Istook's Illegal Amendment

Istook's Illegal Amendment
Posted by CN Staff on February 25, 2004 at 15:14:30 PT
By Steve Fox, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet 
On February 18, the Marijuana Policy Project joined with three other national organizations in a lawsuit aimed at overturning one of the most egregious attacks on free speech in decades. Anyone who values our democracy – Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal – should hope we succeed. Our organizations attempted to buy a billboard ad on Washington, D.C.'s Metro public transit system questioning the wisdom of our nation's marijuana laws. The ad was rejected, not because of any Metro policy, but because federal law now makes any such advertising effectively illegal on public transit systems. Our suit seeks to have this law, put into effect by an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), declared unconstitutional.
The "Istook Amendment" – attached to the recently-enacted spending bill – denies federal funding to any transit agency that allows the display of any advertisement supporting "the legalization or medical use" of marijuana or any other drug listed in Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Why should you care? Because 75 years ago, America's mothers and grandmothers organized to repeal Prohibition. They did this not because they wanted their children to drink, but because they saw that the attempt to ban alcoholic beverages caused far more harm than it prevented. Prohibition didn't stop people from drinking. It simply handed the liquor trade over to gangsters, sent the violent crime rate through the roof and put children in more danger than ever. We should all be grateful that those moms succeeded. The Marijuana Policy Project exists to minimize the harm associated with marijuana, and – just like the mothers who organized against Prohibition – we believe an honest look at the facts shows marijuana prohibition to be a deadly, destructive failure. Apparently, the message that marijuana prohibition has failed is so powerful that the federal government has resorted to silencing those who wish to convey it. While it is more than willing to spend our taxpayer dollars plastering the DC Metro and other public transit systems with ads supporting prohibition, it is afraid to let private groups buy ad space to say, "Wait a minute. This isn't working." The truth is the government is silencing us because they know that we are right. We are right when we say law enforcement resources would be better directed toward preventing and investigating violent crimes, rather than arresting marijuana smokers. We are right when we say it is illogical to arrest people for smoking marijuana when every major government study on the subject has concluded that marijuana is far less harmful – to the user and to society – than alcohol. And we are right when we join with American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Nurses Association to say that marijuana can be an effective medicine for seriously ill patients. So, the battle over the Istook Amendment is a battle to protect our First Amendment rights, but this is part of a larger war to reform this nation's illogical marijuana laws. And just as we have no doubt that we will succeed in this lawsuit, we are equally certain that, in time, we will win the war as well. Steve Fox, Director of Government Relations for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, is the father of two children, ages one and two. Source: AlterNet (US)Author: Steve Fox, AlterNetPublished: February 25, 2004Copyright: 2004 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Targets Ban on Pro-Pot Ads Face Lawsuit in Censorship Fight You Ready For Some Censorship?
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Comment #27 posted by afterburner on February 26, 2004 at 14:28:52 PT:
Re #23
Apparently Howard Stern got bumped because his employer is testifying before Congress. Even Wolf Blitzer couldn't fathom what Howard was guilty of since he has been doing the same kind of shtick as long as Wolf has been listening. The ill winds of prohibition may be blowing strongly right now, but you can still enjoy a classic episode of That 70's Show, thanks to the Internet: High Society: That 70's Show
High Society with David Malmo-Levine 
Running Time: 22 min 
Date Entered: 25 Sep 2002 
Viewer Rating: 9.58 (187 votes) 
Number of Views: 16030 
 "The sitcom classic where the boys and girls of That 70's show get caught with the demon weed. May be the best anti-reefer madness, anti-parental hysteria shots at drug prohibition from Cable TV. " 
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on February 26, 2004 at 13:42:16 PT
The GCW 
You could be right. I guess it's wishful thinking. I'll be glad when the race is between Kerry and Bush so maybe more issues can get talked about. We won't see much as far as our news goes until Cannabis can be addressed and that won't happen until Kerry is the only one running against Bush. It's early in the election year so we can wait. Hopefully after Super Tuesday Kerry will have what he needs to secure the nomination but maybe it will take longer. I don't know. I have a cold! I don't think well at all when I have a code in my nose! LOL!
