I present Matt with his ATH theme song “Matt Weiss, the ebay guy”. The debate with Matt Weiss over whether herbs can work better than words in changing people’s hearts and minds was a clash of titans, and a jolly good time. I confess that I don’t worry about whether my song lyrics push Sam Seder’s buttons, because it’s more fun that way.
I won’t take it personally
I won’t take it personally,
thats what germo tweeted to me,
No I won’t take it personally, no, no, no
that you don’t value freedom and liberty,
I’m sorry if you don’t understand my song,
What I’m singing, what I’m saying, or just too long,
If you want to hear it all go to all the hypocrisy dot com.
And if you don’t I won’t take it personally,
Most of my fans are over there in Germany,
And I won’t take it personally,
your stoner libertarian impression,
I see your prejudice, I see it totally,
But by all means use your freedom of expression,
I won’t take it personally,
thats what my friend germo tweeted to me,
No I won’t take it personally, no, no,no, no,
when you put down my freedom and liberty.
The Judge is Wise. Watch this video.
Via Ed Brayton, Judge Jim Gray, a conservative California judge with lots of experience fighting drugs, says the present policy benefits drug lords and terrorists among others. After laying out his case, Jones concludes the most patriotic thing he can do is work to repeal drug laws:
I like how the judge has to lay out his hardass bonafides before launching into his anti-prohibition arguments. “I’m not a dirty hippie, dammit!” Nixon to China and all that. Hey man, whatever it takes!
Then there is the social justice argument that he leaves largely unsaid. I caught some of this interview with Michelle Alexander last week, laying out the racial angle of the War on Drugs, and it’s pretty appalling.
The war on drugs waged in these ghetto communities has managed to brand as felons millions of people of color for relatively minor, nonviolent drug offenses. And once branded a felon, they’re ushered into a permanent second-class status, not unlike the one we supposedly left behind. Those labeled felons may be denied the right to vote, are automatically excluded from juries, and my be legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, public benefits, much like their grandparents or great grandparents may have been discriminated against during the Jim Crow era.[…]
The war on drugs, contrary to popular belief, was not declared in response to rising drug crime. Actually, the war on drugs, the current drug war, was declared in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan at a time when drug crime was actually on the decline. A few years later, crack cocaine hit the streets in poor communities of color across America, and the Reagan administration hired staff to publicize crack babies, crack mothers, crack dealers in inner-city communities, in an effort to build public support and more funding, and ensure more funding, for the new war that had been declared. But the drug war had relatively little to do with drug crime, even from the outset.
The drug war was launched in response to racial politics, not drug crime. The drug war was part of the Republican Party’s grand strategy, often referred to as the Southern strategy, an effort to appear—appeal to poor and working-class white voters who were threatened by, felt vulnerable, threatened by the gains of the civil rights movement, particularly desegregation, busing and affirmative action. And the Republican Party found that it could get Democrats—white, you know, working-class poor Democrats—to defect from the Democratic New Deal coalition and join the Republican Party through racially coded political appeals on issues of crime and welfare.
Lovely. Part II of the interview is here.
Maine Public Radio reported the desire by some to reverse the voter’s clear intention and switch to a plan of centralized large scale grow centers. Why did they ask us to vote on it if they were just going to do their own thing anyway? I’ve been waiting for my chance to advocate for free markets, well here it is. Just let the people file the paperwork and get to growing. Keep the damn govn-mt out of my marijuana!
Mother Jones has a great new issue out devoted to the War on Drugs. Every article so far has been money. Check it out!
But then, the drug war has never been about facts—about, dare we say, soberly weighing which policies might alleviate suffering, save taxpayers money, rob the cartels of revenue. Instead, we’ve been stuck in a cycle of prohibition, failure, and counterfactual claims of success. (To wit: Since 1998, the ONDCP has spent $1.4 billion on youth anti-pot ads. It also spent $43 million to study their effectiveness. When the study found that kids who’ve seen the ads are more likely to smoke pot, the ONDCP buried the evidence, choosing to spend hundreds of millions more on the counterproductive ads.)
I also went ahead and threw up some new Rec List headings at right, since Reefercake signaled approval. I don’t mean to dominate that column, and hope that fellow editors feel free to post their recommended links too. I originally conceived of it as being a revolving set of links with old stuff falling off, but now that it’s grown long I kind of like that too.
At any rate, here is the full lineup of articles from MoJo:
- This Is Your War on Drugs
- “We Bring Fear”
- The Altered States of America
- Las Baladas Prohibidas
- The Patriot’s Guide to Legalization
- The Drug War in Six Acts
- Exodus: Border-Crossers Forge a New America
During our drive up to Phishcapades, Dick Vinegar and I had a nice conversation on the topic of LEGALIZE IT. Dick, the realist, said no fahking chance, the country is miles away from making that a reality. My position was, essentially, if not now, when? My reasons for optimism are ill-formed and diffuse. Prisons are over-crowded and under-funded, therefore amnesty for non-violent drug offenders is the obvious place to start. Rising unemployment and no health care got the people in a state of concern? Give them leave to self-medicate with reefer. Tired of nagging questions about torture regimes, corporate bailouts, and war without end, while the country continues its slide into oblivion? Change the conversation – to reefer!
That said, Barney Frank introduced a new bill to Congress last week: H.R. 2943, the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009. This is basically a national version of the recent Massachusetts law that decriminalized weed and brought us the Great Reefer Cloud of Aught Nine that took shape over Great Woods during the clip above.
Frank has filed a bill that would eliminate federal penalties for personal possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana.
It would also make the penalty for using marijuana in public just $100.
“I think John Stuart Mill had it right in the 1850s,” said Congressman Frank, “when he argued that individuals should have the right to do what they want in private, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else. It’s a matter of personal liberty. Moreover, our courts are already stressed and our prisons are over-crowded. We don’t need to spend our scarce resources prosecuting people who are doing no harm to others.”
Digby and Dick Vinegar are certainly right to have no expectation that this bill can pass the neanderthals in Congress. Much like their unrepresentative stance on health care reform and the public option, these clowns are blithely dismissive of the will of the people when it comes to reefer. At least not until such time as the tobacco companies get their processing plants in order and tell their lobbyists to give the ok. As with the fight for gay marriage equality, the prospects for near-term success are all at the individual state level. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to contact your local rep and let him or her know that you and everyone else you know who secretly smokes pot (which is everyone else you know) will have their back.
Obama, swing and a miss at today’s “on-line town hall”…
I watched this advertisement for the wonder drug “Abilify” the other day and started laughing out loud when the narrator with the smooth, calming voice began to read off the side effects. I thought I was watching one of SNL’s commercial parodies.
Actually it is quite sad. Sure bipolar disorder is a very serious mental disease, but is this the right way to treat it? And is it not hypocrisy that medical marijuana is only allowed in thirteen of the fifty states?
Jimmy Reefercake is cool with the reefer and so is the ape.