cannabisnews.com: The Government's Sick War on Marijuana





The Government's Sick War on Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on July 20, 2006 at 06:36:03 PT
By Jim Hightower
Source: Austin Chronicle
USA -- Excuse me for a moment while I vent about the mind-boggling stupidity of the autocratic, bureaucratic, right-wing, Neanderthal numskulls who keep pushing an insane, inane, and inhumane holy war against marijuana  which is, after all, a weed. The most embarrassing thing for these holy warriors is that the weed is winning! They've been at this war since 1937, spending billions and billions of our tax dollars, militarizing our borders, and stomping on our Bill of Rights.
They've used phone taps, garbage searches, jackbooted raids, and draconian prison terms to ... well, to do what? To nab peaceful, mellow tokers who aren't bothering anyone, that's what.Despite 60 years of spending our money, they've failed: 85% of Americans say marijuana is easy to obtain today, a third of our population says they've tried it, nearly 15 million people partake of it at least monthly  and more high school students now smoke marijuana than cigarettes! Meanwhile, the holy warriors have become more fanatical and thuggish than ever. A marijuana arrest is made every 41 seconds in America  nine out of 10 of them for mere possession. In 2004, 772,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges  more than for all violent crimes combined. Even sicker, the sanctimonious weed warriors have made it a crime for thousands of seriously sick people to get the medical benefits of using small amounts of doctor-prescribed marijuana. Weirdly, our doctors can prescribe cocaine for patients  but not marijuana. Worse, drug thugs from the DEA and FBI bust down the doors of these patients, seize their dosages ... and haul them to jail. For information and action to stop this absurd war, call the Marijuana Policy Project: 202/462-5747.Source: Austin Chronicle (TX)Author: Jim HightowerPublished: July 21, 2006Copyright: 2006 Austin Chronicle Corp.Contact: louis auschron.comURL: http://tinyurl.com/naaqwWebsite: http://www.auschron.com/Marijuana Policy Projecthttp://www.mpp.org/CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #24 posted by museman on July 21, 2006 at 14:19:25 PT
whig
I thoroughly understand. However for me I haven't had the opportunity of true anonymity since the FBI established my 'top-secret security clearance' in 1970. Before that we all had to do some serious consideration of the draft registration.I agree most wholeheartedly that there are no real 'political solutions'. The realm and conditions I advocate are beyond political kin. The entire system is corrupt from bottom to top and realisticly there is no saving it. Ultimately, and inevitably the system as it exists is failing, and will fail completely. But if a little bit of temporal sanity can be had by strange and un-natural actions -such as voting, as long as I don't have to fight for the near valueless 'privilege' I will.
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Comment #23 posted by whig on July 21, 2006 at 13:37:56 PT
museman
I wasn't really discussing registration, which is a slightly different subject, and participation in initiative and referenda (which don't exist in most states, certainly not in Pennsylvania where I used to live).If you're "voting" for Mickey Mouse or Superman or whatever, I think it can be fairly said that you aren't casting a serious vote at all. It won't be counted, it won't matter, and it is more a joke than anything.As far as the registration, though, I have a couple serious reservations. One is that by registering I am presumed to be a voter, which means I am considered by the state as a constituent, which I do not consider myself. But I did recently apply for a California ID card -- because that was a compromise I was willing to make for the sake of legalizing my cannabis if I can obtain a recommendation, which should be relatively straightforward given my actual medical condition. But to register as a voter conveys no real benefit to me, nor protects me from an injury, which makes it seem a valuable compromise from my standpoint. I would never exercise my franchise on behalf of a politician, though I can see the value of direct initiative.Another major downside of registration, as I discovered when I was a politician, is that your information, where you live and how long you have been registered there and when you have voted, is a public record which anyone can acquire for a small copying charge. It could be used for direct mail solicitation (as, for instance, the Libertarian Party will send mailers out to registered L's) or for pretty much any purpose. You cannot use a mailing address, you have to give your actual residence, something I am loath to publish for random strangers to find. And when it comes down to my defending my rights to abstain from participation in the state in other ways, it will be an impossibility to demonstrate that I have withdrawn if I still exercise the franchise.But I understand others will feel differently about these considerations and will not have the same reservations. I would certainly encourage those who choose to vote, to do so in a way that is least destructive, and which as much as possible preserve and respect our rights. But that doesn't mean I see it as the best approach for myself or anyone who believes that the real solutions will come from voluntary associations and choices that we make individually and together to live peacefully and without coercion. I cannot do that and also coerce, and to me, a vote, which is implicitly backed by force, denies my own faith in the former.
