‘Re-legalize,’ says Jonik

John Jonik, the great cartoonist, emails in connection with a press release calling for “legalizing” marijuana:

     It’s RE-legalize, not just “legalize”.   Until the 1940s and the racist war on “reefer” and “marijuana” for the benefit of forest industries, big pharm, pesticides, plastics, big oil, ag biz, etc, cannabis was as legal as water or bananas.   To just say “legalize” suggests that it’s some new thing.  Never legal before. That’s wrong, of course.
     To NOT say RE-Legalize denies readers the reminder about the history….the bogus reasons cannabis was made illegal.   And it distracts from thinking about judges, jurors, legislators, media,  etc who may have economic links to industries that do NOT want natural un-patented  hemp-marijuana competing with their patented (and often toxic, environmentally-harmful, questionably-tested, etc.) competing products.
    To just talk about “legalizing” cannabis may be harming the movement to RE-Legalize it.  The language is important.

– John Jonik

At O’Shaughnessy’s we put Jonik right up there with Ron Cobb and Garry Trudeau.