Turkeys of the Year

Time to reveal this year’s cannabis turkeys—the fattest, most frivolous, flapping, dumb-ass ideas in need of being stuffed, baked, and smoked once and for all.

Let’s start with a turkey large enough for the whole family, and by that I mean Gov. Chris Christie. He not only had the nerve to call cannabis a gateway drug, but said potheads lack restraint (ahem). “If I’m elected president I will go after marijuana smokers and the states that allow them to smoke,” he said. “I’ll shut them down big-time. I’m sick of these addicts, sick of these liberals with no self-control.” Governor GobbleGobble got in one more zinger on the campaign trail: “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie lectured a small crowd last month. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” Don’t hold your breath, Guv. Well, unless you inhaled, of course.

Last week the DEA chief, Chuck Rosenberg, called medical cannabis “a joke.” “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal—because it’s not,” said pilgrim Rosenberg. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine—that is a joke . . . If you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana—which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana—it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.” Hilarious joke for those being aided by cannabis for everything from epileptic seizures to Parkinson’s, chronic pain, PTSD, and more. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) slammed this diatribe from the House floor, calling Rosenberg “an inept, misinformed zealot who has mismanaged America’s failed policy of marijuana prohibition.” A change.org petition created for this turkey’s removal currently bears more than 100,000 signatures.

The State of Kansas is still attempting to put Shona Banda, an author and medical-marijuana patient, in prison after her young son accidentally outed her in a D.A.R.E. presentation. Banda, who uses cannabis oil to treat her Crohn’s disease, had her 11-year-old taken from her when he challenged the school presentation’s accuracy based on his own firsthand knowledge that marijuana was helping his mom battle her illness. Though her son has since been returned, Banda is still facing felony criminal charges, including distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property; unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; and child endangerment. Banda, who faces 28 years in prison, will be arraigned in January, and has become a spokesperson for legalization, bringing national attention to the absurdity of the charges. As hemp farmer Thomas Jefferson said, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Or in this case, a woman.

Ohio’s failed legalization initiative gets the Wishbone Award, screwing up not once but in two pieces! First, the deeply flawed law was a greedy attempt to make billions for the 10 millionaires who wrote and backed the initiative in the first place; second, it introduced the world to Buddy, a regrettable marijuana mascot who resembles Joe Camel. Sixty-four percent of voters clearly saw what a sham this attempted oligopoly was, and voted it down. But ya know who did support this anti-free market boondoggle? The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. For that, NORML gets a Dumb-Stick. Not everything with the words “marijuana” and “legalization” is a good idea, pals.

A 420-friendly resort called CannaCamp was set to open July 1 in a gorgeous wilderness area outside Durango, Colo. In addition to scenic cabins, weed-infused dinners, and baked yoga classes, the Mary Jane Group offered high hiking and a cannabis concierge on its 170 marijuana-friendly acres. Unfortunately, the stoners at the MJ Group didn’t get the details about the ranch’s sale a month before cannabis-campers were set to arrive. “Dude. Where’s my ranch?!”

While the Colorado CannaCampers are now looking for a new location, here in Washington we’ve got hundreds of CannaCampgrounds for all to enjoy! They’re called parks, and our beautiful state is chock full of  ’em! (Disclaimer: It is illegal to smoke in local, state, or national parks. Enjoy!)

Finally, the biggest Turkey of ’Em All was . . . the DEA! In addition to the 700,000 annual arrests still taking place for marijuana-related offenses (now there’s a harvest!), our Drug Enforcement Administration is continuing to put up major roadblocks when it comes to even researching the benefits of medical cannabis.

The solution to carving up this mega-turkey is simple: Take marijuana off the controlled-substances schedule—which currently equates pot with heroin and meth and states it has “no medically accepted use” and a “high potential for abuse.” This will allow doctors and scientific researchers to begin exploring, producing, and testing the medical benefits of this plant without fear of arrest. Put that in your pipe and stuff it. #ThankfulforLegalization

About the Author
Michael is a journalist and filmmaker. His award-winning documentary, Sleeping with Siri is playing film festivals across the country. Stusser runs TechTimeout campaigns in high schools across the country, asking teenagers to give up their digital devices (for a little while) in order to find balance, and perhaps even make eye-contact with their parents.