fbpx

Ep.201: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution Part III

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.201: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution Part III

Ep.201: John Hudak, The Brookings Institution Part III

Recorded on the Friday after election day, John Hudak returns for a far reaching conversation on policy and cannabis history. He first honestly and thoughtfully discusses polling and prognostication from this cycle showcasing all that was involved in the election outcome. We then dive into governance. We discover the concept of American civic duty going beyond simply voting. We realize the fact that the ultimate accountability of our elected officials rests in the hands of we the people. We run through the Nov. 8th cannabis wins and the meaning of those wins. And we finish by discussing Marijuana: A Short History, John’s book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Brookings Press Website.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: John Hudak returns again recorded on the Friday after election day. John Hudak returns for a far reaching conversation on policy and cannabis history. He first honestly and thoughtfully discusses polling and prognostication from this cycle, showcasing all that was involved in the election outcome. We then dive into governance. We discovered the concept of American civic duty going beyond simply voting. We realized the fact that the ultimate accountability of our elected officials rests in the hands of we, the people run through the November eighth, cannabis wins and the meaning of those winds, and we finished by discussing marijuana. A short history. John's book available on Amazon, Barnes and noble, and the bookings press website. We're going to cannabis economy on your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy. Third Time's a charm. John Hudak. So we've.

Speaker 2: You want to talk about a few things here. One is governance. We were going to talk about governing. That's why I'm here, right? Sure. Then Tuesday happened, which is why we have to start with what just happened, um, and the data around it and all of that. We, and then we must finish with the original intention of the second, uh, you know, uh, interview, which was your book yet. So these are the things that we're going to discuss. Sounds good. So, um, all of the people were wrong is what happened on Tuesday. That's right. Right. So that's one of the things that happened. Um, and I said to you just now you, you've got a constituency of people that, um, don't trust

Speaker 3: the media organizations that are calling for information on polling. And so how are you going to ever be right in retrospect, don't I sound brilliant in retrospect. We all are, we're at least more brilliant than we were previously. Exactly, exactly. What are you thinking as far, just as far as the whole thing, you know, uh, as far as the information, as far as the data, as far as the election, as far as everyone being wrong. Yeah. Well, it's a really difficult situation for analysts to look at because we were all so off in, in, in one sense, in that we completely miss predicted the outcome of this race. At the same time though, you know, this isn't sort of patting ourselves on the back. We were also spot on given the data that we had. The data was part of the problem and I think looking at what errors were made in polling, my guess is they were mostly a based in an inability to properly predict what turnout would look like and that is where pollsters have their biggest risk or their biggest challenge.

Speaker 3: They have to look out at the landscape and say, this is how many white voters we expect to turn out. This is how many black voters, Latino voters voters between the age of 18 to 29 women men and put together a turnout model. When that turnout model fails, the pole fails and all of the pollsters made similar mistakes. We just have to find out exactly what those mistakes are because it leaves the rest of us who are not doing the polling but are living and dying by it, uh, you know, with, with really an empty hand. And it was a kind of a perfect storm as well. She, uh, underperformed. I'm in key constituencies. She underperformed just generally as far as, you know, a Geo tv, I guess, uh, or just v Yes. Um, you know, uh, we have a constituency that really wasn't participating in bowling.

Speaker 3: Um, and then there you have it, right? Um, is there any, because it's not Dewey Truman, is it? No, it's not. It's not dewey defeats Truman. But what we know, we know a few things right now. There's still a lot of work to be done. We know that Donald trump did not really do better than Mitt Romney. Okay. We know that he did slightly better among whites without a college education in terms of the percent share that he received, but among almost every other age and demographic groups, racial groups, women, everything. Clinton simply underperformed. Trump's numbers did not increase dramatically except for that one category which ended up being meaningful in some states, but what happened upstate's. Yeah, and not enough states for sure. What happened though was that a lot of people who voted for Obama or types of people who voted for Obama voted third party or stayed home, and so there are a lot of Republicans who woke up Wednesday morning thrilled and they should be.

Speaker 1: John Hudak returns again recorded on the Friday after election day. John Hudak returns for a far reaching conversation on policy and cannabis history. He first honestly and thoughtfully discusses polling and prognostication from this cycle, showcasing all that was involved in the election outcome. We then dive into governance. We discovered the concept of American civic duty going beyond simply voting. We realized the fact that the ultimate accountability of our elected officials rests in the hands of we, the people run through the November eighth, cannabis wins and the meaning of those winds, and we finished by discussing marijuana. A short history. John's book available on Amazon, Barnes and noble, and the bookings press website. We're going to cannabis economy on your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends and the word economy. Third Time's a charm. John Hudak. So we've.

Speaker 2: You want to talk about a few things here. One is governance. We were going to talk about governing. That's why I'm here, right? Sure. Then Tuesday happened, which is why we have to start with what just happened, um, and the data around it and all of that. We, and then we must finish with the original intention of the second, uh, you know, uh, interview, which was your book yet. So these are the things that we're going to discuss. Sounds good. So, um, all of the people were wrong is what happened on Tuesday. That's right. Right. So that's one of the things that happened. Um, and I said to you just now you, you've got a constituency of people that, um, don't trust

Speaker 3: the media organizations that are calling for information on polling. And so how are you going to ever be right in retrospect, don't I sound brilliant in retrospect. We all are, we're at least more brilliant than we were previously. Exactly, exactly. What are you thinking as far, just as far as the whole thing, you know, uh, as far as the information, as far as the data, as far as the election, as far as everyone being wrong. Yeah. Well, it's a really difficult situation for analysts to look at because we were all so off in, in, in one sense, in that we completely miss predicted the outcome of this race. At the same time though, you know, this isn't sort of patting ourselves on the back. We were also spot on given the data that we had. The data was part of the problem and I think looking at what errors were made in polling, my guess is they were mostly a based in an inability to properly predict what turnout would look like and that is where pollsters have their biggest risk or their biggest challenge.

Speaker 3: They have to look out at the landscape and say, this is how many white voters we expect to turn out. This is how many black voters, Latino voters voters between the age of 18 to 29 women men and put together a turnout model. When that turnout model fails, the pole fails and all of the pollsters made similar mistakes. We just have to find out exactly what those mistakes are because it leaves the rest of us who are not doing the polling but are living and dying by it, uh, you know, with, with really an empty hand. And it was a kind of a perfect storm as well. She, uh, underperformed. I'm in key constituencies. She underperformed just generally as far as, you know, a Geo tv, I guess, uh, or just v Yes. Um, you know, uh, we have a constituency that really wasn't participating in bowling.

Speaker 3: Um, and then there you have it, right? Um, is there any, because it's not Dewey Truman, is it? No, it's not. It's not dewey defeats Truman. But what we know, we know a few things right now. There's still a lot of work to be done. We know that Donald trump did not really do better than Mitt Romney. Okay. We know that he did slightly better among whites without a college education in terms of the percent share that he received, but among almost every other age and demographic groups, racial groups, women, everything. Clinton simply underperformed. Trump's numbers did not increase dramatically except for that one category which ended up being meaningful in some states, but what happened upstate's. Yeah, and not enough states for sure. What happened though was that a lot of people who voted for Obama or types of people who voted for Obama voted third party or stayed home, and so there are a lot of Republicans who woke up Wednesday morning thrilled and they should be.

