Marijuana Compromise Should Go Up in Puff of Smoke

Marijuana Compromise Should Go Up in Puff of Smoke
Posted by CN Staff on November 13, 2005 at 07:42:56 PT
By Tony Messenger
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
Missouri -- The three worlds of Dan Viets have collided. Dan Viets the civil liberties attorney wouldn’t be all that happy with Dan Viets the government conspirator. Stuck in the middle is Dan Viets the marijuana legalization advocate.It was that Viets, the friend of pot, who pushed for passage of an ordinance last year that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in the city limits of Columbia.
Voters a year ago passed a law that would force cops to defer many minor pot cases to municipal court - generally, that was happening anyway - and to basically treat such crimes as no big deal.This year, the cops who enforce that law struck back. They initiated a petition drive to overturn the law. They said voters were misled. They said the law made Columbia less safe. They planned to bring law and order back to the community. Viets, knowing his proposal had failed before and might again depending on the time of year the potential ballot issue might be voted on, called in his alter ego, Dan Viets the government conspirator.That Viets started meeting secretly with Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane to stop the cops in their tracks. Word of these negotiations slipped out, but Viets wouldn’t talk about it. Neither would the cops. All we knew is that Crane, the one man who had trust from both sides, would work with Viets and the cops to try to come up with some sort of compromise. On the surface, it’s a good idea.Columbia is a compromising kind of city. We have room for all sorts of discussion and debate. And elections are expensive. Why not compromise?This is where Viets the government conspirator loses his way.Thanks to the work of Associated Press reporter Alan Scher Zagier, we know what the compromise entails. We also know what Viets expects of the Columbia City Council: a rubber stamp.The compromises themselves generally sound fair enough. Cops will be able to bust repeat offenders and other criminals who try to skirt by using the umbrella of the weakened pot laws. And legalization proponents can avoid another drawn out legal battle.Viets, it turns out, wants no battle at all."This proposal is the result of a long and painstaking process of negotiation," he wrote to Mayor Darwin Hindman, in a letter Zagier obtained through an open-records request. "Any changes beyond the ones which both parties have agreed to will not be supported by either side. … It would be improper for the Council to presume to make any other changes beyond the ones which have been agreed to …"Viets the civil liberties lawyer wouldn’t be happy that a conspiracy of public and private enterprises is trying to bind a public board from changing something they didn’t vote on in the first place. He wouldn’t presume they have a right to do that.This is the Dan Viets who helped fight to force the city to open its airport for proper protests during the annual Memorial Day air show. This is the Dan Viets who sued the state earlier this year because of an unconstitutional drug-testing plan, saying "the effort to enforce marijuana prohibition has led to many attacks on fundamental civil liberties, and this is one of them."This is the Dan Viets who, as a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union, targeted Boone County grand juries in 1998 for their secrecy, saying they didn’t provide defendants due process.Now his doppelganger, Dan Viets the government conspirator, is joining forces with the very man he criticized then to bypass public discussion and change a law that voters approved.The changes might be good.The result might be the best one.But the process is secret, and it’s Viets who specifically asks the mayor to rein in the council and make sure there are no more changes. If this were a discussion over any topic other than one that Viets supported, he’d be the first to scream about closed government, and he’d be right.It shouldn’t matter that Viets’ group brought forward the petition - it was voters who approved it.On behalf of them, Dan Viets the civil liberties attorney would object.Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, he would say, government conducted behind closed doors is no government at all.He would be right.Tony Messenger is a columnist at the Tribune. His column appears on Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday. Complete Title: Secret Marijuana Compromise Should Go Up in Puff of Smoke Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)Author: Tony MessengerPublished: Sunday, November 13, 2005Copyright: 2005 Columbia Daily TribuneContact: editor tribmail.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site: Missouri NORML Law Compromise Would Exempt Offenders in Works on Pot Law Pot Petition Challenged
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Comment #26 posted by global_warming on November 14, 2005 at 16:52:12 PT
Nation by Nation
November 15 is dawningThere is a current discussion,Cannabis may be standing by that RiverThe remnents of our warsOops, someone got caughtHands in the cookie jarCan "we" prepare the table of the lord?TwinkleThere is a "new" dawn,Who will you blame?
