I have my own plans for 2014 that have nothing to do with it being a new year – they’re just chronologically sensible choices and they’re mine to make and do something about. The world as a whole, however, is beyond my control – but there are things I want to happen that are very well possible.
I hope Colorado demonstrates a successful means of legalizing recreational marijuana and other jurisdictions either follow suit or work up the courage through precedent to propose their own plans and pass them into law. This may not happen in Canada in 2014 as we don’t boot our government out until the year following and they will not legalize marijuana, but the stage can be set through gradual development on other levels of government that help wane the war on drugs so 2015 can be yet another constructive year in building sensible solutions.
My government must, however, reform prostitution laws by the end of 2014 and the existing ones rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada give Stephen Harper and his Conservatives with their ever-waning loyalty little room to make them more restrictive. I hope that a safe and empowering sex trade is developed and law enforcement can better focus on abuses that were previously seen just as bad as consensual transaction.
I hope same-sex marriage in the United States reaches legality in 25 states. Adding Washington DC, this makes it over 50% and in population it’s probably already approaching there if not surpassed with populated states like New York and California among the list. By a quick check on Wikipedia’s list, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington both state AND District of Columbia make it currently at 18 states/19 jurisdictions out of 50/51. We need six more to make a majority and the list is still not including promising liberal territory like Oregon, Michigan, Colorado (as they get stoned and chill out more), and Pennsylvania, and of course the state with no morals and a huge wedding industry, Nevada. Ohio is already recognizing same-sex marriages from other states, and SCOTUS is getting ever closer to making this right blanket constitutional.
I hope Putin is overthrown, and protests in Russia are pro-queer. I hope the disgustingly homophobic laws are overturned or the country is boycotted by every major international sporting event until they are. It’s too late to stop Sochi, but we can cause a ruckus and take a stand.
I hope more people are cured of HIV – both babies and adults, through increasingly practical means that could help more than just extreme situations. I hope at least one of the people cured, as it’s unlikely to be masses, is African. Medical research is easier in the West, but medical need is stronger in Africa, and they so justly need to be treated as equal humans so stupid Twitter comments can go away by means other than online lynch mobs.
I hope the number of people fluent in indigenous languages – all over the world, not just in Canada – increase. This could be a major accomplishment of the Idle No More movement that spreads globally, along with hopefully blocking further destruction of land that we belong to, but doesn’t belong to us.
I hope Assad gets overthrown and the death toll in Syria simmers down. It would be too wishful to expect conflict to essentially cease; as other Arab countries are showing it’s a slower process than our modern patience can handle as we expect the tumult to last about as long as our half-hour high school history class that glossed over the entire French Revolution.
I hope Barry Gibb doesn’t die. He’s the last of all the Gibb brothers. The world isn’t ready to live without a Gibb.