Speaker 3: They're going to control every, every part of the federal government come January, but they need to remember that this was not a mandate. This was not an overwhelming when this was an outcome driven almost wholly by the underperformance of the Democratic nominee, not because of something magnificent by the Republican nominee, and I think a lot of people will hear that and say, well, that sounds like sour grapes, but the numbers don't lie. Right? Mitt Romney, we actually have numbers are not prognostications. You're speaking of numbers that we know exactly. This is not based on guesses. This is based on the reality of the vote count, right? A Donald trump lost the popular vote be Donald Trump did not do better than Mitt Romney. See Hillary Clinton vastly underperformed President Obama in 2012. And that is not a recipe for a huge Republican mandate. That is the recipe for a Republican win.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Those are two very different things. So, uh, so, so here we are in, um, in a place where half the people are happy, half the people are not happens after every election. Now that's true. Um, when did that start happening? Well, we, you know, our politics have gotten so polarized that there is a real sense of us versus them. Yeah. However you divide whether it's racially, ethnically in terms of income, education, or in terms of party ID. Yeah. I will say that when President Obama was first elected, he won by an overwhelming margin. And when he came to office, he actually had very high job approval rating. There were a lot of people who wanted to give him a chance. I'm ultimately, that didn't always pan out, but not because, uh, the people that didn't want him to have a chance where the leaders of the Senate and that was that, that had a lot to do with it.

Speaker 3: And I'm only saying that because they said they've admitted it. Yes. Well, the, I think it's easy to forget eight years ago and where this country was and where it was feeling, it was in the midst of a tremendous recession and had this candidate who seemed to be transformational at this point, a president elect who seemed to be transformational. A lot of people supported him. A lot of people wanted him to succeed and give him a chance. That wasn't that long ago. We're in a very different place now. I think it is unfortunate that there are a lot of people who would rather see this president elect fail. I think it's the same recipe that setup Obama for some of the real challenges that he faced. There are people who are not accepting this, uh, you know, not in the same sort of Bush v Gore way of not accepting it, but when a Hashtag on twitter, twitter is trending, that's Hashtag not my president.

Speaker 3: That's, that's a problem. Yeah, he is our president or he will be our president. And I think President Obama's words were, were good ones the other day when he said, if the president elect succeeds, America succeeds. And I think that's an important way to look at it. Trump may well fail. He may well fail miserably in that will have tremendous consequences for the United States, but if he succeeds and for the world, but if he succeeds, uh, you know, it might hurt the next Democrats chances to come to office. But it also means that the outcome of our politics and our policies will not be nearly as disastrous as people fear right now. I think that fear is real and, and well placed and has a lot of basis in reality, but it doesn't have to pan out that way. And the sooner people recognize that, I think the easier it will be to accept the results of this election.

Speaker 2: I just want to talk about, uh, a couple of other things. One is transparency and, uh, for say what you will, uh, we know a lot about the day to day of Hillary Clinton over the past at least eight years, 30, 30 years. Really now a sure account. The count, the last 30, she's been in public office. There's a lot out there.

Speaker 3: Um,

Speaker 2: there's very little out there as far as our president elect a, we've not seen his tax returns. We have no idea what he's, what he's done. We know only some of the things that he's said. We kind of know what he thinks sort of.

Speaker 3: Um, has there ever been,

Speaker 2: uh, uh, transparency kind of gap, a light like that. I mean, I don't mean to throw random questions at you without telling you that. I was going to ask you those questions, but it just seems odd that there's a. While we

Speaker 3: had so much coverage of the president elect, we almost know nothing. That's right. We, we know very little about him, if we know one thing it is that this will likely be the least transparent White House we've had in American history, um, or at least in modern history because Nixon had tapes, Nixon at least had tapes. I mean, trump has twitter, which might, might double for it and I mean if he starts ordering, don't be very unfair. It's, that's unfair. I mean if you start to ordering plumbers to break into the DNC headquarters on twitter if it might work out, but, uh, but he would be doing that in jest. He would absolutely be digressed anyway. We don't, we don't know a lot about his background in, in a variety of ways or the details of a lot of his past. I won't say that this is the biggest transparency gap we've ever had because I don't know this, you know, we, we've also heard that he's the healthiest man to ever run for president in the history of our country.

Speaker 3: So I'm not gonna make that, uh, that type of statement. What I will say though is since the public has had more of an interest in the details of the life of the president, he is likely the least transparent in that transparency gap is at its biggest, um, you know, it's, it's not really since, I mean it's only since Kennedy that people maybe even later than that, that people in retrospect to Kennedy, but yeah, but even at the time, the interest in the first family and in 1961 was, was much larger than it ever was before with Jackie and the kids. And so people began to try to get to know their president in a, in a very personal way in tv helps that, the onset of television. I was just going to say in since then, and there was certainly a lot we didn't know what was going on in the Kennedy White House that we found out later.

Speaker 3: But this is different and it's, it's funny in a sense because part of the attack on Hillary Clinton was the secrecy is transparency. This a desire to go underground. I don't think that Americans voted for a better alternative on that front right now. Many will argue they didn't have any alternative. It was a choice between two very nontransparent individuals and I've read some things that would challenge that assertion about Clinton and I think that's probably right, but uh, this is going to be a real challenge for the press, for the public, for analysts to try to understand what this White House is going to be like, what's going on in this White House. And you know, by all accounts, the Russian government in Wiki leaks have no interest whatsoever in a revealing anything about Mr. Trump. And so that resource won't help either. But I did read yesterday that the Prime Minister of Russia said, Oh yeah, no, we were, we were in contact with the trump campaign throughout the campaign. Yeah, the Russian government. Not Everybody, but definitely multiple people. The Russian government made that claim and I think that it should not surprise anyone. Frankly. This was pretty clear that there was a desire to have that kind of contact and that contact existed, especially given some of the campaign aides and their connections to the Russian Federation. Not a surprise to me

Speaker 2: when a Russia, another country says that, and when the candidate himself says that he would like for Russia to find a, you know, emails and we know that, uh, the campaign was in contact with Russia. I mean, aren't we, how reasonable is it for us to talk about treason given those facts?

Speaker 3: Well, I'm treason is a, is a big word, John Andrus word. Um, and it, it has very clear definitions in the constitution and in the United States code. Okay. Um, I think that's a, certainly not something that is his right to speculate on without real evidence of that, especially for a president elect. But, um, I think there will be a lot of people out there who line those dots up and have an easy time connecting them up. You have a, like you said, a candidate who said he would love for the Russian government to reveal emails and then now, no, there's contact with the Russian government and then emails got revealed who our intelligence agencies believe for Russians, right? Um, unstated and. Yeah, not only belief. Yeah. In concert, agree and stayed there. Most of the intelligence agencies, James called me, didn't want to make that statement because he didn't want to politicize anything before the election. It was good about that. But I think there are a lot of people who are going to ask some questions. I'll say, if I'm the Clinton campaign did this, you would bet there would be a special inquiry in Congress over this. I don't think there will be a special inquiry in Congress on this. I think that's unfortunate. It sets a horrible precedent. I think any Republican who is not alarmed by this simply because of the outcome of the election, um, is a really putting themselves and in this country in a dangerous place.

