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
Docker containers have brought great opportunities to shorten the deployment process through continuous integration and the delivery of applications and microservices. This applies equally to enterprise data centers as well as the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jari Kolehmainen, founder and CTO of Kontena, discussed solutions and benefits of a deeply integrated deployment pipeline using technologies such as container management platforms, Docker containers, and the drone.io Cl tool. H...
As more and more companies are making the shift from on-premises to public cloud, the standard approach to DevOps is evolving. From encryption, compliance and regulations like GDPR, security in the cloud has become a hot topic. Many DevOps-focused companies have hired dedicated staff to fulfill these requirements, often creating further siloes, complexity and cost. This session aims to highlight existing DevOps cultural approaches, tooling and how security can be wrapped in every facet of the bu...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
Connecting to major cloud service providers is becoming central to doing business. But your cloud provider’s performance is only as good as your connectivity solution. Massive Networks will place you in the driver's seat by exposing how you can extend your LAN from any location to include any cloud platform through an advanced high-performance connection that is secure and dedicated to your business-critical data. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Paul Mako, CEO & CIO of Massive Networks, wil...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
Given the popularity of the containers, further investment in the telco/cable industry is needed to transition existing VM-based solutions to containerized cloud native deployments. The networking architecture of the solution isolates the network traffic into different network planes (e.g., management, control, and media). This naturally makes support for multiple interfaces in container orchestration engines an indispensable requirement.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.