Pot Icon Tommy Chong Makes Movie 

Pot Icon Tommy Chong Makes Movie 
Posted by CN Staff on September 10, 2005 at 22:17:25 PT
By Cameron French
Source: Reuters
Toronto -- Comedian Tommy Chong has spent almost three decades wringing laughs from cigar-sized joints and smoke-filled vans but now a nine-month jail term has turned him serious and revitalized his flagging career.Promoting his documentary "a/k/a Tommy Chong" at the Toronto International Film Festival, he hopes the film will expose what he says is the U.S. government's heavy-handed dealing with marijuana offenders in the post-September 11 era.
"The United States is under martial law, it's under dictatorship," the 67-year-old father of four said in an interview.The film chronicles the Canadian-born comedian's 2003 arrest and imprisonment for selling drug paraphernalia online to an undercover U.S. drug enforcement agent.The bust was part of a sting operation known as "Operation Pipe Dreams," which the film likens to a witch hunt by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft following claims that drug trafficking financed terrorist activities.The film's producers say the federal government spent $12 million pursuing Chong and compare that to the $25 million bounty for the capture of Osama bin Laden.Chong has been an outspoken marijuana advocate since his days in the Cheech and Chong comedy team, which rode pot culture to fame in the 1970s with films like "Up in Smoke" and "Still Smokin."The documentary suggests the government's motive was not to rid the Internet of a mail-order pipe-and-bong business but to send a message about Chong's three decades of movies and stand-up routines celebrating marijuana use. "DEA AFRAID""The DEA was afraid that 'Up in Smoke' (the 1978 movie that made Cheech and Chong a household name) was going to be around forever and ever subverting young kids," Chong said. "Now, we've got this documentary that's going to be around forever."Faced with the prospect of seeing his wife and son -- who was running the pipe business -- being prosecuted, Chong said he made a deal to serve nine months in a minimum-security prison."It was easier for me to go to jail and do the time than it would be to fight," he said.Since his release in 2004, Chong has worked the ordeal into his comedy routines and has been enjoying a larger stage than in his recent past."Jay Leno is a good example," he said. "He had me on the 'Tonight Show' before but just for little peripheral things, never on the couch, and when this happened, now I've been on the couch twice now.""It's like the weed culture. You just wait, it'll change. Everything changes. Bush won't be in power forever, Ashcroft is already gone. There's going to be another cycle and it's going to go the other way."Complete Title: Pot Icon Tommy Chong Makes Movie of his ImprisonmentSource: Reuters (Wire)Author: Cameron FrenchPublished: Saturday, September 10, 2005Copyright: 2005 Reuters LimitedRelated Articles & Web Site:He's Taking One Big Hit Chong’s Bongs Is Your Government on Drugs 
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Comment #27 posted by global_warming on September 12, 2005 at 17:30:45 PT
What did you mean by that, global_warming?
I'm trying to figure out,When that last innocent black person was hangedLynching and Gas Chambers have a certain similtude,Though "pot" is a denied medicine,You can bet, that my legal prescribed medicenesAre largely beyond my monetary monetaryHopefully, my circumspectionWill fade in the tapestryOf that Cosmic comedyMaybe you will wonderHow is that old g_w doingMaybe, my new typewriterMay type, but has no place to goWish i could connect with you eejayRunning late, must take a shower,To wash off that filthThat smell,That reminds me,That i am a human being.
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Comment #26 posted by mayan on September 12, 2005 at 02:22:47 PT
"But I think of pot as a life saving medicine being denied to sick people because the prohibitionists have convinced the public that what we really want is to turn America into one bing Cheech and Chong movie."Considering that nearly 80% of Americans support medical cannabis, the prohibitionists haven't done a very good job of convincing the public of anything. 
