Bill Maher on The Greening of America

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  Bill Maher on The Greening of America

Posted by CN Staff on June 11, 2013 at 04:21:07 PT
By Bill Maher 
Source: Rolling Stone 

USA -- It's a brave new pothead world. Until fairly recently, even a year ago, I would not have guessed that we would be at the place we are now – with 18 states legalizing medical marijuana and, according to one recent poll, a whopping 85 percent of the nation supporting medical use. For all our political rancor, it turns out, what ultimately unites us is pot. Weed is one of the few things that both hillbillies and hippies like. Rappers smoke pot, and country artists smoke pot. There's just as much pot on Willie Nelson's tour bus as there is on Snoop Dogg's tour bus. Marijuana is bridging the red and blue divide and becoming a purple issue.
For those who worry that we will become a nation that sits on the couch eating Cheetos all day, relax. Smoking pot does not equal laziness. Weed was something I could always justify because it excited my brain. Some people it puts to sleep, others it turns paranoid. Some it makes creative, and we're the lucky ones, because if it has done any damage to us, at least we have a receipt. I've gotten a lot of good ideas from pot. Including smoke more pot.Legalization is another one of those issues, like gay marriage, that drives the Tea Bag people crazy. That Leave It to Beaver black-and-white 1950s image that Mitt Romney fit into so well is going away, and one big reason is marijuana. Bill Clinton once said, "If you look back on the Sixties and think there was more good than harm, you're probably a Democrat. If you think there was more harm than good, you're probably a Republican." Well, for those people who loved the Fifties, pot played a huge role in the cultural revolution that they detest.The Next Seven States to Legalize Pot: have always been an uneasy alliance of Jesus freaks, gun nuts, generic obese suburbanites and the super-rich, but what binds them is this idea that life was perfect in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1958. As soon as President Obama was elected, this visual of a black guy who liked smoking pot walking into the White House was too much. Whenever you hear them say, "I want my country back" – from what? Did Blackmanistan invade us? They may want it back, but that America is gone forever.Of course, there's a big economic incentive to legalizing marijuana. More than a decade ago, there was a county in Georgia where the people fired the sheriff because he was busting pot farmers. The crop was their lifeblood, so they got rid of the hardass and elected a sheriff who pledged to look the other way. That's the kind of sea change that's happening in America right now. If 40 years of abject failure of the War on Drugs has taught us anything, it's that the customer base is large, strong and loyal. So as in everything, money talks. And money is there to be made. There's no going back. We've reached the tipping point, legal marijuana is here to stay – it's just a matter of how fast it will happen across the country.This story is from the June 20th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.Newshawk: John TylerSource: Rolling Stone (US)Author: Bill MaherPublished: June 10, 2013Copyright: 2013 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P.Contact: letters rollingstone.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #8 posted by museman on June 12, 2013 at 10:37:38 PT
I was in the Navy during Nam, I witnessed -unfortunately- the human devastation from the Mekong Delta that ended up in the Naval Hospital (where I first smoked cannabis)-they thought in their great medical wisdom -not- that 'entertaining the troops' would be somehow beneficial for me. The shock ended any fantasies that might have lingered from the 'patriotic' propaganda that had been spoon fed through church, school, movies and TV. The shock was so great I cried for weeks.After 40 years of not fitting in to this fracked up society, I finally get diagnosed with PTSD, but its too late now. So when this 'war' is finally over, I am going to apply for permanent disability and compensation from a government that acted immorally, unethically, and illegally, and literally made a war on me and my cannabis kind. So I have 'fought' this war for as long as I have been out of the military. I did not choose this, I did not want this. I had to raise my family under the radar (and I am grateful to the Spirit that allowed me to do this while so many others could not find a way) barely keeping myself out of prison -by Grace and my silver tongue- and living in poverty on the edge of homelessness most of that time. -Because of war. Because of cultural ignorance about their so-called 'leaders.'Because of a host of 'peers' who let the commercial fantasies about the 'american dream' derail any possibility of them attaining consciousness, and became yuppie slaves supporting a government of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. Because a majority of the population was enthralled to the false values of money, property, and things -the big carrot on the stick- they believed in the lies of the politicians, and the politicians established their exclusive club, all the way down the chain of command to the cop on the street.All of these who complied, are no different than the Germans who turned a blind eye to the Nazi pogroms of their Jewish neighbors. They justified their support of global conquest and destruction, and looked down their 'employed' noses at those of us who actually fought in the wars of freedom. as well as the wars of conquest for the rulers (VietNam, Korea, WW2, WW1, The Civil War, and the Revolutionary war).But, I will forgive your ignorance. An apology would be nice though... However I will not forgive the lying, stealing, evil, evil, evil lawyers and politicians who preyed,and continue to prey on the people. They declared war on me while I was just trying to live my life and learn love -just like they do to people in third world countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, etc- they make people suffer all over the world. When this war is over, it is time for us to declare the end of their reign.If there is ever going to be a 'government of the people, by the people, and for the people' these fracking useless seat warmers and wormtongues need to be gainfully employed doing actual labor. They cannot be forgiven as long as they are let to believe in their 'superiority' and that they are 'needed' to interpret our liberty! No they need to be disbarred, disbanded, and the entire system of law and lawyers needs to be seriously examined by the people -without the liars even being present and allowed to contribute - they had their chance and the results are pretty fracked up.Now Bill Maher, for instance would probably make a great representative -but not in the current system. Even if he somehow 'got elected' he would be powerless because this system is designed to favor only one standard -wealth and power. Bill is much more powerful as a media journalist than a eunuch -which is what every politician is; a ball-less ass kisser albeit highly paid for their prostitution.Bill probably knows this and that is why he hasn't entered the political arena.I, like Bill, am nearly always 'politically incorrect' and I appreciate his contribution to truth and sanity in the 21st century.Go Bill!LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #7 posted by Paul Pot on June 12, 2013 at 08:03:04 PT:
A majority of states.
The story of legalization is being played out very rapidly right now with the elections of 14 and 16 being defining points. A lot has to happen and medical marijuana is it. Medical marijuana is actually legalization, it allows for supply in direct contravention of federal law. Right now there are several states about to join the list and several more that look like they will this year and no telling what will happen next year. By the 2014 election it could be that more than half of US states will have laws that allow for the medical use and supply of marijuana. When a majority of people and a majority of states disagree with the federal government then any pretense that federal law supersedes state just melts away. 
By the 2016 election, significantly more than half of US states will have medical marijuana and also have decriminalized with several more states having legalized by then. 
Support by the people and the states for reform has been growing at a steady pace and once it passes 50% it starts becoming a reality to the point where, if this administration continues to refuse to address this issue, then the issue of the drug war will decide who the next President is.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on June 12, 2013 at 04:20:37 PT
And We hardly hear anything about DARE anymore.Does it even still exist?
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Comment #5 posted by Vincent on June 11, 2013 at 20:33:15 PT:
Great article.
This article was great, that dude Bill Maher is right on. Everything he talks about is stuff that I've been through personally. A lot of points were made by the responses to this article, as well. Y'know, I actually feel sorry for these prohibitionist, Archie Bunker types because when it comes to herb, and many other issues, they REALLY don't understand what we're talking about. The parties, the good times we had...all this they will never know because they're such refusniks! 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 11, 2013 at 16:30:44 PT
My 2 Cents
I honestly believe no matter what the age of a person you ask that most would say marijuana should be legal. That it has gone on way too long. The problem is the special interest groups that will lose when the law is changed. Politicians listen to those that give them money.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on June 11, 2013 at 15:44:44 PT:
The one fact the Media tends to ignore
The up-and-coming generation is replacing the one that held (literally!) antiquated views on cannabis. Said newer generation is not interested in drug prohibition in general and cannabis prohibition in particular...and have made that attitude manifest in the votes to re-legalize in WA and CO.Even more important, the up-and-coming generation is not interested in paying for drug prohibition with its' tax dollars.A real battle royale is shaping up in the next 5 years; the forces of reform, powered in no small part by a generational mindset inimical to prohibition, is facing off against the massive Prison/Industrial Complex...whose Achilles Heel is that it is almost entirely supported by tax revenues.The bloodsucking parasites of prohibitionism cannot afford to anger those who foot its' bills...but that is precisely what is happening.As the old song went, "Meet the new boss..." who, for once, this time, really is nothing like the old one, the one who just nodded demi-consciously when it came to drug prohibition rhetoric, swallowing it uncritically. The attempt to snowjob the the younger generation via programs like DARE - and thus keep the taxpayer-fueled gravy train going - have backfired; the former kids are now politically active adults...and WA and CO are testaments to their intent and efficacy. This latest generation knows the score, knows the game is rigged, and wants nothing to do with it. Pols who fail to recognize the worm has (finally!) turned will be handed pink slips courtesy of those new voters making that displeasure with how they were lied to known at the ballot box.And it can't happen soon enough; we really, truly cannot afford this farce of a DrugWar any longer.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 11, 2013 at 15:19:11 PT
Old Farts
The older generations exposed to the former propaganda techniques are expiring. People are living longer, which should slow change, but leave it to the in$urance/govt healthcare system to quicken the mortality rate.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 11, 2013 at 12:57:36 PT

