I just think we're in a touchy time with the whole issue and if people go hog wild with the progress that has been made...
I agree with your sentiment, but I gotta say, being on the ground here in Colorado where we've decriminalized in Denver and Breck, this isn't really the case at all. Here, it isn't
a touchy time and no one is going hog wild because of this. By and large, there is maturity all the way around (with the cops, with local gov't, with users, with taxpayers, with medicinal patients, etc.). I think the reason that two of our communities have chosen to decriminalize at the local level (and the reason that it has gone so well) is because the communities were ready
. The arguments on both sides (all sides, really) had more or less reached a basic level of maturity and we were able to get past the culture wars and myths; we were ready to look at the issue honestly.
But different places are different. For instance, I don't live in California and I'm not very familiar with their medical marijuana or decriminalization efforts. The situation there could be very different than it is here, but nonetheless they've managed to make some of the same progress that we have, even before we did. On the flip side, I've spent some time in places where the community doesn't seem as ready for decriminalization. I went on a trip to Tennessee last year, and a friend of mine literally spent a night in jail for talking about
pot. The whole atmosphere there and the attitude of the people seemed, frankly, very immature on the whole subject. It was: the cops are the bad guys, we're doing something wrong by smoking this so we have to act like criminals, and fuck it anyway, we are criminals so who gives a shit fuck the world, etc. This was the basic assumption of everyone, the cops, the users, the non-using citizens, everyone. I couldn't help but think "wow, this is how Colorado was 20 years ago!" What changed here wasn't a bunch of ballots or propositions or laws, what changed was decades
of gradual cultural acceptance, maturity, honesty and acknowledgement of reality by the entire community.
That's not something that is going to "come tumbling down...back to the Nixon era." And it's not something we did overnight either. Here in Denver, regressing on our local marijuana policy is about as likely as going back to alcohol prohibition (at least, as long as voters have a say in the matter). There may be bumps as we move ahead, but we're definitely moving ahead.