Whites Only After Dark

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.

Randy Johnson

Who Will Win The War On Drugs

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.

Randy Johnson

Nullification Is Essential To Maintain Freedom

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.

Randy Johnson

MPP Takes On The NFL

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.

Randy Johnson

The House I live In

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.

Randy Johnson

White House Drug Policy Is Hipocritical At Best

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?

Randy Johnson

NSA Surveillace Is Unacceptable

There are a large number of our elected officials in Congress and The President who believe that they are justified in maintaining the surveillance of our electronic communications and internet searches along with our banking records and medical records. Their justification seems to swing on the premise that they are protecting us from terrorist threats. My question is what is going to protect us from them?

A majority of them seem to believe that continuing the blatantly racist and useless war against marijuana is a good idea. I’m not saying that marijuana should not be regulated, but the Federal Government has a long history of favoring rich industry in its actions and that is what I believe is the primary motivation for continuing their failed marijuana policy. I want the Federal Government out of the business of ruining people’s lives over marijuana. Let states decide how marijuana should be regulated.

There is sufficient evidence now showing that marijuana is far safer than alcohol or tobacco and it has a very promising place in future medicine, yet those we have elected to lead us regularly ignore and suppress any evidence showing marijuana to be beneficial to society. Their action only serves to protect industries that would be negatively effected by legal marijuana and hemp. Most Americans would benefit from a well-regulated marijuana and hemp market when considering how useful the marijuana plant can be. Hemp for instance is one of the best plants to make biofuel and petrochemical products and is carbon neutral. It can also be made into building products such as beams and sheathing to replace lumber and is a fine source of fiber for paper. It can also be made into clothing and hemp seeds have all the essential oils and nutrients for human health and have been used for human and animal food for thousands of years. The medicinal uses of marijuana alone should be enough of a reason to change the restrictions on marijuana use in the Controlled Substances Act, but Congress and the President seem bent on protecting the pharmaceutical industry and others. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities, likely due to people substituting marijuana for alcohol. If marijuana was available for recreational use those traffic fatality reduction statistics would likely be even more dramatic.

Even if all this were not true, allowing adults to celebrate with a libation different from alcohol should not be illegal as long as it caused no more harm to society than alcohol. Alcohol causes far more harm to society than all illegal drugs combined and the harm from marijuana is a miniscule part of that harm to society. When the overwhelming racial bias in the prosecution of the war on drugs is factored in, I believe our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Until our government has a long history of protecting our freedom, instead of selling us out for profit, I for one want the surveillance stopped.












Randy Johnson

We Have Rights Our Government Refuses To Honor And Obligations We Have Neglected

Recently I have noticed that a large percentage of people I have talked to, did not know who Edward Snowden is. Most would add that news is depressing and they try to avoid it. Even my wife has told me the same thing. She avoids news because it is depressing. But we all suffer from information overload. In our society, we are constantly bombarded with new and often unimportant information mixed with information that we need, so it is not in our best interest to ignore it. We take it all in and filter what we believe is relevant or important and ignore the rest. We also live in a society where communication is almost as easy as looking at a watch and entertainment is as close as our phone. We can play interactive games, text, watch movies and surf the internet virtually anywhere, yet we have become disconnected from the things I believe are most important. Keeping watch over those we elected to lead us and protect our freedom.

Those we elected to represent us in government have failed to protect our rights and to uphold their oath of office. They refuse to acknowledge our second amendment as a right and treat it more as a privilege that can be legislated away incrementally, locally as well as at the federal level. All Constitutional rights and natural rights should be the same in any state or territory in our union. It is the job of Congress, the President and the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution of The United States of America as the supreme law of the land and protect our freedom, yet those in office are constantly looking for ways to circumvent the Constitution. Greed and corruption are rampant and it has become business as usual for Congress to pass laws favoring one business over another to create wealth and reward campaign contributions. A revolving door system of bureaucrat’s go back and forth from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, the same can be said for companies like Monsanto and Cargill and the Department of Agriculture and the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies. Lobbyists from the richest and most powerful industries meet in private with members of Congress and the President and form federal policy and law without the voice of the people. If and when our rights, get in the way of this profit machine, government lawyers look for ways around the Constitution and our freedom suffers. Our fourth amendment rights against unlawful searches has also been attacked. Our elected leaders have allowed and likely encouraged the NSA, FBI, DHS, CIA and who knows what other government agency to view and record all of our phone, text, email, banking records and now the IRS will have access to all of our medical records. Even the Supreme Court which is supposed to be the last line of defense against unconstitutional laws passed by legislature, unanimously decided that dogs can authorize searches.