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Comment #25 posted by afterburner on November 14, 2005 at 09:14:31 PT
Planetary Peace
City by city, state by state, nation by nationOverwhelm
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Comment #24 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 14, 2005 at 04:49:24 PT
Force Congresses' Hand
If we can get half the states it would have a major impact, that's only about fifteen more. Here in Texas, city by city is the best way to go. Start with Houston, El Paso or Austin, the States' Capitol, they're ready to change the law now.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 14:34:02 PT
Yes I have noticed it. First I'm glad you are ok after the bad storms down in your state. As far as the areas of the USA I think there are many different reasons. When I think of the east coast I think of government, lots of money, big corporations and lots of people. They aren't like the west. I think the people that went west were those who said they wanted to go as far as they can from the east so they would feel free. That's very general but the west has a strong spirit of being free spirits. The south I'm not really sure.
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Comment #22 posted by global_warming on November 13, 2005 at 14:26:20 PT
The South
Is currently held hostageThem good old boysHave not acceptedThat LightThat can fill there soulsOne man on a crossHis bloodPours nither black or white
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Comment #21 posted by rchandar on November 13, 2005 at 14:16:10 PT:
I don't know if you're getting this sentiment. It seems to me that initiatives and new laws liberalizing possession are much more common in the Western states than anywhere else. Seems like when one comes closer to the Mississippi and crosses it, there's a lot more resistance to liberalization, decriminalization, etc etc. There have been a few MMJ laws passed in New Hampshire, but they stubbornly fought it in Massachusetts and Florida. I've no idea why this is, and if I could put my finger on it, perhaps we could change the math! Really the way this should work is that, nationwide, state governments should abandon current policies. When this has been comprehensively done, nationwide, the stage will be set for challenging the Federal Laws.-rchandar
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 13:14:53 PT
Thanks For The Update
I wonder what happened that caused it to go down? 
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Comment #19 posted by global_warming on November 13, 2005 at 13:14:45 PT
Cannabis in your Face
That twinkle in your eyeYour body languageSoothes and pointsTo those stars
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Comment #18 posted by afterburner on November 13, 2005 at 13:12:42 PT
CC Update: Looks Like They've Fixed It
Pot-TV homepage is back up: Pot TV Video Activist Network Culture is now up too.
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Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on November 13, 2005 at 13:07:58 PT
Cannabis Culture
is back up.Hope everyone has a great week. Hatred of Dan Viets drips from this article. A lot of people are about to have to face the facts about cannabis, and they are sooooo reluctant to do that. They will shift their hatred from the plant to the people who free it with negative attacks like this one. These ProhiBitches will fade fast, though.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on November 13, 2005 at 12:51:23 PT
I still cannot get over what happened over the Medical Marijuana vote in Washington, D.C..Everyone in Congress who voted to overrule that vote of the people is, no doubt, a traitor to this country. I still don't understand how they got away with it...and for heaven's sake...why they would want to. That day they completely destroyed the value of the vote to the citizens of this country. What a bleak day that was...and still is. There is no doubt in my mind that they are indeed, true traitors.
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Comment #15 posted by Rainbow on November 13, 2005 at 12:25:41 PT
"People who tamper with the votes of the citizens should be charged as traitors to the Democracy."Hope I was humoured reading your last line. Remember when the congress would not honor a vote by the people of Wash. DC because congress controls them? Remember when King George schrub was put in office?I look forward to seeing the tribunals when the War on some Drugs is over and people are actually branded with a big T like Bush, Ashcroft, Souder, Macafery, Bennet, Nixon, and the list goes on.Yes we should ask for a tribunals of the people who would hurt others so much.I have just asked my priest why the catholic church goes along with the drug war. I told him that merely being quiet means they are supportive much like they were supportive of assaults on young children. WWJD - well he would probably kick out the current catholic administration yes the bishops and arch bishops.
