The recent move by President Biden to pardon a few thousand individuals for simple possession is a watered-down empty gesture designed to placate marijuana advocates. I really don't understand why it's seen as anything else. The move does absolutely nothing to change the fact that marijuana prohibition is built on Jim Crow lies older than Joe Biden and that Congress and Presidents have doubled down on those lies while ignoring all evidence contrary of their preconceived notion for over 8 decades. Marijuana prohibition is a disgrace to the citizens and governance of The United States of America. To treat your own citizen with such disdain because of lies told and sold by authorities' state and federal is a disgrace to us all. Empty gestures from Joe Biden don't help. He also mentioned that he would look into rescheduling marijuana. That ability has been in the grasp all presidents because the Control Substances act cedes control of the scheduling of drugs to the attorney general who serves at the Presidents pleasure. The problem with rescheduling marijuana is that it would likely put every marijuana distributor in the nation under the control of the Food and Drug Administration. Does anyone really believe that would be a good thing? I think President Biden is the same drug war asshole he has always been, and this is just another act of stonewalling marijuana legalization. Randy Johnson
In 1937 the United States government outlawed hemp, branding it “marihuana” the Mexican killer weed largely at the bidding of William Randolph Hearst. Harry J Anslinger the director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and nephew-in-law to Andrew Mellon, who was also his boss led the charge. Mr. Anslinger would often read sensational, fabricated and racist stories from Hearst’s newspapers about all the horrible things that Mexicans would do while using marijuana. That soon included all people of color. He claimed marijuana would destroy the youth of America causing heroin addiction, criminality, insanity and death to its users. It is odd coincidence that the vast timber holdings that Hearst possessed would have held much less value with hemp as a competitor for paper production. Dupont and his banker Andrew Mellon also profited greatly with the exclusion of hemp as a natural competitor to synthetic fibers such as Rayon and Nylon and cellulose for the explosives industry. In one act the United States took the power and profit away from American farmers and gave it all to a handful of rich people.
This is the same plant that the founding fathers of our country grew and people around the world have been growing for thousands of years without problems. Indian Hemp or Cannabis was also part of the pharmacopia in the United States for a hundred years prior to prohibition without alarm from the medical community. Hemp was so important in early America that our country would not likely have survived without it. It was vital for cordage and sails to build and maintain a navy. Relying on a foreign source would have left us too vulnerable. It was even a requirement for land owners in early America to grow hemp and taxes could be paid with hemp.
Popular Mechanics ran an article in February 1938 about the burgeoning billion-dollar hemp market and a new machine called the decorticator. This machine made processing hemp for fiber much less labor intensive. Traditionally hemp had been processed with slave labor and popularity of growing hemp had decreased dramatically after the Civil War. With the diversity of usefulness of hemp from clothing and paper to building materials and food, this was a game changer. Henry Ford even made a car from a hemp base plastic that was said to be 10 times stronger than steel when struck with a hammer and this car ran on a hemp-based biofuel.
The testimony to Congress leading up to the Marijuana Tax Act included a host of people. Harry Anslinger the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Dr. William Woodward from the American Medical Association, Ralph Loziers from the National Oil Seed Institute, the bird seed industry, Dr. James Munch a Temple University pharmacologist testified that he had isolated the active part of marijuana and injected it into dogs that all suffered deterioration of the brain and insanity, and he postulated the same thing happens to people. Dr. Woodward from the American Medical Association recommended more research into medical benefits of cannabis and chided Congress on the secrecy of the hearings about marijuana. He claimed the AMA was unaware that marijuana, that had been touted in the newspapers as a killer weed and cannabis were the same thing until a couple of days before his testimony and criticized the testimony heard about the veracity of addiction among criminals and use among children without any reports from the prison bureau or the department of education or the children’s bureau. Dr Woodward was curtly dismissed and accused of obstruction by Harry Anslinger and members of the Ways and Means committee. Ralph Loziers claimed that hemp had been grown for thousands of years and had a multitude of beneficial uses from clothing and food to oils for paint and fuel. The paint industry said they could find other sources of oil. The Navy, still heavily reliant on hemp for cordage and explosives was against it until Dupont, that had just invented Rayon and Nylon and the main supplier of explosives for the military, said Dupont can furnish all the fiber you want. Randolph Hurst owned millions of acres of timber for paper production and Poncho Villa had confiscated large tracts of his timber holdings in Mexico. His hatred of Mexicans and desire to corner the paper market made marijuana prohibition a favorite of his and he would use his newspaper network to vilify Mexicans and marijuana. Harry Anslinger used to testify to Congress of all the horrors and harm that marijuana would cause, often quoting horror stories from Hurst’s newspapers where the term yellow journalism started. Interestingly, the bird food industry said that they could not find a suitable replacement for hemp seeds because without it the birds wouldn’t sing, their coats would lose their luster and they were allowed to continue to include hemp seed in bird food. It seems to me this act was largely done to eliminate a viable and useful product from the free market to eliminate competition for a handful of rich people in new industries. It also served as a tool to harass and punish people of color.
In the mid 60’s Timothy Leary was arrested for a small amount of marijuana and through his trial and a trip to the Supreme Court in 1969, the Marijuana Tax Act was ruled unconstitutional. Congress scrambled to come up with the Controlled Substance Act and listed marijuana as a schedule 1 drug prohibiting any sale or use. Some Congressmen expressed concern that marijuana should be in a less restrictive schedule, so a presidential committee was formed to study marijuana and its effect on society. The committee was primarily filled with presidential appointees including former states attorney generals and chiefs of police in large cities. The report titled A Signal of Misunderstanding contradicted the given dogma that marijuana was a harm to society and even recommended several remedies from decriminalization to legalization because marijuana prohibition was too harsh. It is reported that Richard Nixon threw the report in the trash without reading before declaring war on drugs fueled by his hate of hippies and war protesters. In response to this, High Times, Playboy and Norml filed for a trial to reschedule marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 2. After 15 years of stonewalling by the Federal Government a trial was finally convened by DEA Administrative Court Judge Francis Young. After hearing days of testimony from doctors and patients she declared that marijuana could certainly be used safely under a doctor’s care and that it was efficacious for a variety of symptoms from pain relief to seizure control and eased the suffering of cancer and terminally ill patients. She declared that marijuana was one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man and less toxic than many of the foods we consume such as raw potatoes. Her ruling was vacated without cause and a new report filed claiming marijuana to be far more harmful than previously reported without explanation. Many other examples of government turning a blind eye to the truth about marijuana are available if you’re willing to look. The online Schaffer Library of Drug Policy is a good source. The Marijuana Conviction by Richard Bonnie and Charles Whitebread is a good read and so is The Emperor Wears No Cloths by Jack Herer.