We have failed as well, in our obligations as citizens of society and to our government. We must work if we can and support our government by paying taxes, obey the laws and be willing to serve as jurors in the judicial process. We also are obligated to watch over those we elect to lead us and hold them accountable when they fail to uphold the Constitution. We are also obligated to come to our country’s defense if needed in time of war or any other national calamity. Regardless of whether we agree with one another, we have to live in this country together and find a way to get along. Yet we continue to push our elected officials to pass laws to keep us safe or to keep us from being offended. That leads them to pass laws that restrict freedom in almost all cases. Free people are no longer allowed to act on their freedom for fear of offending someone or getting sued. Communities are passing laws preventing all kinds of things such as smoking, gardening, clothes lines and lemonade stands. Our children were put on a diet by Federal mandate and one child was expelled from school for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Reason and common sense have given way to panic and hysteria where knee jerk reactions from our leaders further our loss of freedom. Discipline among our children has been lost and the judicial system has become the backup plan and we have the largest per capita prison population of any nation on earth. What happened to the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”?

Randy Johnson

Happy Independence Day

July 4th marks the birth of our nation. Brave men risked their lives, their fortunes and the lives of their families in an act of treason by sending our Declaration of Independence to King George III and declaring that they would no longer tolerate the acts of tyranny perpetuated by royal dictate from a king that did not recognize their rights. It listed several basic human rights that had been violated and declared that some of our rights were ordained by God and therefore could not be taken away by men. They declared that all men are created equal and that when governments become hostile to basic human rights, and after long suffrage, men have the right and obligation to throw off those bonds and form their own government and that those who govern do so by the consent of the governed. Their actions set the stage for what would become the greatest nation on earth, an economic and military superpower and a beacon for freedom and democracy. We have every right to be proud of America and all that it stands for.

It is worth noting though, that not all Americans share the same reverence for this holiday celebrating our freedom, because not all of them received their freedom as a result of the birth of our nation. The American Indians certainly have no reason to celebrate the birth of a nation that destroyed their way of life and stole the land that had been passed down to them through countless generations. The blacks in this country generally celebrate their independence on Emancipation Proclamation Day, when slavery was abolished. Even then they had to wait and suffer before they were allowed to vote and faced decades of persecution and discrimination because of racial prejudice and hatred. Women’s right to vote came years later. Although our Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, it has taken us 237 years to get to where we are today and still people are struggling for equal treatment and freedom under the law.

The Edward Snowden affair highlights what the founders of our nation were fighting, a government that has lost its way and become openly hostile to the rights of its citizens. In direct violation of our 4th amendment rights of privacy and guarantees against illegal searches, our government has decided it is ok to spy on us and believes we have no right to even know about it, much less question their motives or ask how they justify such actions. Congress swore an oath to support and defend our Constitution, yet they have become openly hostile to protecting our rights and the rule of law that they are obligated to uphold. Another battle in the assault on our 4th amendment rights is the war against marijuana where now the Supreme court says that dogs may authorize searches and paramilitary raids on homes and helicopter and drone surveillance have become all too common, just for choosing a drug that is not alcohol. A drug that is safer for the individual and society than alcohol, yet those who use marijuana are still treated as enemies of the United States. They are persecuted and prosecuted at every opportunity and people of color are still arrested and incarcerated at a grossly disproportionate rate.

We are still one of the most free nations on earth but we seem to be going in the wrong direction and loosing freedom to a government bent on gaining knowledge of all parts of our lives and control of all of our actions. More and more we are being treated as though we are the enemy, yet we are The United States of America, and those that govern us are supposed to represent us and govern by our consent. I just hope it is not too late to preserve our nation and the freedom that so many of our brave men and women have fought for. We still have a long way to go before we are all free. Lets keep our eyes on the prize.

