Cannabis News Media Awareness Project
  Virginia Nurses Again Demand Medical Cannabis
Posted by CN Staff on September 03, 2005 at 06:42:41 PT
Press Release 
Source: PR Web 

medical Virginia -- The Virginia Nurses Association, representing some 80,000 nurses, have recently reconfirmed their support for Medical Cannabis and are continuing their support for immediate legislation legalizing its medical use.

The Virginia Nurses Association (VNA), representing 80,000 Nurses, at their October 2004 VNA Delegate Assembly, resolved that:

"The Virginia Nurses Association will continue to support legislation that would legalize the medically prescribed use of cannabis/Marijuana for the purpose of relieving pain and distressful symptoms of acute, chronic, or incurable illness."

The VNA "will continue" to support this patient care position since the VNA was the first of now 14 state nursing associations that have taken written published positions in support of the therapeutic use of cannabis. The VNA leadership in 1994 has been echoed over the years by the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Nurses Society on Addictions, and dozens of other medically orientated groups.

List available at: http://www.medicalcannabis.com/

The combined membership of health care professionals that are publicly demanding therapeutic cannabis is in the several millions.

Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, a central Virginia addictions specialist, author, educator and the individual that sponsored the original 1994 VNA resolution in support of a patients right to medical cannabis was very positive about the role of the professional nurse and others health care professionals in this demand action.

"Nurses are the most respected profession in the US and their opinion counts, or certainly should count, more than the absurd to ignorant statements made by US government officials, most of whom are attorneys or law enforcement specialists that have no true understanding of medicine, or the medical use of cannabis.

Nurses, Medical Doctors, Social Workers and all other health care professionals have spoken with resolve through their professional organizations and they have said patients need cannabis now. These are the experts politicians should be guided by in this demand for compassion and reason."

Newshawk: Mayan
Source: PR Web (Web)
Published: September 3, 2005
Copyright: 2005 PR Web

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Comment #64 posted by global_warming on September 07, 2005 at 16:22:44 PT
re:comment 63
Thank You afterburner, the link was further illuminating, how we are so deeply indentured in this fallen, or , failing system.

They used to burn "heretics", now they smugly escort them into the "courts", modern day tribunals, that hide behind childish "smilies" and other childish fruit loop marketing foolishness, that so many of us, easily digest.

I regret, that much of the 60's were used to exploit the colorful tye dyed shirts, while some of us, were having deep insights into the fabric of this God given reality, some could only use that color to paint some simple aberration that reflected off their long hair.

There were some of the 60's that never grew their hair long, that moved through this world in a close dance that sheltered their exploration.

The writings of these explorers will surface and they can be recognized, to the eye of the faithful, the non believer, the ones who take succor from that fallen calf, through their disease, are destined to seek truth, in the most foul of places that befoul our Lighted Footsteps, while they languor in their disgrace, and the noose is fitted, let the games continue, is it not Faith that challenges that bottom line, that monthly statement, that is in the plus, that will fill our empty bowl, at feeding time?

"They" say, that our minutes and time, is but a small fraction of the Time of God, yet, there are some children, who add, and contribute a gentle hand through this creation, while some come with a fist, filled with anger, I Hope, that from this anger, they might catch a glimpse of the child that brought an open hand, a healing hand.

"We" can make the difference, we have grown good fruits, that will fill the most hungry parts of our souls, those souls that will stand before the Time of God.

gw



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #63 posted by afterburner on September 06, 2005 at 16:36:11 PT
New Orleans, If the Shoe Fits
Top Story: Baghdad on The Bayou. Chernobyl for the American Political Class. Changing the Context for the Drugwar. How Damaging This Fiasco Must Be To The Morale Of Our Troops In Iraq. Posted by Richard Cowan on 2005-09-02 16:20:00 http://www.marijuananews.com/news.php3?sid=849

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #62 posted by global_warming on September 06, 2005 at 15:58:40 PT
Seeing That Light
Lord, how come me here?

I wish I never was born.

There ain't no freedom here Lord,

I wish I never was born.

They treat so mean here Lord,

I wish I never was born.

They sold my chillen away, Lord,

I wish I never was born.

Lord how come me here?

I wish I never was born.

--



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #61 posted by goneposthole on September 06, 2005 at 14:05:16 PT
Maximum Flora
Where in the world are you going?

I was somewhat sarcastic about my statement that the PTB owns you. The statement has been made that the US government owns everything. Not too far from wrong, really.

I filled out the forms for Canadian immigration. Results: Rejected. I wish you better luck.

Americans aren't the most loved people around the world these days. A group of people traveled from the US to Austria and Germany this summer. They weren't very well received by the Germans.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #60 posted by afterburner on September 05, 2005 at 23:15:57 PT
Culpable for Unwise Cuts to Environment Protection
Protecting Children by Ray Boyd (02 Sept, 2005) What the government did for kids in New Orleans http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/4503.html

VIETNAM ERA ANTI WAR MUSIC. Web Author: JW Anderson. Member: Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) http://www.jwsrockgarden.com/jw02vvaw.htm

What About Me http://www.jwsrockgarden.com/What.ram

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #59 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 17:47:24 PT
Jim
Yes we all are upset. I know that I'm looking forward to watching Weeds tonight. A break from the news is needed for me right now.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #58 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 17:05:45 PT
FOM
Thanks. I know we are all going through a lot of shock right now. People are responding in a lot of different ways in order to try and get a grip on it. In the midst of all this change, sometimes it helps to understand that it's okay to feel these things, not to fear them, but let them go as well. I try and use an old buddhist exercise of pretending that everyone else is "enlightened" and that they are only here to help me become "enlightened". It's a difficult exercize if you practice it. At least it was for me. I think we are already enlightened, and are just in denial. But, that's one of those technical things that find their way into a spiritual life. In the end FOM, it's all jsut a game. Play Hamlet as an oscar winner, just don't BE Hamlet. Peace

Rev Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #57 posted by Max Flowers on September 05, 2005 at 13:44:31 PT
Coming to this late, but...
goneposthole said: The Powers that be own you and that is that.

Sorry to disagree buddy, but I can tell you with total certainty that no one owns me. They may own you (and do, if you accept that), but that's you and it's probably not a fruitful idea in this particular crowd to project a defeatist vision onto everyone else.

For example, I could move to another country soon and never be seen here again, if I want to (and I am thinking about it too). "The powers" could not do a damn thing about it. The way I see it, I'm a global citizen in the making.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #56 posted by global_warming on September 05, 2005 at 13:14:09 PT
rocks
"And if our spirit is not our infrastructure, then what is?"

Let us bring stones to make an altar to God.

These stones must be "clean"

These stones must be "clean"

gw



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #55 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 13:07:03 PT
Jim
You're welcome. I am very upset because of this disaster. I know the pain the people must feel. Shock is a good thing. Hopefully people are still in that state of shock so it won't be as hard for them as I think it must be.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #54 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 12:42:01 PT
FOM
Thank you for understanding. I may sound as if I am "teaching" or "preaching", but really teaching is how you learn. Thanks again.