When considering the racist and just plain fabricated evidence that marijuana prohibition is built on, and that the Federal Government eliminated part of our liberty as a favor to rich people, that alone should be enough for them to remove marijuana from any listing of prohibited substances. Over the course of the last 8 decades our government has hidden and ignored information about marijuana that didn’t fit their agenda, going so far as to make it a crime for federal authorities to promote legalization of schedule 1 drugs in Public Law 106-113 Sec 167.
SEC. 167. (a) None of the funds contained in this Act may
be used to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize
or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use,
or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled
Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivatives.
The simple truth is that Congress and Presidents past and present have sought to and succeeded in picking winners and losers in society and the free market. In this process of trading favors for money and support from industry, we have over the course of time lost most of our liberty to endless regulation by bureaus, departments and administrations and duplicitous laws to the point where little is left in our lives that is not ruled by government. Now it seems they want to be able to mandate our healthcare as well. All these things are in opposition to the principles this country was founded on such as liberty and justice for all, equality among men and unalienable rights that come from God. There has never been a time in the history of our nation when liberty and justice applied to all people. There have always been groups of people that just didn’t measure up and denied liberty and justice, often along racial lines and there have always been those who are above the law common citizens must endure. Domination and control of society and its assets seems to be the goal with little concern for truth, justice or liberty. Congress and the President should be embarrassed and ashamed of what they have done. They sold out the citizens of this nation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been imprisoned and many killed in support of the marijuana prohibition lie. When will the last person die for this lie?
The Federal Government has steadfastly clung to the Reefer Madness view of marijuana as evidence contrary to that view continue to mount. They have done all they can to discredit and ignore all evidence that shows anything other than marijuana is bad. They have had the patent on medical marijuana and known that it is efficacious for the shrinking of head and chest tumors associated with cancer since the early 70’s and kept silent. They have refused and stonewalled all attempts to study marihuana for its benefits and only funded studies to discredit marijuana. In all of this they have yet to prove that marijuana is a harm to society or its users.
Many in Congress will admit that the war on marijuana is a failure. Few will admit the failure is theirs because they abandoned liberty, the truth, and stabbed Americans in the back by selling our freedom to a handful of rich people while prosecuting a war against their own citizens in support of a series of lies and false information. Congress and the President should be ashamed of marihuana prohibition but don’t seem to be. Maybe they don’t know about the history of marijuana prohibition or just don’t care. Why can’t we have a government dedicated to the preservation of liberty instead of its constant decay caused by endless duplicitous laws and bureaucracies designed to limit freedom. Even if Congress and the President have no shame. I am ashamed of them. They did it all in our name.
Dear fellow Americans,
I write this with a heavy heart. I never thought it would come to this. I never wanted an enemy. I was born in Amarillo, TX in 1957 to American citizens. We recited the Lord’s Prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance in grade school. That’s about as American as a person can get, but I’m not sure what the Indians called it before we got here. Other than an intolerance for bullies, I am a live and let live kind of guy. I was told as a child that I lived in a free country and could choose my own happiness as long as that didn’t interfere with the rights of others. That led to conflict in a school system that was more concerned with dress codes than learning. This disregard for liberty during the late 60’s caused me to question the rhetoric about drugs and I fell in love with marijuana. Marijuana had become my salt for life and It made me feel better in many ways. The Vietnam War ended just after I turned 18 so I still remember what happened at Kent State and Richard Nixon declaring war on people like me. At the time and for decades after I just tried to avoid authorities to continue my use. My wife of 35 years and I successfully raised two sons who follow God and are honest and respectable men. Most of that time I shared the love and pride in America that most Americans feel when the National Anthem is heard. After my children were grown and forging their own way in the world, I had time to question why my government had been at war with me my entire adult life. Most people who have used marijuana for some time would question why it is illegal. My search for the truth led me to believe that what the government said and promoted about marijuana is a lie. I have written several letters to Congress and Presidents asking for relief from marijuana prohibition. All my efforts fell on deaf ears. It seems that government doesn’t care that marijuana prohibition is all based on false information and racial intolerance. They have systematically ignored and discredited factual information that showed marijuana in a favorable light at every turn, and ignored the truth without explanation. Drug interdiction has grown from stop and frisk and the infiltration of narcs into the population, to a condition where police are no longer withheld from war like home invasions and confrontations with the public.
It really doesn’t surprise me though. Since our country was formed as a nation dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal and that our rights come from our creator and not from government, we have had 9 decades of legal slavery, a civil war, 1 1/2 decades of a war over alcohol and 8 decades of a war against hemp and marijuana prosecuted along racial lines, all but wiped out the Indians, aborted more then 50 million babies, and have been at war with almost everyone on the planet. I don’t think Americans are a kind people and I don’t know anyone who still believes we are free. I don’t believe Americans are tolerant enough or brave enough to allow freedom and our government doesn’t seem to be able to function without internal and external enemies.
