My Good Friend And The Foolish War On Drugs

  My Good Friend And The Foolish War On Drugs

Posted by CN Staff on September 29, 2007 at 06:05:18 PT
By John Colson 
Source: Aspen Daily News  

Colorado -- I have a good friend who smokes more pot than anyone I've ever known, and he does it legally, at least when he's in his home state of California.Toby [can't give you his real name, those assholes at Homeland Security might be reading this] is one of those guys who lives to laugh, and whose laugh goes far beyond infectious.
When we walk through desert canyons - one of our favorite activities - and Toby starts to laugh, you expect the rocks to chuckle right along, or at least crack a smile.When he's in a room full of people, forget about it. If he starts in laughing, anyone nearby had better put down their glass or their plate and just give in to the mirth. Saves on carpet cleaning bills that way.But ol' Toby's got his serious side. He hates war, despises corporations for their dehumanizing effect on American politics and society, is a tree-hugger and an animal rights activist and proud of it. One of his favorite activities, besides getting stoned and walking in the desert, is going to political rallies and protests and sticking his thumb in the eye of whichever establishment baddie is the subject of the day.He's a teacher at a metropolitan college, has been for decades, and although I've never been in his classroom, I can imagine his students like him almost as much as I do. I've known him since high school, and can't imagine life without him on the planet somewhere, laughing.Oh, did I mention he's got Hepatitis C?That's a blood-born disease that can cause liver failure, is mighty tough to cure, and is one of those maladies that nobody likes to talk about. That's because it can be contracted through the use of intravenous drugs, which may be how Toby caught it in his wild, tempestuous youth, while he was learning to laugh.Anyway, the Hep-C complication is why Toby can smoke pot legally in California (and in Colorado, for that matter), thanks to a voter approved initiative legalizing the medical use of marijuana to manage pain and other symptoms. He buys it at a local dispensary, which is a lot like a pharmacy only the wares are kept in sealed jars, and the place smells like a warren of very active skunks, thanks to all the high-grade pot. He says the marijuana prescription has helped him fend off the disease, stay active in all his pursuits and keep up a relatively cheerful outlook on life, even though he is in constant anxiety about his own mortality.And now to the nut of this tale. This week we were treated to televised images of Drug Enforcement Administration storm troopers busting dispensaries in southern California. The agents were basically spitting in the eyes of all those voters who concluded that someone smoking pot to ease pain and discomfort was not a threat to national security or anyone else's well-being.The scenes, repeated on TV news shows across the spectrum of cable channels, got me thinking.The voters have passed these laws, presumably while in their right minds without any coercion from wild-eyed, gun-toting pot dealers lurking in the shadows of their voting booths. It's generally presumed that somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of Americans use pot with some regularity, and that many more have tried it at least once, and they seemed to have generally survived the exposure.But our federal watchdogs have decided we, the voters in several states, don't know what we're doing when it comes to deciding which substances we consider beneficial or at least therapeutic, despite a growing body of evidence that we are right.You see, the war on drugs, which has been estimated to cost more than $40 billion in 2003 and which is getting more expensive every year, has become an industry unto itself. And it guarantees its own survival by setting up a never-ending struggle with the drug cartels, who benefit from our insane drug laws because they keep drugs in the "contraband" category, allowing them to continue to make money. It's a lovely little dance they have going, isn't it?Meanwhile, people's lives are made worse by all this foolishness. Toby faces pain and misery if he can't get the one drug that truly helps him. Neighborhoods face street wars and urban blight because the thugs and the cops are engaged in this endless ballet of bullets and jail cells, all paid for by our taxes.What is wrong with this picture? You tell me.Source: Aspen Daily News (CO)Author: John ColsonPublished: September 29, 2007Copyright: 2007 Aspen Daily NewsContact: jcolson aspentimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #24 posted by FoM on October 05, 2007 at 10:29:53 PT
You're welcome. No matter where we live as long as we have CNews we can feel at home. The Internet is a wonderful thing.
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Comment #23 posted by BobbyRa on October 05, 2007 at 10:27:27 PT
Thank You FOM
You are so kind. Also, thanks for this site.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on October 05, 2007 at 10:23:51 PT
I'm sorry that you will have to move.
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Comment #21 posted by BobbyRa on October 05, 2007 at 10:03:26 PT
I am going to have to uproot my life