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Comment #25 posted by The GCW on February 26, 2004 at 13:21:09 PT
I know how YOu feel... but I don't see Kerry giving Kucinich a position...Remember how bush got into the Presidents seat??? and it was thought that bush would bend a little toward the Dem's viewpoints... but the exact opposite is what We've seen... 
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on February 26, 2004 at 08:52:32 PT
Two Interesting Articles
Here are two articles. One is about Ed Forchion and one about Dana Beal.Court keeps 'Weedman' name-change request alive: 'CSI' is high on lie:
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on February 26, 2004 at 08:38:27 PT
Nuevo Mexican 
I'm glad Dennis did well. I'm also glad that Kerry is doing well. If it had been Dean or Edwards I would be very upset. Dennis will get an important position in Kerry's administration if Kerry beats Bush. I sure hope he does. Kerry has money and you have to have money to get your opinions out and on the air. Rosie is getting married and that will make Bush look all the dumber with his self righteousness. Howard Stern getting bumped is wrong but because of Jackson's stunt we will see more censorship on the radio and TV. Neil Young at his age has to hit the road to promote his album Greendale because it won't be played on any Clear Channel station. I like these words from Amazing Grace..I was blind but now I see!We see truth and we are doing something about it. Promote those you respect and push, push, push and we will win! 
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Comment #22 posted by Nuevo Mexican on February 26, 2004 at 08:20:57 PT
Kerry used the Dean Killer: the Phone Bank!
and pulled out a last minute win over Dennis Kucinich, the same method used to defeat Howard Dean in Iowa.Too bad the Democratic King Makers can spend a few bucks on a massive phone bank to defeat Dennis, who got where he got with personal appearances, and real appeal to the base, instead of the modern day equivalent of ballot stuffing, legal of course!Don't worry folks, kerry has it all 'sewn up', with the 'machine' behind him, but Hawaiis' vote should tell people where the heart of the Democratic Party lies, with Dennis 'Mr. Integrity', Kucinich, not with the ole boys from Washington, (even though Kerry trumps bush, he's really paving the way for the peoples unheard voices to make a difference in the remaining primaries). I think Ralph Nader deciding to run also boosted Dennis' votes, as the message of Dennis and Ralph are so similiar, the free publicity he got only benefited Dennis. Any arguments with that one?Dennis would've won, if he had the big bucks for a paid phone bank, I make these calls for Dennis on my own dime, as many here do as well, its called grassroots support!A last-minute phone bank to seek support plus the endorsement of most of the Democratic establishment gave U.S. Sen. John Kerry a victory in the Hawaii Democratic caucus tonight.Democrats across the state gathered in caucus meetings tonight to select a presidential candidate.They gave U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich his first second place finish in a Democratic contest and his first elected delegates, according to Bart Dame, Hawaii Kucinich organizer.The Hawaii win capped a day of caucus victories for Kerry in Utah and Idaho.In Hawaii, Kerry and Kucinich were the only candidates to win delegates as the others failed to get the needed 15 percent of the votes.Alex Santiago, Democratic Party chairman, said the caucuses were surprisingly well-attended, noting that there were 4,000 Democrats voting. Four years ago, there were only 1,200 ballots in a race that saw former Vice President Al Gore easily win over former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley. latest on same sex marriage: the bush backlash backfires!SAN FRANCISCO - Former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell (news) said she planned to marry her longtime girlfriend Thursday in San Francisco, where more than 3,300 other same-sex couples have tied the knot since Feb. 12. O'Donnell announced her planned wedding to Kelli Carpenter on ABC News' "Good Morning America," just two days after President Bush (news - web sites) called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Blair follows bush into oblivion!UK Spies Bugged UN Chief, Claims Short 
by John Deane 
British agents spied on the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in the run-up to the Iraqi war, the former International Development Secretary Clare Short claimed today.Ms Short - who quit the Cabinet in protest against the war - made the claim while being interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today program about the implications of the collapse of the case against GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun.Asked whether British agencies had been involved in spying activities against Mr Annan, Ms Short said: "I know, I have seen transcripts of Kofi Annan's conversations."Indeed, I have had conversations with Kofi in the run-up to war thinking 'Oh dear, there will be a transcript of this and people will see what he and I are saying'."A file photograph shows then International Development Secretary Clare Short (L) being greeted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the United Nations in New York on March 19, 2003. Short said on Thursday that Britain conducted spying operations on United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the run-up to last year's war on Iraq. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine-Files
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on February 26, 2004 at 07:57:09 PT
Very nice web site! Keep up the good work! We really are winning! It doesn't seem that way sometimes but we really are!