My point in this letter is this. I still desire no enemy. My feelings are hurt and I may never get over it. I don’t like being ruled with lies and corruption and I want liberty that I will likely never see. But the biggest problem I see is that we all live on the same (planet) space ship and we really need to learn to get along with those that are different and even offensive as long as they are peaceful. Globally people have gotten very good at easily killing millions or billions of people with government sanctioned and mandated armies and doomsday technologies. We all still live on the same rock barely 8000 miles across spinning through space at thousands of miles an hour with no one driving save the Grace of God and with no escape or defense. If marijuana prohibition is our biggest concern, we aren’t going to make it. I don’t consider Americans my enemy, but all my enemies fly the same flag.
Jesus told us to love one another
God Forgive America
I recently watched an interview at Vice News by Shane Smith where you stated that marijuana legalization was not a priority issue. Quite frankly I am appalled by your callous disregard for personal freedom. I assumed by your previous marijuana use, your statement that the war on drugs had failed, and your law degree that you might have studied the history of marijuana prohibition and discovered the false and blatantly racist reasons for the implementation of marijuana prohibition. I had also assumed that you are aware that the justification of marijuana prohibition is still based largely on exaggerated or just plain false information.
Evidence has shown that marijuana can be efficacious, both palliative and curative in the treatment of a variety of medical problems, yet the federal government continues to deny that marijuana has any medical value even though they own the patent on medical marijuana.
Marijuana has been proven far safer than the other legal recreational drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, yet marijuana users are still demonized by federal mandate with mandatory drug testing in the workplace and by grant money given to law enforcement agencies to conduct raids on our homes and businesses, and to hate organizations like Drug Free America that spew the false and misleading message that all marijuana use ruins lives. Did it ruin your life Mr. President?
We have had more than 70 years of marijuana prohibition, and the war against Americans who chose marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol, and those that supply their needs has steadily increased over that time. We had war declared on us in the early 1970’s by Richard Nixon and each president since has chosen to escalate that war. About 14 years after the United States declared war on us, Congress and President Reagan decided that since they were at war with us, then we should be stripped of our second amendment rights. This was done without trial or representation even though there is no evidence that would show marijuana users to be more violent or dangerous than the general population.
Mr. President the war against Americans who chose marijuana is horrible and hateful. The justifications for prohibition are exaggerated if not just plain false. Any evidence that does not agree with the official government stance on marijuana is ignored. To continue to incarcerate people, take their property, and their children, or to strip them of their constitutional rights without so much as a trial and to use lethal force on us if we resist is too much for us to bear just because we are low on your priority list. Americans should not feel like the enemy of their own country. Our freedom should be just as important as other Americans. Mr. President if you are unwilling to stop this war, could we at least have a cease-fire until we can have a national conversation about marijuana.
Thank you for your time
I’ve been writing for a little over a year now and I thank those who diligently read what I share. However the discussion I had hoped to engage in with those opposed to marijuana legalization never really bore fruit. My ultimate desire though is to attract as much attention as I can to the horrors of prohibition and the disparity of justice along race and class lines. So I am going to try something else. I am in the process of purchasing puppets to use in making video political satire associated with the failed war on drugs. While waiting for the puppets I will be building stages and props for the puppet show
More to come later
Not too many years ago several towns or communities were known as Sundown Towns where blacks were not welcome after dark. Mostly by reputation some were even known to post signs declaring the unwelcome visitors should leave by sundown or else. One such town was Vidor, TX. Racial intolerance was so prominent that in 1993 the federal government actually moved several black families into subsidized housing in Vidor which resulted in a Ku Klux Klan demonstration. It’s kind of reminiscent of the old western movies where one cowboy would declare that there is not enough room in this town for both of us and one would leave or a shoot out in the street would ensue.
The war against marijuana is also similar in that marijuana users are not welcome in society. Although their drug of choice is far safer than the legal alternatives, they are denied gainful employment and subjected to arrest and confiscation of property and in some cases even having their children removed from their custody. The heavy disparity associated with prosecution of marijuana crimes along racial and class lines makes it a racial issue as well.
As bad as that is, the fact that this war on a peaceful class of people is perpetuated by the federal government makes the situation much worse. We can’t just get out-of-town because the federal law is valid in all states and territories and also pushed on foreign governments as well, such as Columbia and Mexico. Violence and corruption are epic in those countries that are part of the supply line in America’s hunger for marijuana. Mostly I see that prohibition is ignored and unwelcome by marijuana users, but for those unlucky few that catch the eye of authorities, the punishment is horrible, hateful and unjustified.
The biggest problem I have with prohibitionists is the adamant insistence that the only places for us in society are unemployed, homeless, in jail or forced into rehab to correct our errant behavior. Any resistance to that must be met with the force of law, up to and including a lethal response. It can’t be that there is not enough room in this country for people like me. I am an American and it’s my country too.
Nick Gillespie from Reason wrote an article in Time titled “What is so bad about casual drug use” . The article is an excellent read that exposes the hypocrisy and dishonesty involved in the war against drugs. That led to a very spirited discussion section where one of the respondents, Mike Parent who is a member of LEAP, joined in on the conversation offering many links to information about the lies used to fuel marijuana prohibition. I found this quote from William F Buckley interesting,
“Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
— William F. Buckley,
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495
Lately I have been saddened by the division in our Nation. I think it has always bothered me that we have a long history of division. Like when we hated on the Indians and all but annihilated them and enslaved a portion of our society that was predominately black and further punished them with segregation and Jim Crow laws, but I had hoped we had left some of that behind. The most obvious division today is among the Haves and the Have Not’s and between those who want more government control and those who do not. Those we have elected to lead us have been putting on a pretty good show of fighting for the cause of their constituents, yet our government continues on its set course. That course being more control over its people and more information about their lives and more of their money. Obviously they are not content to just control their own citizens, but people all over the world as evidenced by the surveillance of foreigners and the constant intervention in other nations by our government. Should we be in a constant state of war without a defined enemy. The stated enemy is terrorism yet we refuse to acknowledge that it is a war with Islam where the Quran calls for the killing of non-Muslims. We also have the internal and external war on drugs where tens of thousands of people have lost their lives in a struggle to illegally provide the United States with drugs and hundreds of thousands of Americans are imprisoned and lose their property because their drug of choice is not alcohol or tobacco. These things are being used as an excuse to gather information on every citizen in this country and many abroad. Privacy in our communications, information searches, shopping habits and our medical history is gone and all that information along with our location is now available to our government. We have surrendered our individual sovereignty for the illusion of safety.
