Click here to close now.



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
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The maker of automated server migration software reports sales bookings increased 460 percent year-over-year and last week IDC forecast spending on public cloud services will grow to more than $141 billion in 2019. Seems (at last) we are at the tipping point where enterprises are adopting cloud in a big way opening opportunities for those who can help with the transition.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...