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Comment #22 posted by museman on July 21, 2006 at 11:22:35 PT
whig
"If I voted, I could not in good conscience then turn around and say that I disrespect the people elected because I would have participated in the process of putting them in power. I choose not to do so."I never had this problem, because every body I ever voted for lost. So I have no qualms voting and disrespecting at the same time. lol My ballots are almost always 'write-in'. I've voted for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Superman, and my favorite; "Nobody."Believe me I share your opinions. As far as 'representatives' go -there is no such thing- but there is still the 'initiative process' like state ballots to legalize medicial marijuana, and other anti-freedom legislation that the right wing throws in from time to time. That aspect of the vote is almost real. If I weren't 'registered' than I couldn't support or go against.
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Comment #21 posted by whig on July 21, 2006 at 10:04:59 PT
rchandar
I think I'm coming at this from a different perspective than you, because I'm not advocating people vote for Democrats. I don't vote. I don't encourage people to vote. I'm only saying people shouldn't vote for Republicans because they have crossed a line and, as a party, they are now the American Nazi Party. There is nothing that can be said for them now except that they should cease to hold political power anywhere, not nationally, state or locally. The "good people" in the Republican Party should quit the party and renounce their membership.But do I blame myself (or anyone who voted for third party candidates) for the Bush administration? No. Anyone who thinks that people should vote for Democrats as a default even when the candidates they put up are weak and corrupt and unwilling to stand up for principles, much less even to say that we who partake of cannabis should not be criminals, should be told they have no right to expect our support.You can choose to vote for a Democrat, if you think you should. I won't. As far as third-parties go, I simply think it's a pointless exercise better served to withdraw from voting altogether, which I have done and which I think serves a purpose completely different from hoping to affect the outcome of an election. The purpose of non-voting is personal, it is to secede from supporting the system and regain autonomy in thought and action, to refuse to surrender sovereignty to criminals, no matter their party label. It is to be free to criticize all politicians regardless of party or ideology, without divided loyalty. It is to be able to take strong positions that are inconsistent with the present state -- to say that people should not respect their authority, should not treat their governance as legitimate.If I voted, I could not in good conscience then turn around and say that I disrespect the people elected because I would have participated in the process of putting them in power. I choose not to do so.
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Comment #20 posted by rchandar on July 21, 2006 at 07:58:15 PT:
whig
in theory, you're certainly right--third parties cost the left many elections. like '68, when Governor Wallace won 4% of the vote. Or '00, when Ralph Nader won 4%. And I agree mostly; today's Republicans aren't against "big government", but appear to enshrine it and seek more power through it. I can't say that Republicans at the state or voter level are all bad people, but the Congress and Supreme Court GOP and Bush are all theiving bastards, that I can be sure of.But as a registered Democrat, the past few years have convinced me that today's majority "liberal" party doesn't have the nuts to stand up to ideology-gouging conservatives bent on erasing Constitutional precedents that guarantee us freedom. I have an insidious doubt that today's Democrats can win, can win elections and change the balance of power. I don't know if it's true.But whatever I or you or anyone thinks, Bush is in the Oval Office for another two years. And we on the left have only each other to blame for it.--rchandar
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on July 21, 2006 at 07:16:59 PT
Patrick
That was funny but darn it is sad.