Rev Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #53 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 12:40:23 PT
Starving
And if our spirit is not our infrastructure, then what is? In truth, our spirit is never starved, we only think it is. But, that illusion causes suffering. Unfortunately, our laws are based upon the old testament, which Christ overthrew when he was asked to determine the punishment for a woman committing adultry. His message of love thy neighbor was refused by us, and still has been. Perhaps we will discover the Christian god is only jealous because we keep chopping him up into different religions. I am poor in economic terms, I have no home, I live in a tent, etc. But, my spirit is not starved, nor do I want for anything. I am content now. But, I do choose for the end of prohibition, as long as it is accompanied by the compassion we say it represents. Once compassion takes root, then judgement is overthrown as well. Those people you think are evil are actually in even more spiritual pain than their victims. I hope this helps.

Rev Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #52 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 12:34:09 PT
global_warming
Sometimes I have trouble understanding what you mean but I understood your last comment totally. Thank you.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #51 posted by global_warming on September 05, 2005 at 12:28:39 PT
ignore
"This has happened all across our nation. It is our infra-structure that has been neglected."

Perhaps it is our spirit, that has been starved?

You may be talking about bridges over waters,

Levees or Dams,

That are so old,

You can buy that acceptable product or vote

Hopefully

While you consume that thing

You might have a natural flashback

Some vision

That is not forgotten

Knowledge belongs to "your" mind,

Your Mind is your Soul,

Look at the Sun

Look up into the Night Sky

That covers your head

Keep that Light

Peace



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #50 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 12:07:48 PT
Why this has happened
This has happened all across our nation. It is our infra-structure that has been neglected. We have seen each other as enemies, not just overseas, but here at home. Not bound by geography, just our differences. We have an opportunity to make this tragedy a triumph over such a judgemental system. One in which the government becomes a network of people helping people. The government failed. That was not the fault of Bush. He just happened to be there. New Orleans is an old city, and the problems are not new. No one ever took responsibility to fix that problem. Now it is too late to prevent this tragedy. But, if we unite, as a people, and understand that we are all human beings in need, then the world could be a better place.

If New York city had been destroyed completely, as New Orleans has been, the problem would have been the same, but on an even larger scale. Our infrastructures have been neglected so that we can spend our money on creating crimes and spreading hate. That is what our judgemental attitudes have spawned. The justice system.

Soon, the whole world will be here to help. They offered before we asked, and we put aside our pride to accept their help. We need it. The enormity of this catastrophe is far greater than just the present dead. That is tragic enough, but there will be more dead. This is the center of our economic wealth as well. All of the resources from the heartland of America travel through this port, both to and from the world. This ripple effect has yet to be felt, but when it is, watch out! An area larger than Great Britain is now limping along at best. If we remain divisive and judgemental, our nation will not just have a hard time, it could very well collapse. And we would deserve it.

The drug war is over. Not officially. Just as the government hasn't offiially changed. But, the way the funds are being delivered to the states for distribution, the way the paperwork is being eliminated for faster distribution, the way people are being outraged by the greed of the oil companies, and the pharmaceutical companies,all are connected. Cannabis is here. The funding of the Homeland Security Office and the mis-appropriation of the funds by the DEA (a waste of money according to the government's own ombudsman)will be cut. It will be cut by a society that demands a government that does what it is supposed to do. Help people.

The tragedy has the seeds of both our salvation as a species and our destruction. It will depend upon whether or not we learn to love one another and try to understand another without judgement. I believe that the President who went there was a different president than the one that left. He was in emotional shock at their pain. You stand in front of people suffering like they did and tell me you wouldn't be changed. He was not evil, just had a different value system in place. The people had the power to change his opinion. The enormity of it led the infamous N.O. police to a more understanding mode. They began dealing with people a lot more compassionately when they figured out the people were looting in order to survive. At least enough of them, I hope.

In short, putting aside our pre-disposed attitudes of stereotypes so that we may work side by side our neighbors to help us all survive is the key to our salvation. And these neighbors are now global. That is beyond any poitical party or country. Perhaps we have seen the end of nationalisms, a creator of wars. Imagine a global community supported by a global network of people helping people when they need it. It's only impossible if you believe it to be.

I truly hope this helps. I am not your enemy. I have none of those. What isn't covered here, is probably covered somewhere else. I am too lazy to be overly redundant.

Rev Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #49 posted by global_warming on September 05, 2005 at 12:02:05 PT
Just Tap Dancin,..
"I wish that they would have used some of my personal tax dollars to re-enforce the levee and then many people would still be alive.."

You guys are coming together,..Praise the Lord,

On the lighter side, how many niggers need to burn,

To satisfy a white supremacist?

Oh,.. I apologize,

Not for using that "N" word,

But, for having these thoughts.

Yup, I can just see it,

Ol' Jim Crowe is rapping to the beat,

Rapping in some crowded solitary prison cell,

Reverent Jim, I agree with you,

We all make choices,

Our votes do count,

We have been voting an awful long time,

Even that Jew Jesus,

Had a rough life

A mere 200and5 solar rotations,

Yup that powerful finger is pointing at my face,

Would love to stay and chat for awhile,

But alas, I am, a prisoner,

Who welcomes his moment,

With a shame and disgrace,

That can never look up

To that Heavenly Face

Maybe we are the government, and

Such thoughts belong to the holding place, that repository of tired old fables, where visions and bibles, block the light that brings truth,

Citizen:take hold of your senses,

Consider your fingers,

Especially that pointing finger,

Citizens:consider

Using that finger

To make a gentle hand

To The Dance

Peaace



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #48 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 11:22:38 PT
Jim
I am only being critical of the way this disaster has been handled. I don't like seeing guns and police standing shoulder to shoulder while displaced americans are coming off a plane. I am from the north and am happy to pay taxes and I wish that they would have used some of my personal tax dollars to re-enforce the levee and then many people would still be alive. I don't like the way the south has been neglected. We have a breach in our local dam and they are fixing it so no one drowns if it would break. They have been on top of it since the leaks were noticed. It will be re-enforced so why did this happen down south?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #47 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 11:15:07 PT
FOM
Then please tell me how judging me is helping? I am confused. The words say the people are dying, but they go hand in hand with blanket accusations about the south. I too, am concerned. This is my home. I've travelled through New Orleans, I've friends there, and they are not of any particular color. Whites also risked their lives to save blacks, and vice-versa. But, why concentrate on that? These people, of the only race I acknowledge: the human one, are all flawed. Heroes and villans don't care what color they are; it's just an excuse. You have the right to comment on your opinion, as I do mine. Yet, I will censor my opinions as you find them so offensive. In short, you may operate in a void. that is more comfortable for most people. Life is uncomfortable. Those strange feelings of discomfort you have are called learning. We are here to enjoy life, and if we are not, that's our choice as well. But, if you would have me not voice my opinion, that is your choice. I wouldn't want anyone to be uncomfortable with attempting to understand one another instead of judging us without knowing. None of us are anymore right or wrong than another. We are just different. Your accusations don't help you understand, they only hinder that understanding. I might ask you why you do feel so offended by my response? After all, I was born in South Georgia to the son of a tenant farmer, five years before the passage of the civil rights act. I am from the heart of all you don't understand. Yet, I don't judge them. They hate one another down here, the same as the world over. And for the same reason, fear. I feel sorry for those consumed by this anger, whether it be the open anger of the south, or the passive aggressive anger of the north. Both blanket accusations and both incorrect as a whole. If the victims were truly so important, then why rip apart the people who are down there helping them? They are southerners. They are all of us. Please, the postings only emphasize the areas we find uncomfortable, not our strengths. Which is that we are all capabe of heroic actions once we put aside our petty differences. I hope that helps you to understand. These judgements define the people that do the judging, not the ones being judged.

