Paul Campos: A War on Sanity

Paul Campos: A War on Sanity
Posted by CN Staff on December 23, 2003 at 21:48:09 PT
By Paul Campos
Source: Naples Daily News 
December is the season for giving, and no one gives more generous gifts than the U.S. Congress. Of course, Congress has the advantage of doing its last-minute holiday shopping at someone else's expense, namely yours and mine. For example, on Dec. 8, the House of Representatives passed a bill that gives the White House drug czar's office $145,000,000 of taxpayer money to run anti-marijuana propaganda ads.
My personal favorite in this genre is a television ad in which police rough up a high school student when arresting him in the school's marijuana-smoke-filled bathroom. This is followed by a caption reading, "Marijuana: Harmless? Think again." (And no, I did not make that up). Yet this bill contains something far more obnoxious than pots of money for another round of clueless anti-marijuana propaganda. A section of the bill prohibits any local transit system that receives federal funding from running privately funded ads that call for marijuana policy reform. In other words, at the same time that the federal government is forcing you to spend your money to publicize its willingness to engage in storm trooper tactics to persecute the tens of millions Americans who smoke or have smoked marijuana, it is trying to prohibit you from having the freedom to spend your money to protest these same tactics. If this bill becomes law, it will be illegal for the average American to buy advertising space on a city bus or in a subway station, advocating that doctors be given the right to prescribe marijuana as a painkiller for their terminally ill patients. Two words that are thrown around far too loosely in political debate are "fascism" and "unconstitutional." Nevertheless, this sort of thing has a distinctly fascist tinge. And if the First Amendment means anything, it ought to mean that the government cannot take away the right of citizens to engage in public political protest. Anyone who has doubts that the drug war is wrong ought to consider what it tells us when our federal government tries to make it illegal to protest that war. Fence sitters might also want to view a the video from the surveillance tape at a Goose Creek, S.C., high school, which on Nov. 5 was raided by police looking for drugs. A photo from the tape can be viewed at: After an extensive search, the police found no drugs, but they did terrorize more than 100 students (two-thirds of whom were black, even though less than 25 percent of the school's student body is black). With guns pointed at their heads, students were handcuffed and forced to lie on the floor, or to kneel with their faces to the wall. One student said he assumed the police "were trying to protect us, that it was like Columbine, that somebody got in the school that was crazy or dangerous. But then a police officer pointed a gun at me. It was really scary." What's really scary is that incidents such as this seem to stir so little outrage. What level of government persecution will put a dent in public apathy about the madness that is the war on drugs? If the police at the Goose Creek high school had inadvertently shot a student or two in their zealous search for marijuana cigarettes, would that be enough to distract people from holiday shopping and channel surfing? Or would such an incident be shrugged off as another regrettable accident of the sort that is inevitable in wartime? Take a look at that photograph, and consider: This is your government on drugs. Note: The government doesn't even want you to have the right to protest its stupid war on drugs.Paul Campos is a law professor at the University of Colorado. Source: Naples Daily News (FL)Author: Paul CamposPublished: December 24, 2003Copyright: 2003 Naples Daily NewsContact: letters naplesnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:ACLU Bans Transit Drug-Reform Ads Pointing Guns at Our Kids At School Leads To Racial Divide
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Comment #5 posted by billos on December 24, 2003 at 11:19:23 PT:
145 million dollars
....for the advertising against cannabis. Then they turn around and threaten to pull funds from transit companies if they run ads for advocates of cannabis. Man, I don't fear any goddamn terrorist nearly as much as I fear the federal government, or the tyrants that call themselves the federal government.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on December 24, 2003 at 08:23:44 PT
Also at the Denver Rocky Mtn. News.
Viewed at:,1299,DRMN_86_2524750,00.html 
Campos: A new reefer madness December 23, 2003Contact: letters
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on December 24, 2003 at 08:19:50 PT
Thanks Virgil
Yes! Kucinich will end cannabis prohibition.In case anyone hasn't heard: Democratic Presidential nominee, Dennis Kucinich, put in writing that as PRESIDENT He WILL: 
"DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA" -"in favor of a drug policy that sets reasonable boundaries for marijuana use by establishing guidelines similar to those already in place for alcohol." (POSTED ON His website!) 
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Comment #2 posted by Breeze on December 24, 2003 at 02:08:52 PT
Well now- the fat amerikans in some states are having to rely on LAWS to get them slim and trim, as congress has made it a law somewhere in the recent past for there to be improvements made to the American diet. So, since this is not likely to work, they poisoned the well- the fat of the meat market is going to suffer, and the media is pushing representatives to say, "I will be serving beef this christmas!"
But this is something that people need to realize- that the reality of eating meat has its dangers, its there, a posibility of brain damage, maybe even death- but people are going to eat MEAT anyway?
Sounds a LOT like MJ use, but MJ use doesn't cause brain damage or death. Despite the "possible" dangers of harm, people are going to continue putting things into their bodies of their choice.
I love a good steak, I do. But, do I trust my government to test every cow? No, I will not eat meat this Christmas- I am boycotting it JUST because the government says its safe.
Holy cow has an enitrely different meaning as of today!
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on December 23, 2003 at 22:31:58 PT
Never have I believed in the importance of 1 man
There are some nice pictures of Dennis Kucinich on his vistit to Phoenix- have I believed that the country needed one man to be elected so strongly. It is not that he sees it straight on the drug wars, and the only one for that matter, he sees it the way it all should be. He is the only one that can turn upside down right again.Kucinich has earned his place on the board because of his clear stance on MMJ and drug policy in general. America needs Dennis Kucinich and I would hope he will be Senator if not president. There is not anyone else that is even honest unless it is Clark.I think he knows he is on the right path. He speaks with conviction that seems well-reasoned to me. He has strong opposition from the military-industrial-prison-petro-pharms complex for sure. He will not drop out and on Feb 3rd, America will not be able to ignore what DK has to say.We may not call him President, but some day we should be calling him the honorable Senator Kucinich from Ohio.
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