Americans for Responsible Bong Hits

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.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    Uila, outstanding post. I was just saying to myself, if I don’t see another post on all the hizzle I just may lose my mind.

    I’d have to say here that Dick Vinegar needs to start thinking positive. IT WILL HAPPEN AND IT ALREADY HAS HAPPENED. first of all we saw the smoke fest at Phish as one piece of evidence, and furthermore in on of yor links note that

    “Ten other states have also reduced penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana – in some cases they are a civil fine. These states include California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon”

    You see, these are what you would call cool states. Eventually all states but a couple of retarded ones, where there is something in the water, all states will have made this common sense step.

    Not to say that there will not be battles even in those cool states, such as Maine, I need to get some time put aside to post my latest findings about the situation in Maine, and how Jimmy Reefercake is looking to team up with Maine Vocals to make this world a better place…its coming my friends…just need to pay the bills.

  • Sun “blew a smoke” screen

    Some provocative and insightful commentary from the artist formerly known as Shagpoke. While my heart lies with the perpetual reefer optimism of M. Uila I must agree with Dick Vinegar’s reality check. Too many suits and ties to tangle with for this to ever become Bong Kong. For even a fighting chance perhaps they should recruit Ted Stevens to take up the cause and pound on a few doors and have Anderson Cooper conduct more of his “investigative” reporting. Then there’s the question of how to regulate – potency, age limit, production, distribution, yadda yadda yadda. And what if it did actually happen? There’d be no unfettered access to the G13, only the same shit-ass brickweed being peddled by your neighborhood hustler. For anything worth packing you’d be forced into paying premium pricing for gourmet so Uncle Sam and the Fortune 500 can all get their cut. Whole Foods could open up a new section next to the cheese and sushi bar. By the way I’d like that in ounces, not grams fuck-o. When would the fuzz consider you legally stoned? There would be remedial classes and a f-ing test to take before you were legally permitted to pull tubes. “Congratulations you passed! Now please step in front of the green background and smile on 3.”
    Too much red tape, too many issues, so in M. Uila’s terms “fuck the bullshit” and just keep it on the down low.

    Respectfully submitted.

    “Well I’m too young for 40s, and too young for blunts. The only thing I’m not too young for is the stunts.”

  • M.Uila

    Holy smokes, look what I fished out of the comment spam filter! An honest to god person for once, and not russian brides or boner juice! And not just any person, it’s Sunny D! I knew all this blogging would pay off one day.

    I laughed all the way through this comment. Don’t worry about how to regulate… the free market is perfectly efficient doncha know! Read Digby, the boutiques are already here. They’ll put health warnings on every carton, with a big skull and bones steal-your-face to scare away the kiddies. As for the DMV (Department of Marijuana Vaporage), sure we’ll complain about the lines, but we must all remember as Responsible Adults that bong hits are a privilege and not a right.

    The cops would bitch the most about this, next to the out of work prison guards, but that’s really small potatoes in the end. Serious numbers of fellow citizens are doing time for reefer crime. There but for the grace of God… So the cops don’t have an idiot-proof reefalyzer, so what. If they can walk the line and recite the alphabet, send them on their merry red-eyed way. As my friend Thomas used to say, they can get back to the business of “Protect and Serve” instead of “Harass and Penalize”.

    One last thing about legalized reefer. It’s not going to come from endless hearings and subcommittees and expert witnesses from the joint chiefs. The cabal is just going to get a wild hair and tell them to do it. But on that day when you open up the paper and read about Reefer Amnesty, best to keep your nose out of the business section, because your state government will be bankrupt, your neighbors will be eating cat food, and your 401K will most assuredly be in the crapper.

    Reefer: putting the “opiate” back into the masses. Because everyone’s lost religion, teevee shows all suck, and no one can afford the co-pay for Big Pharma’s happy pill of the week.

  • Boz Scaggs

    Welcome to the party, Sunny D….tell Uila the truth, facebook was your “gateway” to all the hyzzle, wasn’t it?