I hope you all have a happy Independence Day.
Randy Johnson

Is It Sinful To Have Fun

As my children reached the age where they were no longer entertained by Legos and toy cars and more interested in video games, I looked for ways to engage them outdoors where fresh air and exercise would more likely be available. We would go camping, fishing and my love for riding motorcycles was one of the things that I wanted to share with my children. The first bike they got was a Honda Mini Trail 50 that I thought would be the safest way to teach them to ride. On his first attempt my eldest son ran into a tree but quickly became able to avoid obstacles and avoid injury. Both boys loved the experience, so I bought them each a bike and one for myself, so I could keep up with them. I always stressed that they should always wear a helmet, long pants and never ride alone. Our riding was always off-road, which meant loading the bikes in the truck or on a trailer and transporting them an hour or so away. Because of this, we would often include a camping trip with the motorcycle riding and that somewhat limited their riding. We had a large vacant lot down the street from our house and I had an agreement with the land owner to allow my sons to ride there, and in return I would keep the property mowed and we would pick up trash as well. It seemed like a reasonable and safe way for my sons to be able to ride not far from the house when we could not schedule a trip to the river or the lake where we would ride trails. They were instructed to push the bikes the half block to the vacant lot as riding down the street or the ally would have been illegal. However it never really worked out. Almost every time they attempted to ride, someone would call the police and when the police arrived my children would be threatened with arrest and impoundment of the motorcycles. I discussed this with the police on a couple of occasions and assured them that we had permission to ride where they were riding and each time the police concluded that as long as they had permission it would be ok, but the harassment never ended. I even went to talk to the district attorney and the local judge to try to find what ordinance we were breaking and never got an answer and both refered me back to the police who simply stated that they could not ride in the city because they had no license and the bikes were not street legal. The police had an exception for themselves though. They had 4 wheelers that they would ride at public gatherings such as parades and large gatherings such as the annual Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. The only thing that made any sense to me about the police not allowing my children to ride on the lot was that someone had complained and they felt obligated to stop the offense. I was never able to find out which ordinance we were breaking and other off-road vehicles such as riding mowers, golf carts and tractors were never a problem. Is it just that some people can’t stand to see others having fun?

Society seems bent on forbidding things that people enjoy, not because of public safety, but because they associate enjoyment with sinful behavior. I believe this is why the legalization of marijuana has had such an uphill climb. Some people see the use of marijuana as morally wrong. Like people who use marijuana are broken and must be repaired by society, usually through punishment such as fines, probation or incarceration. Now that our government has finally conceded that calling this a war against marijuana is counter productive and alienates the public, they have slightly altered their tactics. Now many courts are offering the chance for rehabilitation instead of incarceration. The financial penalty still applies as the defendant must still pay court costs and the cost of rehabilitation, plus the loss of wages while undergoing the rehabilitation. And if the defendant does not complete the rehabilitation or fails any of the mandatory drug tests, they are right back to incarceration. The only thing is, most marijuana users do not agree that they actually need or want to be rehabilitated. There is nothing morally different from marijuana use than drinking wine or beer. What if everyone caught with alcohol were treated this way? Why are we not allowed to choose a safer alternative to alcohol and why must the punishment be so severe? Even in places where marijuana is decriminalized or where the punishment is less severe, the prosecuting attorney often stacks charges, such as intent to distribute and paraphernalia charges to increase the penalty. If the person has a firearm, the charges automatically escalate to felony weapons charges in addition to the marijuana charges, even though marijuana has a much lower association with violence than alcohol. Just because someone chooses to use marijuana does not mean they are a threat to themselves or society, and it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Millions of people use marijuana and alcohol every day without problems. Why can’t people in society, simply live and let live? Don’t you have enough problems of your own?

Randy Johnson

This article from reason magazine highlights how governments and society ban all sorts of relatively benign behavior because of Puritanical beliefs, most of which are not based on facts.


Marijuana Paraphernalia Now A Felony In Florida

Drug haters keep looking for ways to end marijuana use or just punish marijuana users. Now Florida has made the second offense for possession of marijuana paraphernalia a felony. Marijuana users can now be severely punished even if they do not have any marijuana. A felony conviction would take away their right to vote, eliminating their voice from the political process. Consider that Florida is a 3 strikes law state and that if a person had a bong, a couple of pipes and a one hitter but no pot they might receive a life sentence. While I realize this scenario is very unlikely, this is still an extremely draconian law designed only to punish people for a crime that they didn’t get caught doing or to further punish people for a crime past the sentencing that is dictated by law. Its like punishing beer drinkers for having an ice chest or a bottle opener. The hatred of marijuana and marijuana users is not based on science or facts but driven by emotion, and that emotion is hatred.

When the argument that marijuana is of great harm to society is used, it must be accompanied with the argument that marijuana is a gateway drug which leads to the use of harder drugs because there is just not enough evidence that shows marijuana causes harm to its users or to society. Granted many lives are lost or otherwise damaged by drug abuse in aggregate, but the damage to individuals or society from marijuana use alone is negligible. There is very little evidence that the gateway theory has any merit. Almost all studies that consider the gateway theory, say that the gateway effect is likely caused by marijuana being illegal and sold on the black market along with other illegal drugs, not because marijuana use makes people desire other drugs. Statistically, most marijuana users never go on to use other drugs. No one even considers that alcohol is just as likely to be a gateway to drug abuse as anything else. I believe the real reason people insist on continuing the failed prohibition of marijuana, is that they can’t stand the idea that people are getting high. No one really wants a drug free society. That would eliminate alcohol as well as all medicinal products. Making marijuana paraphernalia a felony is just a desperate way to punish people for marijuana use, even when they don’t have any. Similar to the way the federal government attempts to punish marijuana users with denied employment by mandating drug testing. Prohibiting marijuana allows them to live in an imaginary world where no one ever alters their consciousness with anything other than alcohol. They would likely prohibit alcohol as well if they could, but that would be a hard sell, considering the number of people who enjoy alcohol and the large sums of money our government receives in taxes from alcohol sales and the money funneled into political campaigns from the alcohol lobby.