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on February 26, 2004 at 07:48:41 PT
Thanks Dankhank
Here are the links! What ever happened to Peace on Earth? High Speed: Up:
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Comment #19 posted by Dankhank on February 26, 2004 at 07:31:58 PT:
goto and right-click on the smaller file MP3 and download it.It is LESS than a Meg, (855,000), and will fit as an attachment on even the most niggardly of e-mail sites.Send it to EVERYONE, I am going to send it to a bunch of talking heads on FoxNews, now, and my friends and relatives later.
Hemp N Stuff
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Comment #18 posted by darwin on February 26, 2004 at 06:41:39 PT
Way to go Kucitizens!FOM, Our website is up at:www.cohr.orgIts still rough as we're just starting to put up content.
They reguested that I take out the graphics I wanted to use as they want to make the site as palatable as possible to the general public, so no leafs! Thanks anyways though, I really liked that red cross picture with the small leaf.I'll be at the causcus in my state next week to show my support for Kucinish. I'm still on the post as to wether Kerry deserves my support simply because he's better than Bush. I went through the post at Kerry's sight, and it appears the issue is getting marginalized. I have serious doubts that a former prosecuting attorney is going to help reform these terrible laws. 
Should our voting block swing right to support the lesser of 2 evils, or should the Democratic party swing left to recapture its forgotten voter base? 
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Comment #17 posted by The GCW on February 26, 2004 at 05:37:39 PT
Government subsidized extortion? FL: Woman Trades Car to DeputiesPinellas Deputies Signed the Agreement Promising No Charges. A Sheriff's Spokeswoman Says It Was a Misunderstanding. ST. PETERSBURG - Days after two Pinellas sheriff's deputies found a pound of marijuana in her car, a 31-year-old woman says they offered her an unusual way to stay out of jail. Give them the car. Deputies told her last week that they would not charge her with a felony if she agreed to give the Sheriff's Office her vintage 1968 Buick Skylark, according to an agreement signed by the woman and the deputies. Sheriff's officials deny that they offered her that choice. 
Cont....for the cause of exterminating and persecuting a plant.
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Comment #16 posted by Nuevo Mexican on February 26, 2004 at 01:10:50 PT
Forgot to mention, Kucinich beat Kerry on Maui!
Too Cool FOM! You know how happy we Kucitizens are!Time to celebrate!It can happen folks, if you just believe it can happen!Or better yet, as Dennis says: can I become President?Yes, if you vote for me. It is that simple.had for its caucuses," Starr said. "The thing that was unique is Kucinich had a huge sweep on Maui." He credited Kucinich's strong showing on Maui to the appearances made by the Ohio congressman in October and on Sunday in one-day campaign visits, and the effort of Kucinich campaign leaders, including Ave Diaz. "It demonstrates one of those basic political truths that you have to go out and touch people. It means you have to reach out and connect with people," Starr said. Diaz was ecstatic in reporting the numbers received by her candidate, although the victory on Maui did not carry over statewide, where Sen. John Kerry triumphed overall.
