Decriminalization Day

Decriminalization Day
Posted by FoM on July 02, 2000 at 10:50:48 PT
Guest Perspective By Robert Bakhaus 
Source: News Press
Thousands of people this year will be warming up for their traditional Fourth of July Independence Day holiday by first celebrating Decriminalization Day on July 3. Decriminalization Day is the official holiday for victimless "criminals" celebrated annually since America's 1976 Bicentennial.In Santa Barbara, we will be picnicking in De la Guerra Plaza in front of City Hall from noon until dusk. In Anaheim, hundreds will march in memory of medical marijuana martyr Peter McWilliams. 
In Tennessee, various demonstrations will be held against their governor's attempts to impose an income tax.Decriminalization Day reminds us that the essence of Americanism is contained in the very first sentence of the very First Amendment, which says: "Congress shall make no laws regarding ..."Nowhere else in the history of civilization has a government unilaterally denied itself as much power over its citizens as did the original Founders. The Founder's respect for natural, human, individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was so great, they fought a war for freedom from taxation without representation, for the right to be left alone from unreasonable searches and seizures, to retain unto the states and the people all power not explicitly delegated to the federal government. And they practiced much of what they preached in their daily lives.Unlike today's immigrant bashers, John Hancock -- the signer of the Declaration of Independence whose signature was so large that King George would not need his spectacles to read it -- was a professional smuggler who grew rich running the British blockade. What do you think he would do about the recent case of Elian Gonzalez, or about the blockade against Cuba for that matter?Unlike today's pious drug warriors swilling alcohol and caffeine while waging war on marijuana and other bio-chemistry for which they are zero-tolerant, George Washington distilled liquors on his plantation and grew marijuana by the acres. Thomas Jefferson likewise grew the wonderful hemp plant, and wrote his drafts of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. Most of the Bibles of the era were printed on hemp.Unlike today's prudish Puritans, who pound on pornography with every legislative instrument imaginable, Benjamin Franklin not only maintained the largest collection of "gentlemen's literature," but held regular meetings for gentlemen to read and share it. His governorship of Pennsylvania, with his bastard son as personal secretary, was a model of tolerance that even the Quakers found popular.All of the Founders were victimless criminals, condemned by their "divine-right" British king to hang. Most of them suffered terrible tragedies in the loss of fortune, family and their own lives in order to make the world a safer place for those of us who choose to exercise our individuality without violating universal human rights. Imagine how these scofflaws of "divine rights" would laugh at today's insane proponents of "animal rights."Imagine how these enlightenment-inspired souls would loathe the post-modern inhumanity of the Endangered Species Act. For those who have not lost their humanity, their love of human rights, their desire for a humane society of tolerance and freedom, Decriminalization Day sets a tone for reducing the violence now rampant in American society. From the war on drugs, the war on pornography, the war on illiteracy, the war on poverty, the ruling of czars and commissarsfor every bureaucratic agenda, America needs to declare peace and stand down the troops. From endless no-win wars abroad, America needs to demilitarize. We need to stop building prisons faster than any other construction, and stop being proud of imprisoning more citizens than any other country since South Africa stopped apartheid and the Soviet Union abandoned its imperialistic ambitions.We need to give peace a chance instead of being seduced by the dark side of the force as the only superpower on the planet.Decriminalization Day is a day for midwives, chiropractors, medical marijuana users, polygamists, same-sex marital partners, private gamblers, lawyers who advertise, nudists who sun in the buff in the privacy of their own property and/or on marked clothes-optional beaches.Decriminalization Day is for those who drive over 55 miles per hour, cut "Do Not Remove" labels from their mattresses, draft resisters, tax resisters and unlicensed gun owners.Decriminalization Day is for those who avoid sales tax by buying out of state or over the internet.Decriminalization Day is for advocates of needle-exchange programs without needing a declaration of Health Emergency by the county Board of Supervisors.Decriminalization Day is for atheists to join hands with faith healers in celebration of the First Amendment's freedom of and from religion.In short, Decriminalization Day is for you, if you value universal human rights.To research our free database of thousands of bad laws -- many in California -- visit our Libertarian Society website at: Bakhaus is a member of the Libertarian Party living in Santa Barbara.Opinion: editorial newspress.comPublished: July 2, 2000 Copyright 1996 Santa Barbara News-Press Related Articles:Libertarians To Honor Peter McWilliams Articles On Decriminalization:
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Comment #2 posted by J Christen-Mitchell on July 03, 2000 at 06:56:03 PT
Decriminalization Day 
GateWayNORML will assemble to recognize Decriminalization Day, At this time we are happy to proclaim in association with C.A.M.P., Hemptopia 2000, October 27, 28 & 29th, tentatively, at the 1904 World's Fair Pavilion of Forest Park. This 3Day HempFest will include StLouisNORML's 3rd MedicaLegal Conference. Cantact Hemptopian Thanx!
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Comment #1 posted by legalizeit on July 02, 2000 at 20:32:46 PT
Good points but... one of those who values animal as well as human life, I do detest his animal-rights bashing. I agree that the gov't goes too far on some environmental issues (cases in point, the recent removal of the world-renowned Mojave Phone Booth from an NPS preserve for no good reason, and the relocation of the building site of a major Southern California hospital due to an endangered fly), but environmental protection in moderation is necessary to keep, for instance, greedy developers from ticky-tacking every square inch of land in sight with rows of houses. And laws regarding "humane slaughter" (what an oxymoron!!) mitigate suffering of so-called food animals.Of course, a cannabis news forum is no place to start an animal-rights debate, so that's all I will say on the subject.His contrasting of yesterday's to today's politicians was really interesting, though. People always talk about how stuffy people of yesteryear were, but things were really much more liberal then than now. Even many so called "liberals" want more government intrusion, not less. It's really time to quit thinking about protecting the childruuun all the time and think more about protecting what little rights we have left and securing some of the freedoms we once had that our narrow-sighted, special-interest-worshipping politicians have taken away.
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