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I don't smoke anymore.  My sole reason for quitting was to keep my job.  However, in the back of my head most of the time was the punishment I was facing if I got caught.  When I was young, I would constantly scream about legalization, until I came to the realization that a step this big is simply not feasible at this time.

However, I DO belive that change is possible in small increments.  After watching the argument regarding Marc Emery on 60 minutes on Sunday, I felt compelled to say something.  

Transcript

Am I the only one who feels that a grassroots demonstration for DECRIMINALIZATION would be an appropriate response by Americans who feel strongly about this issue?  I feel that civil disobedience on Marc's part is not only commendable, but admirable.  He's not only harmless, but he knows how to convey his message without getting too emotional.  He was arrested on camera in Canada during the segment, and seems to do a great job of keeping a crowd calm (we're not talking rocket science here, we're talking about pacifist potheads).

My goal:  Mirror Canada's policy on marijuanna ONLY.  I don't want to smoke in public.  I don't even want to smoke.  I just don't want to worry about drug dealers with guns selling a harmless drug.  I think that bigger drugs that this SHOULD be illegal.  Fear and anxiety due to laws is something that directly contradicts the nature of a pothead.  The laws in Canada are fine.  When Marc got arrested he was held for 24 hours and fined $200.  This creates incentive to smoke inside and not make a lot of noise.  The DEA's goal is to extradite Marc and give him up to life in prison.  Seem hard to believe?  Follow the above link and read the transcript.

The biggest problem with action on this issue is getting addicts off their asses.  4/20 is right around the corner, and this seems to bring them out of the woodwork.  The other thing to worry about is fear.  But there's strength in numbers, and if there's about 50 people who are willing to be arrested for their cause, I think a responsible lawyer with a healthy ego would take interest.  A reputable lawyer.  Control is the last issue.  No deception, people smoking on the Mall in front of the capital building are probably going to get arrested.  This has to be made known, and it must be accepted.  Not only that, but I think that duct tape keeps people pretty quiet, and holes can be cut for joints.  

Peace is a process that can achieve anything.  Anybody willing to step up in the DC area?  Anybody see anything wrong with this?  Questions?  Comments?  Hatemail?  I'm open to everything :)

Originally posted to playdough on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 08:28 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NORML and other groups... (none)
    ...have organized for many years the annual Smoke-In on the Mall on the Fourth of July.

    It's pretty fun.  I wouldn't come heavy though.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 08:29:57 PM PST

    •  NORML's always kept a polite (none)
      distance from the Smoke-In, as the organization officially advocates changeing the law, not breaking it.

      (I used to get the permits for the White House Smoke-Ins in the '70s.)

      A Senator YOU can afford
      $1 contributions only.
      Masel for Senate
      1214 E. Mifflin St.
      Madison, WI 53703

      by ben masel on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 09:07:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  marijuanna on 60 minutes? (4.00)
    it's much more fun the other way around...

    that stopwatch is frickin' AWESOME, man...

  •  A political issue this (none)
    As one of my blogging friends said on another site, if dems took a proper position on the WoD and legalization, we'd be talking about President Kerry today.  Too many dems afraid of this issue and want to be rethuglican lite.  Ditto on not getting the felony disenfranchisement part of the hosing too.
  •  background (none)
    Can you provide some background on Marc's story.  Not all of us saw the story and so it's hard to make sense of what you wrote.

    That said, while I don't smoke pot currently, I have in the past and if passed a joint, would likely partake.  I think it's stupid that it is illegal.  I've yet to hear about someone high on pot getting into bar fights and killing someone.

    Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. -- Thomas A. Edison

    by tvb on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 08:53:09 PM PST

    •  here ya go (none)

      "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor" Reverend Joseph Lowery 02/07/06

      by Prison4Bushco on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 09:04:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More background (none)
      He's president of the BC Marijuana Party, which of course advocates repealing prohibition of marijuana, as well as other libertarian issues. He's run for office federally and provincially, including in my riding, Vancouver Centre, a few years ago. I didn't see the 60 Minutes story either. Maybe someone who did can say whether they talked about the DEA going after him only after he started using his profits to fund legalization efforts in the US and Canada.

      For all the heroics of his situation, you won't hear too many people in Vancouver talk kindly of him. He's apparently quite a jerk and his own worst enemy.

      More on Wikipedia and Alternet.

      There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening. - McLuhan

      by Alien Abductee on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:06:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Duct tape? (none)
    I think you should take a big hit and rethink this diary.