Rev Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #46 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 10:51:12 PT
Jim
I don't mind how anyone feels but I don't want to be denied the right to say it is wrong the way the poor people down south in this disaster are being treated. That's what upsets me. They need help and they need it right now. It's been way too long since Katrina. Too many people have died.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #45 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 10:44:52 PT
FOM
I too would appreciate it if people would stop making blanket accusations based on geography. A previous post stated they did not understand, so instead of trying to understand one another; we judge instead. I am not uptight. I am only pointing out the obvious. If I were to say that everyone in your region of the country were money hungry business men with no thought of compassion, I would be making a blanket statement. I would be incorrect, and you would be offended. I would say you would have the right as well. Myself, I am merely amused. We are so small in the scheme of things, that surely our differences can be overcome. But, not when lack of understanding another results in judgement instead of attempting to walk a mile in their shoes. I am not offended, so why are you. Earlier, after I was told that this wasn't a christian site, (I have no faith, only religions require that) the site was flooded with bible quotes. I offer this bible based thought. If all are equal before God, then who has power over another? We are all equal, and equally flawed. Just in different directions. I hope you understand my point now. Not an uptight a-hole maybe, nor a racist southern pig, but another person getting through the day.

Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #44 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 10:31:46 PT
Jim
I'd appreciate it if you would not get uptight about how other people feel that aren't from the south. We should be allowed to feel like we do as we observe what is going on down south now.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #43 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 10:23:23 PT
FOM
On the subject of race in the south, perhaps you should look to Malcom X. He stated that he prefered the open bigotry of the southern redneck over the hypocrisy of the northern liberals. He appreciated their honesty. All of the major abolishonists of the pre-civi war period were southerners. Often they were killed by the northerners for wanting slavery abolished. Racism is not more prevelant in the south, it is just more open. Don't worry though, one day we too can have a system of equality as good as New York City's. Harlem should prove a good example of regional superiority. Where you are from doesn't mean you are this or that. Unless you are believe it to be so. I am a southerner. I've lived this and understand my south, we are not evil and racist unless you look for that aspect. Look at the north for atrocities and you will find it as well. All of us are fallible. Judgement only tells us about ourselves. Thank you for judging me for where I live, not for who I am.

Rev Jim Lunsford

First Cannabist Church

Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #42 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 07:48:30 PT
Afterburner
Another thing that doesn't make any sense to me about what's happening down south are all the guns. I hate guns and won't have one in my home. If someone wants to kill me go ahead and kill me. I just don't care enough to want to have a gun.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #41 posted by global_warming on September 05, 2005 at 07:43:20 PT
re:36
Thank Lyle Burkhead

http://www.geniebusters.org/



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #40 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 07:43:18 PT
afterburner
Southern Man oh so true. I don't understand thinking that way. Why do people treat blacks down south like they do? That does not happen where I live.

If you want to listen to a nice song of Neil Young's off his soon to be released album here it is.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #39 posted by afterburner on September 05, 2005 at 07:34:44 PT
Still Slavery after all these Years
"Southern man better keep your head Don’t forget what your good book said Southern change gonna come at last Now your crosses are burning fast Southern man

"I saw cotton and I saw black Tall white mansions and little shacks. Southern man when will you pay them back? I heard screamin’ and bullwhips cracking How long? how long? ..." --Neil Young › Southern Man http://www.lyricsfreak.com/n/neil-young/99024.html

I was listening to this song when a tear came to my eye and I thought: Who died and who suffered in New Orleans? Many were the children and grandchildren of slaves.

A 20 year old British lad witnessed "the best and worst of humanity" in the Superdome. A tear rolled down his cheek as he recounted his experience to his father in the lounge a Houston bar reports the BBC.

".... Woman hold her head and cry Cause her son had been Shot down in the street and died Just because of the system

"Woman hold her head and cry Comforting her was a passerby She complained, then she cry

"Johnny was a goodman Never did a thing wrong (Repeat)

"Can a woman tender care She cried... Cease towards the child she bear (Repeat)" --"Johnny Was" written by Rita Marley performed by Bob Marley http://www.bobmarley.com/songs/songs.cgi?johnny

"You're driven back now to places you've been to You're wonderin' what you're gonna find You know you've been wrong but it won't be long Before you leave 'em all far behind

"'Cause it's the new Mother Nature takin' over It's the new splendid lady come to call It's the new Mother Nature takin' over She's gettin' us all She's gettin' us all" --The Guess Who - No Sugar Tonight/new Mother Nature LYRICS http://www.lyricsdownload.com/the-guess-who-no-sugar-tonight-new-mother-nature-lyrics.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #38 posted by FoM on September 05, 2005 at 06:51:56 PT
Just a Note
I hope everyone is having a nice holiday weekend. I haven't found news to post so far but maybe something will become available later on. I'm looking forward to the new episode of Weeds tonight. I think news will pick up soon but school is starting and families are busy. They are going to follow Bush it seems on the news today so I'll be turning the tv off and listening to music instead. Enjoy the last days of summer everyone. Get rested up and hopefully when we get thru the next month or two life will get back to a more normal realm.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #37 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 05, 2005 at 00:45:15 PT
Victims
Always claim that they are not part of the problem. Govt is some illusionary thing. It doesn't bring us anything. It only promises to do those things we don't want to do ourselves. President Bush didn't need to be there to get those people out of the convention center. Rev Jackson could have used his "power" to do just such an action himself. And maybe he did. Remember, an area the size of Great Britain is a disaster area now. That's a lot of responsibility and blame for one person. Government is the old something for nothing sales pitch. It failed because we expect someone else to care more for us than we do ourselves. But that is changing as well.

Amidst all the finger pointing (everyone can look into the mirror for not using their "power" to motivate others as well.)there was also a lot of compassion as well. The world is offering help and we are accepting all of it. And we need it. This means that people from all over the world will be living amongst us, and helping us. How can we go to war with the people that are helping us? That we've sweat beside as they helped us rebuild?

Maybe now, with the realizations that government cannot protect any of us from ourselves, it can transform into a network of people helping people. For that is a choice we can make. And it is just that; a choice. Nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe it has already done just that. The people from all over the world just want to help us. The government has already begun the process of streamling aid. Removing many of the unnecessary rules and procedures to get help there as fast as possible. This is a catastrophic event. It is life changing and not everyone responds to such life changing events in a comfortable manner. But, if we keep sitting around and saying that people with different value heirarchies are evil, then cannabis won't save us from ourselves either.

Our society has given us the option of insulating ourselves from each other. Giving the impression that we are alone and seperate. That is, if we chose to insulate ourselves. But now, we have to come face to face, side by side, with our neighbors if we are to overcome this tragedy.