From The Economist UK
Marijuana Legalisation: Leveraging Racism June 11, 2013A Majority of Americans now favour the legalisation of marijuana. Two decades ago, 80% opposed it. Remarkably, about a third of the swing in public opinion came in just the past three years. It seems the tide has turned. However, William Galston and E.J. Dionne, scholars at the Brookings Institution, warn legalisers not to get too excited. "Support for legalization, though growing markedly", they write, "is not as intense as opposition, and is likely to remain relatively shallow so long as marijuana itself is not seen as a positive good." The trend in favour of legal weed, they observe, is not as inexorable as the trend toward the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.Much of the suport for legalisation comes from the increasingly widespread belief that the benefits of prohibition have not outweighed the costs. Such pragmatism may be enough to shift opinions about the wisdom of legalisation, but it rarely generates the moral passion necessary to overwhelm fervent moral opposition and bring about lasting change. From a certain, rarefied liberal perspective (eg, mine), marijuana prohibition violates the individual's right to do whatever he likes with his own body as long as it does no harm to others, and is clearly unjust. The very existence of "victimless crimes" is enough to work me into a lather. Similar views about the injustice of paternalism drive most legalisation activists. Still, this sort of libertarian sensibility is not widespread. So why are views on marijuana changing? Because plenty of consequences of prohibition pique typical Americans.URL:
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