    You make good points, but here’s the deal, as I see it, 2 out of 3 people smoke the reef occasionally, and 1 out 3 smoke it often. The sheer numbers are changing things. The so called Reagan-democrats, the “war on drugs”, all those people are getting so old that a lot of them are eventually going to get prescribed ther reef when they get sick. There is no way to stop the tidal wave of reefer smoke that is coming our way..and if you don’t like the smoke, try a vaporizer, I recommend the VOLCANOE!

    don’t be a stranger, ya hear!@

  • Sunscreen

    Dude, after much resistance and hesitation I must say I love myself the social networking sites. It’s like a gravity bong, bringing people together and out of the woodwork. There would be nothing more welcome than a giant reefer tsunami upon this great land. Having partaken in the Electric Cook Street Reefer Tests and then thrust into the world of mortgages, 401ks, and organic f-ing groceries I’m not sure your user numbers are applicable outside the ivory tower. Everybody’s too wigged out about the random work drug test, losing their health insurance, and messing up the fertility factor. In a fit of paranoia my neighbor’s husband shaved his head totally bald one night when his lady was out shopping so he could twist one up before his final interview! The accepted social conscience of the masses will kill the pipe dream of a greener America. Basically enough of the right people simply don’t give a donkey dick about pushing forward and hippies and the hustlers aren’t organized enough for a junta. Now if someone developed a feasible reefernomic plan that filtered enough cash into their hands to enable their feel good programs to prosper then we’re talking baseball. Cash for crops.

  • M.Uila

    Gattaca! I hope he shaved all body hair as well! And carried around a container of skin follicles from a clean and sober friend so as to sprinkle about the office.

    Reefercake is right, It’s all in the numbers. Clearly the future depends on getting as many people high as possible. Or, you can move the “as” around in that sentence and just get many people as high as possible, which is more fun, but potentially counter-productive. At any rate, let’s all resolve to get someone stoned this year for their first time.

  • Dick Vinegar

    “let’s all resolve to get someone stoned this year for their first time”

    i call dibs on Delia

  • Boz Scaggs

    This is a numbers game that is winnable fellas. Liken it to the gay rights movement, part of the game is going to be coming out of the closet and making yourself known. Breaking down the walls that divide us. The other part of the game is reeferendum baby, getting stuff on the ballot and letting the people speak their will, state by state. This November Maine takes the plunge

    http://www.mainecommonsense.org/index.php

    Get out there, get vocal and get ‘er done!

  • Pinko

    I think the Great Reefer Cloud of Aught Nine actually started in the 1st set at about 0:27 of this video.

    Policemannnnnnnnnnnn……

    I wanted to “reignite” this post with an endorsement for vaporized reef by the Boston Globe’s Judy Foreman. And as you can see from this website there are vaporizers to accommodate all different kinds of people. While Jimmy may prefer the volcano, Sunscreen may be more inclined to go with the Hot Box. For the multi-taskers there is always the Hands Free vaporizer.

    Everyone on vacation this week? Or did you all go over to the Facebook dark side? Now there is some hypocrisy.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    a long overdue follow up….we won that vote here in Maine. Hey Dick Vinegar, suck on that!

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  • Dick Vinegar

    I’m going to assume that by “suck it” you meant why don’t you come up to Maine and suck on this fatty I just rolled since it is now legal (I assume since I did not read about the legislation).

    Because saying suck it as a metaphorical reference to sucking on the fat juicy cock of weed legalization seems a bit premature. Cali is shutting down its dispensaries and a widely supported decriminalization bill in ny state failed because the upstate hicks still see weed as a gateway drug. This ignored the fact that MOST arrests (mind boggling) in NYC are weed related and the goal of the legislation had nothing to do with hippies or medicinal mj. It was all about keeping urban kids records clean since once arrested, EVERYTHING becomes difficult from getting a job, to renting an apt, to going to college (really an unbelievable shame and just a testament to how stupid our elected officials can be). so no offense to Maine, but picking up Maine and losing ground in NY and CA seems to me to be not so much progress towards the metaphorical bj. And let me state it loud and clear across the land: I LOVE BJ’S.

    And I’m a supporter. Obviously you know that. The discussion btw uila (autocorrect changes uila to hilarious) and I if I remember correctly, which I probably don’t, had to do more with when. Uila was high off the bills in CA and CO, and some dude from Kenya had just been elected and uila was envisioning something in the near term. I said politically, it’s not going to make it on the federal level because it’s kryptonite. This may come as a surprise, but federal politicians only do things that will get them re-elected. Nobody wants to disenfranchise the upstate hicks or there national corollaries. And to be honest, with the continued disgusting rise of the tea baggers, and all the unbelievable negative ill will that arose from ACA, I don’t see how this gets momentum. Three years have passed since uila and I made sweet love…uh…I mean had this convo, and while public sentiment may be evolving in the right direction, the politics of the issue are much worse. You really see Boner getting behind this? And you think the rest of the republican sycophants are gonna drop the party line for this? What does anyone have to gain POLITICALLY by supporting this? Not agreeing with the state of affairs, just not ignoring them.

    So while I really appreciate your offer to proverbially suck your legalized johnson, it is far too early. It is basically like lance’s or marko’s (and probably pinky’s). You know, little, hairless, really small balls, and often covered in poop. So lest i be confused with a penn state football coach, I’m gonna hold off for now.

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