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Comment #15 posted by Nuevo Mexican on February 26, 2004 at 01:02:18 PT
DJKucinich 2nd place in Hawaii w/30%, 50% on Maui!
New Hampshire last week: 15%! What's going on here?Could the media be lying, or more likely, afraid of the power of Dennis Kucinich? You bet! Why else marginalize his message of mass appeal!This confirms the need for the Cannabis Community to throw their weight behind Dennis, as Kerrys' little finger can beat bushes billions, and the Cannabis Message needs to heard loud and clear.Without Dennis' plan of ending cannabis prohibition, Kerry is lost on Drug Reform.And if bushes billions do cripple Kerry, which I doubt, Dennis would make a great V.P. and guarantee Kerrys' safety from the hit squads, as they truly fear the 'anti-corporate' message of Kucinich.As fate would have it, Dennis will be positioned as a Front-runner in 2008, if Kerry hasn't been wellstoned by the Repubes. And its a long way til November 2nd. Our man DJK will benefit from his widely supported stand on Gay Marriage, making the issue of ending Cannabis prohibition a slam dunk and an easy call for Dennis, (while everyone is distracted by much more emotionally riveting controversies).Its' called 'perspective'! The world has changed radically in the last two weeks, for the better, watch the positive changes accelerate at an amazing rate, and Dennis' message regarding Cannabis is propelled into the mainstream.Example: When Tucker Carlson reported gleefully that Dennis Won Maui with 50%, he said it was because of Mauis' reputation for growing the best pot in the world. Which most of us know, but now that CNN has made it a 'fact', and associated Maui Wowie with Dennis, as the MAIN reason for his win, which could easily be true!
And proves my point!
Once the 'mainland' wakes up to Dennis' stand on cannabis, Kerry will be forced to adopt his stance, somewhat at least, or make Dennis his 'gay marriage/legal pot vote. The time is 30 years overdue, can we have our lives back now Richard Nixon, now that George Bush has brought the 60's and 'culture war' back into the Election.HAWAII CAUCUS RESULTS:
kERRY 46%, kUCIINICH: 30%, EDWARDS: 16%Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry won over the majority of Hawai'i Democrats in last night's presidential preference poll, taking about 46 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results. Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, considered a longshot candidate, took second place in the poll with 30 percent.Bart Dame, co-chairman of the Kucinich campaign here, was "ecstatic," and said the final numbers were better than he expected."We knew we were getting delegates prior to his visit but we didn't know by how much of a margin," he said. "I think there's no question that when he came the next time we knew we had about 800 to 900 people who went out to hear him and we knew that was just the tip of the iceberg." YOU, HAWAII!Kucinich 2nd with 30% in Hawaii Primary
February 25, 2004
The results from yesterday's primary are in, and Dennis placed 2nd in the Hawaii primary with 30% of the vote. This gives him 8 of Hawaii's 20 unpledged delegates, who will go to the national convention in Boston in July. In Maui, Dennis won with 50% of the vote. In other primaries yesterday, Dennis took 7% of the vote in Utah and 6% in Idaho. Maui Turns Out for Kucinich
 Honolulu Star-Bulletin Report on the Results
 Mahalo from Hawaii Organizer Ave DiazWillie Nelson and his wife Annie are among Dennis' strongest supporters in Hawaii. To celebrate Dennis' success in Hawaii, Willie wants to you to hear the song he wrote about Dennis on Christmas:Listen to "What Ever Happened to Peace On Earth"Marriage Amendment Divisive
February 24, 2004
Dennis Kucinich, in response to President Bush's announcement today on the proposed Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman, made the following statement: "I oppose the amendment. Equal protection of the law, including the right to marry. must be made available to all Americans regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation The amendment as supported by the president is a continuation of his divisive policies which are not worthy of a free nation or a freedom-loving people." 