Cannabis is the choice I prefer as a civilization base, but I support compassion and understanding each other and helping one another have a better life more than Cannabis. When we judge others, we only see our own faults. Different values doesn't mean someone is evil, it means they have different interests and beliefs.

In the long run, if we overturn tyrants, then we become tyrants ourselves. For no man has power over another unless that man willingly gives it to him. You may not like the choice you make, but it is still a choice. Rev Jim First Canabist Church Compassion: It's just a choice

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #36 posted by ElPatricio on September 04, 2005 at 21:17:19 PT:

Thanks, Global Warming
I'd like to thank Global Warming for his (her?) thoughtful comments about what it will take to end marijuana prohibition. I agree that the willingness of opinion leaders to speak out is essential to overcome the unthinking stereotypes that sustain prohibition.

I've been an out-of-the-closet toker for many years. Even though I've had to pass a piss test a few times, as an editor with a weekly column I grew comfortable voicing controversial opinions. Right now I am finishing a book on law enforcement's opposition to California's medical-marijuana law, and have learned an enormous amount about the medical usefulness of this ancient, but now banned, herbal substance.

As part of my book project, I've acquired more than 60 movement T-shirts, including those of MPP, the Drug Policy Alliance, the BC Marijuana Party, and from various patient groups. Wearing the shirts has become part of my daily life, a freedom I'll lose once I finally return to the newsroom and a 40-hour work week.

But what's astounding is the amount of positive reinforcement I receive from strangers in public places. The two shirts that seem to prompt the most comments are the BC Marijuana Party's "Overgrow the Government" shirt, and the California Marijuana Party shirt, decorated with the state flag's grizzly bear.

Kids always seem amazed that one of their elders believes that pot prohibition is bogus. But the most rewarding feedback is from my peers, the 40-somethings and 50-somethings who are delighted to see somebody willing to question the prevailing paradigm of chemical totalitarianism.

I am often surprised at the kind of people who respond to the shirts. Unless they had spoken up, I never would guess that they were closet tokers, or drug-war dissidents. They come from diverse political persuasions, and their number is legion.

I'd say the positive feedback outweighs the negative double-takes by 10 to 1. My sense is that Americans are tiring of the war on drugs, and marijuana prohibition in particular. They hunger for honesty, and are grateful when they find it.

I can only encourage Global Warming and others to share their belief in cannabis culture in public. Everyone can be an opinion leader in their own social circle. At the same time, caution around law enforcement is always advisable.

Thanks again, Global Warming.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #35 posted by Hope on September 04, 2005 at 18:53:55 PT
Police shooting in New Orleans
I'm glad to recognize that it was police that shot snipers who were ambushing a group of contractors, and not police shooting the contractors by mistake, which is what I first understood the report to be. I'm glad that wasn't true.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #34 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 18:29:24 PT
Hope
I don't think even the Red Cross could have been prepared for this. It's way too big. Just trying to comprehend that one figure I saw on the news was 350,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and I believe that is only in one area and that is mind boggling to me. I know they sure do try to help and they've been places that FEMA hasn't been so far I saw today on the news. It's down right overwhelming us and our country.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #33 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 18:12:28 PT
Just a Comment
We just saw a friend from a local town. He said you wouldn't believe the talk. Everywhere you go and everyone you see is talking about this disaster and they are very angry. Even his sons are glued to the tv and they have never paid any attention to politics or things like that. They are in their early 20s. Our sleepy little local town has awoken.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #32 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 17:55:06 PT
For Entertainment Purposes Only
With all the bad news I thought some here might want to listen to all or some of the songs on the Rolling Stones new album called A Bigger Bang.

http://rollingstones.com/abiggerbang/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #31 posted by Hope on September 04, 2005 at 17:52:24 PT
Fear, blame, greed, and hatred
seem to be the deadliest thing afoot, besides the mosquitoes and water mocassins that are fixing to become prevalent in the cities or what's left of them of the coastal areas, during the aftermath of this tragedy.

One of the scariest things happening down there is the government not allowing the people to be rescued and treating others there like they are suspected of something or are enemies or prisoners of some sort.

Where were the lights, water, generators, medicine, supplies, food, and porta-potties stored to be ready for such a disaster? I thought the Red Cross made it a point to do that as part of their mission to be there when needed.

The young man who "stole" the bus and drove about a hundred strangers in need of evacuation to Houston and shelter should be given a medal by the President for heroism. Instead, he may be prosecuted.

The "thug" thing is to be expected. The police "losing it" is not.

So much fear and hatred.

How can we fight fear and hatred?

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Comment #30 posted by Toker00 on September 04, 2005 at 17:20:20 PT
Quitting is not an option
But I guess I could just destroy all these protest signs I am creating for rallies against the drug war and the war in Iraq. What good are they. They are just statements. You know what Ward Churchill says about that. Making satements doesn't stop the operation of the state. So just stop it and give up. Or, encourage violent revolution. In which everyone would be the losers. That's your choices. According to some people.

But I'm not destroying my signs. They are beautiful. The truth is just that. Beautiful. On Sept. 24, 2005, I hope to put some of my signs in the hands that wrinkled in flood waters in La. Ms. and Ala. after Katrina. I want to stand beside these people whose voices became weak and hoarse from begging for help from a government that doesn't care. The victims of rape and beatings and robbery because our government wasn't "prepared". They brought many survivors to my city. They are being loved and cared for not by the government, but by the people of this nation. The people. The government is preccupied with wars on people who use unDEA-FDA approved drugs and people who happen to live on top of oil deposits to bother with it's own southern, black, poverty stricken citizens' unfortunate catastrophe. Would have been different if Katrina had hit Kennybunkport. Or any other rich white population. I'm not doubting or condemning the government help that is now arriving, but it's been six day coming. It wasn't just inaction, it was also lack of concern.

Get this staight. We are not the government. We are the citizens of a constitutional republic. Most of us had been oblivious to the extent of corruption in both our government and corporations, until the last decade or two. There is no excuse any more. We must replace this incompetent government with people who have a passion for Liberty and compassion for all humanity. And we must keep corporate America from becoming our government. That is the most important thing.

Please be patient and don't give up. The force IS with us.

There is racism, fascism, and classism to be defeated in America. Quitting is not an option. And remember, neither DEA, FDA, CIA, FBI, DOC, nor DOJ, spell GOD.

Want to end misery? END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!

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Comment #29 posted by global_warming on September 04, 2005 at 16:32:21 PT
Nurses are soo Sexy!
Imagine 80, 000 Virginia Nurses, bet they could heal all of N.O and most of the South.

Bet they would even keep those birds from pecking at the eyes of the Christ, nailed on that cross.

Time will tell, hopefully before them fruit flies.

With little time before I must go to my prison cell, may I apologize, not for this disaster called Katrina, my apology is that I live in these times, and grew up in these times, and I have not the strength or courage to say "enough", is enough.

Labor Day, should not only remembered for those proud picketers, like some black and white photo, that seems so old, so far away from that precious NOW, good folks who smoke marijuana are also part of the disgrace that is "our" legacy.

Maybe there is some changing in the air, hope it does not blow my way.

