Senator, You Used To Be a Pot Head

  Senator, You Used To Be a Pot Head

Posted by CN Staff on July 06, 2007 at 06:56:23 PT
By Norman Kent, AlterNet 
Source: AlterNet 

USA -- A letter to GOP Sen. Norm Coleman from a former college friend asking why he supports brutal drug laws when he was an avid pot smoker as a young man. My friend Norman,Years ago, in a lifetime far away, you did not oppose the legalization of marijuana. Years ago, in our dorm rooms at Hofstra University, you, me, Billy, your future brother-in-law, Ivan, Jonathan, Peter, Janet, Nancy and a wealth of other students smoked dope.
Sure, we had to tape the doors shut, burn incense and open the windows, but we got high, and yet we grew up okay, without the help of the Office of National Drug Control Policy's advice.We grew up to become lawyers. Our other friends, as you go down the list, are doctors, professors, parents, political consultants and professionals. No one ever got cancer from smoking pot or diabetes from using a joint. And the days of our youth we look back fondly upon as years where we stood up, were counted and made a difference, from Earth Day in 1970 to helping bring down a president and end a war in Southeast Asia a few years later. We smoked pot when we took over Weller Hall to protest administrative abuses of students' rights. You smoked pot as you stood on the roof of the University Senate protesting faculty exclusivity. As the President of the Student Senate in 1969, you condemned the raid by Nassau County police on our dormitories, busting scores of students for pot possession.You never said then that pot was dangerous. What was scary then, and is as frightening now, is when national leaders become voices of hypocrisy, harbingers of the status quo, and protect their own position instead of the public good. Welcome to the crowd of those who have become a likeness of which they despised. Welcome to the mindless myriad of legislators who gather in cocktail lounges to manhandle their martinis while passing laws against drunk driving.We have seen more people die last year from spinach then pot. We have endured generations of drug addicts overdosing on a multitude of drugs, from heroin to crystal methamphetamine. In your public life, as an attorney general, mayor and United States senator, you have been in the forefront of speaking out against abuses which are harmful. You have been a noble and honorable public servant. How about not being such a dope on dope?How about admitting that if the Rockefeller drug laws were applied to Norman Bruce Coleman on Long Island in 1968, or to me, or to our friends, and fellow students, you, I and others we knew and loved might just be getting out of jail now? How about recognizing that for too long too many have been wrongly arrested, unjustly prosecuted and illegally incarcerated for unconscionable periods of time?How about recognizing that you have peers who have smoked pot for 25 years or more and they are successful record producers, businessmen and parents?How about standing up and saying you have heard and witnessed countless stories of persons who have used pot medicinally, as I have, to endure the effects of chemotherapy?You who have travelled to Africa and seen the face of AIDS so up close and personal would deny medicinal marijuana relief to those souls wasting away from malnutrition, nausea and no access to fundamental medicines?How about not adopting the sad and sorry archaic path of our office of drug control, which this week suggested pot smokers are more likely to become gang members than others?How about standing up and saying: "I, Norm Coleman, smoked pot in 1969." That "I am not a gang member, a drug addict or a criminal."How about saying: "I was able to responsibly integrate my prior pot use into my life, and still succeed on my own merits."How about standing up not only for who you are, but who you were?How about it, Norm?I will always love, admire and cherish what you have achieved and accomplished and the goals you have met. I will always fondly look at the remarkable success of your present.How about you looking back at your past and saying: "What I did was not so wrong and not so bad and not so hurtful that generations of Americans should still, decades later, be going to jail for smoking pot -- nearly one million arrests for possession last year."Can't Norm Coleman come out of the closet in 2007 and say "These arrests are wrong -- that there is a better way, and we need to find it."You might find more integrity and honor in that then adopting the sad and sorry policy of our Office of National Drug Control Policy.You might find the person you were.Norm Kent Norm Kent is an attorney based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, who specializes in criminal defense and appeals, media law and First Amendment issues. He serves on the Board of Directors for NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Editor's Note: The following is a letter addressed to Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman -- a strong advocate of the brutal federal drug laws on the books -- reminding him that he used to be a happy, safe, fun-loving pot smoker.Complete Title: Senator, You Used To Be a Pot Head -- Now You're Talking Like a NarcSource: AlterNet (US)Author:  Norman Kent, AlterNetPublished: July 6, 2007Copyright: 2007 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #18 posted by Hope on July 07, 2007 at 22:07:52 PT