Speaker 1: This episode is supported by Focus. Focus is working on independent and international standards, small offering, third party certification for cannabis businesses. Foundation of cannabis unified standards helps build your business into the best. Be focused is not a regulatory agency so they don't engage in enforcement. Rather the organization has in place to help improve operational efficiencies, decrease operating expenses, and ultimately increased profit focus will help you build your business in a sustainable way. Guarding against risk and liability all while protecting your Ip. Go to focus standard stopped. Okay.

Speaker 4: If I voted for trump,

Speaker 3: I voted against the establishment. Let's talk about the perspective cabinet. The prospective cabinet so far appears to be a mostly party insiders, lobbyists and establishment members of the Republican Party. If you are a frustrated, economically, frustrated or socially frustrated individual in the upper midwest who took a chance on trump deciding either I'm not going to vote or I'm going to go vote for trump and decided to really just stick it to the man and stick it to the establishment. My guess is that the cabinet is going to disappoint them. Okay? They are. The names that have been floated are not outsiders. They are not disrupters, they are not agents of change. They are people who have been deeply embedded in re standard establishment, republican politics for 40 years. Some of them, I mean Ed meese is on the transition committee. This was Ronald. Yeah, I hadn't heard that yet.

Speaker 3: I knew about Gingrich. I knew about Giuliani. Chris Christie ranked prebus. Nice. Really? Yeah. That's going back. And Ronald that Ronald Reagan's aid while he was governor. Then his chief of staff and attorney general. He is a force in. He is an establishment republican politics. There was nothing outside or about it. Nice. I mean, ed meese makes the Busch family looked like outsiders. So they are compared to him. Yeah. And he's on the transition committee. This is not, I think what a lot of Republicans were signing up for, but I think for the establishment, the breathing a sigh of relief this morning. Right. Um, I will, uh, point to Peter Teal as certainly somebody outside of the establishment that seems to be working with the trump team. I think that's right. Yeah. What I don't think though is that he'll be taken seriously by the establishment. Right. And if it's one man up against, you know, 100.

Speaker 3: I don't think Peter Teal is going to have much of an effect. He did okay against Gawker. He, he did do okay against Gawker. I guess if your hobby is suing people than he's probably in the right place. All right, so, so what you're making a parent and what I'm trying to make apparent is that it turns out that our civic duty, it seems like it goes beyond just because I'm just setting up here. You can probably hear my point of view. I'm trying to not make that obvious, but I'm setting up the fact that no one that you elect is going to save you just because you elected them. There's a two step process here. The first year, right? The first step is you have to go vote. I think it's important to remember that our president elect received about 60 million votes for president 59 seven, or is it over 60?

Speaker 3: It's ticked up to I think to about 69 and there are probably 232, 240 eligible individuals to vote in this country. That means that a lot of people didn't vote for Donald Trump. He got 25 percent of the vote. Roughly. Yeah. Now most. That's true of most presidential candidate. Even Obama who won more votes than any president in American history, but still that there's that that fall off, so yeah, going out to vote is important. There are probably a lot of people who are regretting not voting or regretting voting for a third party candidate because of what the outcome of the election was. It's not to say everyone, but there has to be a segment is a handful. Yeah. Then the next step is to hold your president and your other elected officials accountable and sometimes you can do that in process. Sometimes you have to do that at the ballot box the next time, but if you wanted Donald Trump to be an outsider, someone who would quote, drain the swamp or shake up Washington, maybe he will still.

Speaker 3: The people who he has surrounded himself with on day one are not those people. I personally think it's, it's great that the president elect is surrounding himself with the people he is. Um, these are people who understand politics. They understand the process we have now. On January 20th, we will have the first person in American history to be sworn in as president who has no political, diplomatic or military leadership experience. He needs that around him. If he doesn't have it. And you may not like the WHO in terms of individually, like Rudy Giuliani or newt gingrich. There no one who understands congressional politics better than Newt Gingrich. He was speaker of the house. He was in the House for almost 20 years. You need that type of on the job training and you need good teachers have it. And so there are a lot of people who, who wanted something different from Donald trump and they might still get it, but the earliest signals that we have is that he's not surrounding himself completely with the type of people

Speaker 2: who will shake things up. So you mentioned two ways that I, me, I'm citizen May me being one of we, the people, um, can affect change. One is at the ballot box, we just did that. One is through the process holding your elected officials accountable. So I've spoken to a few congress people now I'm on this show, um, and each of them have noted, um, or at least most of them have noted that when my office gets called, I have to answer that call. And I take that call seriously. And I act on that call when someone writes me a letter, one of my constituents, I have to read that letter, or at least one of my aides reads that letters. And I have to take that letter seriously. If folks in my community organize themselves, that's obviously a louder voice. And I have to listen to that voice.

Speaker 2: So at on the ground level, this thing is still set up for we the people to be in charge. What you pointed out is that he got 25 percent of the votes. She got 25 percent of the vote. Fifty percent of the people didn't vote. So there's a lot of people that aren't engaged. There's roughly 75 percent of the people that don't like this guy. There's roughly 75 percent of the people that didn't like the last guy. Right? So there's obviously overlap there, but let's talk about this governing thing. Let's talk about how we at the ground level can help this country

Speaker 3: reverend itself. So talking to your congressman is one approach to trying to move the needle. Now in a lot of congressmen will tell you, if I get one letter from a constituent, I have to respond to that and usually those letters are responded to in some way with a form letter. Sure. What members of Congress respond to more are lots of letters. These get tallied in house and Senate offices so that if something unexpected is happening within the district that the congressman or congresswoman is unaware of a feeling about an issue or what they are allowed to be informed through that process. So, um, I interned in a, in a congressional office when I was in, in college and we used to get these, we would get form letters. We actually usually get a lot of postcards which was mailed to an address, a mail to someone in a district who cared about a given issue.

Speaker 3: A lot of it at the time was on Arctic drilling. And um, there was another weird bill about like horse slaughter. I remember we were getting a ton of stuff on. Okay, I'm against it and I'm raising my fist and a lot of people were sending. So an interest group would send postcards and then they would say, send this to your member of Congress. And we'd get stacks and stacks of postcards and I mean tens of thousands of times on single issues and to the office. To the office. Yeah. To the DC office. And the district office would get mail also and those got tallied into a system and the member was briefed weekly on what was going on. And so yeah, you can connect in some way. And I think one of the challenges trump is about to face, he's, he's got a lot of challenges he's about to face like any new president, but for him he has always been a businessman and he's been a unique businessman.