Maybe there is some new holiday being born, a holiday that for all those victims have been denied a decent life in this existence.

gw

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Comment #28 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 12:53:09 PT
Hope
I am bonafide real person. I really am deeply entrenched in this disaster. I knew this would happen someday but that day is here now. The people are mostly very poor. It makes you wonder why they are poor. Some of the people are not really able to help themselves because of a lower intelligence ( that's not an insult ) and didn't have any opportunity to change their existence. Some are victims of different wars. Some people's health issues kept them from leaving. Some just didn't have any money or a car to drive them away to safety. If this disaster doesn't open the eyes of people who think we must just make our own way then I don't understand.

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Comment #27 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 04, 2005 at 12:42:33 PT
When people
decide that the system they are using is uncomfortable enough, they will change the system. The war is uncomfortable to people now ( possibly to the level that is enough to change) that they may decide to use those resources into improving the infrastructures of these communities. The environmental/socialogical/thought effects of our previous fuel/medicine/what-ever resource may create a level of uncomfortableness that forces society to change it's priorities (such as the legalization of cannabis).

If enough people are uncomfortable then society will change. If enough people refuse to buy gas until weed is legal, then society will get the point, because society makes the laws that benefits those (active) citizens the most. It is not a question of good and evil. It is just a choice. No one is FORCING us to buy their products. It is that we prioritize getting to work today over an abstract such as global warming (until it bites us in the butt like this Hurricane did)

Having said that, these people having different opinions simply have different values. They are not evil. The old rules of love thy enemy, walk a mile in their shoes, etc., are old rules because they have stood the tests of time and help us to understand and unify, rather than divide.

When we promote cannabis, we have a tendancy to attack those opposing viewpoints. News flash! As long as we purchase their goods, in enough quantity, we vote for their goods. Perhaps a more holistic and unifying approach is needed. The story posted earlier about a professor who wore the t-shirt (one of many, but I forgot who and which post it was posted in) is that way as well. Also, the power of the labor day strike was given in another one. Gee! imagine the power of a day without gas sales! (HEY YOU! NO TOPPING UP THE DAY BEFORE! LOL).

Government is force. But it is the force of the will of the people. No government can be so oppressive that it exceeds the will of the people. It is only as oppressive as the will and determination of the people allow it to be.

One can argue that the people haven't been informed, or mis-lead, or whatever: the reality is that we have not been as organized, or focused, or ACTIVE enough as those who have opposing viewpoints. It is not enough to simply read about it. If society wants change it DEMANDS it. It's simple self-interest.

Many of you say, that you have been involved. I won't argue that point. Nor will I support that point. There is also the result of the matter. It is what it is. The oil corporations (etc. with all that other stuff) are simply more focused and more organized, and are definitely active enough. They are not evil though, they are our neighbors. These people either see a benefit to the oil dependency that is beneficial to them enough so that they choose to use it and are interested in getting rid of the competition. After all, aren't we after their market share? Maybe their value system is different from ours, but they are human as well.

This hurricane has created a change in the way society operates. The President that arrived in New Orleans was certainly a different President than the one that left. Solely because he met these people and heard their stories and felt their grief and anger. And so has the rest of the country.

Before he arrived there, those people were simply not important to him. A section of society that was not a priority to him. Merely preconcieved notions about people. Sound familiar? He understands more now, and I believe will be a little less insulated. Because the PEOPLE will demand it as well. And because this tragedy has forced a change into his value system. Not because he was evil before.

Government is doing their little shuffle thing right now, some people will be gone, and others in power now. There is an accounting done of what all of us have allowed, and all of us are found lacking. But there is change in the air. This tragedy may have invoked rage, but it also invoked shame, and opportunity for us to get it right. That moment is always NOW. But, these societal changes are ussually made when it is necessary, not when it is prudent. Every level of our government; from the citizens (active or not), the city, the state, and the federal government failed to do their duty to provide for the citizens. However, can we truly expect a government to care more for us, than we do for ourselves? No one wanted to do the work, and so everyone expected everyone else to do it. If it were IMPORTANT enough to enough people (regardless of what class/race they were) those preventive measures would have been done. Poor people do have power. Remember the bus boycotts of the sixties? Labor day march? It just may take a bit longer.

Prohibition is here because it is easier to just say "ban this" than it is to actually think about it. That's why Hearst/Rockefellor/everyone was able to do this, because the masses prefer not to think. Because society is not uncomfortable enough to implement the changes necessary in the economy. Because of uncertainty. Because of FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. When the present becomes bad enough, the unknown looks pretty damn good.

Make them uncomfortable. Every day find someone you know and bring it up. Tell them about the benefits. Then tell them you smoke it. Just be yourself.

Make them uncomfortable. Think about using that product. Your dollars are votes. Converted to bio-diesal yet? Bought a higher priced hemp product over the standard chemical one? The little things add up. The market will supply the demand, even though it may be a bit slow sometimes.

Make them uncomfortable. Show up at your city hall and present your case. Write your congressman and answer their response. Don't expect them to be as well-informed and passionate about it as you, they have other priorities and preconcieved notions. Simply understand this and inform them. If 80% of Americans really supported medical marijuana, the flood of email and regular (hemp paper prefered) mail would have drowned them in it's volume.

Make them uncomfortable. Ask your grocer/department store manager to stock hemp supplies. They will. Especially if enough people ask. And be specific. They may not know what it is that you are asking for. And don't forget to tell them about the benefits, and when they are interested, tell them you smoke it.

Make them uncomfortable. Let them know that we are no different than them. Just another human being on this planet getting through the day. Not a monster, and that they are not alone.

The past few days have been emotional and trying times for everyone. As always. Life is just one thing after another. Some we prefer, and others not so much. But, the worst times for me are the best times now. Or, you could remain hoping for someone else to care more for you than you do yourself. Just don't expect anything more out of that than the people who were in New Orleans. If the people demand it, they will have it. But it doesn't have to be a violent change. All in all though. It's just a choice. Let's make it a compassionate one.

Rev Jim

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Comment #26 posted by Hope on September 04, 2005 at 12:37:03 PT
Sorry...I'll settle down, now.
Just bursting with that one today because of current events I think.

GonePosthole, E-Johnson is right.

You know we can't give up in the sense you speak of. Have hope. You'll bounce back. We are one of the most amazingly resilient groups of people I have ever seen. It's been a part of the journey that some of us have given up and "hit bottom" in the hope department. Everyone of us that has been at this for any length of time knows what the "bottom" looks like.

This is a journey and we can't allow any of our fellows to fall by the wayside and stay there. I know that you here have picked me up when I was flat on the bottom and without hope before.

While it may seem impossible that there is something on the other side of that mountain, because we can't see it...doesn't mean that something is not there or our destination is not within reach. Yes, it looks impossible. But who's to say that around the next bend, or the next, we don't find an opening, a clear path, to the other side...our destination?

Meanwhile, we trudge on. We have to. The joy will come when we reach our destination...or see it...our destination is the place in time when people are no longer treated the way they are over the herbs they use.

I can't see you, or FoM, or E_Johnson, but I'm pretty sure...I'm really hopeful...that you and they are real...that you and they really exist and that you and they are "there"...though I can't see you or them physically at the moment.