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Comment #25 posted by ekim on September 11, 2005 at 20:46:31 PT
Dick Cowans page says, “info the DEA has so far disclosed to (Emery’s) lawyer, John Conroy, indicates that its agents scanned both the incoming and outgoing mail for his seed operation in the weeks prior to his arrest on July 29…. Spokespeople with neither the DEA nor the U.S. Department of Justice in Seattle, Washington, could - or would - shed any light on this caper. Ditto for RCMP spokesperson Paul Marsh, who refers all questions on the matter to Foreign Affairs in Ottawa, which did not return calls. Seattle-based prosecutor Todd Greenberg is a little more forthcoming. "They're trying to make people angry against their government and the U.S. government," he says of the alleged DEA sting, before saying there could be further arrests. 
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. Ian Hillman at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver, suggests just how large the Emery probe has become, saying, “This nearly involves every state. There are aspects of the investigation where it's not in our interest to reveal how many people are working on it. [But] I understand it involves dozens of people on both sides of the border.”In other words, Canada’s collaboration with the DEA has put a number of American patients in danger of being arrested under US federal marijuana laws that will not allow the patients even to suggest that they have a medical problem that they might be treating with cannabis. I think that it would be very unwise for anyone in DEAland to buy seeds by mail from Canada
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Comment #24 posted by ekim on September 11, 2005 at 20:37:42 PT
some thoughts on our show tomarrow
the local sheriff will be our guest -- would like to know of the 5000 misdemener arrests last year how many were for just holding, or using, cannabis.
and 2500 felony arrests what for. the jail issue has been voted down the last two times at bat.
 Leap has offered to come in and do Plan B where they will foot the bill for a open and frank discussion on how the community can reduce the cost and still offer protection to the people with fully working models in communitys that have changed drug laws and those that affect drug laws.     Police chiefs are appointed, sheriffs are elected. What impact does that have on the job? 
    I read in the latest edition of The Economist that the number of inmates in American prisons rose by 25% between 1996 and 2004 - did the       same increase apply to jails?
The same article states that in America we incarcerate 726 per 100.000 (England 142, France 91)
    Are we locking away folk who could be fined or monitored in the community.
Roll-in 1  
    In the US we assume that a person is innocent until proven guilty and that the guilty are sent to jail/prison as punishment, not for punishment.     Since many jail inmates are awaiting trial, severe overcrowding sounds like punishment of the yet to be proven guilty! 
    What inmate management problems does overcrowding produce? 
    David Rusk stated that there was a zero relationship between race and crime, but a direct relationship between poverty and crime. Do           poor / mentally ill / illiterate / low job skill people form a large proportion of you jail population. What could be done about the latter two         characteristics while a man or a women is incarcerated. What could the community do.
    Tell us about recidivism.
Roll-in 2 
 It appears that a well trained staff can protect a community in several ways (good inmate assessment, fewer legal challenges etc.) 
 How do       you get the right people and keep them trained and motivated.
    Back to the Economist - we have private prisons that can be built in 15 months vs. up to 5 years for state prisons and 8 years for              federal prisons. Could there be private jails.
 The millage request will not go back to the electorate in 2005. If taxes cannot be raised - what are the options.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on September 11, 2005 at 20:07:36 PT
Thanks EJ I Love Weeds
Excerpt from article: A new offering, "Weeds," is off to a strong start. The show, starring Mary-Louise Parker, is based on the adventures of a suburban mother who sells drugs to make ends meet.In its first full week, the show generated a cumulative audience of 2.1 million viewers, 15 percent of all Showtime subscribers. In its second week, that figure fell 20 percent, to 1.7 million viewers. Since then it has held steady, indicating that so far, it has a loyal audience.
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Comment #22 posted by E_Johnson on September 11, 2005 at 19:59:40 PT
Hey Showtime is betting on Weeds
Looks like Weeds is very important to Showtime's business goal to top HBO.
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Comment #21 posted by E_Johnson on September 11, 2005 at 19:32:18 PT
What did you mean by that, global_warming?