Speaker 3: He's not really answered to a board of directors. He's been a very unitary business leader. He has surrounded himself by staffers, the closest of whom are his children. And you get into a bubble in terms of how to operate. And you also get used to having your way. It's not a bad thing for a businessman. Um, it's done Donald Trump quite well, but that's not how being a president works and he is going to have to deal with the congress. And what will be most difficult for him, I think, is that he's going into this thinking, this is a Republican Congress. I get my way. They're going to do anything I want, anything I want. And it's not going to happen. He is going to find very quickly how disruptive Congress, even if your own party can be there is there are a lot of people in Congress, Republicans in Congress who don't agree with his positions on trade and immigration and other issues.

Speaker 3: There are a lot who are, but they will be infrastructure by the way, especially infrastructure. They're going to stand in the way. They're not going to roll over for this president, especially a president. A lot of them didn't endorse or many of them didn't endorse. So I'm governing is going to be a real challenge and it is set up right now to look like it will be easy and it will be a very difficult in be. The accountability for the new president will be profound because while he'll blame a lot on his predecessor, the ability to fix it is entirely in the hands of the Republican Party right now. They cannot blame Democrats. That will. They'll try, but most people are going to look at it like they looked at 2009 and 2010 for Democrats and said, this is all you. You've, this is your game, you're running it, fix it.

Speaker 3: Each house. Yeah, exactly. All right, so, so then I'm listening to this and uh, you know, um, maybe I wasn't pleased with the election. Maybe I'm not pleased because I've been listening to the two of you guys, me and you. Yes. Outlining a, wait a second. There's insiders that are running this, this thing, at least from the start. Sure. Let's give him a chance. Let's see what happens. But it sounds like I should remain engaged. It sounds like I should absolutely be calling. Um, we have this new thing, uh, you know, social media where I can connect with everybody that I've ever known ever. Yes. Um, how would you suggest that folks use this? Use this platform, uh, that, uh, that they have at their fingertips? Literally, I would say to use it responsibly and in a meaningful way too much on social media is is nonsense and noise and garbage and people who react emotionally to outcomes on social media and many times viciously, you're not taken seriously, but what facebook and twitter in particular have the real opportunity to do his voice, those messages in a serious ways.

Speaker 3: I did not intern in Congress during a time of social media and I assume that offices do take seriously, Hashtag trends and things like that just as a means of getting the pulse of society or at least a segment of society. And I know members of Congress use twitter pretty extensively. Many of them do. They use facebook in very serious ways now and so you can use this to communicate with your members, but uh, and really with your White House, but you have to do it, like I said, seriously and not in a hateful way or a mean spirited way. If you have criticism, voice it, but do it respectfully. That is what gets attention paid to it. I'm one of the thing that's most troubling me, so troubled me over the past couple of days where we're taping this on veteran's day on, on November 11th, and do a to every single veteran past and present exactly my father included.

Speaker 3: And uh, and this is a couple of days after the election and on twitter yesterday, I saw self described progressive's others as well, but self described progressive's saying horrifying things about Mrs Trump. I'm the term I usually hear is slut shaming, criticizing her behaviors and her choices in a very gendered, very misogynistic. I'm very anti woman way. I'm using very horrifying, uh, anti immigrant rhetoric against Mrs Trump and American citizen number one. That's horrific. It Shan't be done. Number two, you're wasting your time. Exactly. And you're, you're showing your true colors too. I mean, if you were a progressive, if you were a Bernie supporter or a Clinton supporter, um, neither of them would say those things or probably think those things about Mrs Trump, I would say, especially Hillary Clinton who has gone through that herself as first lady. Um, your opinion is immediately discounted when that type of rhetoric happens and that rhetoric happens for the president elect, the vice president, the future first lady, this president, Mrs Obama, um, and you can't take that back. It lives forever. And so that is an example of really harmful uses of social media when it really has the opportunity to hold this president accountable or to get the message out in the right way.

Speaker 2: So let's throw those in the garbage quite literally, but you mentioned Hashtag not my president. So I'm, I'm listening to you, John and I'm, I'm at home and I just sent another one and this one was really good and it ended with Hashtag not my president. What can I do? What can that person do to organize those thoughts and put them into a messaging that is productive instead of Hashtag not my president. What's the alternative? What do I actually do? I think the Hashtag bag

Speaker 3: is a, is not helpful. You know, say whatever you want, that's fine. But if I am Mr. Trump or I am one of his advisors, or soon to be one of the members of his administration, and uh, let's say it's some low level appointee who's in charge in charge of social media for the EPA. Uh, if you, if you're trying to get a read on people's views on the environment, you're probably not going to take seriously people who are saying Hashtag not my president because they're coming from a place of emotion and the way that you channel that is think through your policy views. Think through what the new president is doing or planning to do, and then respond accordingly with your disagreement. This is, you know, uh, around this policy. Here are my problems with it. Here's what I think you should do. Thank you.

Speaker 3: You be respectful. The form letters that I was talking about before that interest group send, they're not filled with expletives. They're not slut shaming women in the administration. There's not hashtags on them. Although actually there, there probably are hashtags now, but they are hashtags like, you know, don't drill or, you know, Save, save the lands or something like that. They're not, not my president. Right. And you have to realize that humans are going to be interpreting these in collecting data on these things and they're going to make certain discounts to certain messages. I think also people are reacting now to the results of the election. Some people with Glee and some people with horror. It's also important to remember Donald Trump has not done anything yet. Sure. Um, he has not really laid out a vision. He has not made a single decision even about who the only decision has made vice president, his vice president.

Speaker 3: Um, and so wait, you know, I think a lot of people don't want to give this man a chance. And I understand where, where that emotion comes from. Everyone you and I, and everyone listening to this podcast has lost a presidential election. That is the candidate you voted for, um, lost unless by some fluke your a Clinton Bush, Obama, trump voter. Um, over time I assume that those people, someone has to exist in Canada, [inaudible] dot com. If you are, please, please, and, and email me too, but we've all lost some election. Yeah. And you get emotional after that and it's very difficult. But give the guy a shot when he screws up, go for it and then voice that frustration productively, but he hasn't in an official capacity screwed up yet, right at the same time. He also hasn't done anything productive yet because he's not president yet as he starts to pick his appointees, if you object because of the background of that individual, his or her qualities, um, his or her views on certain issues express that, that's fine.

Speaker 3: Um, express it to your senators to who are going to have to vote on the confirmation, but wait until policy discussions start. You don't have to wait for a policy to be passed because that's too late. But as they start to discuss repealing obamacare, for instance, and you start to see what the new plan looks like. It could be a repeal and replace. It could be repealed. It could be repeal and parts voice. Why the parts that are getting repealed bother you or voice why the parts not getting repealed or things you want repealed. I mean engage in that discussion, but you know, if, if we had president elect Hillary Clinton right now, I would be saying something very different because we knew a lot of the details of the policies that she wanted and so you could voice those. We know some of the policies.

