Here's a thing:
I have a question...
When we legalize marijuana finally, and everybody realizes that we've been lied to for 75 years, and the dirty hippies were actually right about everything... then can I have my first class citizenship back after that? Or are we all going to become puritans?
Because having worked in the trenches of social justice for years, and working with ACORN the last five years of that organizations existence, this shit it getting old fast. I also spent 6 years in federal prison for marijuana and LSD and I considered it all civil disobedience the whole time. In fact I knew I was going to go to prison when I was twelve years old. I eventually decided that I had to go to prison in order for things to change. I would do it again if I thought it needed to happen.
Here's why I know I'm right:
The two drugs I was arrested for are the two safest drugs ever discovered. This isn't chance hindsight, I knew this at the time I was providing these illegal drugs to my friends. I knew they were better and safer then alcohol or tobacco.
So what jerked my chain this time? An article in the Atlantic entitled: Yes We Cannabis: The Legalization Movement Plots Its Next 4 Years
Which please, do not get me wrong, is mostly spot on and really clearly we are headed for anunstoppable referendum on Marijuana in 2016, all this is true, but...
In it they also said:
Legalization advocates are determined to achieve all of this without wasting resources on what they see as politically radioactive schemes that dent their credibility. Like the Tea Party movement on the right, which has doomed GOP Senate dreams for two consecutive election cycles now, they have occasionally demonstrated a propensity for overreach. The failed Oregon campaign would have effectively recast the state liquor board as a massive pot retailer, and the ballot initiative's preamble might have been plucked right out of Richard Linklater's 1993 high-school party flick Dazed and Confused, right down to its mention of George Washington growing hemp plants at Mount Vernon.
That debacle reflects the enduring presence of more extreme voices within a constituency that has historically kept one foot outside the traditional political channels. The man behind it was Paul Stanford, a medical-marijuana titan who NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre describes as having "a rap sheet longer than your arm." Stanford pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2011, one of several scrapes with the IRS. Reformers are worried he'll try again in 2014, rather than waiting for the higher turnout that comes with a presidential race.
So I understand, the Atlantic is a bit stodgy, but really people, when we end the drug war, we're going to have to admit, we wrongly imprisoned all these people. You're not going to get to screw us over anymore, you're not going to get away with keeping all your drug crime slaves in prison, your cronies in the private prison industry will lose money, yes. They will. Too bad. The gig is up, the war is over, get over it. Get a job growing pot is my advice, hell, I'll teach you how to do it, and chill a bit.
Falsely comparing the persecuted parties in the drug war, the veterans of the war on drugs if you will, to extremists and the tea party is not very helpful, and in no way accurately portrays the true nature of what is really happening out there. But it is the narrative I hear quite a bit. There is a lot of positioning going on. And let me remind you, the authoritarians are the ones that called it a war. My six years behind bars clearly entitles me to at least the title, veteran of the war on drugs. So, after years in the trenches, being persecuted by this war against drugs, we have some rights. And as Rachel Maddow pointed out so succinctly the other day, the interesting thing about rights is, that you can't vote them away, they're inherent in my being a living being here on earth.
So, really, I don't care about rap sheets. Who really does? People that want to remain in control, authoritarians, that don't think you or I or anyone else will 'behave' if they don't threaten us with imprisonment or worse, bodily injury, the death of our pets, the traumatization of our children, the ruining of our lives, etc..
Now, I understand, you might think this is a little harsh. But what do you think we veterans of the war on drugs feel? As small domestic marijuana growers who really worked to make sure we had the best product, for the least amount of money, free from pesticides, and chemical fertilizers we really did just what we were supposed to be doing as good people. It's like a calling really. I'm pretty much a kind of Rasta for lack of a better word (please no disrespect meant to Rastafarians). But I do regard the Marijuana plant as my "Teacher plant". That's actually real. I've given a lot of my pot away. So how about some respect? Can we ever have any that? I'm arguing that marijuana is covered for me by the first amendment, yes.
If a person has violence in their past, then maybe we should still even then, consider the idea, that compassion and respect is the best medicine. But I understand, people worry about this stuff but everyone knows, alcohol is the violent one, practically every other drug you might do, and I've done most of them, are more peaceful and less likely to develop into violence than alcohol is.