Lets consider some of the implications from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One provision is the smokers have been accessed a $3000 penalty or premium increase that cannot be subsidized with tax money. That $3000 is just an arbitrary number. What if it increases to $6000 or more and how hard would it be to say that anyone who uses an illegal drug should be charged more. You could always just not tell them but likely medical exams in the future will include toxicology exams since the government is picking up the tab. Laser powered molecular scanners will very likely find their way into medical diagnostics and drug use will be obvious, both legal and illegal. If you do not report your drug use you will be guilty of felony fraud.
The use of the Internal Revenue Service as the enforcement arm of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is also troublesome. Does anyone remember the abuse of power about awarding or withholding tax-free status to groups and individuals along party lines. The Internal Revenue Service has always been used by our elected leaders to reward those in their favor and punish those who are not. It is also being used to divide our nation. We are split between the Haves and the Have Not’s where according to CNN Money, 10% of the people pay 70% of all income taxes. Randi Rhodes once told me that it wouldn’t do any good to tax the poor because it is like squeezing blood from a turnip but I disagree. Those who do not pay income taxes ( about 47%) don’t have any skin in the game and they can vote for whatever benefits they want from government and not have to worry about how it is paid for. When we authorize our government to take away from a few to supplement others it is theft, even if it is backed by the rule of law. If everyone pays, then we could find the level of government benefits that we can agree on and pay as we go. This astronomical national debt thing has to stop if we are to leave any kind of decent future for our children and grand children.
If America wants to turn this around, it can be done, but we have to act in unison. Stop voting for lifetime politicians. Their allegiance is not to you but too their party. Demand term limits and run for office if you are dissatisfied with the selection of candidates. We need more ordinary citizens in office. Above all watch those that take office and let them know what you expect from them. Silence is seen as approval.
The present trend in the legalization of marijuana would seem to indicate that the Feds are losing the war against marijuana. With two states legalizing the drug for recreational purposes and twenty states, plus our nations Capitol, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes and the latest Gallup poll now showing 58% of Americans favor legalization you would think so. But I am not so sure. I still think the Feds have a few cards up their sleeves. Recently Reason Magazine reported that the NSA has been sharing information with local and federal law enforcement about illegal drug activity obtained through their advanced surveillance of our internet and phone usage and then telling the law enforcement authorities not to reveal the source. This alone is disturbing, but those we elected to protect our freedom through legislation don’t seem to believe we have the right to be left alone and have any privacy and there has been very little public outcry about it. Like I have said before, they view silence as approval and that only makes them more bold. There has not been much in the news about the new laser powered molecular scanners that can tell what you had for breakfast from 50 meters away but I am sure they are being improved and made more portable. Now the IRS will have access to all of our medical records because of the affordable health care act. Privacy is becoming a thing of the past and those we have elected to represent us increasingly see everyday Americans as a threat. Remember how the Department of Homeland Security has been stockpiling ammunition. I am not sure what the intentions of this administration are but so far they seem to tell us one thing and then do another, like when President Obama said that he would leave medical marijuana alone and then escalated the raids on state legal distributors. Soon the government may have what they need to enforce the war on drugs successfully but I don’t know if people will tolerate that level of oppression. I do know that the government has a long memory and they are not very forgiving. The Gallup poll showing 58% approval of legalization does give me hope though. No matter how much the Feds want to control our lives, they still have to get re-elected.
As the House of Representatives votes to de-fund Obamacare, with a bill that would fund the government by raising the debt limit to prevent a government shut down, the Senate and the President have vowed that the bill is dead with no chance of passing. Both Democrats and Republicans are locked in a struggle for a prize that would reward their constituents. That prize being health care, or more importantly who would pay for it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is actually a huge wealth redistribution scheme. It raises the premiums on those that can afford health insurance to pay for the insurance of those that can’t and will be supplemented with Tax money and money that we had to borrow from the Federal Reserve. The whole problem with the battle is the taking of money. It could be simply called theft by government to give to those less fortunate. And of course while playing the role of the middle man, the associated regulatory bureaucracy, the IRS, will need increased funding in order to pay for expenses associated with running the new government cash eating monster. Why would anyone want to make the IRS bigger and more powerful.?
What we need as a nation is to get our budget under control and stop the process of borrowing 43% of what we spend and begin to pay that money back. The interest on the national debt alone is crippling with an estimated cost of 5 trillion dollars over the next decade. We currently owe $49,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States, or $135,000 per taxpayer in this country and it seems to be accelerating exponentially. The young voters in this country should be screaming at their elected officials to stop this madness that will cripple our future economy with debt we cannot repay. A burden that will be passed to our children and their children. Simply put, we need to pay as we go instead of borrowing the money, even if we have to raise taxes. That gets us to the crux of the problem, who gets the bill. Currently about 50% of Americans don’t pay income tax and some even get money they did not contribute. The people who do not pay taxes are not vested in the system. When those that pay little or nothing start voting benefits for themselves, from the tax revenue of the few that pay the most taxes, it creates hard feelings, stifles innovation, and investment that creates jobs and rightfully so. While I am not a big fan of progressive taxes, lets just skip that part and assume that we should take a higher percentage from those who make more. The poor that can work should not be exempt from some income tax so that they share in the burden of helping those that can’t or won’t. Lets make it a fixed ratio of say, a 2 to 1 ratio or even a 3 to 1 ratio, where the wealthiest taxpayer pays a higher percentage, but all who have income should pay something and get rid of special interest deductions and credits. Then it is no longer the poor stealing from the rich with taxation, and we could raise the tax rates to whatever people were willing to tolerate and pay for what we want from government. We could find the balance that society wants with taxation and government services and it would heal the divide that has split our nation.