[Read more]Nader Urges Dems to Vote Kucinich
February 24, 2004
When asked by CNN if he still supports Kucinich, Nader responded: “I still urge Democrats in the primary to support him. I’ve worked with him for 30 years. I would love him to be the Democratic nominee.” [Read the article]
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Comment #14 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 25, 2004 at 20:08:59 PT
The guy we love, ha ha
I think that Bush is very ego-centric, very focused on his needs, and of course his friends.I've found that people without a soul or lost soul are very angry, selfish, have blocks and are on automatic pilot -- as if a part of them is not there or it's missing.It was reported too that while governor his state had the most death sentences out of any state. Tough on crime or no soul, it makes a person kind of wonder. Either way, I don't think a bad ass texan of his type is good for the world.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 25, 2004 at 19:10:18 PT
Thank you. That was very kind of you to say. Bush does scare me. 
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Comment #12 posted by JSM on February 25, 2004 at 18:56:54 PT
Your last comment about Bush was one of the most insightful observations I have ever read on this site (or anywhere else)and I have been lurking around here for over 5 years or so.We can not thank you enough for everything you do here.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 25, 2004 at 18:35:58 PT
I have very strong religious beliefs but I don't talk about them. It is important for me not to say how I feel out of respect for those on CNews who believe in another way or don't have a belief base for lack of what I should call it. Believe me I am very much aware of what is happening and maybe we can't stop it. I do know that Bush has something very important missing from his character. I think it's ok to say this. I call it soul. I don't mean he doesn't have a soul but he doesn't have a spiritual connection to a higher being that he professes to serve. People like that really are scary and can be dangerous.
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Comment #10 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 25, 2004 at 18:23:07 PT
More off topic -- FoM
Bible code: When they looked up the word Bush it came up with did not win, and mistake. The world -- especially Europe, and some of us know what a mistake he really is.Several months before attacking Iraq he ordered 10,000 body bags. He WANTED this war and wasn't afraid to use those bags, even with the mandate from Congress to go the diplomatic route. He just went though the motions of that agreement knowing exactly what he and daddy wanted (who he speaks to 3 or more times a day).I think today he committed political suicide by cutting social security through Greenspan. All those potential seniors waiting to get some relief from the system will have their hard earned money diverted to a war on terror. A war that's unlikely to win. I think the book 1984 had the idea to keep the public in continual war to justify policies to destory free speech, privacy, etc.This Iraq war is the 3rd and final war. Global war = world war, just another way to say it. Just imagine: An American President found an oppurtunity to secure the oil region via 9/11. By the way, it's documented, they knew about the 9/11 threat. Keep hoping Bush doesn't blunder anymore in the next 10 months or sell us out some more.
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on February 25, 2004 at 18:08:25 PT
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." - Mahatma Gandhi The prohibitionists can no longer afford to ignore us. Laughing at us and ridiculing us no longer works with the masses. The prohibitionists are now at the stage of desperation. They are left with no choice but to attack us, but this is a lose-lose situation for them. We welcome the battle. Let the games begin!The way out is the way in...Hastert Tells White House He Won't Extend 9/11 Panel: will not publicly testify for 9/11 probe: Inaction Angers Some on 9/11 Panel: CitizensWatch News/Lobbying Initiative:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 25, 2004 at 17:52:10 PT
sukoi Thank You That Sounds Great!
MikeEEEEE sometimes I wonder why I care about the earth. I don't have any living children so as long as the old earth holds together until I'm pushing up flowers it really shouldn't matter. That is the way some people feel. I don't though. The earth isn't our to do what we want. It is a living breathing life form. If we don't pay attention and start caring about our earth even fresh water will be hard to find. That is one thing no one can live without. 
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Comment #7 posted by sukoi on February 25, 2004 at 17:26:39 PT
Roger that FoM!
