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
Tag Archives: tyranny
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Makes A Crime Criminal
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?
Stop Killing People For Using Marijuana
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.
Whats Wrong With Paramilitary Raids
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?
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”?
Is Congress Above The Law
The war against marijuana is more about what is good and beneficial to people and society about marijuana and protecting existing industries from competition than the health risks or damage to society from its use.
Consider hemp, which is one of the best feed stocks for biofuel or ethanol production. We could grow enough hemp to rival our petroleum production and it is carbon neutral. Hemp can also be used to make fabric for clothing and does not require the vast amount of chemicals used in cotton production. Over 50% of all agricultural chemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer are used in cotton production. Hemp can also be made into sulfur free charcoal to be used to fire coal-fired power plants, and again it is carbon neutral. It can be made into building materials such as sheathing to replace plywood and beams to replace lumber, saving our forests that actually capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Henry Ford once made a car from hemp based plastic that was said to be stronger than steel when struck with a hammer and it ran on biofuel made from hemp. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential oils and nutrients that are necessary for human health and have been used as food for people and livestock for thousands of years. Hemp was so vital to the development of our nation that up until a hundred years ago we had laws mandating that farmers grow hemp and it was even legal tender for a time in our nations history.
As far as smoked marijuana or marijuana edibles, marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It has been found to be effective in treating pain, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, wasting, post traumatic stress, cancer and more, yet our government steadfastly ignores all of this evidence, even though they hold a patent on marijuana that describes in detail how marijuana is efficacious in treating cancer. Could they be protecting the pharmaceutical industry? States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, have seen a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities. The study did not determine the reason for this drop in traffic fatalities but speculated that it may be because people may have been substituting marijuana for alcohol. If that turns out to be the case, recreational marijuana may have an even greater effect on reducing traffic fatalities. Marijuana is far safer for individuals and society, than alcohol or tobacco from a health viewpoint and does not have the strong association with violence that alcohol has.
Based on what is currently known about marijuana, the arguments our government uses to support marijuana prohibition are baseless and just plain wrong. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that our government is protecting certain businesses from competition or loss from legal marijuana and hemp. But then again, why would you expect anything else from the corrupt government we have that believes they are above the law, the Constitution and the will of the people?
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.
Dear Congresswoman Pelosi
Dear Congresswoman Pelosi and other distinguished members of Congress,
I recently read in the news where you said at a press conference concerning the Edward Snowden affair, that your job is to keep Americans safe. I believe you are in error in that belief. Your oath of office if you will recall says that your job is to support and defend the Constitution of The United States of America. The Constitution says that Congress is to provide for the common defense of this nation, not to keep it safe. Keeping America safe is our job by volunteering to serve in the military or even being drafted into service if the need arises. We also must be willing to serve as jurors and police if needed to preserve the rule of law. Your job is to make sure that our Constitutional rights are protected and to make sure the military and police have what they need to defend our great nation. Which means planes, ships, tanks, bullets, guns and bombs to fight those who would threaten The United States or our Constitution. Never should we have to give up any of our rights to have the illusion of safety. If we can’t have both, this American would rather be in a state of war. I would never choose safety over freedom. That would be an act of a coward and a disgrace in light of those who have valiantly fought to preserve our freedom and way of life. Just issue me an M4 rifle or I can bring my own and a ride to the enemy and I will gladly risk life and limb in defense of our nation, our Constitution and way of life. Our rights against illegal searches and privacy should never have to be surrendered to have the illusion of safety, nor should our right to bear arms. When Congress believes that we must surrender our Constitutional rights to be safe, they become the enemy. What defense do we have to that?
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.
There Are Traitors Among Us
With the news of Edward Snowden releasing classified information about NSA surveillance of Americans to the press, I am reminded that we have traitors among us. Edward Snowden was a contractor, working closely with the NSA in the direct role of surveillance of Americans by listening to phone calls, reading texts, email and observing web searches in search of terrorist activity. He fled to Hong Kong and exposed what he says is an unconstitutional breach of the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution by our government. He has been called a traitor by Dick Chaney and Nancy Pelosi but the claims he has made are really not new.
From The Guardian
Edward Snowden said “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email.”
Glenn Greenwald follow up: When you say “someone at NSA still has the content of your communications” – what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?
Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time – and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.
2) NSA likes to use “domestic” as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant. They excuse this as “incidental” collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications. Even in the event of “warranted” intercept, it’s important to understand the intelligence community doesn’t always deal with what you would consider a “real” warrant like a Police department would have to, the “warrant” is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.