We're ending the drug war not because it didn't work, but because it's wrong to try and tell people they can't grow and smoke a plant. It's simply un-American
The bottom line here is, in my opinion, the state has manufactured all the criminality around drugs. Even the violent stuff is their fault. They did this on purpose to build a police state. The tactic is right out of the fascists handbook. So we're ending the drug war because this is wrong not because it didn't work, I mean that's just why people noticed. It's wrong because telling people they can't smoke, whatever it might be, is simply un-American. In fact, all the laws around drugs are completely against everything I was taught about living in a free society, what America is supposed to be. Including the laws against heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. And I'm not the only person that believes this. So all the demonizing, the marginalization, the prison time, all of it, was wrong from the very beginning and I think that scares a lot of people. Because no one wants to talk about it. But here it is.
Note: Yeah, I know I'm a radical, but do you know what that means? It's derived from the Latin word radix, which means merely: a root. When I think about what I'm doing I always ask myself, are these the branches I'm hacking at? Or the root that I'm hacking away at? I wonder how many hacktivists have read Henry David Thoreau?
I grew up with the angst of believing I was a disgusting perverted heathen and after graduating from NYU Law in 2001 I began to research whether I was broken or if conventional wisdom was. The truth was out there but it was buried in boring academic texts, suppressed from the mainstream by puritanical censors on the right and politically-correct censors on the left. I wanted to make the truth easily accessible to the younger versions of me. I wanted them to realize that in these areas they aren't messed up. Our society is.
What do you think is the basis behind taboos? Is there an evolutionary behavior reason for taboos?
Ignorance is the basis behind taboos. Taboos are associated with an ignorance so ingrained that people are disgusted or morally offended to have their beliefs merely questioned.
I think there is an evolutionary need to accept common convention or else there would be chaos, but I also think there is an evolutionary need to have some people question our deepest cultural assumptions, our taboos. Mutations in thought are as rare as physical mutations but they are necessary for society to evolve.
So the bottom line is, we have to let all these people out of prison. That must happen. The people that have been marginalized for decades and decades, you have to think about that. you can't just ignore it any longer. The time for hard conversations, and real change has come.
So, I don't really care about a guys rap sheet, and someday no one else will either. So I don't really know, what relevance it has, but you know, there's this thing that goes on in movements. They always throw the most radical members of the group under the bus as some kind of proof they're the "respectable ones", they have to say, well we're the "good ones" because they need a sacrifice to offer the powers that be, in order to capitulate to the state.
Now, I understand that there are some people that think I'm pretty hard headed, and they'd be right maybe, but in my particular case, I've kind of earned it, and I'm just tired of getting thrown under the bus.
Growing marijuana was always the right thing to do.
I didn't hurt anybody and I think that the fascists built all of the "crime" that might go on around the drug trade. Sure some of it is terrible, quality control is non-existent, most overdoses are due to this fact. Sure there are people using drugs to fund resistance operations, some of which are left wing (we would call them democrats or liberals here), but the state, that decided to make drugs illegal, are the entities responsible for the ultimate crime of forcing drugs underground, and propping the price up to ridiculous levels and then using the "war on drugs" as an excuse to invade other countries mostly on behalf of corporations stealing natural resources from indigenous people. That's right, the drug war was mostly about supporting right wing junta's in the interests of rapacious international corporations. It has been for years the modern version of Jim Crow for black and brown people all around the world, when it wasn't being used by the CIA and the DEA to fund black ops and prop up dictators.
So please, consider that some of us have been working for a very long time in this field, on the right side of the line, for the best of reasons. Forty years, I've been stumping for the legalization of cannabis in some way or another. It really is an amazing plant that has never harmed anyone. In fact, it has been, for thousands of years, beyond even recorded history, regarded as an essential part of humankind's pharmacopoeia. That's as real as it gets. It was one of the first words ever invented by humans in fact.
So is Paul Stanford going to jump the gun on marijuana reform in 2014? Maybe. But I don't think that Allen St. Pierre speaks for all of us either. I'd really like to ask him, who's side is he on? The assimilationist side? Or the side that's been fighting for their rights and going to prison for a plant. Not to mention that Allen St. Pierre's reputation isn't exactly stellar either. There are those of us that are wondering about the strife on the NORML executive board recently when Mr. St. Pierre nearly lost his directorship. Then there's Radical Russ Belville, just recently gone from the NORML lineup. I suspect that what's going on is really the assimilationists see the marijuana issue going mainstream and they're kicking the "radicals" to the curb, sacrifices for the state, the people they think will scare all the nice soccer moms away. I get that. But you guys don't have to be so fucking bloody handed about it do you? Don't get me wrong please, I think that what NORML does is essential, I give them money, I sincerely appreciate what they do, which is lobby for sanity in how we treat marijuana users in a place I have no stomach to go. I can't do that myself effectively being a dirty hippie. But that's only because of decades of lies and marginalization of dirty hippies in society, I know, you say I can cut my hair, but I've tried to think about that, and I can't. So I need others to watch out for me there, instead of throwing me under the bus. How about a little gratitude, is that too much to ask?