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Comment #25 posted by Hope on September 04, 2005 at 11:58:25 PT
Anti-Christs
I'm not one to go around looking for the anti-Christ or anti-Christs (“for there are many”), but when I see them and see the fruits of their “faith” in action, I think I perceive some of them to be a stumbling block in the way of those seeking him, who many of us believe to be the Christ.

Bush, Ashcroft, other Super Christians that want to control others with their personal religious beliefs and feelings of moral superiority, and self righteousness, and that proclaim Christ loudly and publicly, yet apparently abhor his most important teachings and examples, and pervert the very truth of his "gospel", actually drive people away from the true gospel of Christ, therefore, sadly, I have to conclude that they are part of that spiritual force that is the anti-Christ.

To those who do not believe in a Christ…a savior…a God…you can at least, surely see, that true Christianity would be a very good thing for a sad, burdened person, psychologically speaking. It speaks not of just tolerance…but super tolerance. It’s based on love, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, patience, and tolerance.

It can be summed up in one rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. That would be an extraordinary goal for a community or even just one neighborhood.

Yet a person who would pervert the truth of Christ…is surely, an "Anti-Christ".

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Comment #24 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 11:39:00 PT
It's a Sign of The Times
Hope that's what I think.

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Comment #23 posted by Hope on September 04, 2005 at 11:34:25 PT
"The rest of the story..."
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

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Comment #22 posted by Hope on September 04, 2005 at 11:30:52 PT
Listening to Romans this morning.
(Bear with me...a moment of religious tolerance? It's really interesting.)

Romans 1: 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

(Stay tuned for "the rest of the story".)

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Comment #21 posted by E_Johnson on September 04, 2005 at 10:32:34 PT
Wisdom, goneposthole
Wisdom is the mother of faith, hope and love. It's not just an ancient superstition.



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Comment #20 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 09:10:10 PT
A Time For Every Season
I believe right now our thoughts are on the disaster and I know that life won't be the same ever again. That said we have too many people who care about Cannabis and the laws against it's use and possession. Cannabis will help people with PTSD but alcohol will only inflame those that have been effected by Katrina. Cannabis use will soar and understandably so. That might be one of the reasons that they will stop chasing Cannabis like they have. Just watch Weeds and people will see how ingrained it is in society.

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Comment #19 posted by runruff on September 04, 2005 at 08:56:42 PT:

400 years huh?
Well just remember: Time flys like an arrow but fruit flys like a banana.

Namaste

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Comment #18 posted by potpal on September 04, 2005 at 08:38:52 PT
internet age
Actually I believe it's been the internet/web that has given us the drive to the goal...reformed cannabis laws. The communciation between us is making the difference. Prior to the net, what did we have? Letters to the editor in high times? Norml? Now google 420 or cannabis and see what ya get!

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Comment #17 posted by goneposthole on September 04, 2005 at 08:38:30 PT
good idea, EJ (not really)
It is hopeless. Really, it is. The 'Republicans' don't act unless it pays. Everytime, all of the time.

They know that legal cannabis will not pay. The pharmaceutical industry will be hit hard. Illegal cannabis grow operations will be decimated. The DEA will have to abandon their offices.

Illegal cannabis pays big time. Legalization efforts are stymied and really for naught.

It's 2005. That makes 2/3 of a century of illegal status of cannabis. How can it be made legal? It can't. All efforts hit a brick wall.

America is a huge concentration camp.

The next depression won't be televised. It's here now.

Reefer time; legal or not, I'm going to smoke it. It helps my aching back.

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 04, 2005 at 06:54:59 PT
EJ We Won't Quit
Winners never quit and quitters never win is how I see life. It is very easy to say what's the use but if we can look at the progress we have made under this administration it's almost a miracle that we've made it this far but we have. I am taking this slow time to watch the news and get work done around home. We will bounce back in due time but time needs to pass by a little while and we'll be ready to go again. I hope you have a nice holiday weekend. We still have work to do on our house but should wrap it up in the next week or two. I figure by the middle of September will should be getting back on track. People are reading CNews but just not talking. We were up around 35% from last August which means people still care.

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Comment #15 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 04, 2005 at 06:16:32 PT
might as well
that's what they did in New Orleans. No one wanted to spend the money on the infrastructure to get things done, let someone else do it. no one wanted to take time to even really look at the problem, let someone else do it. no one wanted to go there, let someone else do it. bush was that person. and look at what happened to him. no one wanted to do what was necessary there so that the "tragedy" wouldn't happen. INCLUDING the "victims". the same in every aspect of life. EVERYONE waits for "someone" to do it. If California were really serious about cannabis, there would be no way the dea would be allowed to bust anyone. Caifornia would say "Back off" to the feds. the feds will only take what power we give them. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. But, we seem to think that it is something separate from us. ONLY IN OUR MINDS. MLK got civil rights going, not because he was the right person, but because he was one of the few people in this world who was brave enough to stand up and say what people wanted to hear. And he wouldn't back down. Everyone (including myself) is responsible for this state of affairs. Being a victim is a choice. And we all made it that way for ourselves. Our fears and laziness result in lives that are less than we expected. And then we complain because someone else doesn't care more than us. When was the last time any of us took a microphone down town and preached what they had to say? I never did. When was the last time someone organized a rally? Or went? Not me. I am the government that we complain about, because I am the people. Ultimately, every government is a democracy. If a govt doesn't meet the wants of a people ENOUGH, then it changes. It's activism on the level of MLK that changes things. It's activism on the level of Ghandi that changes things, and it's working on all aspects of life. MLK got civil rights going because he INVOLVED the govt. the placing of blacks in govt posts was because HE had the gall to stand up in an environment MUCH more violent than this. He risked being burned alive, and HUNG on top of it (with a few shotgun blasts for good measure)(think they didn't do that back then?). FEAR is why we don't do things. Laziness is because we don't want to bother with it, because it is not important enough to us. The real question isn't WHO will rise up to the occasion, it's why haven't I (and that's all of us) risen to the ocassion. Anyone who has the guts to stand up and say "NO MORE!" will get closer to the goal. It's no guarantee of success, but not doing so as a nation is a guarantee of failure. Give up if you are a wimp. But I am mad as hell right now. At myself, and at my species. This affair in New Orleans shows that problem. IT IS US! So, accountability is on the individual in each situation. I have failed many times, as have each of you. And I will fail again. But, at least I know it. Laws only change when the people demand it. And whining isn't demanding. life imprisonment isn't much of an obstacle when you consider what those people went through. This cannabis law isn't the most oppressive law on the books. It's only there because we "little" people demand that the "govt" do something. The oil companies are able to do it because they are active. And they are doing it in a more organized manner. It brings financial opportunity to people that they can see right now. And they don't represent that horrible thing called change. Which is what people fear almost as much as anything else.

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Comment #14 posted by E_Johnson on September 03, 2005 at 23:32:36 PT
Then let's all quit and go home, goneposthole
It's hopeless, let's abandon the site, and everything else, and give up.