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Comment #18 posted by Patrick on July 21, 2006 at 07:09:26 PT
drug thugs 
Lest we not forget....Knock KnockWho's there?Not the Police, they don't have to knock anymore.I really do think our only hope to change the law is to change the lawmaker. VOTE 
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Comment #17 posted by whig on July 20, 2006 at 21:28:06 PT
rchandar / JR Bob Dobbs
I did prefix my remark with "IMO" -- it's just my opinion and you are free to disagree with me, I won't be offended by it and I'm not going to try too hard to convert anyone to my way of thinking -- I'll explain myself if asked but that's about it. As far as this particular electoral season goes, the only thing I'm insistent upon is that nobody of good conscience should vote for any Republicans.The thing about political parties is that they are instrumentalities of state power, and good intentions in their founding go to the wayside whenever power can be obtained more readily by discarding them. Every successful party is corrupted, and every "good" politician has to compromise with evil to be electable.That isn't to say that some aren't more evil than others. Certainly parties which are out of power tend to be less corrupted than those in power, because there is less money and influence being invested in them (since they can't deliver a return on investment while they remain out of power). I am quite certain, beyond any doubt in fact, that the Democratic Party will (as it has historically) behave as corruptly as it ever has if it is returned in November. So the temptation to go third-party is that there is a certain "purity" that accompanies their complete absence from the seats of power and their lack of any realistic chance of obtaining it. But in the same measure, the effort spent in behalf of those parties is largely to waste. JR Bob Dobbs' point that sometimes, in state or local elections, and in a few Congressional instances, third-parties have put candidates in office, is to beg the question. Whenever that has happened, have the parties or their candidates remained pure, or have they compromised with evil?So it's a compromise that each of us has to decide for ourselves whether to support, or to ignore, or to abstain from. For myself, I prefer to abstain and comment from the sidelines of the debate, to encourage people to not depend upon the political system to deliver them from the political system, but to deliver themselves. Freedom is not a thing that can be given, it has to be claimed and taken for oneself.Which, again, does not make it wrong to decide otherwise. I might disagree, but then my own opinions have evolved over time and I could change my mind tomorrow about something I feel strongly about today. Which doesn't mean I would do so for light or transient reasons. Part of my own remove from politics is knowing that, when I was politically engaged and participating in elections (both as a voter and even as a candidate for office) I did not understand what I was doing and I often made wrong choices -- but those choices, unlike when I am only deciding for myself, had a potential real impact on other people -- and forcing others to suffer for my own mistakes strikes me as a wrong thing to do.I was a Bush '41 supporter, I was a cofounder of a High School Republicans organization. Even though I outgrew this by the time I was 18 or 19, I voted for Rick Santorum. I thought he was a real reformer for good. I was brainwashed for a long time and I didn't outgrow it until I actually saw how politics happened from the inside of a major party campaign. Until I saw how it corrupted me, personally, when I was merely talking with constituents and wanting to please them for the sake of their support and their vote. I wanted to be a Senator someday. Under some imaginable circumstance I could have been, but not without costing my humanity.
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Comment #16 posted by rchandar on July 20, 2006 at 20:52:56 PT:
whig
I didn't catch the entire thread so I don't know how to fit into this. But voting for a third party is definitely not a "waste of time." If a third party makes a decent showing in an election, then they will try to be back for the next one. If they remain aggressive in building a voter constituency and recruiting party members, continue to gain interest among people, they will become something.Perot in 92 was a bad example; it fizzled from the day of the election. But that's just because the whole party platform was built around the egocentrism of Ross; that's not what building a third party is about. Typically, the Dems absorb most of the liberal-bloc voters. If they don't win some elections really quick, third party may certainly be the way to go, and we could build a much more aggressive and liberal platform which will speak to constituents: namely, our legalization concept, but also education, health reform, women's rights, gay rights. If presented differently from the Democrats, it might engineer changes in how we view "liberals" (today it's a negative stereotype).It could work. It hasn't, but it could.--rchandar
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on July 20, 2006 at 20:39:56 PT
Wayne
It works. It really does work.
