-wing publication ‘The Washington Examiner’ criticized Hunter for using psychedelic toad medicine to get sober. These are traditional right-wing talking points. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘The Washington Examiner’ is partially funded by the Koch family. But hey, if the guy was put in a medically induced coma in Russia for a benzo addiction, cool. Or popping so much oxy he loses his hearing, cool. But, Hunter getting fucked up on toad venom for personal growth is a sin. How convenient.
This is why the Koch family’s sudden love legalizing all drugs is off-putting. The Koch family, the American-right’s biggest donor has made a killing on private prisons over the years locking up inmates for drugs the Koch’s now want to legalize. For decades they have funded staunch conservative politicians who say things like “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Charles Koch on his own is worth $46B USD, the 18th richest man in the world. If the Koch’s want drugs legalized, Republicans will listen.
The conversation around reforming drug policy has largely been from the left with Conservatives basking in the traditions of yesteryear. But, just as we learned from Dazed and Confused, the founding fathers did grow cannabis. And even Bush smoked weed, (Dubya not Daddy.) The old Mitt Romney conservatism is dead, you are either Q or libertarian now.
While libertarian MILF Ayn Rand said drugs were merely a means to kill oneself, that mindset has largely died out – at least if we are talking about drugs on the whole. I personally think Rand could have developed deeper, more well-rounded characters with a few shroom trips. It’s so obvious who the good and bad guys are. Even Jordan Peterson shat on her for this, it’s one of his only good clips.
With a new, younger, Ben Shapiro style of American right who enjoy spreadsheets, microdosing, and Asian women – drugs are becoming cool unilaterally. With the way the US political system works, the Koch family will find multiple ways to profit off of this, maybe even more than the prisons. And I’m sure even young Wyatt Koch will have a series of CBD Hawaiin shirts and sunscreen or something stupid, maybe a high sativa Koch-ain strain.