Weed protests have jumped the shark. It’s official.
This past weekend, protesters wheeled out a 51 foot inflatable joint while some 200 of their comrades smoked and vaped in hopes to reschedule weed’s classification. As it stands, weed is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it is deemed, by the government and thus law enforcement, as an equally heinous and harmful substance as heroin. Marijuana’s scheduling as such was part of Richard Nixon’s war on drugs, which has recently been revealed to have had racial motives. And across the board rescheduling would help unclog an overcrowded prison system, as well as keeping indelible stains off the records of our youth.
What these people are protesting for is a good thing. So why am I so against the protests?
I guess it’s just my psychic power: I know what these people think of themselves. There is an inherent pride that a good percentage of protesters carry that renders them almost insufferable. It is an overwhelming sense of Ooh look at me! Look how civically engaged I am! Look how much I care! You are all over here worshiping the government, taking pictures, while I really know what’s up! That sentiment resides deep within most protesters. It’s what made the occupy movement so insufferable, and at the end, so ineffective. They were more wrapped up in their perception of themselves, i.e. they wanted to look cool more than they wanted to bring about change.
But some of these martyrs did feel the smart sting of the law. Two (2) citations were given out with a possible (possible!) $25 (TWENTY FIVE DOLLAR) fine. There was a time where protesters were getting blasted by fire hoses, chased by rabid dogs, beaten unconscious by consciousless policemen. There was a time that being a protestor meant that you stood up for something that was, at the time, unpopular. Many of these protestors are going for that aesthetic, that feel. Or at least they feel that way.
These protestors don’t know what they look like. They look like the most try-hard, self-indulgent, easily-impressed dopes that our earth is producing. They are so satisfied being seen taking a big toke on camera and blasting it at the lens. Yeah bud, you’re really showing the government what’s up. Either that, or you’re just getting high.
As of now, we can give these protestors no credit. It’s our duty as a society. We can’t reward their behavior. If you are doing your favorite recreational activity (and believe me, if you are at a weed rally, smoking weed is your favorite recreational activity) while you’re supposedly protesting, you can’t get the “badass protestor” badge. I’m sorry, we just can’t allow it. If a gaggle of 40 something white guys with beer bellies decided to protest the public drunkenness laws by getting shitfaced and flooding the streets, I doubt we would pat these guys on the back quite as much. Alcohol is less dangerous than weed and it’s scheduling is not putting an inordinate amount of people behind bars. Granted. But the simple fact is, these people, for the most part, are stoners, not activists. We will not see them at the pro-life rally. We will not see them picketing for the right of union workers. These people are not revolutionaries.
Let’s contextualize it another way. The fines that these people might incur is a $25 dollar fine. In Washington D.C., it is also a $25 dollar fine to have too many people on your bicycle. So it seems that the local government right where you’re protesting think what you’re doing is just about as dangerous as overloading a Schwinn. Your act of defiance is about as weak as that weed they were smoking when an act like this would have been a big deal.