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Comment #14 posted by Wayne on July 20, 2006 at 20:38:39 PT
Re: FoM
Funny thing was, it actually did throw the cops off when they said it. They were expecting a brawl, and they were left standing there going "huh?"The good old kill-'em-with-kindness mantra might actually work after all.... who knew?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 20, 2006 at 20:14:57 PT
Wayne
That was a very good video. Police need a raise. I love it.
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Comment #12 posted by Wayne on July 20, 2006 at 19:56:19 PT
interesting video
Here's my political contribution for the evening. The techniques in this video are very interesting, and surprisingly easy (if you're organized). I was surprised at the success of these people. I don't know how this would apply to MJ laws yet, as most of our opponents are government officials. But this might give you some ideas, and that's better than nothing. Enjoy..
Anatomy of A Hit (Direct Action)
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Comment #11 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 20, 2006 at 17:43:00 PT
Re: comment #9
Whig, I respectfully disagree - the third party may not have a chance of winning, but there are other goals. If they hit 5% of the vote, they get to be part of the debates next time around. Wouldn't we all love to see Tweedledum and Tweedledee joined by someone - ANYONE - else up on that stage? I don't care who the candidate is - whichever third-party candidate has the highest polling numbers gets my vote so they can pass that 5%.Independants can win on occasion - like Bernie Sanders, Jesse Venture, and (hopefully soon) Kinky Friedman...
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Comment #10 posted by Robbie on July 20, 2006 at 12:38:47 PT
Hey Kapt
Kerry and his campaign treated the anti-war people the same way.Seattle Hempfest 15 is August 19th and 20th!
http://www.hempfest.org
http://www.hempfest.org
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Comment #9 posted by whig on July 20, 2006 at 12:25:04 PT
afterburner
IMO, don't waste your time. The PTB do not care about your message. If you want to vote for a candidate that has a chance of winning, and you aren't prepared to withdraw your support from the political system altogether, that's one thing. But voting for a third-party candidate accomplishes exactly nothing, neither removing yourself from approving of the government through voluntary participation in its fraudulent elections, nor making a difference in the outcome of the vote (assuming the votes were ever going to be fairly counted).
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on July 20, 2006 at 12:14:02 PT
kaptinemo
I found some medical cannabis activists to vote for as write-in candidates to oppose some of the prohibitionists in my state. I am *sending the PTBs a message*!
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Comment #7 posted by Wayne on July 20, 2006 at 11:22:38 PT
OT, but interesting
This came up in the Baltimore Sun today about Oliver Stone:"Guests this past weekend at the Park Regency hotel may have been surprised to sniff some funny-smelling smoke drifting around director Oliver Stone's suite, but they shouldn't have been. 'I like ayahuasca,' a hallucinogenic tea, said Stone, who's also spoken of his love of pot. 'And I liked LSD, and I liked peyote.'"There was some talk on a posting a while back about making a real full-blown marijuana documentary. Looks like Oliver Stone would be our guy... now only if there was a way to contact him.
Oliver Stone likes his pot
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on July 20, 2006 at 11:12:32 PT
Please Cato give Overkill" for hand out in Chicago
the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry will be hosting the DEA propaganda device called "Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause", opening August 11 and running until December.
 
for those in the windycity area and want to hand out flyers please see
www.drugwarrant.netOverkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in AmericaRadley Balko's long-awaited white paper has been released today.
You can read it for free as a downloadable 1.6 MB pdf at the CATO Institute, or purchase "the slick bound copy" at the bookstore for just $10. (the CATO bookstore seems to be having some problems right now -- hopefully that will be fixed shortly. I want copies to give to people.)