Dylan Ratigan doesn't seem to have a problem thanking pot growers for what they've done, he'srecognized us for developing hydroponics. I've personally designed really cool things myself that people could benefit from. I also promote the idea that this medicine is a teacher plant that should be available for anyone who wants it free if necessary. That's really what I personally believe. I've been a by donation supplier in the past. I expect to be one in the future when I get back to growing.
So, I promise, you want to get your weed from someone like me, because we actually care about what we're doing. Coors is not going to provide you with the best for the least. Or show you how to tend buds in your own garden and be there for people that need my help. They don't want this. Mostly I suppose because marijuana is going to replace nearly 80% of big pharma's drugs. Clearly they have lots of interest in not seeing their cash cow die, but it will.
I mean, what are we anyway, just human refuse I suppose? The "bad machines"? It doesn't matter that someone has a rap sheet. I think there may be some credence to the idea that it was really as Paul Stanford has said, payback for his years of work in the trenches of the marijuana movement. Perhaps not, but maybe the de-legitimization of the state by the fact that the state is about the most unethical player in the room here these days, makes me not really care if Paul Stanford didn't pay his taxes. They were going to use more than 50% of it blowing things up anyway. The rest of it went to subsidizing oil companies, and when you really think about it, the actual unpaid stuff, that might have gone to legitimate needs in our society, is really pretty insignificant... I mean compared to GE getting a 3.5 Billion dollar rebate after paying ZERO in taxes I think for the 2011 tax year. I mean, ok, so he's a criminal, unsavory, degenerate, "gotta rap sheet longer than your arm", but really, tirelessly, pushing for change. Yes, he likes to make money. That sucks, I don't care about money. Don't really need it. I need marijuana though.
As they always say, a friend with weed, is a friend indeed. You can eat hemp you know, as currency, it's unbeatable. It doesn't take that much work to grow enough to eat the seeds and juice the raw plant. I mean, of course, society really doesn't get it, it's nowhere near like tobacco or alcohol, it's less toxic than tomatoes for gods sake. Lets regulate those because you can kill yourself with green potatoes, or maybe a handful of tomato leaves as a tea... You can't kill yourself with marijuana.
Kids? Really? Ok, mothers breast milk has cannabinoids in it. There was a study done, where they looked at infant mortality rates and filtered for various drugs. And you know what they found? They found that mothers who smoke pot while pregnant, were half as likely to have a miscarriage or a stillbirth as parents who did no drugs or alcohol.
Within the first 2 years of life, 44 infants died: 26 were drug negative (15.7 deaths per 1000 live births) and 18 were drug positive (13.7 deaths per 1000 live births). The mortality rate among cocaine, opiate, or cannabinoid positive infants were 17.7, 18.4, and 8.9 per 1000 live births, respectively.
See that? Cannabis babies 8.9 deaths per 1000 live births, no drugs at all? 15.7 per 1000 births. Again, this is because cannabinoids are essential to health. Lots of people don't have enough, supplementing it with marijuana is the right thing to do.
In addition to that, babies whose mothers smoked marijuana had higher cognitive function than babies whose mothers didn't smoke marijuana.
Cannabinoids store themselves in your fat cells for a reason. It's because your body needs them. If they were actually toxic like alcohol, or cocaine, or opiates, or well, just about any other drug we habitually do including caffeine, your body works to eliminate it from your system however it can, as quickly as it can. Usually through the liver or the kidneys. The faster it is eliminated, the more addictive the drug seems to be. Cannabis on the other hand, is a neuro- protectant, having shown capacities to protect brain cells during stroke in mice studies, as well as being shown to protect the brains of binge drinkers while they drink. Binge drinkers damage 9 areas of the brain typically. The researchers of that study decided to see what peoples brains looked like if they smoked marijuana as well as binge drank and they were only typically damaged in one area rather than the normal 9. Hmmmmmmm.
For more information regarding the healthy aspects of our super safe medicine marijuana, read this: Marijuana: Fight Back With The Facts
So really, yeah, like tomatoes. You should regulate marijuana like tomatoes because tomatoes are actually capable of killing you yet they don't normally. People are capable of managing their own lives really. You gotta stop trying to save us from ourselves. We're perfectly capable of taking care of that. You just need to get out of our way actually.
Really, eventually, people are going to recognize the cannabis plant as a superfood.
