Decision 2020 – The Winner: Cannabis

Go Lean Commentary

The 2020 US General Election is over – finally! And the winner is:


Voter approval for Marijuana decriminalization or legalization was on the ballot in a number of states. In almost every case: Cannabis (or Marijuana) won.


While this is not the case in most Caribbean countries, the fact that the giant United States of America has changed their views towards Cannabis – both legally and morally – will most definitely have an effect on us in our region. The American hegemony rules … in both trade and tourism. The enormity of the American impact can be visualized with this puzzle:

Where does an 800 Gorilla sit? Anywhere he wants.

There were a lot of BIG ISSUES in the Decision 2020 campaigns, but this one should not skip our attention, as the legalization of recreational marijuana can have major upheavals on society. In a previous blog-commentary – observing and reporting on the legalization of Cannabis in the US State of Michigan on December 1, 2019 – by the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean, a direct correlation was made to chaos in society; see this excerpt:

Marijuana in Detroit – Chaos on Chaos – December 17, 2019
It turns out that the Marijuana eco-system brings chaos. If the community is already chaotic, then that disposition is heightened, intensified and exacerbated.

This commentary is an analysis of the Decision 2020 issues. It is a continuation of the monthly Teaching Series from the Go Lean movement for November 2020. Every month, a Teaching Series addresses issues germane to Caribbean life and culture.  This one is not about the presidential candidates for Decision 2020, but rather this “Hot Button” issue of Cannabis.

We have previously covered issues about the presidential race in 5 blog-commentaries for October 2020, plus three subsequent ones in November – this is the fourth. All of these entries are relevant for Decision 2020 as they relate to the impact of the Caribbean on America’s politics … and the impact (and lessons) of America’s politics on the Caribbean. See the full catalog of this multi-part, multi-month Decision 2020 Teaching Series here as follows:

  1. Decision 2020: Puerto Rico claps back at Trump
  2. Decision 2020Haiti’s Agenda 2016 ==> 2020 – Trump never cared
  3. Decision 2020Latino Gender Gap – More Toxic Masculinity
  4. Decision 2020More Immigration or Less
  5. Decision 2020What’s Next for Cuba & Venezuela
    ——– After the Vote:
  6. Decision 2020: Hasta La Vista Mr. Trump
  7. Decision 2020: Voices From the ‘Peanut Gallery’
  8. Decision 2020: It is what it is; ‘we are who we are’
  9. Decision 2020: The Winner: Cannabis

The take-away from all of these considerations is that American politics and social engineering have a bearing on our Caribbean eco-system; their domestic policy affects moral issues like recreational drugs will impact our Foreign Policy, trade practices and touristic hospitality. We wish American Cannabis policy and Decision 2020, was just their business, but “No, we are affected; just like we are down wind from a pot-smoking crowd”; we will be affected. So this is our business too!

Welcome to heavy-lifting…

See how this Cannabis victory was portrayed in the news media production here:

Title: ‘A tipping point’: Psychedelics, Cannabis win big across the country on election night
Sub-title: “People are realizing it’s not just about getting high,” said Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of SIVA Enterprises. “This is a tipping point for drug policy absent any federal reform.”
By: Alicia Victoria Lozano

As the nation awaits a final result from the presidential election, a clear winner emerged Tuesday: drugs.

Measures to legalize cannabis and decriminalize other drugs won major victories this week as five states — ArizonaNew JerseySouth DakotaMontana and Mississippi — legalized some form of marijuana use and Oregon became the first state to make possession of small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, violations not punishable by jail time.

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also approved measures to allow for the therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms, which are already being prescribed to help some terminally ill patients in Canada cope with pain and end-of-life anxiety.

“People are realizing it’s not just about getting high,” said Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of SIVA Enterprises, a cannabis business development and solutions firm based in Glendale, California, near Los Angeles. “This is a tipping point for drug policy absent any federal reform.”

On Tuesday, South Dakota became the first state whose voters approved both recreational and medical cannabis in the same election. Medicinal marijuana also was made legal in Mississippi. Meanwhile, New Jersey, Montana and Arizona all legalized recreational cannabis.

“Despite this public consensus, elected officials have far too often remained unresponsive to the legalization issue,” Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, said in a statement.

NORML has lobbied for the end of marijuana prohibitions since it was founded in 1970.

“These results once again illustrate that support for legalization extends across geographic and demographic lines,” Altieri said. “The success of these initiatives proves definitively that marijuana legalization is not exclusively a ‘blue’ state issue, but an issue that is supported by a majority of all Americans — regardless of party politics.”

Just 10 years ago, recreational cannabis was illegal in all 50 states, but that started to change in 2012, when Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. At the time, California, which has one of the biggest and oldest marijuana markets in the country, allowed only medicinal use of cannabis.

A domino effect followed, with several more states venturing into the medicinal markets, including Pennsylvania in 2016 and New York in 2014. Now, 15 states, two territories and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 34 states and two territories allow medical marijuana.

“It’s fantastic to see this cannabis sweep,” said Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc., a hemp products company based in San Diego. “There is a tremendous momentum building. I think we’re right on the precipice of changing federal policy with so many states coming online.”

Despite the ballot initiatives, marijuana and other drugs remain illegal at the federal level. The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug akin to LSD, heroin and ecstasy.

In New Jersey, some advocates for cannabis legalization worry that the state ballot measure remains too murky and would not tackle social justice concerns surrounding the so-called war on drugs.

The question posed to voters appears simple at first glance: “Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called ‘cannabis’?”

While the majority of voters said yes, the language would not necessarily decriminalize all adult-use cannabis. Instead, it would make only “a controlled form” of the plant legal, said Chris Goldstein, a regional organizer for NORML.