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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 03, 2005 at 22:15:14 PT
Just One More Comment
I find it very hard at this point in the aftermath of Katrina to turn off the news. The time will come when I won't be able to watch anymore. Right now we are seeing a real disaster of a magnitude that I really didn't believe I'd see happen in our country in my lifetime. The world is watching. Will we be able to turn all of the devasted coast line back to where it was before? I don't know. I know that this will change us all forever and I hope in the long run that it will make us a better country then we have become. I think Cannabis laws could change not for any wonderful reason but because the money won't be justifible anymore. I'll take change anyway it comes though. Have a good and a safe holiday weekend everyone.

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on September 03, 2005 at 20:39:51 PT
potpal
Thank you. They cut the coverage of the disaster to put it on the air.

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Comment #11 posted by potpal on September 03, 2005 at 20:27:57 PT
ot - rehnquist died
http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/09/03/rehnquist.obit/index.html

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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 03, 2005 at 19:50:32 PT
Just a Comment
Celine Dione was just on a CNN Special with Larry King. She lost it and said things that were hard to hear from someone who has always been gentle in nature. I hope others saw it too. I actually thought they were going to cut her off but they didn't and I thank CNN for letting her speak.

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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 03, 2005 at 19:39:49 PT
goneposthole
I agree with you. It could take 400 more years. I love to live in la la land but these days it seems so far away. One thing I do know that if we don't keep trying and holding on to hope then it will take 400 more years as you said.



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Comment #8 posted by goneposthole on September 03, 2005 at 19:23:49 PT
not a downer
just facing the grim reality. The so-called 'Republicans' running the country into the ground are not going to give in on any sort of cannabis legalization. It is a fact.

It might take 400 more years that cannabists must endure this persecution.

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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on September 03, 2005 at 18:26:19 PT
Look at the first 400 years of Christianity
The Christians were being tortured to death as a form of public entertainment. Their religion survived that period because they rejected cynicism as an option.



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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on September 03, 2005 at 18:23:29 PT
Gosh people are sure on a downer
It's really easy to fall into an emotional tailspin on this issue, and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because people who are negative and cynical can't fight for themselves as well as people who cling to those irrational virtures hope, faith and love.



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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on September 03, 2005 at 18:16:59 PT
Cannabis will never be legalized
medical or recreational, it doesn't matter. There is too much money to be bilked out of those who are going to smoke it, therefore it will remain illegal.

The Powers that be own you and that is that.

However, keep on smoking it. It's good for you.

Don't use drugs that harm you like Vioxx or Methamphetamine.

They're bad for you.

I've been watching and hoping for almost 35 years now and nothing has changed for the better. It just gets worse.

Now, we have New Orleans in the same shape as Baghdad.

"Lord, you don't know the shape I'm in."

The US is losing ground fast.



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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2005 at 13:05:00 PT
ot:Prospects for the legalization of marijuana

Prospects for the legalization of marijuana

One of my professors (Thomas Gould) pointed out that there is no law against sticking a pencil in your ear, because nobody wants to do that anyway. The government passes laws against things that people want to do. This came up in the context of the Oedipus myth. Why is patricide a crime? Because boys want to kill their fathers. If they didn't want to do it, there wouldn't be a law against it. Why is patricide a serious crime (in most societies), with draconian punishments? Because boys hate their fathers with a fierce hatred, and they have to try very hard to control themselves. The more people want to do something, the more stringent the law against it.

Why is pot illegal?

Because it is perceived as an addicting drug which makes people lose their will power -- and because a lot of people want to lose their will power. They would like nothing better than to stop working, let themselves go, and drift off into a kind of third-world lassitude. They have to make a great effort to resist this temptation. When they see someone doing what they want to do, but don't allow themselves to do, they get very angry.

Is this ever going to change?

Probably not. But what is changing is the perception of marijuana as a will-sapping drug. In fact, of course, it doesn't have to have that effect, and a lot of people know that. Pot doesn't have to be a third-world drug.

Some time ago I knew a young man who was just getting started on his career. He attended a junior college for a couple of years, served in the Navy, and got a little job as a technician. Then he got a better job at Texas Instruments, but he was still a technician. His wife introduced him to pot about this time. He signed up for a programming course at TI and became a programmer. He also went back to school and got a bachelor's degree in business, then an MBA. He was working full time and going to school full time, plus he was working on an invention and eventually got a patent on it. He smoked a lot of pot in those days.

This is not uncommon, and a lot of people are aware that it's not uncommon. Most people under the age of 50 don't need the government to tell them what pot is. They know from their own experience what it is. As the older generation dies off, and the baby boom generation passes through middle age, common sense will prevail.

Maybe.

Maybe, or maybe not.

The young man mentioned above is now middle aged. He has moved to a smaller company, where he is Vice President. I heard from him recently. He said he "stopped using illegal drugs" when he started dating the woman who is now his second wife. Instead of growing pot in his basement, he brews beer. Apparently he has forgotten those intense times when he got stoned and worked on his invention. Now pot is just an "illegal drug." As I said on another page, there is no loyalty among drug users.

Pot was legal in America, and in Europe, prior to the 20th century. But it wasn't widely used. As long as it was only used by a few poets like Baudelaire, no one cared. But in the 20th century, when it started spreading, a lot of people became very irate, and it was banned.

This seems to be a one-way street. In other words, once it is banned, it is never unbanned. Pot was legal for a while in Alaska -- growing your own was permitted -- but then a few years ago the voters made it illegal again.

Pot is semi-legal in Holland, and has been for two or three decades. How long this situation will last is impossible to say. But the thing is, the Dutch government doesn't approve of pot. They just tolerate it. They don't say it's a good thing, they just say that the war on drugs does more harm than good. They aren't trying to encourage drug use, they are trying to contain it, and they think their system is the best way to do that.

No one says pot is a good thing.

I saw an essay on the editorial page of the Daily Telegraph, an English paper, just a few weeks ago. A commission headed by Lady Runciman had recommended that drug use should be decriminalized -- only dealers should be imprisoned. Tom Utley, the author of the essay, said this doesn't make sense: if it's all right to buy something, then it must be all right to sell it. He said drugs should be legal, but regulated, like alcohol. But he didn't say pot was a good thing. Far from it. He said when he was younger he favored the decriminalizion of all drugs, but had second thoughts as he became older:

I suppose it was fatherhood that changed my mind about drugs. I knew in my heart that if there was one thing that I wanted for my children, it was that they should never become drug addicts. I decided that everything I had believed before was mere youthful posturing. If fear of the law helped to persuade my sons against dabbling in narcotics, then as far as I was concerned, drug-taking should remain illegal. That was how I felt until yesterday, when Lady Runciman came along with her report. Now she has made me feel that my youthful posturing was absolutely right.

So, he thinks pot is a narcotic, and would be horrified if he thought his sons were addicted, but, as a logical man, he thinks Lady Runciman's position is inconsistent. Most people don't care that much for logic. Most people agree with the position of his middle years, when he feared for his sons.

I saw another such essay in the Los Angeles Times. It was written by a federal judge. He said the War on Drugs isn't working, and it's time for a new approach. But he added that of course he doesn't condone drug abuse. He just thinks education would handle the problem better than the law can handle it.

Likewise, Gary Johnson, the governor of New Mexico, says the War on Drugs should be scrapped, but he too hastens to add that of course he doesn't approve of drugs.