http://www.drugwarwant.com
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 20, 2006 at 10:34:31 PT
kaptinemo
I am proud that I voted for Kerry. He had lots of answers to issues that mattered to me. When a nice guy is trying to win against a Rove campaign responding to a issue like ours would have been fuel for Rove. I believe that Kerry might have won if the votes had been counted correctly. Maybe if we get lots of Democrats in this fall there will be strength in numbers for them. If they win in 08 and this fall I can see light at the end of the tunnel. If it goes back to the Republicans I don't think we'll see any change for many years and that is only on marijuana laws.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on July 20, 2006 at 10:25:28 PT:
Ekim, they already know
They've known for years. And they knew as recently as the 2004 Election...because we told them, repeatedly. Almost immediately after the call went out on this and other Websites, the traffic at John Kerry's official Website began rising. Why? Because many reform-minded people took that call for action and translated it to the very offer that was made here: help us, and we'll help you.They responded - if you can call it a response - with a vacuously cheerful, chirpy pat on the head and a reminder to vote for Kerry. They took the potential of having so many millions of cannabists voting for Kerry, taking the issue of a voting machine chicanery and almost certainly verifying it (let's see how they handle far more voters than they were programmed to admit existing!) and pitched those potential, party-saving votes into the toilet without a single thought. When the Dems lost us, a voting bloc tens of millions strong...they lost. Period.How many of us would hold our noses and vote for those they would normally hold in disadin, were those pols to acknowledge the growing importance of drug law reform, especially in light of all the cannabis anti-cancer research that is showing such promise? Quite a few, I'd say. I'm not so much of a Libertarian purist that I would refrain from doing so if it meant that we could lift the jackboot from pateint's necks. But the Dems were so milquetoasty timid of being slapped with 'soft-on-drugs' that they couldn't bring themselves to grasp a temporary stinging nettle in order to later grab the big brass ring. They wound up being both stung and losing. They know, all right, if only because we told them. They have only themselves to blame for the losses they have sustained, and unless they wise up and put 'idea people' with scruples like Kucinich in the saddle, instead of their 'electible' candidates such as Kerry (yeah, such 'electibility', huh?), they can forget this member of the drug law reform community ever voting for any Dem anytime in the forseeable future. They were offered pearls, and spat on them. They deserve their ignominious minority party status. Let them enjoy it to the fullest extent...
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 20, 2006 at 09:58:42 PT
Wayne
You mentioned about making a distinction between marijuana and hard drugs. This is how I feel. If I thought that marijuana hurt anyone (except getting in trouble with the law) I wouldn't do CNews. I never would have given it a second thought. I never want to be associated with anything that could hurt another person. That's how serious I am about how I view my personal cause.
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Comment #2 posted by Wayne on July 20, 2006 at 09:38:08 PT
well at least I know what my senator thinks
I actually got a response from one of my senators today, albeit not the response I wanted. Here is what Mel Martinez (R-FL, or as Ed Murrow would have put it, the 'junior senator from Florida') had to say:----------Thank you for contacting me regarding marijuana seeds being sent through the mail from Canada. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns. I apologize for the delay in my response. The trafficking of illicit drugs poses a serious threat to the well being of our nation. In addition to causing significant social and health problems, drugs contribute directly to crime levels in our communities. For these reasons, it is necessary to regulate the illegal drug flow into our country. I am strongly opposed to any legislation to weaken current restrictions on illicit substances. Such modifications would greatly hinder the collaborative efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials in fighting illegal drugs. These efforts are vital to reducing crime rates and drug addiction in our country.----------First of all, I emailed him about the War on Drugs, not on marijuana seeds from Canada. This whole email appears to be a form letter of sorts. But at any rate, here is one more dinosaur Republican legislator that needs to go. Unfortunately, it won't be until 2010. So if you're still living in Florida in 2010, don't vote for this guy (unless he has a miraculous change-of-heart).Study after study has shown that it's not marijuana that contributes to crime levels, it's the prosecution itself. And here he goes, along with all the other drug warriors, lumping marijuana in with drugs that are actually life-threatening. We need to work on making a distinction between marijuana and deadly drugs, because in terms of medical, criminal, and societal danger, marijuana isn't anywhere near the top of that list.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on July 20, 2006 at 07:50:44 PT
gee 15 million voters and no one to vote for
wonder what ol Al Gore and John Kerry think when they have this read to them
http://www.leap.cc/events/
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