and move to California so that I may get my medicine. I have put it off and put if off, hoping that the state of Illinois would open their eyes and approve my use. But sadly they just keep their eyes closed to the costs of this war on a plant. So the time is near for me to quit a good job and move to a state where at least the people think clearly on this subject. The cost of living there scares me but I must do something so that my quality of life can improve drastically. Thanks for letting me vent.Bob
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Comment #20 posted by Toker00 on September 30, 2007 at 07:08:41 PT
Activism. Is it worth it ?
These folks say it is. I agree! Seems the teeth have been cut from Terrorism bill putting Iran on the Terrorist list.
That makes it just an non-binding piece of rhetoric. Please folks. Please continue doing the simple things like writing your Congress Critters and answering polls and surveys. Every little bit adds up in the big picture.WE THE PEOPLE CUT THE HEART OUT OF THE LIEBERMAN-KYL AMENDMENT It has taken a couple days for the actual disposition of the 
Lieberman-Kyl amendment to leak out, but in FACT, the two most 
offensive paragraphs (3 and 4), which we were objecting to so 
strenuously as amounting to a declaration of war on Iran, were 
REMOVED IN THEIR ENTIRELY prior to the vote. Which means we WON. Yes, you did it, with your TENS of thousands of emails and phone 
calls to Congress this last Monday and Tuesday. We are so proud of 
our participants on this one. Claim your win. What was left was not great, but ultimately it means nothing with the 
actual teeth of the amendment extracted, not that that's any excuse 
for those who voted yes (or did not vote at all). So the Senate 
called some people a terrorist organization. Big deal, it's not 
binding anyway, no more than their groundless and hypocritical 
condemnation of MoveOn a week ago. And for those who may say this 
gives Cheney and Bush an excuse to do anything, this White House 
doesn't think it needs an excuse to do anything, that's the whole 
POINT of impeachment. Once again this PROVES that activism works. We beat them back this 
time in a major way, folks, and why? Because we actually spoke out, 
that's why! We dismissed the voices of defeatism and took action. 
Fancy that, participatory democracy works. Are the evil ones going to 
give up? Of course not, and that's why we're not going to give up 
either. Let's say it together, we're going to keep ON speaking out in 
even greater numbers. There are many dirty secrets in Washington, but the biggest one of 
all they are trying to keep may be that when you write and call in 
mass numbers, members of Congress tremble, shaking in their socks, 
especially in the House where they have to get reelected every two 
years. Oh, sure, sometimes they send us their form letter responses 
trying to sluff us off, trying to con us into thinking we are not 
having an impact. But we know the truth, which is that they work for 
us, and we do have the POWER with our personal messages to enforce 
that. WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? WHY, IMPEACHMENT OF COURSE This week yet another video of Dick "Five Deferments" Cheney surfaced 
from the early nineties, again articulating his views as to why 
trying to occupy Iraq would be lead to nothing but a disastrous 
quagmire. And yet this is the same man who not only lied the country 
into doing just that once he seized power himself, but is still the 
most aggressive force in the White House pushing for an even more 
monumental debacle in Iran. H. RES 333 ACTION PAGE: This is an NEW action page. We're going to have a new action page on 
impeachment EVERY week from now on. That's the plan, we're ALL going 
to call for impeachment once a week from now on, and each time 
encourage everyone else we now to do the same using the friends 
invitation section of the action page. Recognizing the gravity of the increasingly loud drumbeats for more 
war coming from the Vice President's office, this week Dennis 
Kucinich, who had already gotten 20 cosponsors for H.Res 333 to 
impeach Cheney, said he was seriously considering forcing the House 
of Representatives to take up the issue of impeachment by bringing it 
as a privileged resolution. We have a major win in our pocket this week. We have slowed them 
down. But we also recognize that the only thing that will stop them 
completely is confronting the White House, and Cheney in particular, 
with impeachment. Each and every member of the House must be called 
to account at this moment in American political history, by the 
demands of you, their constituents, whether they will stand up for 
the Constitution and stop Dick Cheney's delusional march to Iran . . 
. or not. Already more than 110,000 of your fellow constituents have voted in 
the National Cheney Impeachment Poll. If we had a million people 
write in one week, impeachment would be the centerpiece on the table 
so fast it would make their heads spin. We're going to do it. We're 
going to crank up our efforts to a new level this week. And when 
Dennis Kucinich DOES introduce his privileged resolution, we're going 
to crank it up even more. THANK DENNIS KUCINICH PERSONALLY FOR HIS LEADERSHIP Once again, Dennis Kucinich stands out as the leading voice calling 
for restoration of our Constitution. Isn't that enough reason to make 
whatever donation you can to him, to encourage him to speak out even 
stronger on the issues more and more every day? If you have not done 
so already, please do so now if you can. DENNIS KUCINICH CONTRIBUTIONS: Toke.
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Comment #19 posted by Toker00 on September 30, 2007 at 06:36:50 PT