In an article at Reason magazine by Brian Doherty titled “5 Alarming Things We Should Have Already Known About the NSA, Surveillance, and Privacy Before Ed Snowden” Brian sheds light on (1) Three whistle blowers that have been prosecuted for leaking classified information about NSA surveillance on Americans (2) The governments use of Telcom companies like Google and Yahoo who had been given immunity from prosecution and law suits because of their cooperation with the NSA (3) Anyone who writes about and repeats what Edward Snowden has revealed about the NSA is a criminal under federal statute. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/798 (4) As early as 2008 anyone paying attention would know that communication privacy in America had become a joke with the NSA having a room at a huge ATT data center in California where data was funneled through NSA equipment where they captured everything. (5) The Fourth Amendment had already been gutted by the Supreme Court when it ruled that business data or data stored by a third-party was available for government scrutiny. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/how-rand-paul-can-take-on-the-nsa.html
It is clear that several if not all members of Congress and the President knew and were complicit in the NSA surveillance of Americans. This is a direct violation of our Fourth Amendment rights as guaranteed in the Constitution. According to the Oath of Office for Congress, they are required to support and defend the Constitution of The United States. I’m pretty sure that includes the Forth Amendment. If members of Congress refuse to honor their oath of office and are complicit in its circumvention, doesn’t that make them traitors as well?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
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.
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.
Police Survey About Gun Control
A few days ago my wife and I were traveling to a graduation and winging ceremony for our youngest son. We were listening to Glenn Beck on talk radio and his show was centered around a survey from PoliceOne.com of 15,595 police officers from around the country about the proposals for gun control restrictions. The questions ranged from the size of the police force and rank of the officer, to questions about magazine capacity and restrictions on (so-called) assault weapons. The results of the survey indicate that the officers that responded overwhelmingly oppose gun restrictions on magazine capacity and type of gun restrictions and support (91% approval) concealed carry among law-abiding citizens. The survey showed that 80% of the officers surveyed believe armed citizens would have decreased the casualties in tragedies like Aurora and Newtown, and 76% support school personnel being armed as a deterrent to such tragedies.
Our second amendment right is as much about protecting each other, as it is about self-protection and it is the only right that protects us from tyranny by our own government. Many good men and women have given their all in defense of our nation and freedoms and many more have risked life and limb for the same. I for one, just can’t give up that right for the fallacy of safety. If you can’t protect yourself or those around you, you are vulnerable to any who would do harm, be it armed assault, rape or robbery.
Glenn Beck article from TheBlaze.com http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/10/survey-law-enforcement-personnel-overwhelmingly-oppose-obamas-gun-control-proposals/
PoliceOne.com survey http://ddq74coujkv1i.cloudfront.net/p1_gunsurveysummary_2013.pdf
If You Don’t Want The Right To Bear Arms Then Change The Constitution
My right to bear arms in defense of me and mine are rights that had been honored in free societies for hundreds if not thousands of years before the Constitution of the United States was written. The founders of our nation and signers of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution believed so much in our right to bear arms that they enshrined that right in the Bill of Rights. My right to bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of the United States. It is my second amendment right and states should not be able to deny that right, just like they can’t take away my right to freedom of religion or my right to speak out against tyranny. These rights spelled out in the Constitution were put there to protect our freedom and the right to bear arms is crucial to that end. The type of weapon that can be owned or used should not matter because the right to bear arms, among other things, is also to stop tyranny from our own government. To surrender our guns to any government would be Un-American. Congress, Presidents past and present and the Supreme Court have failed to protect that right from state and local governments and that right has been under federal attack as well. As citizens we have failed to oversee those that we elected to lead us. Without our voice, our elected officials assume we approve of what they have allowed to happen to our second amendment right. We must speak out against this tyranny now or that right will continue to be infringed.
For those of you who hate guns and want to get rid of them consider this. There are an estimated 300,000,000 guns in this country and without the government going door to door, searching houses and killing all who oppose them, these guns are not going to go away. Most of these guns at the present are in the hands of good people who believe in the rule of law and would stand in your defense if need be. But when you make criminals out of us for exercising our rights and demand that we be defenseless, that changes the whole game. Now you are going against the Constitution that many Americans have sworn to protect against all enemies foreign and domestic. For our elected officials to refuse to support that right is a direct violation of their oath of office. As long as the Constitution says that we have the right to bear arms, that right should be honored anywhere in the United States or its territories. If society can’t accept our right to bear arms, there is a set procedure to change the Constitution spelled out in Article 5 of the Constitution. But if our own government refuses to follow the Constitution, we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but subjects, ruled by decree from the elite who believe they are above the law. Either change the Constitution or honor our rights.
Federal employee oath of office.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Article. V. of the United States Constitution
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Amendment II of the United States Constitution
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
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.