Speaker 3: They could voice those immediately immediately because you know what she's interested in. There are certain policies, yes, that, that we know trump wants to do as president. You can talk about those now, but others are so mushy and so cloudy that we don't know the direction it's moving in and so waiting to hear at least some of the details is important. Yeah, and just a final point on the Hashtag, not my president because this is the a portion of our conversation that is focused on holding your elected officials accountable. If you say not my president, you are at your literally doing the opposite of holding the president accountable. You're telling him that you are not someone that he has to worry about. That's exactly right. In. You're also removing yourself from the conversation. You're saying that I am not part of this and you might not to be part of this.

Speaker 3: You are. I have a lot of friends who are progressives and they do not want any part of the next four years. You don't have a choice. And you know, the thing that everyone always says after an election, I'm moving to Canada or I'm moving to France or Britain. Uh, yeah, the American president still has a pretty big impact on your life no matter where you are. And so you are part of this and so act that way. Yeah. Be Part of it. Be that vocal opponent or be that cheering support or, or better yet be the. A legitimate skeptic. Yeah. Right. So I'll say I voted for Barack Obama twice. I'm begrudgingly. I did not expect either time that I was going to be happy with it, his administration, but for me he was, he was my lesser of two evils. Um, and there are things that the president has done that I applaud.

Speaker 3: Yeah, the President Obama has done that. I applaud, I think they're very good things. There are other things that I think are terrible and when he screws up, I'm happy to say it. And at the Brookings Institution, I have a platform where I can write about it very publicly and go on TV and discuss it. And uh, I will say on balance I probably have more positive things to say about Obama, the negative things to say, but I'm a true skeptic of his administration. I am someone who is not a cheerleader. That's how everyone should be. And it's not to say that you should approve of what President Obama does unbalanced, but you, there is no individual in the United States for whom every decision Barack Obama has made has meant ill for them. There. That's also true of every precedent. Every, if you were a bush, a supporter or a Bush opponent, there were a lot of things that George Bush did that benefited Americans.

Speaker 3: There are a lot of things that George Bush did that hurt Americans. And so go into the trump presidency, understanding that he is not going to end the world or in society as we know it. There are going to be some choices. He makes the hurt you in some that help you to and be, you know, a John Roberts said during his confirmation hearings that as a judge or an umpire and you, you, you, you call balls and strikes, we'll call balls and strikes on this administration, um, in don't just call everything a strike because then you're not being helpful or productive. Right? And might be good to mention at this point. Not Everybody loved Adam's. Not Everybody loved Jefferson and they had a pretty interesting relationship between them. Exactly. A lot of former presidents have a grow to like each other. I, you know, the Adams and Jefferson, one is, is historic.

Speaker 3: And probably the first really the first pair of presidential opponents who, who went on to become friends. But you know, Bill Clinton beat George H, w Bush, George H dot w dot Bush was furious over the result of that election. And they are now very close, very, very close. Even Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton, I mean, they're certainly not as close as the former presidents are, but they, those are political opponents who, you know, let bygones be bygones, I think over the past few months. In fact, just seeing the occasions in which President Bush and President Obama have been in each other's company, there is a bond there. W Bush and President Obama, and now granted Obama didn't beat Bush up, but he beat a Republican who was hoping to succeed. Bush, there's a warmth there. There's a genuineness. I don't think it's the same as Clinton and Bush Hw Bush or Jefferson and Adams.

Speaker 3: Uh, but there is a warmth that exists. And I think, uh, if there is anything inspiring on November 10th, uh, the president elect met with the president at the White House and the conversation, the words that trump had were extremely respectful. Um, he was clearly understanding the moment and had for the first time in his life, nice things to say about President Obama. Yes. He was sitting in the White House and next to him next to him. And so he has to say those things. I think some will say Donald Trump doesn't have to do anything and we've seen that over the past two years. He says what he wants when he wants to and uh, I think there will be some working relationship there between the two presidents because there has to be. I did a panel here at Brookings the day after the election and one of the audience members asked a great question.

Speaker 3: They said if you had one piece, just one piece of advice to give the president elect, what would it be? In my co panelists had had good answers and I said, do what most presidents do, new presidents do, and that is invite the fraternity over all of the former presidents and invite them over, talk to them, get to know them, ask for their advice and keep talking to them. Yeah. I think the craziest thing for a lot of people to think right now on both sides is that Donald trump can learn a lot from Barack Obama and he should. He's not going to learn policy ideas that maybe he will, but they don't see eye to eye on policy. But we are in a spot right now where for people in this world know what Donald Trump is about to inherit it it's fullest, and as someone who has never been anywhere near the presidency in a way that is true of no one else who has held the office, he really needs that help from the current president.

Speaker 3: And hopefully the olive branch that was on display yesterday continues. And, uh, by all accounts, President Obama has worked with his former, with former presidents as well. And in fact, I think one of the best displays of this and the Obama administration was the president's first call after the bin Laden raid was confirmed and that bin Laden was confirmed dead. That first call was to George W Bush and that says a lot. It did not have to be. Nope, I'm at all. Uh, but there is a respect that develops. I mean, Barack Obama spent the entire campaign trail in 2007 and 2008 just slamming Bush at every turn. A man who ruined our economy and ruined everything. And then that was what Obama should have done, is to call George W Bush, right? It is not what Obama was required to do. Right. But he did it. He did it. Yeah.

Speaker 3: So I guess, um, to shift gears now at this point, the other thing that happened, John, at the ballot box was that there was an even more clear winner then Donald Trump. And that even more clear winner was cannabis. Cannabis was a big winner because as we keep saying, no matter if you're a democrat or Republican, cannabis gets more votes than you. That is true. A nine ballot initiatives in the US, a Tuesday night recreational initiatives in California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine. They passed everywhere. But Arizona, valid initiatives for medical in Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Missouri in Montana. All of those past a Florida passing above the constitutional muster of 60 percent actually getting almost 72 percent. Seventy one percent. They pass that with 71 percent in Florida. I've been saying, I don't even agree with myself. Seventy one percent of the time. That's right.

Speaker 3: Florida was ready for this. It barely a defeated it in 2014 and it overwhelmingly approved it in 2016. Pretty similar measures. In addition to that, there were cannabis measures below the state level. I'm a public use, uh, uh, in Colorado and in Denver there were the, in Pueblo, Colorado, there was an effort to ban a marijuana growth and dispensary's that was defeated. There were several cities in California that were voting to allow medical marijuana on their bow and not on the ballot. They were voting to approve a medical marijuana dispensaries in those cities. Right. Most of those past, it was a big night for cannabis, a very big night. So it, it, uh, it would do us justice then to talk about the history, but, but only a short history. John. Only a short history now. First off, so we're talking about your book, of course.