We are losing the constitutional protections of the fourth amendment against illegal searches largely due to the war on drugs. Now a search can be authorized by a dog. Soon molecular scanners may replace the dogs and our government seems to think that all electronic communication from phone and email communications to banking and health records are theirs for the taking. Soon nothing will be beyond the prying eyes of Uncle Sam, not even our DNA and the war against marijuana is on the front lines of this assault on the fourth amendment. Millions of people use marijuana on a regular basis and evidence shows that it is a much safer alternative to alcohol use. In fact, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The reasons for the reduction in traffic fatalities is not clear but it seems to be caused by people substituting alcohol use for that of marijuana. Why not let people choose a safer alternative to alcohol? Legalize marijuana.

Randy Johnson









Doug Fine’s Five Myths About Marijuana

Doug Fine, author of “Too High To Fail” wrote an article for The Washington Post titled “Five Myths About Legalizing Marijuana”.

1.  In the article he presents evidence that dispels the idea that legalization would increase availability and use in adolescents, citing statistics from studies in the Netherlands and states that have legalized medical marijuana. 2. A large portion of law enforcement see the failures of including marijuana in the war on drugs. It seems that the support for the war on marijuana in the law enforcement community is driven by the vast sums of money that is funneled into law enforcement by the Federal Government. According to a new study released by the ACLU, the war against marijuana is still heavily racially biased and extremely expensive with over a trillion dollars spent so far on the failed war on marijuana.  3. Getting high would not likely be the most profitable part of marijuana legalization with legal hemp being the big money-maker. Its uses include building materials from panels and beams traditionally made of wood and hemp based plastics for auto parts and body panels. Hemp seeds and the oil derived from them are loaded with essential oils and nutrients necessary for human health. As a feedstock for biomass fuels, hemp is one of the best sources and can be grown almost anywhere making it a viable competitor for fossil fuels. 4. It is very unlikely that big tobacco on the alcohol industry would control legalized marijuana. There are just too many people who are very good at producing and cultivating strains of marijuana that have different effects on people as has been shown in the medical marijuana industry. While there will likely be a place for national branding of some marijuana strains, variety is one of the things I like most about marijuana. Different strains produce a different high, similar to the way micro-breweries have captured a large part of the beer industry. Also it will be impossible to keep people from growing their own and sharing or even selling it to their friends. 5. The political will of America is changing. The war on marijuana is steadily loosing support among voters who increasingly see the government’s stance against marijuana as not based on the truth. Our government seems to ignore any evidence that shows any benefits to people or society from legal marijuana and focus on all that is bad about the plant. When truth is ignored people notice.


Randy Johnson

The War Against People Who Use Marijuana Is Horrible and Hateful

As a parent, I can tell you there is nothing worse you could do to a person than to take away their children, especially if the offended person has not endangered or harmed their children. There is nothing about marijuana cultivation that makes it any more hazardous than growing melons or tomatoes. In fact there are a whole lot of plants that are far more dangerous than marijuana such as wisteria, castor beans, poinsettia, and hemlock yet no one is trying to keep us from planting them and certainly not taking children away because of a flower garden. This action stems from hatred of marijuana and people who choose marijuana as a medicine or a safer alternative to alcohol. There is no science to back up the claims that marijuana poses a danger to children. Homes are full of real hazards such as hot water, knives and cleaning products that are far more of a threat to children than marijuana. The only logical reason to use marijuana as a reason to take someones children is hatred. Hatred of marijuana and the people who use it. Marijuana is the safest recreational drug on the planet, yet people’s lives are being ruined and their families torn apart, not because marijuana is harmful to children but because of hatred. I do believe that one day in the not to distant future, people will remember the war against marijuana as a hate crime, driven by government propaganda and greed, with no scientific basis for their claims. Our government has hidden the truth about marijuana’s efficacy as a medicine and the fact that it is far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Greed and hatred can be the only reasons to continue this failed and unjust war against American citizens, because there is just no evidence that would show marijuana to be any more of a danger to children than to have beer in the refrigerator. Our politicians should be ashamed of supporting this horrible travesty of justice.

