Four years

A picture named balloons.gifToday Drug WarRant turns four years old.
Four years ago today, I started this blog with the notion of maybe posting something once a week or so. 2,378 posts and 1.7 million page views later, I guess it’s fair to say that this is an important part of me.
It’s unfortunate that Drug WarRant’s blogiversary seems to coincide with the annual loss of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, and there’s no doubt that there are times I get depressed by the entrenched virulence and power of the prohibitionists — of course, what do you expect when they have the budget and information control of the entire United States Government behind them (not to mention the United Nations and various world governments).
And yet, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. While we’ve had limited success in changing government, we’ve done a lot to educate the people. And, see, that’s our advantage — while they have to lie and propagandize to support prohibition, all we have to do is educate and tell the truth. Invariably, if you have the facts and the time, you can convince almost anyone (who isn’t already corrupted by the profits of the drug war) of the value of drug policy reform. Our handicap has been the reluctance on the part of the public to talk openly about the truth of drug policy, but even that is changing.
The fact that the prohibitionists are getting desperate is obvious — they’ve been pushed into acknowledging us as a movement and they’ve been pushed into forcing their propaganda.
Four years ago, there were plenty of drug policy reform websites, but Libby and I were about the only dedicated bloggers. Since then, there has been a dramatic increase in drug policy blogging, both from dedicated bloggers and from bloggers who give a strong emphasis to drug policy within a larger context of criminal law, libertarianism, regional issues, etc.
And in many ways, the grassroots movement within drug policy reform has matured and become more — I hesitate to say — respectable. Cheech and Chong, while still important icons, are no longer the only face of reform. Now it’s lawyers, and cops, and judges, and doctors, and scientists, and economists, and writers, and teachers, and students…
I am extremely grateful to all the support I have gotten from…

  • the people who send me articles and tips, making me look like a better researcher than I am
  • all those who participate in comments or on the messageboard, sometimes correcting me, always inspiring me
  • the other bloggers and websites who provide me with links and with alternate views on the issues.
  • those who have generously contributed to special projects such as the new laptop, or the printing for the museum protest (if you feel you must, you can always buy me a present, or make a small contribution — but only if you can easily do so — I don’t need it to continue my work.)

I’m going to probably start a discussion this weekend on where we go from here — nothing profound, just some general thoughts I’ve been mulling. But today, let’s celebrate.
Thanks for a great four years. Have a brownie.

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