Are you accusing me of something? Why do you bring up lynchings and the Holocaust? What is that supposed to mean?And why do you use the n-word? Is this some shock tactic meant to give you command of some stage?
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Comment #20 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2005 at 14:43:46 PT
"But I think of pot as a life saving medicine being denied to sick people because the prohibitionists have convinced the public that what we really want is to turn America into one bing Cheech and Chong movie.So there you go, I'm boring and serious, because I feel like lives are at stake and it's just not a subject of humor any more."Hate to bring up nigger lynchings, or jewish gas chambers, or the many millions who will stand as witness, in this life, that is a tribunal, that hears all of our words.There is no medicine,In This The cosmic realityWe can join Or kill each ohterSwingeling PedulumsMay be some abstractionThat offers comfortWhile some may ponderThe last scrap of greaseLet UsCome to GraceFreedomCalls our namesgwwww:shitholewithnobegging
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on September 11, 2005 at 14:38:03 PT
Boring and Serious
EJ yes you are serious but you have never bored me. I agree with you too. I was just told about a lady who works in home health and she cares for an MS patient and she smokes and gets relief. Medical marijuana is everywhere!
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Comment #18 posted by E_Johnson on September 11, 2005 at 14:19:47 PT
shishaldin, Stedenko doesn't make up for it
Even Chong and Marin are still trying to live down their moronic characters.I see it all the time in the LA Times. Cheech Marin is a respected collector of Mexican art. Every article about him or his collection has to explain he's not REALLY the witless, irresponsible moron everyone remembers him playing those movies.It's almost thirty years later, and people still can't get over that image of the brainless careless pothead.Okay, it's a comedian's job to be funny. But what's happened to this community since those images became fixed in the public mind hasn't been at all humorous.Maybe people who are stoners by choice don't feel so bothered, because it's all in good fun, right?But for a medical user, look, a lot of us are professionals or intellectuals or are engaged in some kind of serious work or lifestyle where we don't want to be associated with the kinds of characters Chong and Marin chose to portray.Yes, the medical marijuana movement has brought in some serious marijuana users, who want the laws changed, and don't enjoy things that from today's context feel more like obstacles to reform than anything else.Okay, I'm one of those serious types. I guess that's hard to miss.But I think of pot as a life saving medicine being denied to sick people because the prohibitionists have convinced the public that what we really want is to turn America into one bing Cheech and Chong movie.So there you go, I'm boring and serious, because I feel like lives are at stake and it's just not a subject of humor any more.
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Comment #17 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2005 at 13:38:07 PT
Forgive' meNever have been to catch one of them frsky flies,Never much caught anything,Did one tim=me,Catch some glimpseSome man "dragged awayHe ended nailed on a crossHis mother had little to say,We, may oppose crucifixions,And forgive the witnessesThat have seenThose barren crossesWe some dayHave to answereThat day is not suppositionWe carry the TruthThat is which Placed cAREFULLYOn our sacks,.Journey WellOur Halls,Will bring us close,,,gwakaknomeandotherwiseuseless
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Comment #16 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2005 at 12:54:00 PT
The Future
Consider Tribal Fusion,Without Al-Capone
or those bushy plants,
Maybe, some portrait,
May be painted,
When is i too old,
To have one of them leaf t-shirts,..Working on that t-shirt,Working, just working,My last thought,On this nettendom,Rock ONgwThat reminds me,
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Comment #15 posted by Commonsense on September 11, 2005 at 12:27:16 PT
I was just sitting here trying to figure out your post wondering if I was one of the guys extracting the last smidge of grease from a McDonalds burger. I am a little anal with the numbers. It's the former stock broker in me always looking for trends, trying to predict the future. 
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Comment #14 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2005 at 12:23:53 PT
sorry to commonsense
Never ment to post behind your lengthy post with all them statistics.