States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. U.S. DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young stated that marijuana is the safest therapeutically active substance known to man, far safer than many of the foods we currently consume such as potatoes. More people die drinking too much water than from marijuana use. Most products we consume have a LD50 number that lists how much of that product must be consumed to cause a lethal overdose in 50% of test animals. Salt, alcohol, and a large number of over the counter medicines such as aspirin and Tylenol have lethal dosages that can be held in one hand. Marijauana’s LD50 number would be on the order of 40,000 joints. One study that our government would flaunt several years ago was that marijuana caused brain damage. It took High Times Magazine years and a law suit to obtain the details of the study used as evidence for this blatantly false statement. The methodology of this study was extremely flawed. Another claim that I remember was that marijuana use would make mens breasts grow. Really? And then there is the gateway theory which has no study to support it. It was simply a question posed to convicts about illegal drug use and most say that the first illegal drug used was marijuana, but if you ask whether they used alcohol or tobacco before any marijuana use, you would see that alcohol and tobacco fit perfectly as gateway drugs too. I’m pretty sure you could make green beans the gateway drug if you asked the right question.The latest propaganda about marijuana states that marijuana causes schizophrenia. Actually the study states that a causal relationship is observed, but not enough evidence exists to determine if marijuana brings out latent schizophrenia or if schizophrenic people gravitate to marijuana. Also reported recently is that marijuana lowers the Intelligence Quotient in its users. I have read several studies that say this is not true. The marijuana haters will say anything and don’t care that it is not true as long as it furthers their cause of continuing this stupid war on marijuana and ruining the lives of those that get in the way. What a horrible and hateful way to treat your fellow Americans.

Randy Johnson












Marijuana Makes People Thinner

A new study released my the American Journal of Medicine reports that those who use marijuana are thinner than those who do not. No explanation was cited although marijuana users have a 16% lower fasting insulin level and a higher caloric intake. Some how, one of the compounds or a combination of them improve metabolism in users of marijuana. Dr. Stuart Weiss, a professor and endocrinologist at the NYU School Of Medicine said that certain compounds from marijuana could be isolated and put into a pill to eliminate the toxic nature of marijuana. Already marijuana is one of the least toxic substances people consume so I assume they want to eliminate the high (my favorite part)  and the smoking part of the marijuana experience. I guess they are unfamiliar with cannabis edibles and vaporizers. Once again, our governments steadfast view that marijuana has no medicinal value, has come up short.

Randy Johnson




Marijuana Does Not Make Us A Danger To Children

I love my children. They are grown now and have moved away and begun their own lives as adults, but that love endures. Still, I would gladly give my life to preserve theirs. Anything that I have will always be at their disposal. My limited wealth, my home, any possession or time that I may have is theirs for the asking. I feel the same way about any future grandchildren that God may bless me with. Their family is my family. I can think of no worse punishment for a parent, than taking away their children.

While I realize it is sometimes necessary to remove children from families to prevent further abuse of children from errant parents, it should only be done as a last resort, and only after justification in a court of law. I also understand that sometimes obvious physical or sexual abuse would necessitate a preemptive removal of children to prevent further abuse, but there still must be a presumption of innocence until proven guilty in court.

All too often possession or use of marijuana has been used as an excuse to remove children from a parents custody to further punish marijuana users by harming their family. Would society accept children being removed from the family if wine or beer was found in the refrigerator, or if one of the parents actually drank the alcohol? When one considers that alcohol has a much stronger association with domestic violence and irresponsible activity than marijuana, it makes more sense to remove children from homes where alcohol is present, but that is rarely the case. Our Congress and President insist on continuing this failed war on marijuana. They claim it is no longer called a war, but the only thing that has changed is an increase in the use of paramilitary style raids on medical marijuana distributors and others accused of selling marijuana. The laws governing the use and sale of marijuana are largely ignored, because they are unjust laws, built on lies, racial intolerance and greed. But for those unfortunate enough to come to the attention of authorities, the punishment is severe and vengeful, where laws were written to punish marijuana use even further by declaring any marijuana possession a danger to children, and any possession of a firearm or ammunition an automatic felony.

There are many things in most homes that can pose a risk for children. Knives, hot water, bleach, stoves and electricity just scratch the surface. Children in homes where marijuana is consumed are in no more danger than in homes where beer or wine is consumed. Taking people’s children away is a pretty severe punishment for using marijuana as medicine or choosing a safer alternative to alcohol.