    "The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs..." H. Thompson

    by Wayneman on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 08:54:31 PM PST

  •  "addicts"?!? (4.00)
    d00d - i'm on your side here.  but potheads = addicts?  come on!  do not spread their negative propaganda for them!  * anything * can be addictive; the human mind is wacky like that.  people are no more addicted to weed than they might be to twinkies.

    strongest messages to wage the legalization campaign, imo:

    - educate people on the truth of the prohibition, namely the fact that it was BigChem the lobbied for it.  why?

    because marijuana/hemp is soooooo !@#$%& versatile and useful and a pretty much renewable resource - Dow et al, just couldn't have that kind of competition, you see...the only reason it's illegal is because industry lobbied for the ban.

    - it can be used in/as food, cleansers, paper, cloth, plastic, medicine, lubricants, etc. etc. etc.  to wit:  legalized hemp crops would supply all the toilet paper we'd need, with no destruction of actual trees.

    - hemp fabric is some of the most durable material to be had.  hemp products, especially the clothing, are on the spendy side.  but oh, so worth it.  boat sails used to be made exclusively of hemp; which is why "canvas" is derived from the dutch word for hemp - "kanff."

    i could go and on...LOL

    anyoo, PEOPLE:

    please make a point of requesting hemp products at your favorite stores - stationers, grocery (soaps, shampoos, etc.), independent clothing boutiques, etc.

    even better - attend festivals/craft events in your area.  support the artists - some of the most exquisite clothing, and hemp is very popular.

    do you sew?  make regular requests for your fabric stores to sell hemp fabrics and blends.  you could even request hemp twine for the arts & crafts section.  in the meantime, it is possible to purchase hemp fabric from Canada.

    must...stop...typing

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 09:03:25 PM PST

    •  I have simply got to get what you are (none)
      smoking .. lol

      seriously, good points and the real issue is {again} protecting established drug and arms cartels and money launderers.

      This is what it's all about, and there are big incentives on the part of those who make billions off the drug trade to KEEP IT ILLEGAL.

      You can be SURE that money finds it's way into pols pockets from these drug barons to ensure the laws stay the same.

      Legalize pot?

      How many millions billions{?} in lost revenue for these criminals?  

      "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

      by shpilk on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:35:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There oughta be a law... (none)
    Let's try'n find the ballsiest, most atheistic State Rep in the Union, and help them draft a resolution condeming God Almighty for afflicting us with this accursed plant.  Watch the wingnuts go apeshit as they try to defend their image as people of faith and the reality of their arrogance at the same time.

    I'm not being entirely fecetious here; there is precedent.  Hear the words of Albert John Luthuli, the great Zulu leader of the mid-20th century:  

    "The laws of the land (South Africa) virtually criticize God for having created men of color"

    acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize,  December 11, 1961

    This is a winnable fight, but only with the help of some pretty courageous stunts that get people to question the very nature of mala prohibita crimes.  

    "he should bow to no authority and acknowledge no king" - Lucian

    by Unitary Moonbat on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 09:38:59 PM PST

  •  RE: Marc Emory on 60 mins (none)
    I watched the 60 minutes segment on Marc Emory and was actually surprised in how he came across looking in the piece.  I've followed his "career" for years and he always seemed pretty egotistic to me, but nobody can doubt that he is highly committed to the cause - he does participate in many acts of civil disobedience and has been arrested in Canada often.

    I have much respect for people like Marc Emory (although I don't necessarily agree with his business practices) who put there selves on the line for this cause.  He could be facing LIFE IN PRISON for selling seeds.

    As the husband of a MMJ user (who does not use at all) I can testify to the healing powers of this herb.  My wife would not be able to eat or sleep without this medicine and it has truly been a miracle drug for her.  

    As far as a political issue, I think it could be a great issue one day.  Think of all the good that would come through legalization of this drug, if only for medical purposes.  But I think that in the current political climate its just not a feasible issue right now... especially for the Democrats.  The feds are using the patriot act to bust folks and we all remember those commercials that the bushies put out a couple years ago about how smoking pot supports terrorists.  

    It's a stupid law, but the government has shown little or no mercy in throwing folks in jail for smoking it.  A simple misdemeanor possession arrest can cost somebody thousands of dollars after lawyers and court costs.  

    Just wait till they start arresting sick folks... I can't see the public putting up with the feds rounding up people with cancer, AIDS, MS and throwing them in jail.

  •  Twinkie Defense (none)
    Seriously, no matter how bad the munchies, twinkies have no appeal to me.