THE WAR ON (People who do) DRUGS.
It's becoming unpopular, isn't it? Not in the minds of the DEAth squads, but in the minds of the American voters? Then I guess it's time for a new barrage of raids and propaganda films. It seems like every time we get the public to realize the futility of the Drug War, an article or an event come along to render the movement mute. It takes months to beat down these things by rebuttal and outright embarrassment to the Antis and still they persist. Record arrests for Cannabis, the "Good" drug, record neglect for Meth and other "Bad" drugs and "Bad" crime. Clear the prisons of sex offenders and murderers so there is plenty of room for the Cannabis Culture Genocide to expand. We have to protect our children from Drugs so the Elite can send them off to War. Protect them from the Truth and Sacrifice them for a Lie. Remove them from the comfort of home and friends where Drug experimentation is relatively safe and cautionary and place them in a cell where violence and racial/ethnic hatred abounds and drug use for the escape of it all is a way of Life and not just a curious sampling. Punish that innocent curiosity with forced homosexual sex, physical beatings and the destruction of Spirit. That's being Compassionately Conservative isn't it? Yeah and like the Iraq war has brought Freedom to the Iraqis.A little "news" for the day...Onward Christian Soldiers: those Tasers charging... What Empire? have blood on their hands...'s your Democratic Congress on ENDING THE WAR IN IRAQ... Housing is getting Depressed. Why not turn them into grow houses? Cannabis cures Depression!"Weak" Uranium? Warning: Graphic. a good Day!Toke.
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Comment #18 posted by Toker00 on September 30, 2007 at 05:31:38 PT

It's the Boobs in the White House that are the problems!Toke.
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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on September 30, 2007 at 05:28:39 PT

I like these Ladies idea of ending the war in Iraq. I sure hope it catches on...
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on September 29, 2007 at 23:54:38 PT

Support for Cannabis at Vancouver Film Festival 
CN BC: Cannabis Culture Lights Up the Festival, Globe and Mail, (29 Sep 2007)
If it feels like a cliche to have films about pot at a film festival in Vancouver, so be it. Wilson, now 27, wanted his film to have its world premiere in Vancouver, because of what he calls the city's cannabis culture. ... The film stars Scott Speedman ( Felicity ) and Wes Bentley ( American Beauty ) as a couple of stoners in Hamilton, Ont., who have a run-in with a satanic cult. Zaniness ensues, but there is a serious message here: Hard drugs are bad, but pot has the power to bring people together and make them happy. Its illegality is what creates opportunities for shady characters to break legs and make fortunes. ...If there's a reason these films have all found their way onto the big screen at this time, it's as much about politics as it is pot. With the current U.S. administration and its war in Iraq, the distinctions between Canada and the United States have never been so obvious. These Canadian filmmakers would like to see Canada distance itself from America's war on drugs, too. 
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Comment #15 posted by nuevo mexican on September 29, 2007 at 22:57:33 PT

Oh yeah, The Kids are alright!
More O/T Saturday night news:Got any friends in Washington, pro-peace C-Newsers?Posters' here wonder when things are gonna change with the occupation of Iraq and the attack on Iran.This is some amazing, positive breaking news at Democratic Underground about a new protest action in DC, and I thought at this critical time in our history, we should support this effort to make our point now, since the top-tier Dems have said they want to stay in Iraq til 2013.Great photos here:As of 8:40 pm, about 100 youth from the Encampment are still occupying Constitution Ave., which they have now blocked for more than 5 hours.
(Dennis Kucinich, Vice-President)Also, the Monks in Myanmar are dying, possibly by the hundreds, at least that's how many protesters have been shot according to some reports. Monks! Buddhist Monks, of which there are 500,000 of, the Army has 400,000, most are Buddhists' as well. This is whom they revere as there legally elected leader, kinda like our Al Gore!Aung San Sui KyiLiving under a brutally repressive regime, the people of Burma, for years, have been crying out for democracy. Yet, other than lip service found on the U.S. State Department's web site and some nearly meaningless economic pressure, the Bush Administration has largely ignored Burma. Why? Perhaps, because, unlike Iraq, Burma is not a major exporter of oil. (It does have natural gas reserves that the infamous Unocal has played a role in developing in conjunction with the ruthless junta.) of 8:40 pm, about 100 youth from the Encampment are still occupying Constitution Ave., which they have now blocked for more than 5 hours.Randy Rhodes, the #1 progressive talk radio host in the world, is playing lots of samples of Melissa Etheridges new album, and it is outspokenly great and super Pro-Peace!!