Randy Johnson














The Church Should Support Marijuana Legalization But Discourage It’s Use

You may think this is a wrong-headed notion but please hear me out. I am a Christian and have studied this idea for a number of years. First of all God intended for man to have free will. Without free will, love means nothing. Only when love is given freely without reservation is it of any benefit, not only to us, but also as love for God. If you could sum up the message in the New Testament, it would be to “Love God with all your heart and to love others as you love yourself”. There is no love in prohibiting marijuana. People who use it medicinally are denied relief and those who use it for other reasons face fines and incarceration, are denied employment and considered a danger to their own children. Marijuana prohibition was perpetuated with a series of lies and misinformation and that practice continues today, with our government hiding the truth about marijuana and refusing to acknowledge any benefits from the drug. Did you know the federal government owns patents on marijuana that describe in detail how marijuana is an effective drug to combat cancer and have known this for decades. They do not release this information because it doesn’t fit the agenda of protecting big business from competition or loss from marijuana and hemp. You may say that using marijuana is sin and separates us from God, but where are the scriptures to support that belief. Alcohol and marijuana are both used for roughly the same reasons, as a social catalyst, for recreation, for relaxation, as medication, for celebration and as a sacrament. Several references found throughout the Bible indicate that alcohol was used in celebration, for self medication, to ease pain and as a sacrament. The first recorded miracle by Jesus was turning water into wine at a wedding celebration. Clearly the bible says that drunkenness is a sin, but what about responsible use?

Deuteronomy 14:26

Psalms 104:15

Proverbs 13:5

Proverbs 20:1

Proverbs 23:21

Proverbs 31:4-7

Joel 2:19

Joel 3:18

Amos 9:14

Matthew 9:17

Mark 7:14-23

Luke 5:37-39

Luke 10:27

Luke 10:34

John 2:3-10

John 13:34

Acts 2:13

Romans 14:21

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Corinthians 10:31

Galatians 5:19-21

Ephesians 5:18

Timothy 3:8

Timothy 5:23

Titus 2

Matthew 11:19

Luke 7:34

U.S. Government patent on marijuana  http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507


Evidence is growing and statistics show that marijuana is a far safer alternative to alcohol. People want to feel better, that is the whole premise for self medication. We self medicate with over the counter medications for the most part now, but 100 years ago home remedies and patent medicines were the norm. Many of these patent medicines contained heroin, cocaine, opium, cannabis or alcohol and were readily available. Still today there is a large market for homeopathic medicines and herbs and hundreds of books written to help us find the correct dietary supplement to cure what ails us. There is little evidence that this type of self medication was harmful to society then or now. The highest estimate I have found of deaths caused by all illegal drug use per year was only 17,000 deaths. The deaths associated with alcohol are at 70,000+, not counting its association with traffic fatalities, murders and domestic violence. The deaths caused by prescription drug use, including med errors and misuse, are over 200,000 a year and tobacco kills 450,000 people a year. Overeating and lack of exercise kills 350,000 people a year. The book “Cause of Death”, lists 3 deaths cause by consumption of cannabis. Marijuana has been shown to be very promising in treating pain, spasms, wasting and even cancer. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use have seen a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities. The fear campaign waged against hemp and marijuana was perpetuated with lies and the truth was hidden. The reported harm to individuals and to society from marijuana use, has been grossly overstated by our government and most of the harm associated with marijuana use, is a direct result of prohibition and not caused by marijuana.  If God really wanted hemp and marijuana to be illegal, would he have needed to hide the truth to accomplish that mission?

Cause Of Death, edited by Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett and Lucy Autrey Wison







Marijuana, like anything else can be abused. Many of you have heard that marijuana decreases motivation and I have found that to be true when used excessively, but the same could be said for television or alcohol. Like alcohol, I believe marijuana’s use should be age appropriate and regulated by ID checks for purchase. Like alcohol use, maturity has a strong bearing on the degree of abuse. Children just aren’t that good at controlling their urges, but many adults share the same problem. Giving a source of never-ending chocolate to a child would be a bad choice as most children would eat nothing but chocolate, yet as adults purchasing our own food, we have that option, but we choose other more nutritious food for the most part. That is where maturity comes in and we all mature at different rates and to different degrees. Some people never learn to make good decisions, but as a society we let them make those choices for the most part, as long as they do no harm to others.

Education is a much better option to help others lead a better life than prohibition. Prohibition robs people of free will and creates unregulated markets and crime where none should exist. Prohibition is a perfect tool to control 3 year olds who lack the reasoning and skills necessary to be self-sufficient, but as we mature and develop our capacity for reasoning and become self-sufficient, prohibition becomes a burden and even hateful when used to deny employment, the right to raise our children or when we face incarceration and fines and property we worked and paid for is confiscated. Prohibition of marijuana makes criminals out of people for choosing a safer, less harmful drug than alcohol. With an estimated 20,000,000 Americans currently using marijuana, it is very likely someone you love uses marijuana. We shop with you and dine in restaurants with you. You see us picking up our kids at school and at games and sporting events and at the movies. We blend in because we’re just like the rest of society, working, paying our bills and trying to raise our children as best we can. All we really want is to live in peace with society, yet federal law prohibits this and Congress doles out tax money and military equipment for local law enforcement to conduct paramilitary raids on homes of people accused of selling marijuana.

