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You Cannot Keep People in Prison For Something You Can Buy at a Weed Boutique

DSOT (10/11/22)Hello Fellow Political Stone-cutters! This is your friendly, weekly reminder to not shop Tuesday as part of the United Protest Movement #UPM! From 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM on Tuesday (10/11), don't spend any money, unless it is an emergency of course.The First Step Towards Legalization: Better Late than Never Typically, this email focuses on one of the myriad of failures our government exhibits reflecting the will of the American people; however, just last week, Joe Biden made perhaps the second surprising positive decision of his tenure as President when he announced his administration would be taking action to both deschedule marijuana, and importantly, expunge Federal nonviolent conviction for possession of cannabis. This is an extremely positive development, and one which we are thrilled Biden has finally taken. We at DSOT have been calling for Biden to use his unilateral authority as President to take these actions since day one of his presidency. We felt confident advocating for the position, given that 91% of Americans currently agree with the legalization of marijuana! Given the near unanimity of support, this decision is a welcome one, but also frustratingly emblematic of Biden and the Democrat’s strategy of acting long after the evidence was overwhelmingly already in their favor, and only taking a half-measure to boot! It’s also hard to overlook that the last year and a half of Biden’s presidency people have languished in prison, effectively political prisoners who could have been released on day one. Still, as the saying goes, we should not look a gift horse in the mouth, because this is indeed an important step forward; rescheduling marijuana will change the overall nature of both the legal and illegal drug trade in America, allowing for better safer and regulation, more price controls and far less violence. All excellent things. In addition, as we've seen from the several states that have already moved forward on legalization, decriminalizing marijuana will be a massive boon to the economy at a time when it appears we are being pushed towards recession. These are the kinds of popular policies, bringing material benefits to people, that we want our government delivering for us, and it’s critically important we speak loudly and clearly at the ballot box next month in support of politicians (generally Democrats) who want our government reflecting the people’s will. It’s an uphill battle, as we’ve seen that positive results and polling, can often fail to translate into bolder Democratic agendas. We know, however, that the inverse will be true: a lack of support at the ballot box will guarantee an anemic Democratic party. We know as well, that regardless of next month’s elections, our votes on their own have a limited capacity to change the underlying relationship between government and its people. Donor money still runs most of the show in Washington.

The economic interests of the pharmaceutical industry, the prison industrial complex, and the carceral state at large, are tied inextricably with America’s war on Drugs. These industries have been some of the staunchest opposition to drug legalization, for example the prison industrial complex machine relies heavily on drug charges to keep its beds full and has spent millions in lobbying efforts against legalization. While for the moment Biden and the Democrats seem to have found some spine and purpose, this new found vigor will likely only last through the midterms. We’ve already seen Biden try to backtrack on parts of his student loan forgiveness, raising the possibility that something similar could happen with his other actions. In order to ensure that monied interests don’t swoop in and chip away at even the meagre progress we’ve gained so far, we’re going to need more than just political power. To get a country which represents us, and passes legislation before 90% are in support, we need organized economic power. So, join us each Tuesday, in growing solidarity, as we build an economic cudgel to keep driving progress forward, until we have a full free representative democracy. #DSOT #UPM

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