“New Jersey voters sent a message to the Legislature — they want prohibition to end,” he said. “They want people to stop getting arrested.”

The Legislature will now have to pass another measure to set up the new cannabis marketplace. Whether that will reduce marijuana arrests and convictions remains to be seen, Goldstein said.

Meanwhile, Arizona’s measure allows people convicted of certain cannabis crimes to seek expungement of their records. Arizona voters narrowly defeated a legal pot proposal in 2016.

Cannabis was not the only drug on the ballot.

In Oregon, voters approved Measure 110 to allow a person found in possession of small amounts of hard drugs to avoid jail time by paying a $100 fine or attending an addiction recovery center. The centers would be funded through tax revenue collected from the state’s legal cannabis program.

Separately, Oregon voters passed measures to decriminalize psychedelic drugs, as did voters in Washington, D.C.

In Washington, D.C., Initiative 81 will lower the enforcement priority for “entheogenic plants and fungi,” or psychedelic mushrooms and mescaline-containing cacti. The ballot measure would not legalize psychedelics in the nation’s capital.

Oregon, however, became the first state to legalize psilocybin, also called magic mushrooms.

Measure 109 calls for the manufacture and therapeutic use of psilocybin to treat patients with mental health disorders. Some research suggests that psilocybin, when ingested in small doses under supervised settings, can ease stress and induce feelings of happiness.

In one recent study, patients who were given a single dose of the psychedelic drug to ease depression and anxiety still felt its positive effects years later. The patients were given small amounts of psilocybin in 2016 to look at whether it could ease cancer-related anxiety and depression. Eighty percent of the patients said their symptoms faded.

“What is permanent is that I don’t have anxiety about cancer. Not only about my cancer returning, but how I viewed my reoccurrence when it did happen,” Dinah Bazer, who was diagnosed in March with a type of rare gastrointestinal cancer, said at the time.

Source: Posted November 4, 2020; retrieved November 20, 2020 from:


Title: MAP – See the States where Marijuana is legal
Sub-title: Nationwide, 15 states, two territories and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 34 states and two territories allow medical marijuana.
By: Jiachuan Wu and Daniella Silva

Voters in New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota approved ballot measures Tuesday that would legalize recreational marijuana. Mississippi approved the use of medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions.

Nationwide, 15 states, two territories and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 34 states and two more territories allow medical marijuana.

See which states allow marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.

Source: Posted and retrieved November 4, 2020 from:

Do you see the slippery slope? Not only Cannabis, but other psychedelic drugs as well? See Appendix VIDEO below.

This is a familiar theme – the emergence of medical-then-recreational marijuana in mainstream society – for the Go Lean movement; we have repeatedly blogged on this subject; consider this sample of previous submissions: Marijuana in Detroit – Chaos on Chaos Counter-culture: Pushing for Change Managing Mental Health in the Caribbean – Marijuana Use Intensity Managing ‘Change’ in California Lessons from Colorado: Legalized Marijuana – Heavy-lifting! Marijuana in Jamaica – Puff Peace

As related previously, the ecosystem around Marijuana use is not purely an economic equation; it also addresses security concerns and Public Health issues:

There will be Winners and Losers.

Marijuana or Cannabis is a drug! Plain and simple! People will get addicted and society must deal with addiction as a Mental Health reality.

Overall, the position of the Go Lean movement is:

“We are not ready … for the chaos of recreational marijuana. We had better get ready now because this change is coming soon”.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean (Page 36), posits that the Mental Health eco-system in the region must get ready. We must reboot, empower and elevate our Mental Health facilitations. The chore of doing this is too big for any one Caribbean member-state alone. We need help!

The help we need in the Caribbean is not an American consideration. The candidates for Decision 2020 have no positions on the Caribbean Mental Health facilitations; this is on us … alone.

Mental Health affects everyone; everybody is involved. No one is spared from Mental Health challenges; consider these everyday Mental Health realities:

  • Bereavement
  • Post-Partum Depression (for new mothers)
  • Post Trauma Stress Disorder
  • Drug Abuse and Alcohol Counseling
  • Suicide Prevention

The Mental Health ecosystem must be optimized to address the needs of all the people all the time. This is part of the standard offering of local governance. This is the actuality of the Social Contract on the societal engines of economics, security and governance. This Social Contract means …

… where citizens surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the State in exchange for protection of remaining natural and legal rights.

Caribbean stewards – government and community leaders alike – have just a little time to get ready for more societal Chaos brought on by recreational marijuana; (and possibly other recreational drugs – see Appendix VIDEO).

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Of no, wait! that’s not an option either.

Change – good and bad – is coming!

If you can’t stand the heat … get out of the kitchen and allow cooks and kitchen stewards who can stand the heat.

This is the new reality. We must deliver on our societal deliverables.

Change brings Chaos.
Chaos brings change.

7 years ago, the Go Lean book was presented to the Caribbean region as a roadmap to get ready for unavoidable Agents of Change. The roadmap is ready.

We hereby urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap to reform and transform the regional economic engines, security apparatus (including Public Health facilitations), and our regional governance. This is how we will make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work, heal and play.  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

ix. Whereas the realities of healthcare and an aging population cannot be ignored and cannot be afforded without some advanced mitigation, the Federation must arrange for health plans to consolidate premiums of both healthy and sickly people across the wider base of the entire Caribbean population. The mitigation should extend further to disease management, wellness, mental health, obesity and smoking cessation programs. The Federation must proactively anticipate the demand and supply of organ transplantation as developing countries are often exploited by richer neighbors for illicit organ trade.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – California could decriminalize psychedelic drugs –



State [Senator] Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said he plans to introduce a bill decriminalizing possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms and other psychedelics.

Read more about the bill:…
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