I can’t say that God approves of marijuana. I simply do not know and as far as I have found in scripture, the Bible is silent on this issue. Certainly abuse of marijuana would be sinful, but so is abuse of alcohol and arguably, anything done to an excess. We all have obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to our families, and to society, but most importantly to God. The bible stresses that we are to love one another as ourselves. To support laws, such as the prohibition of marijuana, that are based on misinformation, and motivated by greed, racial intolerance and hatred, is in direct opposition to the message of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether use of marijuana is sinful, prohibition is a hateful way to treat people and it denies people free will.

Marijuana’s use should be discouraged because it is a drug that has a strong likelihood of abuse, and I would say that any use of marijuana that keeps us from meeting our obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to society, to our family or to God as abuse and sinful. Indifference to injustice and the harm it causes others is sinful as well, and it does nothing to advance Christianity.

Randy Johnson

LEAP Testifies For Marijuana Legalization In New Hampshire

Cheshire County Prison Superintendent Richard Van Wickler’s testimony about marijuana legalization is very refreshing. Richard Van Wickler is a member of LEAP “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition” and was representing LEAP at this meeting to discuss HB492, a bill calling for legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire. Van Winkler presented a very straight forward testimony, presented good evidence to support his views and rebutted some of the incorrect propaganda presented as facts by the anti-marijuana groups, such as the gateway theory and the fact that there is simply no study ever conducted that agrees with the gateway theory. He also explains how legalization is a much better approach to the marijuana issue because decriminalization leaves the criminal supply chain in place and does not address the violence associated with an unregulated market. Legalization puts drug dealers out of business and makes it more difficult for minors to obtain marijuana similar to the carding of people buying alcohol or tobacco. LEAP presents a very logical, compassionate and just plan for legalization of marijuana that discourages all drug use, while protecting our freedom and reducing crime and violence in America. An added benefit would be the restoration of the close relationship we should all have with law enforcement, when it is no longer us against them. I applaud the members of LEAP that have chosen to stand for a common sense drug policy in this country.

Van Winkler’s testimony can be seen here, about 17 minutes.  http://www.leap.cc/richard-van-wickler-testifies-for-marijuana-legalization/



Randy Johnson

Our Government Is Out Of Control

We have so many laws on the books that anyone, anywhere could be charged with a crime of some sort. Last year the federal government added tens of thousands more pages to the mountain of federal laws already on the books. Local laws on top of those make it impossible to be legal at all times, even if you work hard at it. In the past year or so I have read about armed milk raids, kids busted for lemonade stands or selling cookies, a man jailed for trapping rainwater on his own property, people fined for having the wrong kind of tree, people fined for home gardening, people fined for cleaning a drainage ditch and the list goes on and on. There seems to be no end to the madness of telling people how to live their lives and what they may do with their own property. I really am having trouble understanding why Americans are not more concerned about what is happening to our freedom. Maybe its like boiling a frog. The supposition is that if you put the frog in cool water and warm it slowly it won’t try to get out. While I have never attempted to boil a frog and there is likely a law against that, the analogy seems to fit. The incremental loss of freedom seems to keep us apathetic to change. Surely if we lost our freedom all at once, people would complain. We seem to be so disconnected as a people that we don’t care when others are harmed by the system designed to govern our society. We seem numb to the injustice and we don’t take the steps required to keep our government in check. Our leaders view silence, as approval of what they are doing. We must communicate what we expect from them if we want them to govern in a certain direction, and here lately we have just have just been along for the ride. If we don’t tell them we want our freedom preserved, the day may not be far away when we will miss the freedom we lost. Considering what our freedom cost, it would be a terrible thing, to just let it slip away.

This YouTube video by John Stossel, “Illegal Everything” seems to tell it all. Sorry for the length of a little over 40 minutes but it is worth seeing.


Please call or write to your elected officials and let them know how important you believe your freedom should be to them.




Randy Johnson

Is Freedom Like Love

I was listening to talk radio a few weeks or so ago and the guest speaker was talking about the sad shape our country is in and the need for a unified effort for positive change. One thing that he said got me to thinking. He said hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is indifference. When we are indifferent to those around us there is no love. It doesn’t matter what is involved. It could be homelessness, hunger, mental illness, drug addiction or grief. Indifference to the strife of others is not love in any form. It is the opposite of love. Not born of hate, but of apathy. When we love others we try to help them, even if we get nothing in return and that makes life better for all of us. Love makes life worth living and forms bonds between us. Funny thing about love is that it only works when it is given away. When love is withheld, apathy is born which leaves fertile ground for hatred and bitterness. Freedom, like love only works when we give it willingly to others even when they do things we may not like or agree with. If we only allow freedom to those who do things we approve of, bans on unwanted activity spring forth, and freedom dies incrementally. No matter what we chose to do, some will find it favorable and some will object. There are no universally accepted behaviors. Consider worshipping God. If you worship the right God you may find favor with those that agree you have chosen correctly but others will vehemently disagree. Wars throughout history have been fought over just such disagreements.