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Comment #13 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2005 at 12:13:32 PT
Praise George Bush
"As serious as things are, you still have to laugh at it all on a cosmic scale. Otherwise, you end up being swallowed up by it."Given my previous postings, "being swallowed up by it" does not fill my plate.In the hot fire as the flesh is roasted, you learn to move, avoiding those hot coals, gulping down faster, may remind you, or in so many flashes, some scale that is outside of the province, the cosmic scale..There is always common sense, while some stand by the river, singing and praying, there are some who have figured out, how to extract the last smidge of grease, from a mcdonalds burger.
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Comment #12 posted by Commonsense on September 11, 2005 at 12:00:23 PT
I don't believe that crap either. People are lying about whether they've ever smoked pot. The percentage of those 65 and older reporting past use of marijuana actually went down in 2004. It was 6.5% in 2003 and 5.7% in 2004. I just found the 2004 numbers yesterday and when I saw that the word "bullshit" just flew out of my mouth. That percentage should be going up every year because the older people who missed pot becoming popular in the sixties and seventies are dying off. Those in there sixties were in their thirties and late twenties in the 1960's and 1970's. You know there were plenty of them hanging around with a the younger crowd smoking pot. Every year that should affect more people like that should be hitting senior citizen status and at the same time more of those who came before marijuana became popular should be passing on. The percentage of people 65 and older who have smoked marijuana should be rising, as should the percentage of those 60 to 64. The percentage of those 60 to 64 who admit having used marijuana did increase on the 2004 survey to 19.7% from 18.9% in 2003. But, it had decreased in 2003 from 19.2% in 2002. More b.s. It should been at least in the 20's by 2004.Senility is not what is causing this unwillingness to be truthful though. You see this same thing with young people too. In 2002, 62% of 21 year olds reported that they had smoked marijuana. A year later on the 2003 NSDUH, only 58.3% of these 21 year olds who were by then 22 reported lifetime use of marijuana. By the 2004 NSDUH, only 52.6% of these people who were at the time of the 2004 survey 23 years old reported that they had smoked marijuana at some point in their lives. What the heck is going on? Did 446,000 people 21 in 2002 who had smoked marijuana die by June of 2004 when the 2004 survey was conducted? No, that couldn't have been because according to the CDC and other government sources reporting the number of people that die every year less than 25,000 of these kids died every year, and certainly not all of those that did die had smoked marijuana. Look at Tables 1.20 A and B on the 2004 NSDUH link I've provided and the same tables on the 2003 NSDUH I'll provide. People in there early twenties are lying about whether they have ever smoked marijuana. This is probably going on with older people too but it is hard to tell because from age 26 on the NSDUH groups these people in five year categories rather than listing each year of age individually. You can see that it is obvious that people start denying past marijuana use as they get older when you look at the overall number of people who admit having smoked marijuana from year to year. According to the NSDUH, each year two million or more people 12 and older try marijuana. It's been between two and two point five million for many years now, yet look at the overall increase in the number of people who would admit having smoked marijuana from 2003 to 2004. It goes from 96,611,000 to 96,772,000. That's only a difference of 161,000 people. What happened to everyone else? They all became a bunch of liars, that's what. If they weren't a bunch of liars the NSDUH would be reporting that a good bit over a 100,000,000 Americans have smoked marijuana by now. Why do people lie on these surveys? It could be fear, shame, who knows? We do know that people lie on these surveys though not just because these numbers tell us they do but also other studies have shown that a large percentage of people underreport things like drug, alcohol, and tobacco use (all drugs). What the studies also show is that people tend to lie about current use a lot more than they lie about past use. If so many are lying about past use, you can bet money that a lot more are lying about current use. What is interesting to me in looking at many years worth of these surveys is that there are times when people seem to underreport more than they do at other times. It's a pendulum swinging thing. I'm not really sure what causes it.  See Tables 1.20 A and B for the 2002 and 2003 detailed age categories: Tables 1.20 A and B for the 2003 and 2004 detailed age categories:
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Comment #11 posted by Shishaldin on September 11, 2005 at 10:34:23 PT
EJ, watch it again...
