One of the largest and most respected editorial outlets in America has looked at the facts, conducted an informed conversation, and concluded that Cannabis should be legalized at a national level in America. The New York Times has officially published their stance in support of ending prohibition.

Public opinion often languishes in perpetuity, remaining in fad longer than the facts support

Beyond spiking web traffic and sparking a flurry of social commentary, the recent New York Times’ pro-legalization stance marks a landslide of acceptance. As compliance may one day become the norm, this early step of social acceptance acts as a linchpin for future reactions. Cannabis legalization and normalization is no longer a question of if, the NYT has heralded, it’s a question of when. Cannabis was once looked upon as a topic for fringe activists, but as the record shows, legalization is crossing the chasm into a cornerstone of progressive social movement.

A movement, defined as a coordinated group action focused on a political or social issue, has to overcome popular sentiment to make any significant progress. Public opinion often languishes in perpetuity, remaining in fad longer than the facts support. Most people avoid taking contrarian stances. It is instinct to believe and trust assumptions, and even considering challenging public opinion sets off ones fear reflex within the amygdala. This loop makes us follow societal normals be default, regardless of how illogical their argument.

The break in this loop occurs not when a contrarian speaks up for a cause, but when she finds resonance with her first followers and they form a group. It is through the example of these first followers that the new opinion can be considered, accepted, and normalized for the acceptance of the masses. Momentum gains until a movement emerges, and group-think accepts the new stance as norm - a concept that British geneticist JBS Haldane has satirized with his four stages of the acceptance of a scientific fact:

  1. This is worthless nonsense.
  2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
  3. This is true, but quite unimportant.
  4. I always said so.

As the NYT has pointed out, there are indeed challenges faced ahead. “Creating systems for regulating manufacture, sale and marketing will be complex. But those problems are solvable...” Tantalus labs is directing its efforts to the application of agricultural science on this new cultivation problem. For the first time in Canada, we are able to custom design and build a Greenhouse specifically for the production of Cannabis. No longer do plants need to survive underground grow-ops with fully synthetic inputs. We can seize the opportunity to build a Greenhouse structure designed around the optimal environment for Cannabis cultivation. As opinions from large editorials and public figures continue to shift, we will be realizing our mission to advance the frontier of Cannabis cultivation.

We are seeing the beginning of a movement that will mark one of the greatest societal shifts of our generation. I always said so.