Comment 12 FoM
Oh no!
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Comment #17 posted by whig on July 07, 2007 at 11:08:21 PT

John Tyler
Not everyone who smokes pot is good to begin with. I think people who use cannabis are less likely to be violent so that is harm reduction, and if a person uses pot to reach a higher understanding eventually it may cause them to become good because it is just better for themselves and everyone.
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Comment #16 posted by John Tyler on July 07, 2007 at 08:56:42 PT

seduced by the dark side
Power is a funny thing, it can make you a better person or it can make you a worse person. Sounds like Norm Coleman was seduced by the power of the Dark Side and has become evil. It sounded like he was once a good guy. What a shame. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 15:32:38 PT

I saw how Paul Simon was singing for Chris Dodd on the news. They have been long time friends they said. I think that is great. 
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Comment #14 posted by RevRayGreen on July 06, 2007 at 15:21:48 PT

Paul Simon
paying live soon at Chris Dodd's appearance in Ft. Dodge IA.......vvvvvvvv
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Comment #13 posted by user123 on July 06, 2007 at 14:16:14 PT:

How About...
How about hell will freeze over before he admits he was wrong.
How about he's not going to change his stance when it could cost him his job, & ultimately, his paycheck.
How about we just continue down the road to destruction since anyone in charge seems to be afraid of any kind of change.
Well, at least 74% of Americans now feel the same way about our Commander in Thief. 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 10:46:14 PT

I have a problem with Bob Barr that has nothing to do with Bob Barr.My x husband looks like him! LOL! Oh no Mr. Bill! 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 10:44:48 PT

Good to read about O'Reilly. I don't watch Fox or listen to right wing radio so I have no idea how O'Reilly is doing.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on July 06, 2007 at 10:43:25 PT

Bob Barr
He seems, to me, to have mean eyes and his upper lip and his jaw muscles have the look of a very punitive person. I'd like to be wrong.Were those just expressions of what he felt at that moment...or is it his personality and character showing through... and it was the real Bob Barr?
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on July 06, 2007 at 10:37:44 PT

In the race for Minnesota governor,he got his ass kicked by Jesse Ventura and was only elected to the senate because Paul Wellstone got, well, "Wellstoned", 11 days before the election. The rest is history.Coleman's neo-con handlers are pleased, though. In other news, buh-bye Billy...Washington Talk Radio Station Drops Bill O’Reilly: O’Reilly WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...In France, a senior pol dares to question the 9/11 tale: 2007 APPROVES 9/11 TRUTH RESOLUTION AND IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION: Officially Names Giuliani "Mr. 9/11": at the Wheel: Press ignores congressional OK for martial law:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 10:20:02 PT

Oh my I would love to read an article by Bob Barr that would say how sorry he was for misjudging marijuana and that he is sorry for hurting Cheryl and Jim. I'd forgive him if he stood up for his new open mind.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on July 06, 2007 at 10:16:36 PT

Wonder what good, if any, Bob Barr has been doing?
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on July 06, 2007 at 10:02:05 PT

Head's up - Showtime special!
Just got this in an email from MPP:And — speaking of the annual congressional vote on medical marijuana — next week Showtime will be showing "In Pot We Trust," a new documentary on medical marijuana that features MPP's Aaron Houston lobbying on Capitol Hill. The film will air on Monday at 8:30 p.m. EST. (Click here to view additional air times.)I checked, Showtime says it will also be available "on-demand" starting 7/10. I dont' have Showtime but I will be able to pay a few bucks to see it.
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Comment #5 posted by Graehstone on July 06, 2007 at 09:51:21 PT

OT: Experts: Pills becoming the new marijuana on 
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The prescription drugs allegedly found in Al Gore III's possession this week are favorites among young people, according to drug abuse experts, who say prescription drugs may soon overtake street drugs in popularity.
... for the rest of the story.Just found this and thought to share.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on July 06, 2007 at 08:23:35 PT

They both smoked pot and then went on to become lawyers? Maybe it should be illegal! just kidding folks
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on July 06, 2007 at 08:02:24 PT

A Few Words Come To Mind
Yeah, Vote this sorry excuse for a human being out of office, period.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on July 06, 2007 at 07:53:36 PT

Norman Kent,
Thank you. Well done.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on July 06, 2007 at 07:02:54 PT

A few words come to mind
The bureaucracy, a hypocrite and selfish.
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