Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Marijuana and the Rapidity of Social Change

Legalization of Marijuana

Think back five or six years ago, to 2008 or 2009, and think about equal marriage for people of the same sex. What did you think? If you were gay (or knew someone who was) and wanted to be married, you had clear and (perhaps) deeply-felt views. If not, perhaps you thought it was right that all people, regardless of sexual preference, had the right to be married. Perhaps you were constrained by religious or learned moral beliefs that it was wrong. Perhaps you didn’t really think about it, as it didn’t affect directly affect your life.

Gay marriage is now legal in many states and becoming ever more so, as court ruling after court ruling support it as an equal right. The speed at which this occurred is remarkable. Ten years ago, if you had been told that universal gay marriage would be the law of the land in ten years, you would have been incredulous.

The Transformation Decade

The speed of social change has been accelerating. Back on January 1, 2010, I wrote a column that coined the phrase “Transformation Decade” for the 2010-2020 decade. Transformation is defined as “a change in nature, shape, character or form,” meaning that most of humanity’s institutions and thinking will change their nature, shape, character or form in this decade. Take a look at the institution of marriage in the United States today.

Now, think back five or six ago and try to remember what you thought about the possibility of decriminalized marijuana in the United States. You probably didn’t give it a thought or thought that it was something that wouldn’t happen anytime soon. There was not much reason to think otherwise.

In September 2010, I forecasted: “Marijuana will be decriminalized in America by the middle of the decade.” This was based upon my view that the speed of change had accelerated to the point of being environmental and that this decade would be a time of transformational change, and that legacy thinking from the 20th century would give way to new thinking of this century.

Certainly in the three years after this forecast, people universally thought it was nuts, that there was no way this could happen by 2015-2016. But since the beginning of this year, people now nod their heads about this forecast. The news from Colorado and now the state of Washington, plus all the new fall ballot initiatives in Alaska, Oregon and Florida, point to a potential reality where two-thirds of all states will have decriminalized marijuana by the end of the year. If you had been told five or six years ago that this would be true, you would not have believed it possible – similar to gay marriage.

On a Different Page

The obvious disconnect, of course, is that at the federal level, marijuana is still classified as a dangerous drug, grouped with heroin and cocaine. In a way, this is much like many other issues in the United States. The total gridlock of the federal government and the inability to pass legislation, coupled with a need to confront the urgent realities of the country today, has led to states and cities initiating change. Political leadership on many issues has moved from Washington D.C. to states out of necessity. Problems have to be solved and budget deficits need to be closed by finding new taxes that can help close the gap.

The Obama administration has generally moved toward standing down from harsh enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have decriminalized it. Yet in these states, there is a dual reality – marijuana is both legal and illegal. The direction at the state level is clear. The direction of the country is clear, as all polls show that a majority of Americans favor decriminalization. So here we have the federal government and its policies clearly out of step with what the citizens are implementing.

Which leads us to the national elections in 2016 – the last year that could be grouped into my phrase “middle of the decade.” There will be no way any politician that wants to run for president will be able to avoid taking a position on the decriminalizing of marijuana. It is that simple. In the past, one of the ways to avoid taking a stand for a national candidate was to say that an issue should be left to the states to decide. Okay, done! What is your position? Senator/Governor/Secretary, the majority of registered voters polled favor decriminalization… isn’t it your responsibility to represent the will of the people? Are you saying the states and the clear majority of voters point of view is less important that your moral view or your opinion?

It should be noted that there was no viable candidate for president in 2008 – Obama, Clinton and McCain – that was for gay marriage. Now they all are. It is the law. Hmmm…

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...