I’ve been hearing about jury nullification as a defense against prosecution for marijuana crimes. It is an interesting concept, where the jury just refuses to convict the defendant just because they disagree with the law or because they believe it should not be applied in a particular case. This was used extensively to stop the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act before the Civil War and the Volstead Act during the prohibition of alcohol. During prohibition, as many as 60% of the alcohol violations were nullified by juries. With greater than 50% of Americans now believing that marijuana prohibition should end, it is very likely you could get a member of your jury to vote for your acquittal. NJWeedman, Edward Forchion, a New Jersey medical marijuana patient, has used jury nullification as a way to avoid prosecution. Forchion is an outspoken critic of the war on marijuana and has some very good ideas about mounting an effective defense in court against prosecution. He spent 6 months in jail for exercising his freedom of speech when he made commercials that called for an end to marijuana prohibition, yet he still marches on as a warrior in the fight against prohibition.
The states that have moved to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use have also nullified Federal marijuana laws to a certain extent, by stopping the enforcement of those laws by local authorities. It has been an uphill battle where some local law enforcement have refused to honor the will of the voters in their state and enforce Federal marijuana laws anyway. Still progress is being made where a wave of acceptance for medical marijuana has swept the country and over 50% of Americans now believe marijuana prohibition should end, and that it should be regulated and taxed similar to alcohol.
Oath Keepers is an organization of active and former military, police and first responders that have vowed to uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution of The United States, by refusing to obey unconstitutional orders such as, to disarm the American people, detain Americans as enemy combatants to be held without trial and to conduct warrantless searches. This also is a form of nullification that protects our freedoms and rights that are under attack by the Federal Government. Their motto is “Not On Our Watch”.
When those we elect to lead us, refuse to honor their oath to support and defend the Constitution, the responsibility falls on us to stand together and defend our rights and way of life. Our best defense against this assault on freedom, is to watch those we elect to represent us and hold them accountable by removing them from office when they fail to protect our rights. That system seems to have failed, where our two-party system yields more of the same, regardless of which party is in majority. Our rights of freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to be secure in our personal effects, and the right to self-defense are constantly being eroded by our government. Nullification can be a very powerful tool to prevent the loss of freedom if we just refuse to play their game.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is being admonished by MarijuanaPolicy.org with a billboard outside of Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO, urging fans and players to celebrate with a safer alternative to alcohol, according to a story by Tully Corcoran at Fox Sports News. MPP called out Goodell for punishing players who use marijuana which is a safer alternative to alcohol. MPP’s press release included this statement. “For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The league would never punish a player simply for having a couple beers, so why does it penalize them for using a substance that is less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violence? There is also a Change.org petition initiated by MPP and directed at Roger Goodell to change the NFL drug policy
The NFL has warned the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks that NFL policy about marijuana has not changed, “Its Legal” will not be a valid excuse. Sadly the NFL is facing another problem with lawsuits brought against them because of concussions brought on by head trauma. Ironically marijuana may end up being a key tool to prevent permanent brain damage associated with head trauma.
It is a shame that the MPP’s ad at the Brickyard 500 race in Indianapolis, IN was pulled due to pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. MPP needs our support in its publicity campaign, to gain acceptance for users of marijuana. These ads are not cheap, but I believe they are a vital tool to reach people who would not ordinarily listen to arguments about legalization and acceptance of marijuana in society, and what could be a better place to do that than sporting events where alcohol is advertised or served.
The history of George Cassidy’s bootlegging operation in the House of Representatives and The U.S. Senate are chronicled by Green Hat Gin where 4 out of 5 members of Congress ignored the Volstead Act, and purchased illegal alcohol for their own consumption in the Halls of Congress. George Cassidy even had an office in the basement of the Cannon House Office Building for 5 years until Capital Police caught him bringing illegal liquor into the Cannon House Office Building. He was never prosecuted for the crime but simply moved his office to the Russell Senate Office Building and continued his bootlegging business for another 5 years. Then as now Congress holds itself above the law while holding us accountable to their dictate.
Congress quietly rolls back insider trading rules for itself.
Congress gets free trips from lobbyists.
Congress exempt from security protocols at airport security.
Free vacations for Congressional staff paid for by foreign governments.
Congress gives special deals to campaign contributors.
Congress is exempt from a number of Federal laws protecting employee rights such as whistleblower protections, protections from retaliation, and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act among others.
Political conventions lush with perks and free booze.
Are members of Congress pubic servants or just self-serving?
“The House I live In” is a documentary about the war on drugs, from producers, Danny Glover, Brad Pitt, John Legend, and Russell Simmons and directed by Eugene Jarecki. It is a very informative, critical and honest assessment of the drug problem in America and shows different aspects of the war on drugs from a variety of viewpoints. This is a must see for anyone wanting to know more about the drug tragedy facing all Americans, especially the poor and people of color.
We all know that crimes are committed by criminals and those that are caught are punished by society through the criminal justice system, with fines, probation, incarceration and in extreme circumstances by death. But what constitutes a crime? Must the action that constitutes the crime harm others, as in assault, rape or murder, or could it simply be an action that deprives others, their right to life, liberty or their pursuit of happiness. This should be a simple answer but it is not in our society. According to a documentary originally aired on Fox News by Jon Stossel, the United States Government now has over 125,000 pages of law governing everything from treason, to the type of light bulbs you can purchase and the type of toilet you can install and how much water your faucets can flow. These laws are used to enforce, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Firearm Owners Protection Act and thousands of other laws currently on the books at all levels of government that we are subject to. A Book by Harvey A. Silverglate titled Three Felonies a Day documents how people commit crimes, unknowingly just because there are so many laws governing so many different things that most people would never consider a crime, it becomes impossible to know for sure we are not doing anything illegal. It is very likely that anyone could be arrested for a crime any day of their lives. Laws are written so broadly that they may be interpreted by authorities to arrest anyone. With the use of domestic spying on all of us through our electronic communications, we are all in danger of coming under the scrutiny of authorities, who could make our life a living hell if they so choose. We’re all Criminals by C.M Sturges discusses how the vast array of laws we have, are meant to suppress and control us, not maintain safety and freedom.
