Stepping Forward

There’s a lot of disillusionment with the state of our political system right now. We have two major parties that are largely beholden to powerful economic interests who’ve figured out how to funnel taxpayer money into their own pockets. We have a massive – and largely privatized – military that kills and maims innocent civilians across the globe with almost no oversight. We have the most people living behind bars (by far) of any country in the world, continuing to grow with an immigration crackdown that has continued largely under the radar. And our electorate is largely tuned out, not even able to muster the ability to demand that the two main candidates for president present a clear vision of how to deal with climate change, something that looms as potentially the most dangerous thing we’ll deal with in our lifetimes.

Yet this year, in this state, we got the chance to take two small steps forward. Voter initiatives are often cynical attempts to con voters into voting against their own economic interests. I-502 was a reminder of why they serve a real purpose. It was a genuine effort – decades in the making – to demand that government stop its foolish and wasteful crusade to keep adults from enjoying a recreational drug that’s been used by humans for thousands of years. This Tuesday, we’ll make it official. Marijuana prohibition’s days are numbered. Change is coming.

And Washington is set to become the first state (hopefully with several others on Tuesday) to end marriage discrimination at the ballot box. If only people who were personally affected by either of these initiatives cared, they wouldn’t have a chance. But more and more people are beginning to recognize the value of standing up for the rights of others, even when they involve rights you don’t ever plan to exercise yourself.

Thanks to all the folks in both the I-502 campaign, the R-74 campaign, and everyone who’s worked over the years to bring reform to where we are today. These seem like small steps compared to some of the challenges we face, but these are big victories that can give us the confidence to know that positive change can happen. And as people who’ve fought for years for gay rights and drug law reform can tell you, it’s a long battle with many setbacks. Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I-502 won’t legalize marijuana in Washington, but it will change how MJ prohibition is enforced in our state. With no state law to enforce, possession cases would have to be prosecuted in federal courts. I suspect federal prosecutors would try to suppress marijuana use by making examples of a few randomly chosen arrestees.

  2. 2

    proud leftist spews:

    I finally filled out my ballot today. As a white, Christian, straight male over 50 who hasn’t smoked a bowl in decades, I can’t tell you how good it felt to vote for: a black president; legalizing cannabis, and gay marriage.

  3. 3

    Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

    Hey, look HERE. Our own MikeBoyScout on the rec list at the Great Orange Satan.

    Really touching story about a person he met canvassing.

    He is much more magnanimous, I’m pissed about churches politicking from the pulpit – invariably telling their ‘flock’ whom to hate.

    Nasty, evil people, defied by Mike’s good grace and human kindness. Go Mike!

  4. 4

    Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

    @2
    I want to smoke a bowl in celebration when it passes!
    We are making progress, and the social conservatives are dinosaurs, and dying out. It’s the greedheads who are perpetuating themselves and need to be dealt with.

  5. 6

    don spews:

    @3

    I read that story and thought the only possible good thing is that Romney won’t be getting a vote either. How many other people threw away their ballots after being confronted by bigots at church?

  6. 7

    FricknFrack spews:

    Got 3 votes from my house “for: a black president; legalizing cannabis, and gay marriage.”

    Dang, maybe the Niece will bring something, I too haven’t smoked a bowl in 25+ yrs.

    Niece is coming up from S. WA to watch the elections with Sis & Me. I’m afraid of anyone getting too cocky. But I’m so hopeful for many wins.

  7. 8

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    2)
    I agonized over my decision on these two issues. I have believed in the past, that something has to be done to help cut off the drug cartels that are destabilizing Mexico(by the way, Mexico’s official name, Estados Unidos de Mexico, means United States of Mexico), and these groups only make their money because their product is illegal in the US. On R-74, it was a tough call, but I was moved by the remarks State Senator Hatfield said when he changed his vote.