BTW I haven't gotten an answer yet. The bishop did not answer me either.Cheers,
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Comment #14 posted by CorvallisEric on November 13, 2005 at 12:02:01 PT
Might help to know where the author stands
Tony Messenger in the Columbia Daily Tribune, March 13, 2005:... assistant White House drug czar Scott Burns came to Columbia to talk about the dangers of pot. I happened to agree with Burns’ message. Pot is a gateway drug, and decriminalizing it does a disservice to our city. It’s worth taking a stand and teaching young people smoking dope isn’t a harmless affair.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 12:01:17 PT
Off Topic: Off To War
This series is on all day and keeps repeating on the Times-Discovery Channel. If anyone has this channel and hasn't seen any of this series I highly recommend it. It has me with tears in my eyes one more time. What good young men.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 11:42:36 PT
I just checked CCs source by right clicking my mouse and it is empty of content. It looks like the page has been erased for some reason.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 11:26:11 PT
I hope it isn't a hack attack. I noticed something wrong on CNews yesterday. The front page had way too many hits for a weekend but my internal stats seemed ok. I also check Mapinc. stats everyday when I check CNews and something is really wrong with their stats today. It showed huge hits on articles and they can't be right. Maybe someone is trying to give us all grief?
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on November 13, 2005 at 11:11:00 PT
RE Comments #1-4: John Tyler & FoM
I got the white page, too. However, Pot-TV is somewhat functional at Pot TV Video Activist Network example:Pot TV News Report 
Cannabis Conundrum - Vancouver Public Meeting
Cannabis Conundrum - 28/09/05: A panel of experts came together at the Vancouver Library, in an open forum, to discuss the cannabis issue.
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Comment #9 posted by siege on November 13, 2005 at 10:56:48 PT
family safe
This radio station prides its self in being a family safe show, song (Take your hands off my willy) they took it off the air for 3 days when it come out. and then put it backon after an cry out... Then tequila # 5 comes along and take off her cloths. 
what is the Message there, take your date out and get her drunk and take her cloths off for Kicks!  ( PROMOTE ALCOHOL )  DRINK AND GET SICK!!!      
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on November 13, 2005 at 10:53:36 PT
" was voters who approved it."
Where's the Democracy?Where has it gone?What is wrong with this country?Another chapter in the ongoing disappointment in what this country is, or has become, as opposed to what I was taught and believed it was, a true Democratic Republic, of the people, by the people, and for the people.Tampering with the vote?That is so disgusting and disappointing.Where is Democracy in this country? While our leaders claim to be spreading Democracy throughout the world, it's crippled and dieing here. They're "spreading" something alright, but I don't think it's democracy.People who tamper with the votes of the citizens should be charged as traitors to the Democracy.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on November 13, 2005 at 10:34:25 PT
Mama Willie
Good to see you. You've been too quiet too long.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 09:46:21 PT
The scary words just can't be heard. It really is getting stupid anymore. 
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Comment #5 posted by mamawillie on November 13, 2005 at 09:40:46 PT
As an aside.. something truly stupid
I was watching VH1's top twenty countdown and Gwen Stefani's song "Luxurious" came one. There is one line in the song that says something like, "We have hydroponic love and we'll smoke it." And VH-1 paused out the word HYDROPONIC. OOOH, scary word. Hydroponic. All the kids will go crazy. Hydroponic BAD. Must delete.Give me a F-ing break.Love to you all.Mama
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 08:21:18 PT
John Tyler 
You're welcome. Usually when a page goes down it is being worked on I think. It could be a server problem too. 
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on November 13, 2005 at 08:16:56 PT
That is all I got too. I will check them later. Have nice day.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 13, 2005 at 08:12:24 PT
John Tyler 
I just checked for you and all I got was a white page. Maybe they are working on the page or something.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on November 13, 2005 at 08:06:36 PT
off topic
Has anyone been to lately? I tried to go there just now and the site would not come up. Check it out please. Maybe it is just my connection, or maybe something is going on. I would like to know.
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