Speaker 3: Yes. So why a short history on it? Because I think to myself, well, isn't it a brief history, John? Why is short history? So I get a lot of questions about, uh, the title of the book, which is marijuana, a short history. Yeah. I'm on sale at Barnes and noble on Amazon and the Brookings Press website, the Weldon, the brookings press is in the middle of putting out a series called the short history. And so one, my book was the first in the series. The next book is on global cities and there will be several others. Most people say it should see it should be a blunt history, right? Marijuana, blunt history. And then there's, there's a variety of other. Yeah, exactly. There's plenty, plenty of other things. But, uh, no, I didn't have much of a choice over the title. I, I, I did have a choice over it being called marijuana instead of cannabis, which in the, uh, either in the first or the second chapter, I actually go to great length a discussing that choice.

Speaker 3: We're going to get to that, to use that word, but that was the only power that I had over the title. Alright, so then let's, let's do you know the highlights so that folks can go buy it. Um, it, it starts by degree of, by decree of the king, doesn't it? Yeah. I write a lot about, uh, the policy history. Yeah, that's most of the book. Um, there has been a lot of really good work done on the social and cultural, in grassroots history around marijuana. Um, I wasn't touching her. I didn't think I had anything to add. It's not my training. My training is in politics and policy. And so this book focuses on that and it begins with cannabis and America, not cannabis in the United States, but cannabis in America, which is, what's the difference? The cannabis plant was the, you said cannabis and American, not cannabis in the United States.

Speaker 3: That's right. What's the cannabis plant was grown for hemp a long before the US was founded. In fact, it was in the colonies for periods of time. It was mandated by the crown to be grown to Masco America go, um, the, uh, the plant had so many uses in the British economy, particularly military uses for rope lines and sales and other things like that, that it was a required crop to grow and it's fairly easy to grow for that purpose. But several of the colonies in the US had a very good, um, uh, soil and environment to grow it in. And so it has been here for longer than our country has. Yeah. So, so Kim King James Right, tells Virginia go ahead and, and, and grow him, right? Grow hemp. Um, if you're a landowner, you are required to. And a part of that was then sold back into the British economy.

Speaker 3: And uh, it was uh, an important, uh, like I said, an important part of the economy. It wasn't required at all times, but that tradition continued after the US was founded. That tradition continued or Washington had crops. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, uh, wrote about it and this was a staple in some ways to the royal economy. And then the U s economy. What is interesting to me is that it started to change out west, which is the opposite, you know, then now has started to chafe backwards from there. How come the plant was used for a variety of purposes as I said, but along the way, people understood. If you grew it in a certain way, you could get an intoxicating product from it. And there's evidence. John Adams was aware of this. We know that cultures past. We're very aware of this in China and elsewhere, and these were learned men, right?

Speaker 3: These are people who traveled the world. John Adams was an ambassador to several countries, Benjamin Franklin, to these were people who had been around the world and read about what's going on around the world and had to have been aware that this plant had this potential, but it wasn't widespread. I mean, it was used medicinally. I'm in until the 19 hundreds really. But it was seen as a drug. I'm a bad drug, a poison poison when Mexicans were seen as users of it, and then cannabis became marijuana and it also became something that was vilified and after the Spanish American war, that Mexican immigration, of course, was largely in the west, in the Western territories and the western states. And that vilification continued. Um, and so what was something that was a very important positive initially in the east became a very critical negative in the west. So, uh, uh, you know, a history seems to repeat itself.

Speaker 3: We just had an election where immigration was a huge topic and, and here we are, you know, in the short history of, uh, of marijuana, we call it marijuana because of that same thing. Exactly the, uh, the parallels are, are stark. There is one difference I will say is that media and Hollywood, we're complicit with the government's propaganda around the ills of Mexican immigration and the harm that this drug could do and we don't have that this time when you have a presidential candidate saying that Mexicans are all rapists and murderers, um, you have media reporting those words but not confirming them and you certainly don't have Hollywood embracing it either. But yeah, the parallels are stark. So when you say media, I would imagine you're, you're speaking of hearst, I don't mean to make a giant jump, but is that what you're. Yeah, hearst was a big part of it, but he wasn't the only one.

Speaker 3: There were a lot of newspapers and newspaper owners, uh, and a radio that we're engaging in this type of rhetoric and this type of behavior in part because government was feeding it to them, but in part because they saw themselves as protectors of society, and this was a threat. Why was government feeding it to them? Why was it a threat? Well, it was cultural change. A Mexican immigrants were seen as people who would come in and a hurt communities with violence, with drugs, uh, with uh, uh, their own culture, which was a threat. Government saw this as people who were going to destroy America. People who are going to disrupt our way of life, a, become a burden on society. Again, a lot of the same rhetoric. And there was an effort to buffer real Americans from this otherness and drugs were a, in specifically marijuana were a really nice avenue, a really nice vehicle rather to do that.

Speaker 3: So let's, you know, pick and choose who we want to talk about. Let's talk about Harry Anslinger. Sure. Harry anslinger was a really. The nation's first drugs are a, he was head of a series of agencies or an agency with a series of names that ultimately really was the precursor for dea. And he was initially in the Bureau of Prohibition. He was a teetotaler and he eventually became the j Edgar Hoover of drugs. He served almost concurrently with hoover. Uh, he, he from the thirties to the sixties, he was someone who was almost singularly responsible for drug policy, the direction that it moved in, the racialization of it, the execution of it, and the expansion of it. During that time, he was an outright racist. Um, he was an individual who made up statistics to suit himself. He was a master at manipulating Congress to get what he wanted and to just squashing every bit of opposition that he came into contact with. He, he behaved quite a bit like hoover at least publicly. Um, and, uh, he was read more later. If you go on, there's not a chapter on that in my book, but he really affected the trajectory of drug policy in a way that no one else did. And no one else could stop.

Speaker 2: So, which, which, uh, you know, ultimately a kind of comes about in the marijuana tax act of 1937 and I would love for you to talk about that and then how it's possible that in 42 to 45, we also had, you know, a grow hemp for the war. How, how could we have done this within a, an eight year span.

Speaker 3: The marijuana tax act in 1937 was something that uh, Harry anslinger worked very hard on and to get past this was the really the first step toward prohibition of marijuana. It at that time, up to that time it was regulated under the Food and drug act of 19. Oh six. And then it's future amendments. But that was it. It was regulated. It could be prescribed or it could be, you know, used in medicine. It was not something that the government had banned. The marijuana tax act said that any doctor who prescribed marijuana, um, needed to keep a rigorous accounting of it. But he, uh, that doctor, I say he, they were mostly he then, um, he needed to get a special tax stamp from the US Department of Treasury to author and, and pay for the tax in order to have authorization to use this. Okay. That just, today's dollars is about $2,000.

Speaker 3: Yeah, it's a pretty, you know, at that time it was steep. Yeah, it was steep. It was meant to be prohibitive. Um, but, uh, no one really realized how prohibitive it would be because while that policy was in place, and if you think about it, it sounds a lot like how a medical marijuana or even legal marijuana works in the US today. You have typically Washington state and obviously others, but the excise tax in Washington is very high. That's right. And you have a, uh, you have a requirement to pay some sort of fee in order to engage in this business today. It's licensure. Um, but the treasury department wouldn't issue any stamps. They would not allow the system. They have this discretion, uh, to whom and to issue these stamps. And so while the policy was in place to allow marijuana to be sold, the Treasury Department made sure that it would not be who is running the Treasury Department at the time, just out of interest.