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Comment #14 posted by nuevo mexican on September 29, 2007 at 22:26:45 PT

OT:Ever got upset at the airport? Think twice!
Has anyone seen this article, (glad it's getting MSNBC coverage) from bizzaro world, only in America. I know most posters travel here, though FOM stays close to home these days, and this is probably why, I've been to the Phoenix airport too many times, and this seems like something that would happen there, VERY police state-ish place, and very blatantly so.Still.....why was she handcuffed, and left alone and locked up?Imagine what might have really happened, or how this 'might' be true, I'm not buying it.Woman arrested at airport later found dead
Passenger angered by missed flight may have choked on handcuffsPHOENIX - A woman late to her plane became irate, was put in handcuffs and was later found dead in a holding cell, police said. Authorities were investigating Saturday if the woman choked herself while trying to get free from the handcuffs
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on September 29, 2007 at 21:47:55 PT

Still having a hiccup problem.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 29, 2007 at 21:45:01 PT

Mama Willie!
Long time, no see!It's great to see you posting.Giving up, grieving, and then getting back on top of the beast, is a daily thing. :0(It sucks that our government and prohibitionists are still hurting people over the green leafy substance that, somehow,inspires extraordinarily unfounded hatred, in the hearts of some people for those who would dare use it. We've got to stop them from hurting people. It's just not right.It's so good to know that the bad guys didn't get you and haul you off. If it was just the cannabis, maybe we could give up. But they are doing great harm to some people and their families because of the power they've assumed in their prohibition. Because of that, there's really no option. We have to speak out against it when and where we can. We have to reason with them, if we can. We have to try to stop them. It's the right thing to do and we have to do it. Those circumstances leave us no choice, really.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 29, 2007 at 20:23:48 PT

I am not a Ron Paul supporter because I am a soon to be registered Democrat ( to vote in the primary ) but even though I don't like some of his policies I think he is a good man. I think the drug war will change but not for many years. I hope that at least medical marijuana will be ok'd before I am done doing this.
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Comment #8 posted by mamawillie on September 29, 2007 at 20:15:44 PT

FOM-- I lost hope
I lost hope this drug war would ever end. It just doesn't make any sense at all, and times seem worse than ever. No one running for office will stand up and yell, "This is stupid!" I have hope with Ron Paul. (He reached his million already). Good to be back, Fom. :)
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 29, 2007 at 20:03:16 PT

It's good to see you.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 29, 2007 at 20:02:41 PT

My husband asked me to bookmark the link for him and I did. My husband did 2 tours in Vietnam from 69 to 71. He had a cool camouflage jacket when I met him. It was Snoopy on his dog box saying:When I Die I'm Going To HeavenBecause I Spent My Time in Hell1969 - 1971
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Comment #5 posted by mamawillie on September 29, 2007 at 17:23:39 PT

Paul's essay on legalizing drugs
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Comment #4 posted by mamawillie on September 29, 2007 at 17:20:47 PT

Ron Paul, raising 1 mil on the internet
www.ronpaul2008.comRon Paul (r) is against the federal drug war. I just send the campaign 25.00. They are trying to raise 1 mil by tomorrow. The press is basically ignoring him. They figure if they can get an internet campaign rolling, the press won't be able to ignore him for long.At this point, I will support ANY candidate who is willing to talk about how futile the war on drugs (and the billion dollar spending) is.Google Ron Paul + drug and there is an article (sorry, don't have link) where he says "modern day prohibition is as bad, if not worse, than alcohol prohibition." (basically those words)...Anyone with me about financial support? Give a buck or two online?
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 29, 2007 at 16:50:07 PT

Time For the "PATRIOTS" to Support the Vetera
I was a veteran of the first Guld War. I experience severe anxiety and do not trust the FDA approved chemicals. I find that a few draws of marijuana relaxes me with no side affects and very little health risks. Please support the Veterans returning from war with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.Join and Support Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 29, 2007 at 11:58:32 PT

So True unkat27
Money is Power. I've said it many times before, the drug war doesn't affect the people with twenty or so thousand dollars and up in the bank. They simply pay their lawyer and the fine. It doesn't really affect the educated much because they plan to be undetected. The drug war is a war against the poor and uneducated.
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Comment #1 posted by unkat27 on September 29, 2007 at 09:50:36 PT

 Ron Paul Calls for an End to the 'War on Drugs'
More and more Americans and politicians are recognizing how futile, wasteful, and unfair the war on drugs is. It should be obvious to anyone that has enough experience that the "war" on drugs is far more dangerous to the public health than the illegal "drugs" that have been demonized to rationalize it.I would like to point out, also, that by pointing out that Blacks and hispanics seem disproportionately disaffected by it, the whole truth is that it is a "war on the poor" more than any other middle or upper-class, because the poor have no wealth to use in their own self-defense, whereas the wealthy do. As a poor caucasion male, I realize how defenseless an American is against drug-warriors when one has no wealth. Wealth equals security and poor Americans that have no wealth, have no security either.
 Ron Paul Calls for an End to the 'War on Drugs'
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