So this is our situation: most people think pot should be illegal. There are a few lonely voices who disagree, but they only disagree about how to discourage drug use. They say pot is a narcotic, and pot use should be discouraged -- so far they agree with the general consensus -- but not by sending people to prison.

In other words everyone in public life agrees that pot is a bad thing. They disagree only on the question of what to do about it.

This situation can have only one outcome. The government is working on technological solutions to the drug problem. Either they will release fungi into the environment that will exterminate the cannabis plant, or they will put sensors everywhere that will detect the most minute trace of THC, so they will know exactly who has smoked pot (or handled it). Or both.

At that point it will be impossible to hide. The technology for this is almost ready. The only thing lacking is the political will to put such a solution into place.

The only thing protecting us at this point is the civil liberties argument, which really has no force. It makes no sense to say that pot is a debilitating drug, but we should be free to use it anyway, i.e. we should be free to destroy our health if we want to.

As long as most people are horrified at the prospect of their precious children becoming addicted to drugs, they aren't going to object to using sensors to find drugs. Sooner or later they are going to lose patience with the invasion-of-privacy argument. They are going to decide that if it's all right to catch drug users one way, it's all right to catch them another way. If sensors invade their privacy, that's too bad.

There is only one way out of this.

Somebody has to stand up and say that pot is a good thing. It isn't a narcotic, and pot smokers are not drug addicts or drug abusers. Smoking pot isn't something to be ashamed of, it's something to be proud of. Somebody has to stand up and say that. As I pointed out in the first section above, a lot of people already know what pot is, but that knowledge has to be articulated. It has to be asserted in public.

That is the only way to end the war on marijuana.

In the long run, that is the only approach that could possibly work. There is no use arguing about how to discourage drug abuse. We have to shift the argument back to the premise. We have to challenge the idea that smoking pot is "drug abuse."

We have to create a culture in which people are proud to smoke pot, and pleased when they discover that their teenage children smoke it.

Is that possible? I don't know. Society does change. A lot can happen in thirty or forty years.

I do know that it's not possible for our present situation to go on indefinitely, i.e. a situation in which pot is illegal but many people smoke it anyway. As long as we live in a culture in which parents are horrified at the thought of their children becoming pot addicts, we are going to lose. They will find some way to enforce the law, civil liberties or no civil liberties.

Somebody has to stand up and say that pot is a good thing. Somebody, but not just anybody. I'm saying it right now: When I discovered pot in 1982, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. That was when my life started coming together. I wouldn't be where I am today without it. As far as I'm concerned, it isn't a narcotic, it's an elixir.

I'm saying it, but my statement has no force, because I have no standing in society. My name is known in some circles, but it isn't known to the public.

To have any force, the statement would have to be made by someone who has enough stature to pull it off. Tiger Woods could say that pot is a good thing. Oprah Winfrey might be able to do it. A couple of years ago, when he had just set a new home run record, Mark MacGuire could have done it. Right after the Gulf War, General Colin Powell could have done it. Bill Gates could do it. Fifty years ago Albert Einstein could have done it, but I don't think any scientist today occupies the same position in the public imagination. Thirty years ago Billy Graham could have done it. Today I don't think we have a religious figure who commands that much respect.

I'm not suggesting that any of those people would do it. Obviously, they wouldn't. Nor am I suggesting that any of them smoke pot. As far as I know, they don't. (Bill Gates dropped acid when he was a student at Harvard, but I imagine he left all that behind many years ago.) I'm just speculating about what kind of persona would be required to challenge the accepted belief system. Who could stand up and say that the emperor is naked? It would have to be someone who had become famous for some other reason, not someone like Timothy Leary, who made a career out of advocating psychedelics.

It would have to be someone who would not destroy his own credibility by speaking out. Alan Greenspan's words certainly carry weight, but if he said marijuana is a good thing, he would lose his reputation overnight. He isn't in a position to say that. Not many people are. I'm not sure anyone is. Not even Tiger Woods. Not even Oprah.

If a scientist made a stunning discovery, and became as famous as Einstein, and if he went to Stockholm to accept his Nobel Prize and said "I was stoned when I thought of this idea," that would be a turning point. A scientist could say that, because in his case it would be self-validating. But even then, it wouldn't stick, if he were a lone voice.

If a famous billionaire stood up and said "I wouldn't be where I am today without pot," people would have to listen. The statement would be self-validating in his case too. But if he were a lone voice with no one backing him up, his statement wouldn't have enough force to turn things around.

Conceivably a religious leader could emerge with enough stature to say that the war on marijuana is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This would be very, very difficult to pull off, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

What it would take is for more than one prominent person to say "I'm stoned and I'm proud." If a famous athlete said that, and then a famous entertainer spoke up and said "Yes, I agree, and it's high time somebody said that," and then if a famous scientist and a billionaire chimed in and said the same thing, then everybody would have to pay attention. No single individual could do it. It would have to be several speaking up at once.

I don't know if that will ever happen.

Another possibility would be a bottom up approach: not famous people speaking up in public, but ordinary people speaking up among their friends and neighbors.

One time I went to a lecture in the math department at Stanford. The lecturer was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a marijuana bud -- a beautiful bud, like a High Times centerfold -- and the caption said "This bud's for you."

This young man isn't known to the public, but he does have credibility in his own community, the mathematical community. He stood up in front of the group and made a statement. If thousands of people would do that, in every walk of life, then it would make a difference. What we have to do is just be ourselves, whoever we are, wherever we are.

Everybody is supposed to maintain the pretense of unanimity about drugs. All we have to do is challenge that unanimity. Just stop hiding. When somebody says pot is a bad thing, speak up. I don't mean speak up in public, I mean speak up in our own neighborhoods.

A couple of years ago, one of my neighbors said something about his drinking problem. I said, jokingly, that he would be better off to smoke pot. He said that would be even worse. I said, more seriously now, pointing to myself, "This is what a pot smoker looks like." Since I was the very picture of exuberant, glowing health, my statement was self-validating. He looked at me in surprise and didn't say anything.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2005 at 12:33:28 PT
The VNA "will continue" ..
"The Virginia Nurses Association (VNA), representing 80,000 Nurses, at their October 2004 VNA Delegate Assembly, resolved that:

"The Virginia Nurses Association will continue to support legislation that would legalize the medically prescribed use of cannabis/Marijuana for the purpose of relieving pain and distressful symptoms of acute, chronic, or incurable illness."

Even the dimmest bulb can see that something doesn't add up.

The Government continues to stand behind their argument that cannabis has no medical value, they continue to obstruct any real scientific effort to study cannabis, they gloat over their ability to raid and storm troop sick and dieing people.

When will this madness end?

http://www.medicalcannabis.com/rebuttal.htm



[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by Dark Star on September 03, 2005 at 12:27:39 PT
MLM
If there were one Mary Lynn Mathre for each of the 50 states, this battle would already be over.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by unkat27 on September 03, 2005 at 10:32:38 PT
Why I am Mad
Like many controversial subjects, it all depends on where you live in the USA or the world.

I'm in Western Mass, not California or any other "pot-friendly" state or community, so I don't really know how it is anywhere else.

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