    The US marijuana laws are draconian in the extreme. Perhaps a kind of meth-terror backlash is at work here. More cartoon like propaganda in the media than ever.  The laughable arguments actually undermine intelligent discussion of the issues.  

    Although Emery is all about recreational use, the medical qualities of cannabis are too well known and acknowledged to be ignored. This is especially poignant as the cost of Big Pharma drugs explode off the charts and many people are going to have to do without as all social safety nets implode. What if a plant that is easily grown and has no over dose danger can replace more dangerous drugs.  Imagine that.  

    Schedule One My Ass!!

    "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever." G.Orwell

    by FuddGate on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 09:39:45 PM PST

    •  Great Point... (none)
      When we didn't have insurance, my wife's prescriptions cost our family over $2000 per month.  

      Legalization is Big Pharma's worst nightmare.  They already manufacture the pill equivalent of Marijuana - "Marinol" that sells for about 5 times the street value of what MJ goes for.  My wife was prescribed it for nausea and pain, but it was about $1000 for a 1 month supply, so after getting 1 prescription, we went and got some good pot instead for about $200 for a month supply.  

      Not only was Marijuana much cheaper than Big Pharms version, but my wife could control her dose better with Marijuana than with Marinol.  The Marinol made her real "stoned" and she had trouble taking the pill because of her nausea (she'd puke it right back up).  But with MJ she can just put the joint out when she's had enough and there's no puking up pills... it's an instantaneous fix for her nausea.  

      Big pharma should just sell good old fashioned pot instead of their freaky pills.

      •  As most know (none)
        Marinol is artificial THC and doesn't begin to approach the whole cannabis repertoire so to speak. A brief summary would sound like a chemistry lecture. I have read that many find marinol to be too intensely stimulating, an effect that is offset by the other main cannabinoid,CBD or Cannabidiol.

        If it aint broke don't fix it.

        "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever." G.Orwell

        by FuddGate on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 10:48:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My doc... (none)
      ...suggested that if I had past experience with it marijuana may be a viable alternative to the rather dangerous, expensive, and extremely addictive Xanax.

      He was right.  

  •  By 2010, something must be decided (none)
    This is a bit far off but something has to be resolved in North America by 2010.  No one can ignore Vancouver's liberal policies by the time the Winter Olympics come to town and given the manic drug hysteria in the USA,, something has to give in by then.  I would hope it will be the reefer madness mentality that goes...

    At least that mofo will be out of the White House by then.

  •  the DEA guy (none)
    I won't call him fascist, but it bothers me that he is drooling at the prospect of sending Marc to prison. To what end?

    This isn't narcoterrorism. Good god, whatever is being brought in from Afghanistan is far more dangerous than weed. The DEA plays up the high potency of today's pot, like boomers have no idea what their kids might be smoking and how terribly harmful it is! Ooooh!

    I just hate the money that is wasted on enforcement, interdiction, and imprisonment. We throw away money every day keeping functioning productive citizens in jail for growing marijuana. Our priorities are completely out of whack.

  •  good comments... (none)
    but i think that it's easy to see why there's polarization.  these are all old arguments.  if we focus on BIG problems, like crime related to drug dealing, the public will pay more attention.  decreasing penalties takes burdens off jails (ergo taxpayers), police (ergo taxpayers, police), stressed out people (if they choose to smoke), etc.  

    if you just want to smoke without worrying about it, go ahead and do it.  i don't think that anybody's going to stop you.  

    THAT is the problem though.  it's easy to smoke, but it's hard to get it sometimes in some places without a moderate level of risk.  i.e.  college campuses with too many cops with nothing to do.  i went to college in virginia, and every spring, peaceful drug dealers feared "spring cleaning" if they were in the know.  here's how it works...

    boy does drugs.  boy gets caught.  boy turns to lawyer, lawyer "suggests" police cooperation...(in reality, most lawyers won't take action on defending drug use based on ideals).  fear is built, boy cooperates.  boy releases information, wears a wire (yes, really), does a reasonable amount of work for cops.  boy is let go with a slap on the wrist and a huge burden of guilt.  cops either go to work on that guy, or watch and wait till he messes up.  then they can use him to go up the chain more.  usually, no arrests are made all year until spring...this way police can create the illusion of safety and security, while they tally up the felonies.  FELONIES.  springtime comes and shit hits the fan.  everybody goes down.  my guess is that they do it in the spring because they can build fear that the student will be expelled if they don't cooperate, and this gives the student the summer to think about it.  pretty good system for the cops.