Speaker 3: Gosh, in 1937, wasn't it melon that that sounds like it could be right. And then the richest guy in the United States of America. Exactly. But anyway, and uh, speaking of elite establishment and Anslinger is uh, uh, you know, post was a, was fairly close to the bureau of Prohibition, had, had been there for some time and even though there was some reorganization, a, the government was not as big as it is, it is today. And it was easy to be able to manipulate those things. And so the federal government refused to issue tax stamps. So at that point though, marijuana was not banned by law, it was banned by the effect of the law's implementation. How do we square it with grow hemp for the war for literally five to eight years later? Sure. Well, the public policy doesn't have to be consistent. That's breaking news. Uh, and I think you have a situation in which a lot of people were unaware of this product.

Speaker 3: You know, it's not like today where most people have tried it, many people use it, everyone is aware of it. Um, at this time, that wasn't the case. This was a, a, a, a big unknown that empowered anslinger to really vilify this because all people knew about this plant was what the government was telling them. It's not like now where when government uses propaganda, people filter that through their own experience. Um, but then that was all there was. So I would bet there were a lot of people who didn't even realize that hemp and marijuana were the same plant still to this day. Yeah, I, I, that's probably right. And so it was easy to, um, uh, you know, pull the wool over people's eyes at the same time, you know, from a functional perspective, a lot of plants look alike, right? I mean, you know, flowers look different and things like that, but different ferns and stuff, you know, I went to college, my college roommate was a horticulture major.

Speaker 3: I'm sure he can tell the difference, uh, but I can't between different firms. And so my guess is even if you were looking at it, people would think, oh, they, those things look similar, but they're different and uh, yeah, government saw a need for one thing and a need to ban the other thing and allowed those very divergent policies to go forward. Would you stop me before the controlled Substances Act of 1970? Is there another tent pole that we should bring up between 45 and 70? I mean, a lot happened in terms of government reports that came out that in many cases challenged with the government was saying with the official line look already have being a main a report in the forties, the Eisenhower report and the fifties and, and others. I'm really challenged what most government information was on this. And uh, those reports were discounted tremendously.

Speaker 3: I mean, it's funny you look at the ICU say discounted. Do you mean ignored completely in and trashed? And the authors were trashed. The Eisenhower report I think is one of the least read or at least known about in one of the most important in the sense that it stands the test of time. You go back and read it and it talks about real risks of failure in drug education and a need for decriminalization because, uh, a prison time is not helping, um, with, uh, dealing with the drug, a real turn toward public health rather than a public safety perspective on this. The Eisenhower report is pressing remark. Yeah. It is remarkably before its time and are ahead of its time rather. And uh, this is something that came out in the late fifties and you could pick it up today and it could inform a lot of public policy even still now.

Speaker 3: Yeah, right now. Amazing. Um, all right. So then, you know, uh, back to our friend Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon comes to town and uh, he realizes that, or I should say he comes back to town and to be president because he was vice president under Eisenhower. Exactly ran it, ran for president in 1960. Lost and then was elected president in 1968 after losing a governorship race in California. Yes. That too. And he, he realized that drug policy was a political tool and that he could divide America and conquer by using this to, uh, engage the silent majority. Exactly. And also to create clear lines between good quote unquote good members of society and the rest. And so this was a way to divide white Americans from Hispanics, white Americans from African Americans and uh, you know, good natured people from the beatniks of the fifties and the hippies of the sixties, the counterculture movement.

Speaker 3: And he was successful twice in doing that in drug policy was a very big part of that. He ensured that the controlled Substances Act was passed to ensure America complied with our obligations under the single convention on narcotic drugs, which happened when, because we skipped it, the 19 sixties. Um, the, uh, an international agreement was Geneva forged and uh, and then each member nation to that agreement needed to pass domestic laws to comply. And the controlled Substances Act was it for the United States. He created the dea. He elevated drug policy to end even more presidential level. He spoke about drugs. Uh, he, he spoke about the war on drugs using war time rhetoric, some of the harshest rhetoric we had seen from a president on this issue and laid the groundwork for his successors to do the same.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And we've spoken to nearly ad nauseum about, uh, the just say no stuff and you know, we kind of know all that. Let's kind of land the plane with the, the whole thing. Shifting back the, you know, because what was the first kind of a moment of that, I guess Keith stroup from norml would probably mentioned the decrim stuff that, uh, the, the 11 states that he was able to, uh, have act or get to act in this. In the 19 seventies,

Speaker 3: the 19 seventies started this, this counter movement to the drug war. There were decriminalization efforts. Uh, there were legalization votes in state legislatures in Oregon for instance. I'm the first, I would say, and Keith would probably disagree with me. I'm in that, that's fine, but I would argue the first, a most serious victory for the reform movement, shifting, taking a step away from the, the drug war came in 1975 when the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that home grows of marijuana were constitutional under the state's constitutional privacy protections. Yeah. This was very significant. It held up for quite some time, uh, into the nineties actually. And the, that was the first real, I would argue, real victory. And it was a small state. It was far away. It was.

Speaker 2: I'm just going to have to correct you because I'm, the person that runs the regulations for Alaska was, was on the program and she did mention this. Oh, okay. Yeah. So Cindy would say, um, that, uh, Alaska is not a small state. It's the biggest state that is true. They, alas is from Texas. So for her to know that she, she's saying something. So Cynthia Franklin, uh, is of course talking about the, the geographic size, not the population size, which is what you were discussing. This, I'm talking about the, uh, population size and if frankly, if home grows are, uh, are illegal, some people own a lot of land up there, so maybe that was a misstatement, but, uh, you, you had not a lot of people living in this state

Speaker 3: who's a distant. It was not contiguous and Alaska is just a weird place, right? If you've ever been there, it's a weird place. And so it's fascinating. It's amazing. It is the most beautiful state I've ever had, the most beautiful place I have ever been and I've been to a lot of places on this planet there. Yeah. And uh, but it's easy to discount, but momentum built in normal had a lot to do with this. And decrim efforts started in the states. It really ramped up in municipalities too. And then in the late 19 seventies, Jimmy Carter came very close to pushing a, in a forceful way, national decriminalization of marijuana. And because of some political scandals, uh, it didn't pan out, but at that point there was a lot of momentum. The movement was growing and strengthening the conversation was changing and public opinion had peaked for legalization, not decriminalization, but actually legalization in the late 19 seventies to its highest level ever to that point.

Speaker 3: When the Carter White House stepped away and interesting way to put that, but go on the. The movement really suffered a serious body blow and when Reagan became president, the drug war ramped up again. To be fair, the drug were actually did ramp up in the 1980 campaign and Carter was part of that, but a part of that drug war, but when Reagan was elected, it really went full throttle and you saw support for legalization decline again in the 19 eighties to its lowest levels in, in quite some time. And so that government rhetoric is so meaningful to public opinion and you see those waves. I devote a chapter to the book just on this ebb and flow of public opinion, uh, from the earliest they were polled testing this in the sixties. Yeah. Until today or it, of course, when you write a book called a short history, it's outdated the day it gets printed.