We have a right to grow our medicine. Our teacher plant, or whatever we choose to call it. I've known it was my medicine from about 12 years old on. I was diagnosed ADHD when I was 10, which really isn't even a "condition", more like our society is horrible and unable to see our current education system for what it really is, an indoctrination into what ends up being debt slavery. I think pot saved my brain, because when I first smoked it, it did everything they said the ADHD medicines were supposed to do (but didn't). So I credit marijuana for saving my child brain from Big pharma. The biggest (really crappy) drug dealers in the world.
I was taught when I was in school, that this was a free country. I knew even when I was 12 this wasn't true but that it was my duty, as an American to disobey tyranny. So I decided, after much careful consideration on my part, and it was considerable, my mother taught me how to think, not what to think. After much consideration, I decided I was probably never going to find something legal that would replace marijuana and that I would probably end up in jail because I was taught to stick to my guns when I knew I was right. Never any good at backing down from a righteous fight. Somehow, I never got that beat out of me. I knew I was going to go to prison, it flashed into my head one day. I remember thinking, I'm twelve, and I know my government is going to imprison me for ingesting this plant. But it is more than just a plant. It is the kindest, most useful, safest, most therapeutic, plant on earth. That it is illegal, is a war crime.
The extremists are all on the fascist side of this line and that includes the neo-liberal nanny state people, they really are just garden variety fascists. This is the truth. Regardless of what any of the assimilators may say, growing marijuana was always the right thing to do. We are not, nor have we ever been, anything but freedom fighters, and providers of the safest medicine ever discovered. It's not our fault that the government decided they were going to keep the police employed after prohibition of alcohol on the backs of Mexican immigrants and Black people who had just recently been freed. It was their drug of choice and a major stroke of genius on the part of the most despicable, hateful, opportunistic fascist scum of America at the time to demonize cannabis. Marijuana prohibition was born on the wings of hate. Can we stop the marginalization and the hate now? This isn't tobacco, or alcohol, this stuff is so opposite all that stuff, really. you don't have to just trust me. Click on all those links. Everything I've said here, can be verified.
Don't believe me? Fine, perhaps these people aren't lying:
The health costs associated with marijuana are $20 per year versus $800 for tobacco and $165 for alcohol, according to this newinfographic from designer Adrienne Erin, who works at the detox business Clarity Way.
Lets try a little thought experiment. How about we regulate alcohol like we do marijuana:
Dear Governor Hickenlooper,
Your Amendment 64 task force has shown great courage in protecting our youth from harmful substances and bad parental role modeling. This willingness to protect citizens from themselves is a great opportunity to add safeguards from the most dangerous drug of all, alcohol. Alcohol is the leading cause of all violent crimes in Colorado. Alcohol is the major factor in 75 percent of domestic violence, in 50 percent of all traffic fatalities, 60 percent of rapes, 57 percent of murders and 60 percent of assaults. Seventy percent of all teens have had alcohol, and alcohol is the major factor in more than 50 percent of all teen fatalities from suicide, murder, traffic and drowning. When public safety is the issue, controlling alcohol is the answer.
The Campaign to Regulate Alcohol like Marijuana recommends that rules and regulations be implemented into the Colorado liquor laws so that alcohol users and producers are treated the same as marijuana users and producers. These new rules and regulations would create the following conditions.
• One drink is proof of alcoholism.
• Consuming one drink is grounds to be fired by any employer.
• If a child sees a parent consume alcohol, Protective Services may intervene.
• If a parent has one drink, you lose custody of children in a divorce.
• No alcohol may be served anywhere in Colorado.
• All publicly viewable consumption is a crime.
• Alcohol consumption outside a private home is a crime.
• No alcohol consumption may be viewed by a child, including private homes.
• No alcohol advertising is allowed.
• All alcohol production and sales must be a monopoly selected by the state.
• All craft beer is illegal; only large brewers may be licensed as retailers.
• All alcohol sales are package sales only, must be in child-proof containers and placed in plain dark paper exit packaging stapled shut before leaving the store.
• Non-Colorado citizens will be limited to one bottle of beer per purchase.
Read the rest here: What if we regulated dangerous alcohol like marijuana?
So maybe, people could think about this a little bit. Why does everyone have to be so hateful, and so much more interested in keeping others down, demonized, marginalized, and living in despair, and poverty when we don't need to? Especially when you consider how beneficial the marijuana plant is to society, to a person's health, and to the health of the planet. Just admit we were right. The narrative that we're the "bad ones" is the patriarchy speaking as surely as any other time.
It is nothing short of a war crime.