    now, i want those felonies to be misdemeanors.  especially for college kids who are usually non-violent.  there are smart ways of doing this with and without the government.  one way is education.  for example, knowing that there's a local police force that uses methods like these will make drug dealers smarter without a need to buy a gun.  a policy of not speaking would be very good for a drug dealer.  using a fake name would be good as well.  if you're going to take the risk, at least manage it.

    the other solution, in my mind, is to do what the cops did:  go to the root.  the root problem in their mind is the dealer, the root problem in my mind is the publics perception of marijuana.  i couldn't agree with cedwyn more, anything is addictive.  this is not a helpful argument.  our position on addiction is what needs to change.  america still thinks addicts need jail time.  

    examine amsterdam:  addiction is treated as a disease there, as it should be.  users of soft drugs (weed, mushrooms) are subject to a holding period, just like in canada.  after that they're released.  the question of addiction is not even asked of these people.  it is safe to assume that even heavy addiction to marijuana is fairly safe (anybody heard of bob marley?).  most people are not addicted to marijuana...it's way way way less addictive than beer (or twinkies).  

    clearly this is not popular thought.  why?  what CAN we do about it TODAY?  

    •  Is there... (none)
      ...even such a thing as a marijuana addict? Most heavy smokers I know are very aware that the brain actually stops using THC efficiently with frequent and heavy use. Even the stereotypical stoners I know that smoke their drug-addled minds stupid several times a day (once they drop their tolerance) have no problem going for weeks at a time without marijuana if need be.  

      On the flip side they get headaches and turn very bitchy if they don't have their daily caffeine.

  •  I hope the new New Orleans... (none)
    ...will be as laissez faire about pot as the town I remember. I never saw a town where so many of the old people got loaded or where so few cops gave a damn about it. I never got high much but I sleep better at night knowing there's places like New Orleans where grownups can respect the rights of grownups to indulge.

    resist much, obey little

    by frankzappatista on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 11:14:45 PM PST

  •  ad┬Ědict: (none)
    tr.v. ad·dict·ed, ad·dict·ing, ad·dicts

       1. To cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance: The thief was addicted to cocaine.
       2. To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively: The child was addicted to video games.

    very vague obviously...i think that addiction is a problem when it stands in the way of something else you'd rather be doing.  i can say from experience that weed never had this effect on me.  i enjoyed life a great deal, even in school when i was smoking several times a day.  i enjoy my clear head now as well.  they're both good states to be in.  however, i enjoy working at my current job, except for the fact that it tells me what to do.  i cannot smoke if i want to work for this company.  this bothers me.  it's one thing if it's illegal, it's another if everybody thinks it's bad for you.  decriminalization is a clear step in changing the perceptions of this drug, but a more feasible, smaller step would be refusing to work for companies that prohibit drugs.  or starting more businesses that hire without discrimination.  or even a court precedent.  anything, just something.

  •  Good Job Playdough. Please forgive me if I (none)
    reproduce the first third of so of my diary of a few days ago.  You all can find at least 8 action steps you can do that gives us progress here but still stays "safely" in the middle of the mainstream Bell Curve.  

    Hurricane Victims With Drug Histories  Denied Welfare, Food Stamps, Other Benefits: Ten Action Steps

    by Lolligolli
    Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 03:08:37 PM PDT

    Walter Cronkite,has issued an appeal for support of the mainstream and bi-partisan Drug Policy Alliance which has set up an  Action Center to remedy this and many other tragic sufferings of our Nation's failing War On American Drug Users.   For those with that magic mixture of compassion, wisdom, and the urge for immediate action steps I encourage you to do the following now.

  • 1.  Read Walter Cronkite's poignant appeal at Huffington Post,
  • 2. Visit the DPA site click on the links that will send off Eight letters to Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, and other key decision makers.
  • 3. Join the Drug Policy Alliance and sign up for other action alerts. It should all take less than 10 minutes. For example,

    Tell Congress to Stop War on Hurricane Victims

    Nearly three million people have been displaced from their homes because of recent hurricanes. Many have lost everything. Yet federal laws prohibit these victims from receiving welfare, food stamps, public housing, student loans and other benefits if they have a drug law conviction. Tell Congress to suspend these bans so hurricane victims can get aid.


    In Walter Cronkite's "Telling the Truth About the War of Drugs, he says,

    Americans are paying too high a price in lives and liberty for a failing war on drugs about which our leaders have lost all sense of proportion. The Drug Policy Alliance is the one organization telling the truth. They need you with them every step of the way.

  •  THANK (none)
    YOU!

    "there is nothing easier than lopping off heads and nothing harder than developing ideas" -dostoyevsky

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