Some laws we have are for another purpose though, they are meant to protect the interests of the ultra rich who have a strangle hold on those we elect to represent us. Companies such as Dupont , Monsanto, General Electric, Westinghouse, General Mills that are held and controlled by the elite in society, with names like Rothschild and Rockefeller that meet in secret locations to discuss and decide on world policy and direction. Remember the Monsanto Protection Act that ensures that it will be near impossible to challenge the use of genetically modified foods or seeds.
The war against marijuana is no different. Our government hides and ignores evidence that shows hemp and marijuana to be a benefit to society and a safer alternative to alcohol use, to protect businesses such as the pharmaceutical industry, the cotton industry, the pulp wood and timber industry, the drug testing industry, the drug rehab industry, the prison industry and the petrochemical industry. Lets not forget the DEA with its multibillion dollar tax funded budget which employs a multitude of drug enforcement officers who want to keep their jobs and that the war on drugs is the main justification for the militarization of our police forces and the main justification for paramilitary raids on civilian homes. The United States government is also using their advanced surveillance, secretly to initiate drug busts and directing police to cover up where the initial evidence for the investigation came from. Circumventing rights and freedom is just another tool in the pursuit of total control over the population. More laws governing everyday activity are incrementally employed , gradually reducing freedom and creating a population that will cower to the will of the government. Will we continue to say the loss of freedom and privacy is not that bad until it effects us, instead of someone else? Or will we rise up and demand that our rights and freedoms are honored by the people we elected and who swore an oath to uphold them, the members of Congress and the President of the United States?
I know I have been ragging on the police a lot here lately and it has been taking a toll on me. Reading and writing about people who’s lives have been severely harmed at the hand of police such as Ramarley Graham and his family, have left me depressed and angry about the misdeeds done in the name of law enforcement by a few errant policemen. It is very likely that I do not have all the facts and maybe I am wrong in my assessment, but anytime a person looses their life as a result of this war or drugs it bothers me. For a man to die over a dime bag of marijuana is a horrible tragedy, and I can find no justification for it. But I also love this country and I want the Constitution to continue to be the guiding principle in the way our country is run. I want the freedoms and rights that we have to endure and be passed on to future generations. That freedom and those rights cannot be preserved without the rule of law. Law enforcement is just as crucial to preserving our Constitution and freedom as a standing army. Without it our society would descend into chaos and the strongest, the richest or the boldest would reign supreme and the weak would be at their mercy. Rape, robbery, murder would be rampant and we would all live in fear. The brave men and women in law enforcement have a very thankless job. Countless times every day, they put their lives on the line to preserve the rule of law and fulfill their vow to serve and protect. For that we owe them a debt of gratitude that they may never see. Most of their encounters with the public are not on good terms. They see people on some of the worst days of their lives and often their intervention is unwelcome and sometimes violent. No one wants a traffic citation and no one wants to be arrested and people’s reactions are sometimes hard to predict. Police never know what will happen on the next encounter with the public so they must remain vigilant, ready to make split second decisions concerning life and death, not only their own, but the public as well. I am grateful for those who stand in harm’s way, and risk their lives to enrich mine. At times I tend to lose sight of that and I will forever believe the war on drugs is the wrong approach to a social and medical problem. I will forever believe that paramilitary raids on people’s homes over marijuana is a bad idea. I will forever believe that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol, but the job of the police is not to judge which laws are good or bad, but to enforce the laws passes by our elected officials. There are many people in law enforcement who want an end to the war on drugs and have become outspoken critics of it. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an organization of just such people. Judges, attorneys, and policemen from all across the country have united to oppose the war on drugs. They actively lobby Congress and give testimony in public venues to educate people about the failures and fallacies in the war on drugs and that gives me hope for a better future. The vast majority of men and women in law enforcement are good honest people who believe in the rule of law and hold themselves to a very high standard, but that is not news worthy, so the media focuses on the mistakes and misdeeds of the few. God Bless those who choose to serve this country and preserve our way of life. My beef is with Congress and the President, not with law enforcement.
I keep finding stories about people killed over marijuana possession. Eighteen year old Ramarley Graham was shot to death by officer Richard Haste in his Grandmother’s bathroom while allegedly trying to flush a dime bag of marijuana down the toilet after New York City police saw him make the purchase and followed him to his residence. A video shows Graham walking to the residence and entering with police running up to the door a few seconds later, where they unsuccessfully try to kick the door in. They moved around to the rear of the residence and finally gained entrance by breaking in. Also in the home at the time were his Grandmother, Patricia Hartley and six-year-old brother. Several stories have evolved from the initial event such as that Graham had a gun that was never found and that Graham had struggled with the police which turns out not to be the case according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The indictment of the officer involved in the shooting has been dropped because the Grand Jury was not informed that fellow officers had told Haste that Graham was armed. Graham’s Grandmother was treated badly after her grandson was shot The grandmother, 58 years of age and 85 pounds, was forced into a chair and her arm twisted while police called her a f—ing liar for covering for her grandson, and hauled her in for questioning for 7 hours, while she was denied heart medicine and medical treatment and officers delayed her lawyer from seeing her for 90 minutes.