If we want freedom to survive, we must look out for each other and be willing to stand together in support of each other because apathy kills freedom. Freedom is an expression of love for your fellow-man. Freedom is one of the principles that our country was built on. Many Americans have given their all in defense of that freedom and many more have risked the same. We should not let their blood and sacrifice be in vain. We should stand together in support of our freedom.

Randy Johnson

Will Government Surveillance Destroy Freedom?

How far will our government go in its effort to control us and keep themselves safe from any threat, or could it be that they really do have our best interest at heart? An article in Wired Magazine written by James Bamford about the new Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah highlights the ever-expanding and scary secret spying on Americans by our government. The art of intelligence gathering has been expanding at unimaginable rates. Methods of gathering information on us from monitoring our location by cell phone GPS signals, to actual monitoring our phone calls, text messaging and e-mail have been improving at great speed under the guise of national security and remain shrouded in secrecy. Huge data bases have been built with more under construction to collect, categorize, analyze and investigate data collected on all of us looking for any perceived threat to national security from drug use to terrorism. Huge computers with amazing speed and capacity pour over data night and day recording and analyzing data from all our phone and computer communications, both personal and business. Data about our web surfing, shopping, internet searches and communications are stored and categorized while being scanned for target words and phrases or connections to known threats. Virtually everything we do is recorded on some computer somewhere and the NSA wants access to that information to examine, looking for any activity it may suspect as criminal or suspicious. Breaking the encryption of all this data takes extremely fast and large computers and they are being built. Former NSA senior crypto-mathematician, William Binney quit the NSA in 2001 citing violations of the U.S. Constitution is his resignation.


Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its
warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,”
he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and
they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started
violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far
larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on
domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the
program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to
80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul
only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with
agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the
country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that
conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes
through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.

The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.

According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.

Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)

Considering what the government may do with this ever-expanding sea of information Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier published an article in Popsci titled, “Should We Use Big Data To Punish Crimes Before They Are Committed”. Similar to the movie Minority Report, law enforcement may soon have access to unlimited data on all of us fed into huge computers capable of (with surprising accuracy) predicting our behavior. These systems of logarithms that define human behavior and analyze our actions have been shown to predict human aggression with 70% accuracy and it will only get better as advances in these programs are made. As long as this information is not used to punish people for anticipated actions it may not be a problem, but who knows how this loss of privacy will affect our future. Almost as scary is the danger of being categorized and labeled by this information. It could be used to deny employment, insurance and even medical care or gun ownership. How safe will we be when our secrets can be mined and sold. This type of surveillance of our shopping habits and e-mail is already being used to target us with sales and investment offers.

Soon none of us will have any secrets. Drones will soar above us watching our every move and record our communications. Check points with molecular scanners and facial recognition will check if we are armed or carrying drugs and look for people suspected of being criminals. Huge databases with our lives laid bare will be used to target us in ways we never dreamed possible. This information could be used to target gun owners for confiscation or virtually any group or person deemed worthy of government scrutiny. We are all vulnerable to this invasion of privacy and our freedom has already been infringed. Our Constitutional rights are incrementally being neutered and the saddest part is most of us are unaware or unengaged. Apathy may bring the end of freedom as we know it.



This article at Prison Planet.com highlights the recent onslaught of violations of our constitutional rights and the use of ever-increasing surveillance on all aspects of our lives. It discusses the use of drones, information surveillance of our computer and phone usage and smart street lights that can listen to our conversations, track individuals with facial recognition software and cameras and even be used to give instructions through built-in microphones. Who will be the first criminal to surrender to a street light?



A research project under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called FAST (Future Attribute Screening Technology) tries to identify potential terrorists by monitoring individuals’ vital signs, body language, and other physiological patterns. The idea is that surveilling people’s behavior may detect their intent to do harm. in tests, the system was 70 percent accurate, according to the DHS. (What this means is unclear; were research subjects instructed to pretend to be terrorists to see if their “malintent” was spotted?) Though these systems seem embryonic, the point is that law enforcement takes them very seriously.

I know this age of information keeps us busy. We are bombarded with texts and e-mail. We have almost limitless entertainment and information at our finger tips. Never in the history of man has so much information been so portable and accessible or so overwhelming. And never have we been so disconnected from the process of governance. It may be caused by apathy or information overload but we have failed to oversee those that govern us and hold them accountable to constitutional limits. The part that worries me, is that many of our elected officials don’t seem to recognize our rights anymore and they may use this wealth of information to take away more of our rights. We need to demand that they recognize and honor our rights if we want to keep them. The longer we wait, the less likely we will succeed in preserving our freedom.




Randy Johnson