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SCOTT DREYER: The Governor’s TOP Priority – Legalizing Pot

Or do you not know that your body is a temple[] of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?  

–I Corinthians 6:19

Maybe you have heard the “Frog in the kettle” metaphor, where people can be deceived or hurt by the countless “baby steps” that gradually desensitize one to a threat until it’s too late.  

I was thinking about that this week, when I heard that the Virginia General Assembly (GA) is voting to legalize marijuana in the Old Dominion. SB (Senate Bill) 1406 (D-Ebbin) and HB (House Bill) 2312 (Herring-D) aim to do that. With all we’ve been through in the past 12 months it’s easy to forget, but I think it was just one year ago that the Democrat-controlled General Assembly voted to “Decriminalize” marijuana. 

Do you notice the language? The explanation we were told last year was, “‘We’re not legalizing marijuana–only changing the law so it won’t be illegal anymore.” When you think about it, making something “not illegal” is essentially the same as making it “legal.” It’s just a sneaky, linguistic half-step; something the fast-talking pig Squealer in Animal Farm would have been proud to think up. So, having successfully “decriminalized” it last year, this year’s step is to make it full-blown legal. 

Why didn’t the Dems try to legalize it last year? That might have risked alarming the frog, so the gradual approach works like a charm. When I read “The Nazification of Germany” chapter in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, I noticed that “frog in the kettle” pattern. As I have often told my students over the years, “Hitler didn’t come to power one day and open concentration camps and launch WWII the next. He engaged in a years-long propaganda campaign to slowly brainwash the German people. Plus, each step the Nazis pushed seemed to make perfect logical sense based on the last step they had just taken.” (You can read more about this in “How to Boil A Country Part 1.”

So now I read “the legalization of marijuana is Governor Northam’s (D) top legislative priority.” 

Let me get this straight. This is February 2021, and despite COVID, lockdowns, deaths, hospitalizations, suicides, hospital overcrowding, first responders quitting, budget shortfalls, depression and anxiety, unemployment, supply chain breakdowns, school closures while kids lose their educations, attacks on freedoms of religion and speech, voting integrity questions,  mask mandates, bankruptcies, and Virginia having one of the worst percentages of getting actual inoculations available into people…our governor–who boasts about being a doctor–has made his top priority legalizing marijuana. 

Let that sink in. Why would that be?

Could it be, he and the other Dems are hoping, as more and more Virginians get stoned and high, they won’t be as aware of all those other problems and challenges I just listed? Let’s face it: passive people are easier to control and rule.

This February is also not only Black History Month, but it’s also the second anniversary of Governor Northam’s racist photo scandal hitting the fan. Remember? Northam’s personal page in the medical school yearbook with the two leering figures, one in blackface, and one in KKK get-up? Two years of media silence have helped drop that story like a stone into the ocean. 

But back to marijuana. Here in Southwest Virginia, I-81 has been notorious for accidents and back-ups for years. What impact do you think legalizing pot will have on 81? Will legalizing pot make you feel more or less secure as you cruise along at 70 mph? How about as your teenage children or grandchildren are learning to drive? And don’t forget 460, 220, and every other street and road in the Commonwealth. 

Recently I was speaking with a friend connected to law enforcement, and he told me this disturbing story: “Starting in March, the laws in Virginia will change so police can’t stop or search anyone on the suspicion of marijuana any more. A cop might pull over a car for a tag or light out or anything, but even if the car smells like a pot factory, he can’t do anything about it. He will have to let them go.  So what happens if the driver goes down the road stoned and crashes and kills people?”

Pray tell, does all this acceptance of marijuana make you feel more or less safe as you and your loved ones travel the highways and byways of Virginia? Pardon my snarkiness, but many of our state leaders are truly working overtime to make our roads “high”ways. 

Why do you think that is?

Learn more:

Kudos to Roanoke Times columnist John Long who made a cogent argument with his Dec. 10, 2020 piece, “Do we really want to legalize marijuana?” 

The Family Foundation in Richmond has put out this fact sheet “Marijuana Facts.”

Scott Dreyer in his classroom.

– Scott Dreyer

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