Since police have acknowledged watching the hand to hand drug buy, I am certain they knew it was not a large quantity of drugs. It was obviously a personal use, small time drug buy which brings us to the question of why it was so important to break into a home and shoot someone over a small amount of marijuana. Is it so important for society to eliminate drug use that they will do so at all cost, even killing people? While I do fault the police, for this tragic over use of authority, they should not stand alone in fault here. Also culpable are the Police Commissioner, and all the elected officials from the mayor all the way up to Congress and President Obama who played a role in directing police to pursue small time drug buyers and users with such aggression. The police in this case were likely just following a directive that came from someone far above their pay grade. That does not excuse their behavior but it does shed a little light on a much larger problem that starts with Congress and The Office of The President and filters down to the poor and people of color that are preferred targets in this war on drugs. While the Office of the President no longer calls this a war on drugs, the tactics have not changed where police are urged to aggressively pursue drug crimes through Congress making military weapons and equipment available to local police departments for free or drastically reduced prices and offering grants for police to train for and interdict drug use. More and more our fourth amendment rights are circumvented or ignored while judges rule that the end justifies the means in this war on drugs.
But what about the people caught up in this horrible, hateful and unjust war. The victims like Ramarley Graham, or his Grandmother or his younger brother. Was it just to kill this man just because he liked marijuana. At his age purchasing alcohol would have been just as illegal, but it is very unlikely he would have been shot over a six-pack. Did his grandmother deserve the abuse she received after watching her grandson being killed by police. The saddest part of this story is that it is just not that uncommon. It breaks my heart to think that society supports this kind of treatment of our fellow Americans at the hands of those we trust to serve and protect us, from our local police all the way up to The President, but that is exactly what is happening. Without public outcry in defense of those abused by our justice system, our leaders see silence as approval. When we vote them back into office after supporting this kind of behavior, they think we approve. We are all guilty of what happened to Ramarley Graham and others like him when we don’t rise up in defense of those abused by the justice system. There is no justification for ruining people’s lives and killing them because of marijuana. Call your Mayor, your Congressman and Senator, and call The White House and tell them you want this to stop, unless you approve.
An ad promoting marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol from the Marijuana Policy Project, was aired outside the Brickyard 400 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The ad was scheduled to air 72 times but was pulled early because of pressure from the Drug Free America Foundation. It seems ironic to me that with the massive amount of alcohol served at Nascar events and the propensity for alcohol related advertising at Nascar events and alcohol related sponsors of race car teams associated with Nascar and the history of Nascar being associated with alcohol prohibition, that a pro marijuana ad would be deemed unsuitable at a family oriented event.
In an article form NYDailyNews, Calvina Fay stated,“This campaign falsely claims marijuana is safer than alcohol and promotes illicit drug use in a state where marijuana is illegal,” Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs, said in a statement. “It is irresponsible marketing and I commend Grazie Media for their swift action towards the removal of this ad,” concluded Fay.
And in rebuttal, Mason Tvert from Marijuana Policy Project, that produced the ad and purchased the air time from Grazie Media replied,
Tvert told the Daily News that Fay’s claim that marijuana is more harmful than alcohol “absolutely absurd.”
“We are absolutely baffled by the claim that marijuana is not safer than alcohol, which accompanied the announcement of the ad being pulled,” Tvert said. “If Save Our Society From Drugs truly wishes to ‘save our society from drugs,’ why on earth would they want to prevent people from learning that alcohol use is far more toxic and likely to contribute to violent behavior than marijuana? It is clear this organization is more concerned about maintaining marijuana prohibition than it is about maintaining public health and safety. We are sorry to see Grazie Media abandon its agreement with a client when confronted by such reefer madness.”
The Obama administration’s new drug policy is full of hypocrisy. First of all the basic premise is that any one who uses drugs must be ill and fixed by society whether they like it or not. Individual users will be tried in drug courts where mandatory rehabilitation will be the preferred choice of punishment with incarceration as the backup plan. The supply chain will still face the same punishment of paramilitary raids, incarceration and confiscation of property even if they are following state law as is the case for medical marijuana in the 18 states and Washington DC where medical marijuana is legal as well as Colorado and Washington, where marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes. The will of the voting public is ignored. The White House still steadfastly refuses to consider that marijuana should be treated the same as alcohol and separated from the harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and LSD, even though statistics and medical science shows that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Whenever the government discusses the harms from drugs to society, it is always drugs in aggregate or meth or one the harder drugs but never marijuana alone, because they know preaching about how harmful marijuana is to society is unbelievable. Most all of society knows that the reported harm to society from marijuana has been grossly overstated. Lacking in the view of White House policy is that alcohol is statistically the worst drug in America. Granted tobacco kills more people each year, but alcohol has the added stigma of social destruction in the form of violent crime and traffic fatalities that are not associated with the other drugs to such a great degree. A Department of Justice report on violence related emergency room visits shows that alcohol is the most violence related drug in America by a wide margin where the report states, “Almost all of the alcohol/drug citations on the hospital records reflected alcohol involvement. Drugs were cited on the hospital record in less than 1% of all violence-related injuries treated”.
