Up in Smoke and Mirrors 

Up in Smoke and Mirrors 
Posted by CN Staff on July 29, 2003 at 17:16:04 PT
Source: Ventura County Reporter 
Last week, Tommy Chong (one half of the grass-fed comedy duo Cheech and Chong) got a year’s probationary sentence for selling marijuana paraphernalia over the Internet. The high-profile case, like so many others, was an instance of shameless political grandstanding—on both sides: the just-say-no team cheered while the just-say-yes team ranted about freedoms and rules. In short, the war on drugs continues apace, constantly keeping us whipped up about something that should be left to personal choice. The same goes for abortion, another emotionally charged issue that would benefit from relegation to the completely private realm. 
When will we realize that the war on drugs has nothing to do with reality, that it is simply a political dog and pony show, one that we implicitly participate in the moment we buy a ticket by engaging on the topic, either in print or around the dinner table? We are being entertained—or is that distracted? The real question that isn’t being asked today is—or should be—what do marijuana or abortion have to do with the governance of our country, or our state? Maybe it’s time to just say “No!” to emotionally-charged political “events” staged to make us vote with our emotions.But our politicians won’t leave these issues alone. In fact, it’s their constant harping on these very subjects that keeps the public from probing too deeply into the issues that really matter in politics. “I want to know exactly how they’re spending our money, and why!” we overheard a private citizen say recently. “That’s what I want to know.” Indeed.How important is it that real issues be discussed, as opposed to the fluffy, emotionally-charged window dressing that makes up party platforms? We may soon bring a governor to the political guillotine because of public moneys ill spent and our failure to discuss that issue during the last election. We are still wandering in the media-propelled fog of subterfuge created by the war on drugs, the struggle over abortion rights, stem cell research, prayer in the schools and other red herrings. Meanwhile, whatever graft is going on behind closed doors stays shrouded in a mist of tears over interrupted embryos and troubled teens. We get lost in a labyrinth of moral conundrums while the powers that be are busy shaping reality to their liking. We are like Dorothy et al., asleep in the poppy field just outside the Emerald City, where the wizard and his minions keep everyone drugged with complacency and material glee.It’s pretty obvious that we can’t keep going the way that we are going—slipping further and further into the pit of apathy while our system’s foundations and ideals are obliterated by financial backgammon, ego parades and juvenile pissing contests. The mainstream media is already too tangled in the propaganda web to inject any clear-eyed vision into the examination of our political machine. Dead babies and crack whores sell, after all. Prurience is one of the more abhorrent side effects of our apathetic torpor.But as a citizen and consumer, you have the right to consider the alternatives. Instead of caving in to the emotional warfare designed to distract our attention from truly important political issues, start to look beyond the black magic of spin. The view might urge you to engage in an honest and direct way with a system that was built for the express purpose of allowing its myriad constituents to participate in as thoughtful and effective a fashion as they choose. Source: Ventura County Reporter (CA)Published: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 Copyright: 2003 Southland Publishing, Inc.Contact: editor vcreporter.comWebsite: Articles:Chong Admits Marijuana Equipment Sales Takes Potshots at Grass Laws's Raid Helps Fire Up Chong's Act
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Comment #1 posted by mike2003 on July 30, 2003 at 07:12:47 PT:
it must of been raise time
What boggles my mind is the DEA is just taking all these companies, glass blowers merchandise and thats pretty much the end of it.The people with the DEA want to show there bosses that there doing something. I just wish a group could be formed to fight these arrest of pipe and waterpipe business people.If one case could go to court (trial by jury)the pipe companies would win hands down,there is no way to prove what these pipes are used for.The legal herb companies(high times 3 page ad)is a million dollar business. Who is the DEA to say what people can smoke tobacco and legal herds out of? I understand why people don't fight the DEA, because of money and if they loose their case might be facing prison, so pipe businesses just plead guilty and move on, its a shame, but i would probably do the same thing! The people who work for the DEA I'm sure have relatives that smoke and probably doesn't bother them a bit. It's all about moving up the ladder and getting raises! Mike
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