Speaker 3: And so, uh, should put part one, I should have. Yeah, exactly like Mel Brooks did with history of the world part one. Exactly. And uh, but the nice thing is it means I can write a later additions and that's an easier lift than writing a new book. Yeah. World War One was the great war, you know, so it's right. We can rewrite the, uh, title here. Exactly. And it wasn't World War One and World War Two came. That's my point. Yeah. Yeah. And so we, uh, we see this up and down with the movement and uh, the seventies were a great time for the movement and the eighties were probably, it's worse time. So then just take us through the nineties because that is where the people that we know, some of the people that have been on this program have told us about their, you know, efforts.

Speaker 3: So, you know, from your kind of policy perspective, um, share the eighties, as I said, we're really a low point for the movement. But like what happens in a lot of these conversations, the side that was winning overreached and the rhetoric around drugs, especially marijuana became so hyperbolic and so much of a caricature that people began to discount and the just say no campaign was clearly a failure. I'm a lot of the TV commercials were, were something you were more likely to laugh at them take seriously and having to do with eggs and such. Yeah, exempt frying pans and, and, you know, the stuff I grew up on and likewise, and it just, I mean, at the time you, you know, you just, you have no idea what it, it doesn't make any sense. And if you've used marijuana before, um, you know, that it is not like your eggs being scrambled or fried in a frying pan.

Speaker 3: So there was a real pushback, I think culturally, but there was a pushback at the grassroots to, and people started to pick the car. The cars never went away, but people started to rebuild momentum. Uh, particularly around medical marijuana in Congress. There were a series of pieces of legislation that were filed, um, to try to get marijuana legalized. In fact, the first time it was done in the 19 eighties, it was proposed by a congressman from Connecticut. I'm Stuart Mckinney, and it had a lot of cosponsors including Newt Gingrich and including a lot of very conservative members of Congress who later would be complicit in the, a drug or a secretary of state. Newt Gingrich was exactly secretary of State Newt Gingrich and almost presidential nominee. Newt Gingrich was, was a supporter, and Stuart mckinney interestingly ended up dying of Aids while in office and some of his friends around him a thought, here's actually a guy who would have benefited tremendously at the end of his life, um, from, from medical marijuana.

Speaker 3: And the that caused continued and it continued a sort of in limbo without tremendous success, uh, into the 19 nineties when the movement really ramped up in California and eventually led to the passage of the first medical marijuana initiative in 1996, which is, uh, is amazing, right? That it just takes us full circle in that same state. Yeah, we have 1996 election day, 1996, uh, where medical marijuana is legalized for the first time, uh, the initiative received more votes in that state than Bill Clinton got to be reelected again, Democrats, Republicans, cannabis gets more votes than you. That's right. And the state didn't know how to react to that at the time. Fast forward 20 years later and California legalizes recreational marijuana on election day receiving more votes than the Democratic nominee for president. I'm in that state. And so, uh, it, it has been this sort of interesting arc to see and now that about 20 percent of Americans live in a recreational states, uh, over 200 million Americans live in a medical marijuana states.

Speaker 3: I think even if you talk to keith a or any of the really early members of the movement, uh, if they thought in 2016, we would have that much policy change that much support in one day. Yeah. In one day that they never could have dreamed it. Maybe they dreamed it. I don't know. No, no. He literally just said, I can't believe that that just happened. Yeah. And you know, Tuesday was a huge day for the reform movement. Um, it probably its biggest yet. Certainly it's biggest question. And uh, I, I might've said this on the show before, but I'm, one of the things I always get asked is why is brooking studying marijuana? And I say because it's public policy, it's not a spoof or a goof or a taboo topic or something that's one off. It's serious public policy. 20 eight states you mentioned adult use.

Speaker 3: Let's look at how many states here, you know, that's most of the nation. Exactly. And so it demands study. It demands serious study from an institution like this one and many others. Well I would like to continue talking about it, uh, but not today because we've taken enough of your time. Um, I'll ask you the final question that I always ask, right? Because you, you've answered the other two. I prepped for this the last time you did. And what about this time? I'm a no, but I actually have a really good answer. All right. So on the soundtrack of your life, John Hudak for today, or any day one track one song that's got to be on there. So this is my, uh, I'm, I'm grateful that this is my third time on this show and we are grateful to have you on, uh, and you know, you, we all go through these moments of change where, uh, I think it's true for music.

Speaker 3: You know, sometimes you're in one mood and sometimes you're in another and I think, uh, after Tuesday, after the humbling experience of Tuesday, and I say that not a based on who I supported for president or it's a data point I did. Yeah, exactly. Um, but just from a how awful my predictions were and if you're interested, go back and listen to what episode one 64 of this just to see how seriously wrong I was in dismissive. I was, but I mean, you were wrong. Um, uh, correctly. It is, right. I was correctly Roman. Uh, but, uh, so I, I think it would be fitting that right now though. The one track for my life would actually be a Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I'm who just passed away. He passed away yesterday and I thought after this week it would, uh, it was almost poetic that a, what I consider one of the most beautifully written, self-inflicted songs in our history.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Um, uh, it's fitting for this week in that Leonard Cohen passed two days after, uh, like I said, this humbling moment, which was humbling for me from an analytical perspective. And I think humbling for a lot of other individuals because of the outcome. And so yeah, uh, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is, uh, is my track for this time, uh, that's a first and that is absolutely one of the most beautiful songs ever livable. And I'm singing it in my head right now and I'm going to cry and there are so many renditions that are also beautiful. I mean, some people just ruin it. Um, but for a song that, uh, you know, his stood up, you have, you know, you look at Katie Lang's version of it and others that are all a little bit different and all, just not all, many just incredible. Some, many. I once saw a list of the top hundred renditions of Hallelujah and Leonard Cohen was like number five or six.

Speaker 3: The guy who wrote it saying it for it was like five or six. Um, that's, I mean, you know, Ringo was a out done, you know, on a, with a little help from my friends. That's all right. And Joe Cocker there. There you go. And it's a uh, I also think it's fitting because there are a lot of people for a lot of different reasons saying Hallelujah right now. Some with hope, some with despair. And I think it's Kinda neat that a song that so many people have sort of nailed a is the song that this week a lot of people, a lot of people are saying that in singing that I think John Hudack. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Thank you so much. Thank you. And there you have John Hudack.

Speaker 1: Very much appreciate John's time. A really good conversation there on governance. You know, it's up to us, which is refreshing in a way. Go Out and get Jon's book. Amazon Barnes, noble, the Brookings Institution, a press site. Love to hear your thoughts and the either way. Thanks for listening.

Read the full transcript:

Become a member to access to webinars, quarterly reports, contributor columns, shows, excerpts, and complete podcast transcripts

Become a Member

Already a member? Login here.

Subscribe now to get every episode.

Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.