. Yet marijuana is demonized as a horrible menace to society by keeping it listed as a schedule one drug, on par with heroin, codeine and morphine even though it is not usually associated with addiction. Marijuana users have been stripped of their second amendment rights without trial or representation even though violence is not normally associated with its use. According to a study about traffic fatalities, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not confirm the reason for the reduction in fatalities but speculated that it may be caused by people substituting marijuana for alcohol. In contrast, alcohol kills more Americans every year than all illegal drugs combined and the number of people killed by marijuana could easily be counted on one hand. Evidence that would show marijuana to be beneficial as medicine is ignored even though a plethora of evidence showing marijuana to be an effective medicine is currently available and the Federal government owns patents on medical marijuana that detail how marijuana can be an effective treatment for various ailments such as wasting, seizures and cancer. Evidence showing marijuana as a safer libation than alcohol is ignored as if it were non-existent and the harm to society from alcohol is ignored. President Obama even has a brewery in the basement of the White House where he has his own beer brewed. If people were to choose to grow their own marijuana to forego the black market, they risk loosing their home, their children, their money and their freedom. That’s quite a risk for choosing to use a safer drug than the one Obama brews in the White House. Recently the Justice Department caught HSBC in a money laundering scheme with the Mexican and Columbian drug cartels. HSBC had been laundering billions of dollars for the cartels over a 15 year period and were caught red-handed. Instead of confiscating the money and prosecuting the bank executives that were responsible, the Justice Department took 30 billion dollars and let HSBC punish the responsible banking executives by deferring their bonuses for five years. They didn’t lose their bonuses, they were just put in an interest bearing account for five years as their punishment. Nobody went to jail and the justice Department did the same thing that HSBC did, they took money to look the other way. The disparity of justice is staggering where the poor and people of color are disproportionately searched, arrested and incarcerated than the wealthy and white population. We still have people serving life sentences for possession of marijuana, and people loosing millions of dollars in property and their freedom for sales of marijuana that are legal under state law and President Obama, “an admitted pot head” is brewing a more dangerous drug in the basement of the White House. People are still having their children removed from their custody for simple possession or use of marijuana. Federal law still requires that any businesses with a contract with the government to drug test as a condition of employment and the required test doesn’t even show if the person is impaired, only that they have used recently as a way to punish people who would not otherwise be caught by denying them employment. I believe the federal government is protecting businesses such as the drug testing industry, the drug rehab industry, the prison industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol industry, the cotton industry, the timber industry, the petrochemical industry and many others from the competition or loss they would incur if free people were allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol. We have the largest per capita prison population on earth as a result of this failed war on drugs with special emphasis on marijuana. Our constitutional rights against illegal searches have been circumvented and we are denied the right to pursue freedom and happiness and make decisions about our own health and safety. Hateful, hurtful, hypocrisy and a total disregard for personal freedom is what I see. End the war against Americans who choose a safer drug than alcohol. Come on Barry, was marijuana use a just cause for the government ruining people’s lives when you were Chooming with your friends, riding around totally absorbed, doing roof hits and intercepts? Was it so detrimental to your life that it kept you from reaching your goal of being President and chief hypocrite in the war against marijuana?
The war on drugs has led this nation to a point where citizens should have a real fear of encounters with police. All too often innocent people are shot in their own homes in a violent raid at the hands of paramilitary police looking for drugs. All too often these raids are at the wrong address. The police typically enter the home in the wee hours of the morning when people are asleep. When startled awake by police, breaking down your door and yelling, while storming through your house with flash bang grenades, assault weapons and lights, the victims of these invasions are in real danger. For one thing the police are likely scared and are looking for anything that may be perceived as a threat and ready to respond with deadly force to make sure they are not harmed. But people do not always react the way you would expect them to, especially when startled, scared, and half awake. Many people have firearms in their homes for self-defense, others may have a bat or a golf club and we all have the right to defend our homes. But anything in your hand, like a phone, or just having your hands where the police cannot see them is likely to cause them to panic and start shooting. The justification for this type of raid seems to be that the suspect may try to destroy evidence. In my line of thinking, if they have enough evidence for a paramilitary raid on someone’s home, then why are they worried about further evidence? This type of raid puts the whole family at risk. Typically the family dog is shot, the family is herded into one room in their underwear and held at gunpoint while the house is torn apart. Sometimes family members, even children are shot by mistake. Wouldn’t it be safer to arrest the person at work or in a traffic stop, and then go search their house without the violence of a home invasion that endangers everyone involved. More and more we are treated as though we were the enemy of America instead of citizens. I think it is a pretty heavy hand in fighting a war against people who rarely ever fight back. In fact, I can’t remember a violent protest against marijuana prohibition, ever. The only violence I have seen would be from the crime syndicates who supply the drugs because our government won’t allow a legal source. Most of that violence is infighting between drug gangs that are fighting for turf to protect their market or settle disputes. All the other violence in the war on drugs is directed towards the users at the hand of law enforcement. It’s a very one-sided war, where drug users are not even allowed to own guns or ammunition by Federal Law. A right I might add, that was stripped from them without trial, representation or justification over a decade after the government declared war on them.
Police are almost never held accountable for mistakes in these raids. Accidental shootings are said to be justified if the police say they perceived a threat, even when they get the wrong house. Police have lost respect for our privacy and our rights against illegal searches and the Supreme Court has ruled that dogs may authorize searches. Some people have tried fighting back, by video taping the police’s actions as evidence of abuse, but this often brings wrath from law enforcement. People are arrested and phones or cameras are confiscated even though the Supreme Court has ruled that police can have no expectation of privacy in public law enforcement and video taping of police is legal. Congress seems to support these paramilitary raids by making military equipment and weapons available to local police either free or heavily discounted and offering grants for police departments to train for and conduct these raids. The Cato Institute tracks these raids and even has an interactive map highlighting errors made by law enforcement where innocent people are targeted by these raids and where needless deaths and injuries have occurred.
No Knock Raid preformed by Lindy (caution graphic images)
It all seems to swing on the premise that we as a society must eliminate drug use. Is it really that important to have the illusion of a drug free society that no one actually wants anyway? We all use drugs in one form or another. Anyone who claims otherwise in just not being honest. We use drugs to feel better. Most of the drugs we take are not curative, but only designed to alleviate some symptom and anyone who still believes alcohol is not a drug is delusional. We take drugs as a social catalyst, to relax, to correct sexual dysfunction, for restless legs, depression, pain relief, weight loss, to stay awake and for energy just to name a few reasons. It’s almost impossible to turn on a television without seeing an ad for some drug or a law firm wanting to represent people to sue a drug manufacturer for some unwanted side effect of a drug. Just because people use a drug, doesn’t mean they are sick or criminal, any more than you would consider that for those who use alcohol. We’re just people trying to get through life the best way we know how. What is so horrible about using marijuana that would justify a war against us?