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Just Legalize it Already/ Commute the Sentences of Non-violent Weed Related Prisoners/Now smoke some

This past Friday, the House of Representatives surprisingly passed a to decriminalize marijuana and expunge previous convictions. While it’s encouraging to see 222 Democrats 5 Republicans and a Libertarian vote for the bill, 155 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted against it, and this bill will undoubtedly go on to immediately die in the Senate under Mitch McConnell. Still, while the this iteration of marijuana policy is likely doomed, it does seem to signal that decriminalization is something the Democrats would like to pursue, both in Congress and with the Presidency, and thus with pressure the new administration might actually work to pass it.

An even more optimistic view could interpret this bill as signaling that the Democrats are actually ready to play politics, rather than just complain when the Republican party manages to outmaneuver them at every turn despite the Democrats possessing what should be a winning hand as the “party of the people.” However, if the Democrats think that a meagre decriminalization bill is going to be effective in making the argument that the Democrats are worth voting for, both for the upcoming election in Georgia, as well as more generally showing why it could be important for people to vote for the Democratic Party, they are going to be disappointed unless they start thinking bigger.

Decriminalization might be what milquetoast Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are in favor of, but that's not nearly as far as the American people want to go:

Do you think the use of Marijuana should be made legal, or not?

Legal: 68%

Illegal: 32%

As we can see 68% of the American people want to legalize marijuana, not just decriminalize it. There is a yearning in this country for change as we have pointed out time and again, here at DSOT. The incredible trauma that people have experienced under Donald Trump as president and the absolute abject failure of the Republican party under the Trump administration to deal with Covid-19 effectively and humanely, and to step up when people needed them, gives the incoming Biden presidency incredible opportunities to change course and transform this country. Most people are ready for their government to take action, and the Democrats need to seize this opportunity, and fight for what over 2/3 of the country already desires, being proactive, not passive.

There is nothing impressive, nothing motivating or at least not nearly motivating enough, in these half measures to make the case for the people of GA. And we need people who are ready to fight, because make no mistake, while Donald Trump and the Republican party may currently be at odds, this won’t last beyond this special election, if it even lasts that long. If the Democratic party, in this moment, can’t make good on the promise of government, then the cynicism will grow, and the problem will grow. The Republicans have learned that the Trump strategy works, they just need someone a little bit better, and more in line with the program, and perhaps less incompetent and buffoonish. We need to be ready.

The Democrats need to be ready, and the best way to fight off neofascism, oligarchy and authoritarianism, is to demonstrate to people who are desperate, angry and disillusioned that government actually works, that it can listen to them, and deliver on their needs. No one is interested in the excuse after excuse of why it is the Democrats, even when they had power, can’t get it done. Of course, we know the Democratic party won’t or perhaps can’t rise to this occasion on their own, it's up to us as organizers, it's up to us the people to join together, to demand that our voices be heard. We know that without that continuous organized pressure from the outside, that nothing is going to fundamentally change. If we are very very lucky, we may get decriminalized marijuana sometime in 2021, and if that happens we should celebrate, but we should not mistake these half measures for the whole loaf. The American people are tired of crumbs, and they deserve the whole loaf. Join us every Tuesday in growing solidarity as we fight the powers of division and oligarchs who threaten to undermine our democracy. Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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