EJ, watch Up In Smoke again. Watch Sgt. Stadanko and his goon squad of narcs do a 70's version of the Keystone Cops. I think that their portrayal of narc cops hit just TOO close to home for DEA agents and the Feds who control them. Insecure, power-tripping DEAth dealers and legislators HATE having us mock them and laugh at their stupidity and the destructive and less-than-worthless jobs that they do. Tommy and Cheech knew EXACTLY what they were doing back then (lampooning DEAth narcs), and I hope they do the same thing to the current crop of goons.As serious as things are, you still have to laugh at it all on a cosmic scale. Otherwise, you end up being swallowed up by it.Just my $.02...Peace and Strength,
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Comment #10 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2005 at 10:10:16 PT
"The percentage drops to less than 20% for those 60 to 64 and less than 6% for those 65 and older."Maybe they should drink less from Al-Himers cup, this way they would not forget what they were like when they were younger..
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on September 11, 2005 at 09:57:07 PT
Or maybe that's a comment on the times
I guess the war has made me feel really serious.
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Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on September 11, 2005 at 08:49:36 PT
If only his ego didn't get in the way
The DEA probably LOVES Up in Smoke, because it makes us all out to be hedonistic morons.I guess he still doesn't get it. Oh well, whatever, I'm glad that he's getting more politicized now.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 11, 2005 at 08:07:46 PT
I appreciate your comment.
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Comment #6 posted by Commonsense on September 11, 2005 at 07:51:20 PT
Swinging Pendulum
The pendulum appears to be still swinging in the other direction, but it will swing back. What is happening though while the pendulum is swinging is that those who came before pot became popular are getting old and dying off. They are being replaced by people who more likely than not have smoked marijuana. We're starting to see this in those age groups from which the politicians and bureaucrats who make all the decisions come as well as that group of older voters who tend to out vote younger voters by a high margin. According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, now more than 52% of those 50 to 54 have smoked pot, and around a third of those from 55 to 59 report having done it in their lifetimes. The percentage drops to less than 20% for those 60 to 64 and less than 6% for those 65 and older. The percentage of people having smoked it before for ages 40 to 44 and 45 to 49 are 60.2% and 57.3%, respectively. All of these numbers are probably on the low side because people don't tend to want to tell the federal government about illegal things they've done. People are most likely to vote from age 55 on, and Congress is made up predominantly of people in their 50's and 60's with the older ones generally being the committee leaders and those who for the most part set the tone in the legislature. In the coming years we are going to see these older folks who think we need to be cracking down on pot smokers replaced with people who have done it themselves and who aren't going to be so gung ho to go after people for doing what they have done before themselves. The politicians are going to recognize the changes going on in feelings about marijuana in their most important voting demographics. And it is important to note that this younger generation of leaders and "power voters" are baby boomers who outnumber the older generations by significant margins. Not only are we going to see changes in attitudes in politicians and older voters, we'll see changes in attitudes among bureaucrats and judges and others enforcing the laws in the coming years as well. And more than just changes in attitudes we'll see an increased willingness to speak out against the war on marijuana by those who are already against it, because they'll be the ones in charge rather than the older heavily anti crowd. Things are going to change. The pendulum may swing back in our direction and then back the other way again before marijuana is legal, but my bet is that within twenty years marijuana will be legal in most states. It may happen sooner, but I doubt it does within the next ten or fifteen years. Things always seem to take a long time in the political world. Even after most of the old codgers are replaced it's going to take a while to get marijuana legalized.Here is the 2004 NSDUH. See Table 120B for marijuana use by detailed age category:
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Comment #5 posted by potpal on September 11, 2005 at 05:43:26 PT
Run, Tommy, run...
Isn't a Cheech and Chong movie in the works also? ot...Thank You For Smoking, a film based on the book written by Christopher Buckley is due out soon, if not already. The book is hilarious, hope the movie stands up to it.Grow peace.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on September 11, 2005 at 05:19:09 PT
Mo Chong.
