So. I have this thought.
Kentucky is like many places. It has cities, its citizens have access to corporations, universities, indoor plumbing, shoes, and what-not. And like many places, in the bible belt, the cities generally vote heavily liberal while the non-urban bits of the state tend to go conservative.
I have a number of theories about why this is. First, as I'm sure I've pointed out at one point or another, it's far easier to demonize people and blame them for the "American Downfall" when you've never actually met any of those sorts of people. It's WAY easier to imagine the cities filled to the brim with black welfare queens, lazy latino gangbangers, slutty abortion-having women, and faggots of every color of the rainbow. That's easy if you only get into the city once or twice a year.
Also, I suspect that there are whole counties in Kentucky that have downwards of a hundred people living in them. Most of them related by blood. Not necessarily in an ICKY way, but it's the way to bet (Yeah, I just did that thing that I just accused them of doing in the paragraph directly above. I'm not a good role model).
Additionally, there is a strong, and by strong, I mean damn near herculean, anti-intellectual streak in this state. Most of the southern states have this problem. It comes with living out in the sticks and being largely starved of any sort of intellectual stimulus. When you live out where the busses don't run, your social life, such as it is, revolves around drinking, Dish network, and church. It's way too easy for a lifestyle like that to fester with small-town ignorance. Like a cyst filled with pus, it never seems to get any real air or get cleaned out in some meaningful way. Unless, of course, it turns out that the local pastor has a problem with inappropriate touching and they beat him to death. That might get people asking questions they've ignored their whole lives.
This is particularly unpleasant for young people who HAVE a certain amount of intelligence and imagination, and who are ruthlessly squelched at every turn by almost everyone they know. Growing up smart in a small town is no fucking picnic.
Nah. I'm not bitter.
Aw, who am I kidding? I'm crying tears of pure lemon juice all over my keyboard right now.
In any case, Kentucky is a problem. Our congressional representatives keep being utter douchebags, and we don't even have the solace that while they may be huge crooks, they are at least bringing home massive PORK for our state. They can't even get that shit right.
Further, there is the problem of Coal. Which is one the most unsafe and environmentally irresponsible industries IN THE WORLD. and yet, people rush to defend it and the dead-end way of life it represents for Eastern KY.
It seems as if there is an endless litany of problems for the State of Kentucky. But we have a longstanding and little-used solution that could conceivably fix a number of them.
Pot. And hemp too, of course.
Leave aside pot for a moment, Let me talk about hemp. It has dozens of practical industrial applications, can be made into dozens of industrially flexible forms and, I hear, may be useful as a form of bio-fuel. The only reason why it is illegal is that it is visually indistinguishable from marijuana. This, of course, makes law enforcement's job much harder, they opine. While I am not, as a rule, down on law enforcement, my attitude towards this is fairly simple.
Law enforcement's lobby against Hemp/Pot has long made the argument that it would make enforcement impossible, and while Hemp has so little THC in it that you could smoke a field of it and not catch a buzz, they will still arrest people and seize their property for growing it. As a result, a MASSIVE cash crop for this state lies entirely fallow. Do you realize that if Kentucky became the first state to grow hemp large scale, we could conceivably do away with ALL farm subsidies here?
And after nearly 60 years of ginned up paranoia about marijuana, we are finally seeing the clouds break through onto the fact that
A) It doesn't make you a berserk rapist psychopath (We already have booze for that).
B) It does have medicinal uses, and of course,
C) It grows wild in lots of places, ergo, God wants us to have pot.
Full Disclosure: The one time I've smoked pot, I was already drunk with friends, and even so, my lungs tried to secede from the union. Not my cup of tea. Pot BROWNIES, on the other hand, were a very different experience. I remember eating about half the pan, laughing with my friends like they were fixing to tax it, and then going home and sleeping the untroubled sleep of the angels. Why is THAT shit illegal? I mean seriously. What in the jumping fuck?
The main trouble we're going to have, of course, in trying to fight the uphill battle of getting Pot and Hemp legalized in the state of Kentucky is NOT, of course, the coalition of paper manufacturers who are terrified that Hemp paper will put them out of business. Not everyone knows this, but Paper manufacturing, as opposed to Hemp paper manufacturing is MUCH more expensive. Just another example of corporations using government to prop up their failing and obsolete business models.
No. The problem is ALWAYS going to come from religious persons who have, over the course of many years, come to the considered opinion that people getting high, for ANY reason, makes baby Jeebus cry.
Oh. If only I lived in Colorado or Washington state where things might be a little more enlightened.
But I have a plan. Pay close attention:
- Step one, begin buying lots of pot or growing it at home. Buy a shed, get some lights. Do the thing.
- THC is fat soluble. You soak marijuana in the butter of brownies or whatever other confectionary thing you're making. The THC transfers to the butter making a lovely treat that people want more of. (Dairy farmers take note. New Industry!)
- Take two trays of brownies to school bake sales and parties. Make certain that young persons receive the un-doctored sort, but that anyone who is way too churchy for their own good, or who looks like they haven't taken a good dump in a month, receives the "Lighten up, Francis!" mixture.
- Make a concerted effort. Flood the outlying counties with enough Pot that it becomes de-stigmatized. It's just like opening McDonald's restaurants in China. Sooner or later, people want big macs.
And who knows, maybe if we put our backs into it, we'll be able to legalize the stuff here in the bluegrass on a shorter timeline than 20 years after the rest of the country has done it.
Hey. We can't even really point out that it is a moral decline for our state when our two major exports are whiskey and horse race gambling.