President Obama and Congress Should Stop This War
The war against marijuana should end immediately and here is why. The laws against marijuana use were first proposed under the guise of racial intolerance and trumped-up fear of an imaginary plague of harm to society. Horror stories were given prominence in Randolph Hearst’s national array of newspapers, largely because of his hatred of Mexicans and to protect his vast holdings of timber land for pulp and paper production from competition with hemp. The Dupont empire was also in favor of marijuana prohibition because it was competition for their newly developed synthetic fiber, Nylon. Nylon could be used as fiber in the production of explosives which was the mainstay of Dupont at that time. The cellulose fiber in explosives had previously been hemp. Also in favor of prohibition was Rockefeller and Standard Oil, because it was a competition for the new oil and gas industry as hemp oil could be replaced in most applications with petroleum products. The cotton industry also profited by the elimination of hemp as a source for fiber to make clothing. http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/chapter-four/
Newly appointed head of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger would testify before Congress of the horrors happening across the country associated with marijuana use. He would read the stories from Hearst’s newspapers aloud before Congress as testimony of the need for federal intervention. Largely unknown or ignored was the fact that cannabis patent medicines and elixirs had been a large part of the pharmacopeia in America for almost 100 years without any health problems arising from its use. If any problems were associated with cannabis they were not mentioned in the medical journals of the time. Hemp had been a mainstay for agriculture and society for thousands of years with a myriad of different uses from food and shelter to clothing. Remnants of the propaganda of that era, such as the classic film Reefer Madness can be seen at web sites like.
Fear gained traction as an unwitting public who were unfamiliar with the name marijuana were being told horrendous stories of crime and violence against white people by marijuana crazed minorities. It was an easy sell to America, which was still deeply mired in racial intolerance at the time and women had just acquired the right to vote barely two decades before. As America became entrenched in this fear of the marijuana plague, the propaganda campaign continued and even today our government refuses to acknowledge any benefits associated with marijuana use, only acknowledging the studies and anecdotal evidence that support the belief that marijuana is harmful to individuals and society. While I don’t believe that marijuana is harmless, it is certainly not as harmful as the two legal recreational drugs alcohol and tobacco. The harm to society and to individuals from marijuana use has been grossly overstated by our government which has poured over a trillion dollars into this failed and unjust war against Americans to protect big business from loss or competition with marijuana and hemp. This racially biased, unjust war against us continues today and it should end immediately. It is still supported by the same industries and now others such as the prison industry, the drug testing industry, the alcohol industry and the vast array of drug treatment centers across the country that are asking Congress to crack down on Colorado and Washington for allowing legal marijuana within their own state. And let’s not forget the DEA, with its multi-billion dollar annual budget and all the power and influence that money can buy. It is hard to surrender that much power and influence to a kinder and gentler society, after all the drug war is a very large employer. Laws that were voted in by free people are still forbidden and enforced by federal mandate.
That gets me to the next issue.
I mentioned in a previous article that all members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Well they have failed miserably at that task. The Constitution lays the foundation for a nation of states to govern themselves under a guiding law that preserves basic freedoms and human rights. Our Declaration of Independence describes rights granted by God that are unalienable by man and the Constitution goes further to list some of our rights in the Bill of Rights. The Federal Governments job or function was to provide for common defense and regulate interstate commerce to prevent states from unfair advantage over other states. Its other function is to protect our rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic which is where they have failed. As far as marijuana prohibition is concerned, The right to self medicate and the right to celebrate life had been a legal right for thousands of years before marijuana and alcohol prohibition. While the unjust war against alcohol was wisely abandoned, the war against marijuana users and their supply continues under the guise of public safety. We have been persecuted with denied employment and government assistance for housing and education, denied the right to adopt children. We have also been prosecuted and punished by Congress with laws mandating drug testing by employers, incarceration and fines and we were stripped of our 2nd ammendment right to keep and bear arms without trial or justification. Our 4th ammendment rights against illegal searches as described in the Constitution, about a search warrant being issued by a judge of law have been circumvented to allow game wardens, housing inspectors and child welfare officers the authority to search without warrants and now the Supreme Court has given that authority to dogs. Am I the only American that finds that troubling?
What our 5th and 6th ammendment rights, the right to appear in a court of law and face our accusers and the right to a speedy trial with a jury of our peers. Our President now believes he has the authority to use drones to kill Americans without trial and to detain Americans indefinitely without trial.
How about our right to keep and bear arms. That is our 2nd amendment right and yet the Federal Government has and allowed states to make a mockery of that right. Our right to keep and bear arms should be the same in any state or territory of these United States just like our right to worship and our freedom of speech. Congress, The President and The Supreme Court should insist on the same. Another basic right that our government has failed to protect is our 5th ammendment right to own property. Never should the government be able to take property from an individual and sell it to another individual for profit in the name of eminent domain. Only real public needs such as right of ways or military needs should be secured by eminent domain laws. Taxes beyond the sale of property are a direct assault on that right as the Government believes they own the land and everything on it. Having to pay a periodical tax to continue to own property gives credence to the thought that all property belongs to the government.
What about our 4th ammendment rights of privacy, where government surveillance of our e-mail and cell phones has become common? We are on the verge of surveillance capabilities that most Americans never even dreamed of and our freedom is in serious jeopardy. Our freedom should not now or ever have been for sale to protect the profits of the rich. Marijuana prohibition is on the front lines of this war against freedom waged on Americans by our own governmnet. Lets get back to the task of preserving freedom and the Constitution.