Canada: Web: Chong Says He Was Targeted For His Hippie PersonaPubdate: Thu, 08 Sep 2005
Source: CTV (Canada Web) Tommy Chong rose to fame in the 1970s as one half of the dope-smoking comedy duo Cheech and Chong. In 2003, Chong was charged in the United States with conspiring to sell drug paraphernalia and sentenced to prison, what he now calls an assault on his civil liberties. The 67-year-old claims it was his hippie persona as an actor, which led to his crucifixion by an over-zealous U.S. government looking for a scapegoat. CONT.
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Comment #3 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 11, 2005 at 03:23:59 PT
Cycle or Growth?
Cycles are like the seasons, but growth is a permanent change. This internet revoution has revolutionized our society and pushed us way past a cycle. This is a paradign shift in our society. At least that's my opinion. The last death rattle of the inquisition. Note how the printing press involved increasing the ease of communication to the people. Now, the internet has done just hte same again. Think of hte effects of the printing press. This internet is an amazing thing. Rev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchCompassion: It's just a choice
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on September 11, 2005 at 01:36:43 PT:
While I agree with the Kapt there, I'd like to add that the 
internet is a big part of this swing in public opinion.
When the drug war was at it's hight with the full support
of the American people and the MSM The drug warriors controlled all the information and abused the truth
For what Tommy Chong expierienced, I know what he ment by,"it was easier to make a deal". The cards are definitly stacked aginst you in federal court. Over the years they have sewn up all defences in the case of cannabis prosicution. You can't win. Even the defence lawyers
are religated to nothing more than hand holders. They
have no defence to offer. Fourth ammendment has been trashed. Forget that. Cops do what ever they like and lie in court or make up bogus reports and everything they say, every lie, every story is taken as gospel by the court.
It is all theater. Jusice in America is a sham. Everyone in the system is playing their part and making big bucks.
They rubber stamp you right on through. I call it "fast food justice". Thats all it is. All a lawyer needs to do his[her] job is a rubber stamp and a straight face. That's right anything they can say in court with a straight face will be taken as fact. This is the reality of it with the
veneer removed. A real peek at the little guy behind the curtin. Where is Toto when you need him? 
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on September 11, 2005 at 00:26:21 PT:
*"...There's going to be another cycle and it's going to go the other way."* IMHO, this is something I've felt for a long time, as well; society tends to swing back and forth generationally, with few exceptions. Unfortunately, we tend to be stuck in the middle of one such exception.Sometimes, the flaws of one generation can be injected into the next. Neoconservatism is a perfect example. The slavish devotion to authority - and the demand that all adhere to that slavish devotion - is a halmark of the present political order. A key portion of that devotion is intolerance for any other world view...and the desire to crush it and punish those who hold it. Needless to say, that tends to create enemies; the NeoCons have made plenty of those, and they know it. They know that as soon as they relinquish power, they'll be subject to the same forces as they wielded. And they are (justly) terrified of the prospect, as their behavior has been both criminal (the Iraq War based on lies) and treasonous (those lies used to subvert the very civil liberties which are supposed to be the underpinning of our society).Society is often likened to a pendulum. In the case of the NeoCons, they've been holding the pendulum all the way to the right for a very long time. But the strains of doing so are becoming obvious; just look at the polls, which show 80+% of Americans favor medicinal cannabis. The continual stream of lies of the DrugWarriors about its' 'dangerousness' have fallen on deaf ears. And with each month, new studies are published which vindicate the public's opinion of cannabis. Which frightens the NeoCons to no end. Since they foolishly made cannabis a symbol of 1960's era defiance, they shouldn't be surprised if they are confronted again with people, in an entirely different generation, who take it up once more as a badge of nonconformity to stultifying hypocritical politics. Only now, they have even more reasons to do so.
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