By Morgan Fox
For years, scientists have been trying to find the Grand Unification Theory, a factor that would allow the different schools of physics and mathematics to unite their widely disparate views about the universe into one cohesive idea. And while the scientific community has yet to find their unifier, the political community is starting to realize theirs: marijuana reform.
As we get closer to enacting real meaningful changes in marijuana law around the country, groups within the movement are coordinating with each other more and more to present singular fronts on some issues. Recently, the Marijuana Policy Project joined with other drug policy reform organizations in calling for the withdrawal of Michele Leonhart’s nomination for head of the DEA in response to raids in San Diego and Mendocino County that violated President Obama’s orders to the Justice Department regarding medical marijuana states.
This call was joined by two very different voices on what would seem like opposite ends of the political spectrum: Jane Hamsher of the progressive blog FireDogLake and the Tenth Amendment Center, a conservative states’ rights group. This is not the first time we have seen people “reaching across the aisle” on this issue, nor will it be the last. The folly of the government’s war on marijuana users is too obvious to ignore, regardless of political ideology.
Now, however, it seems that our politicians are not only catching on, but are discovering that supporting marijuana reform is safe for them. A slew of arguments are being promoted by bloggers, politicians, law enforcement, and even Harvard economists, explaining why conservatives should support this cause traditionally associated with liberals. And Democrats are being pushed off the fence and forced to take sides by the advice coming from various strategists and political observers that they capitalize on the marijuana vote.
In a time when our nation seems divided in many directions on nearly every issue, it’s nice to see people starting to agree on something. When nearly half of Americans support legalizing possession of small amounts marijuana, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll in January, and an impressive 81% support medical marijuana, we have an issue that can really bring this country together. Getting eight in ten Americans to agree on anything at all is amazing. When you can get Barney Frank, Bob Barr, Glenn Beck, and Jon Stewart to publicly agree on that issue, unity is definitely in the air. And it smells good.