I've saved them and when the thread gets a bit lower, I'll post them for you (along with a link to CNews) and bring it back up to the top. How does that sound?
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Comment #6 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 25, 2004 at 17:24:13 PT
Off topic: Greater threat
"One of the defining traits of leadership is the ability to see not just the crisis right in front of you, but the one lurking around the next corner. Bush's steadfast refusal to act upon the potential desolation that awaits us if we do nothing to confront global warming makes him a major national security liability."
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 25, 2004 at 16:51:50 PT
sukoi a favor
Here are a few interestng links about Hemp. I know you post On John Kerry's Board and thought you might want to post these links for me. Thanks! That saves me from signing up and posting. I'm sick and even signing up is hard for me to do right now.Hemp Car: Refill Madness - The Village Voice: News Hemp Archives:
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on February 25, 2004 at 16:50:35 PT:
It's my opinion that martial law is already in effect against marijuana users. As far as morality is concerned, the very people who say marijuana is wrong, lie about it's dangers, arrest, kill, and/or incarcerate OUR young people, OUR sick people, and OUR dying people. The government hasn't been on moral ground in some time.
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Comment #3 posted by sukoi on February 25, 2004 at 16:31:04 PT
This is interesting!
"We are right when we say law enforcement resources would be better directed toward preventing and investigating violent crimes, rather than arresting marijuana smokers".And learning basic spelling it would seem! I wonder, who is actually “impaired”? Look at the first word in the caption under the picture. Do you think that the people over at the DEA might not be minding their “P’s and Q’s”? here is some news about that initiative in Nevada:
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on February 25, 2004 at 16:30:47 PT:
About as clear a warning shot as any
And one the Feds now know they must deal with directly. They will not be able to fob us off as 'whackey legalizers', as reformers have been called by DEA Agents at DEAWatch. This time a direct challenge, ONE WHICH WE HAVE ALSO WON ON IN THE RECENT PAST (the Conant vs. Walters suit, protecting doctor's First Amendment rights to recommend cannabis). The antis are getting their fingers singed on almost every legal front they try to dominate. Conant vs. Walters, the Hemp ruling, now this idiotic frontal assault on ground they've already lost on before; it really makes you wonder if the antis are catching FuehrerBunker Syndrome. They'll keep telling each other they're winning, with ever greater fervor, as the sounds of their defeat grow closer and closer.When they lose this suit - and they will, it's just too blatant to try to sweep under some Supreme's rugs, no matter how much they have tried to - more positive attention will be drawn to our side from those who had not until they learned of the Istook attack on the First Amendment even heard of drug law reform. Which will result in yet more questions antis don't want answered being asked of them. Barring martial law, we could have cannabis prohibition ended in 2 years under the right Presidential regime. One, that is, that understands it owes its' existnce to the millions of long suffering cannabists who pulled a voting lever for it. Hint, hint, hint to all normally apolitical stoners. Register as Dems, tell the registrars that you've heard both Kucinich and Kerry are for changing the drug laws (make Kerry try to deny it!) and that's partly why you're registering, etc. The word gets back that drug law reform is a hot-button issue with many new registrants. When focus groups get started, the ones with the most to gain will be sufficiently motivated to attend, so we will wind up with opportunities to debate those who are curiously shy when it comes to squaring off against people they publicly deride as not having a legal or moral leg to stand on in the issue and are thus incapable of defending themselves. No matter which way the antis turn, the only avenue of escape offers a distinct lack of dignity. Namely, running with tail between legs.Dear Antis: There were signs all along the way, warning you of the quicksand ahead. But you thought you could walk on water. Now you're in over your knees. And the more you struggle, the deeper you sink, into the morass of lies you created so long ago. To say it is poetic justice is to beggar the term.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on February 25, 2004 at 15:31:50 PT
Great piece - it sounds like the Declaration on Cannandepence! Go get 'em guys
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